Saturday, 9 March 2013

Student Life – Sixty Five Years Ago!

On Wednesday I was speaking to a group at a nearby church. One of the members there, Stan, met my Dad in Leicester at the end of the war- and then a couple of years later he was a student with my parents up in Glasgow. I love seeing Stan – he is about the only person I know in Leicestershire who actually knew my Mum [other than Bob, of course] After the meeting, whilst we were having our cuppas, he popped home [to his lovely cottage just across the road from the Chapel] because he had ‘something to show me’

He brought back a battered photo album – containing pictures from his youth – his schooldays, time as a Bevin Boy, and his years in Scotland. There were photos of my Mum and Dad I had never seen before! I took some pictures of the album with my camera – I think perhaps I may ask Stan if I can borrow the album sometime to scan these ancient photographs properly.


Here’s the Bible Training institute, Glasgow, in 1948, and some of the students. The guy at the front, and short lady are {I believe] the Principal, Dr Davison and his wife. My friend Stan is on back row, 2nd from left – Dad is just in front of him = again the second from left. In the summer a group of students went to Bridlington to conduct a Summer Mission [a sort of Holiday Club on the beach!]


Here they are outside the house where they stayed – yes, Mum was the only girl among that crowd of blokes! Dad’s beside her [no idea about chap with moustache] Mum and Dad had only been married a few months. She was chief cook for the team [and Britain was still ‘On Ration’ then]

Here they are on the beach – they dug a large semicircular row of ‘seats’ in the sand for the kids, and called it the Rainbow Circle. Here’s Dad [on the right] leaning on his shovel. The tall guy is Geoffrey Grogan – one of Dad’s close friends who subsequently became Principal of BTI. The other picture is Dad singing Action Songs with the children.



Back at College in the Lecture Hall – Mum and Dad in 5th row from front, on the extreme right of the row.


Students were so formally dressed in those days – suits and ties in lectures [and even on the beach sometimes!] Mind you, this lot were all training to be clergymen or missionaries, and Mum said many of them were very ‘prim and proper’

I was so touched by Stan’s kindness in bringing these pictures to show me, and really grateful to him. It has left me feeling quite emotional, with Mothering Sunday coming up tomorrow.

“They both look so young!” said Bob [and I pointed out that we were that age when we got married!] When I was a teenager, Mum used to say to me “Don’t get married while you are a student, it is very hard work!” and I didn’t meet and marry Bob till after we’d both been to Uni. Then he promptly went back to study for his theology degree. So I think that I would say “Don’t start a family while you are a student – that is very hard work too!”


  1. How wonderful to see those pictures of your mum and dad when they were younger.
    Recently my dad has been talking about his younger days and when he met mum. Something he didn't do when we were young. It's nice listening to him.

  2. So lovely to have those precious photos.

  3. Wow how wonderful that Stan had so many treasures to share with you,I can imagine your delight ,and as you say,just in time for Mothering Sunday,makes you wonder who else has precious pictures that we aren't aware of Jan xx

  4. How sweet of Stan to show you the photos. It's very special to see the life our parents had before they were parents.
    Jane x

  5. I love the photos, too. I'm reading the Nella Last books right now. She speaks of living on the rations.
    Your mama and papa were good people. They left a legacy. YOU!

  6. Photos to treasure, for sure. I like how they dressed. It's nice to see neatly dressed young people instead of looking out on the uni campuses and seeing a haze of blue - as in jeans, and not to mention the "paid for holes" in them! :-)
    Lovely photos, and your mum and dad were gems.
    I'd definitely ask to scan them, and they can be passed down to your children.

  7. You must have been SO excited when you realised what was in the album! Jx

  8. So fabulous. They are of course thinking the same of you, as they cheer you on as your great crowd of witnesses x

  9. What a wonderful find! Your parents sound like they were amazing people. Lesley x

  10. What a lovely find. I used to live near the BTI in Glasgow.


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