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Sunday, 4 May 2008

Andy Stone

Andy Stone caught in the act - studying.


looks as if you have spent a significant amount of time working on your blog - looks pretty impressive. Some random reminiscences on Swansea you may ( or may not) remember or even agree with.

I'm not sure why we did not make it into hall that first year but we were allocated some boarding house accommodation by the Uni up past the Mumbles, in Langland. The address was 22 Higher Lane (you were right, I was wrong) & the kindest description I can conjure up is that is was a pretty odd establishment. A 3 or 4 story Victorian house inhabited by a near invisible old couple who had obviously decided that renting out some top floor garrets would enhance their income - however they would
rather not be directly involved & left contact with us aliens to their housekeeper. To my shame I cannot remember her name, but she had a heart of gold & was cheerful despite obviously having a pretty hard life. To use non PC but correct language, she was very short & had a pronounced hunchback.

In a way that I'm not sure happens today the house threw seven disparate students together, mixtures of middle, lower middle & working class revolutionary from up't north, midlands & south west. Not saying which fell into each category but as I recall there was, in no particular order:

John Stratford - from Cirencester on a Post Office sponsored
sandwich course doing Electrical Engineering.

Brian Moss - from Bolton (before it became Notlob) doing Mechanical Engineering who I think was a mature student & actually had a car - a Triumph Herald. I think he smoked a pipe, if not he prob does now.

Ian Jones - From Formby, a mountaineer & Geologist, who seemed to bear the brunt of many schoolboy pranks. If it is not too late for an apology, I think we owe him one.

John Davies - From Exeter doing (I think) Zoology. Very successful with the ladies & with a novel way of drying shirts. He used to put them on a baking tray in the oven. Maybe women find the smell of roast chicken irresistible? Who would have thought that Chicken OXO is an aphrodisiac.....

Mick Gray - From near Alsager near Sandbach, doing English? Very sporty jack the lad - always up for a beer & a game of football in the park. Had the heavy burden of supporting Crewe, who were as bad then as they are now.

Andy Stone - oops thats me. a very shy retiring las from the west country who found Wales a bit odd. Also like caving - god knows why. Electrical engineering - because it seemed a good idea at the time.

Mike Keyton - A bespectacled, intense lad from Liverpool. Instantly had some sort of kudos as that’s where the Beatles came from. Generally seen as a wild eyed revolutionary who sold The Militant and argued endlessly about the rise of the proletariat in a post capitalist peoples dictatorship etc etc. After some alarm we decided that he fitted the description later coined by Douglas Adams to describe the Earth, 'Mostly Harmless'.

Thats the cast list. Seven blokes thrust randomly into digs & attending a Uni about 5 miles way with uncertain public transport. I remember the first evening there was a gathering of all ‘freshers’ in the refectory to be addressed by the Chancellor (or at least someone in the far distance who looked important). Best years of your life, grasp the opportunity, world is yours etc. Every bloke there was thinking: where is the bar & what do the women look like?

Although they had just about mastered the art of drinking halves slowly (Starlight at 1s /10d a pint) skills for chatting up the ladies were non existent - with the exception of John Davies I think who met a girl called Sue (prob that night knowing John) & led her a merry dance for the next 3 years. Us mere mortals just gazed from a distance. With hindsight I now know that the girls were also in a similar state of unpreparedness - eying the motley crew with disdain.We then walked back to the digs along the beach, which seemed to take forever. Well it was 5 miles...

Thats all for now, if the creative urge returns I'll add a little more.


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