50 year anniversary brings Geographers back to Portsmouth
50 years on, the University were delighted to welcome back former students from the BSc/BA Geography 1965 intake. After meeting for lunch at the Still & West in Old Portsmouth and reminiscing about their student days, the group were met by Geography’s Senior Lecturer, Dominic Fontana on the University campus.
After sharing their stories, the former students were given an insightful talk by Dominic on the progress of the Geography department today, followed by a tour of the laboratories in Buckingham Building.
Left to right: Senior Lecturer Dominic Fortana, Wynne Mainwaring, John Mainwaring, Kay Murray, Kathy Glass, Jill Gore and Bryan Brown.
Bryan Brown, who organised the reunion, talks of his University experience:
We were the second cohort to join the BSc/BA Geography course where the Department of Geography had a group of dynamic young lecturers, and as I remember some very keen students! We came from all parts of the country, and formed a cohesive and happy band of students in what was then a city still dominated by the Royal Navy and the Dockyard, and which was still rebuilding after the extensive bomb damage of the 2nd World War.
Geography was based in a series of old, green painted, wooden huts, at 111 High Street, Old Portsmouth, on a site which is now redeveloped as housing. However, it’s not the buildings which were important, as what made for a really good academic experience was the people, staff and students, who formed a good community.
Keeping in touch with fellow graduates in those days was not easy in the days before computing and social media, I suspect it mainly consisted of the occasional Christmas card exchange. However last year several of the group thought about the 50th anniversary of our first arrival in Portsmouth, and through extensive research, managed to track down almost everyone. 25 alumni assembled in Manchester (chosen for logistical reasons!), together with 2 of our lecturers from 1965 (David Carter and David Burtenshaw) who themselves had joined the department that summer. The brief details of our lives since are published in a booklet, and show how well geographers can do in life, and make good contributions the community.
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