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Carole Venner – Bath Spa University

Carole was a Newton Park Teacher Training College student between 1961 and 1964. Together with her friends Kate and Jan, also students at the University, they experienced unforgettable moments, shared here.

"A few weeks after we arrived we were all sent out on something called Village Survey. Kate and I went a few yards up the road to Newton St Loe's village school and it was like taking part in a Miss Read novel, with I think only two classes: one for the infants and one for the juniors."

Carole Venner

I spent the first two years at Newton Park, living in the Old Rectory in Newton St Loe. In my year, there were nine of us and ten students who were a year ahead of us and were the first students studying for three years to qualify for a Certificate of Education. Then, a few weeks after we arrived, we were all sent out on a Village Survey. So Kate and I went a few yards up the road to Newton St Loes' village school, and it was like taking part in a Miss Read novel, with, I think, only two classes, one for the infants and one for the juniors.

Living in the Old Rectory was very pleasant. The warden was Miss Phillips, who was very kind, but she was very anxious about our moral welfare. Consequently, no male visitors were allowed during the week before 11am, had to leave no later than 4pm, and could only be entertained in the common room. Moreover, should any men be in the house, no one was allowed to wear fluffy slippers. These garments apparently could cause the lads to have uncontrollable behaviour.

I was quite thin in 1961, so I was prescribed a bottle of stout each night. I could choose either Guinness or Mackeson. I chose Mackeson because it was a little sweeter. I didn't like it very much, and it certainly felt more like a penance than a treat.

Probably the most exciting night that happened whilst I lived at the Old Rectory I missed, along with Kate and Jan, because we were fast asleep. Students from another University raided the garden and let off fireworks. Several girls were screaming and crying, and Miss Phillips called the police! Special arrangements for Jan, Kate and me were then put in place so that we had to be called in case of a fire because it was realised we might not hear that we needed to evacuate our bedroom.

We left The Old Rectory to take up occupancy in Langton Court in September 1963, some of the first students to do so.

The Alumni Oral Histories project aimed to gather individual voices and views from the University's teaching alumni community and publish these stories in people's own words. Any views or opinions represented in individual posts are personal, belonging solely to the author of that post, and do not represent the views of other Bath Spa staff, or Bath Spa University as an institution.

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