Recent events - Hartpury agricultural students reunited after 50 years
Robin Hughes sent us this report and photographs of his year group’s recent reunion at Hartpury University Centre. If you know anyone in the 1965 photograph or you’re a former Hartpury student that would like to get in touch, visit the University Centre or hold a reunion, please contact Andrew Beacham: Andrew.firstname.lastname@example.org and the Alumni Office will help in whatever way we can. From Robin Hughes…
A big thank you to Hartpury College and University Centre who recently welcomed back 36 former agricultural students, all celebrating a landmark 50-year anniversary since leaving.
Charles Holdsworth and Robert Clarke set the ball rolling, tracking down as many former students as possible from 1965. Thanks to the help of many people especially Robert Ensor, John Williams, John Fellows and an original photograph with everyone named on the back, over half the year group were located, including a few staff members.
Some proved quite challenging to find. Mervyn Jones is now farming in Ireland, Roger Young was finally traced to France and Pete Haines is still local but had lost touch, others now live in Australia. There were several that had completely ‘gone off the radar’ and sadly, a few that had died; Mary Moore, John Knight, John Harrison and George Field are the ones we know about.
Staff were located with the help of Mrs Mary Henderson who had contact details for Mr Eric Lawrence, Mr Fred Say, Mr and Mrs Hewitt. Interestingly both Mr Say and Mr Hewitt finished their working lives as principals of other agricultural colleges; clearly, Hartpury is the place to start a shining career.
The reunion itself was in our old common room, at Hartpury House, and after five decades, the nametags were a godsend! We gathered in the main hall meeting friends not seen for many years and in some cases since we left. A carvery lunch gave everyone the chance to continue catching-up. It was a truly memorable day, capped off with reunion photographs and a guided walk around what is now a massive and seriously impressive campus.
Even though the University Centre has grown hugely over the years, it is wonderful to know that agriculture and farming is still at its heart. September 2017 is the first time Hartpury offers an Applied Agricultural Degree.
Times have changed, but one thing is sure, today’s students will love their time at Hartpury as much as I did. A brilliant day and one I can recommend to other Hartpury alumni who may like to have a reunion.