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Life in a small Northern University

Life in a small Northern University

Around September 1992, I went to Bradford University (with a year off for good behaviour). And instead of doing the sensible thing like going to lectures, going home and then going to the pub, I did the insanely stupid thing of throwing myself headfirst (and very foolishly and naively) into student media/union life, alongside fellow students who seemed to take the Union far more seriously than I did.

Fast forward 17 years, and thanks to Mosh (who patently has nothing better to do), he sent me scurrying down the research hallways of the Web and Wikipedia to deduce that in those 17 years:

  • Ramair pub crawls are no longer held “because of risk to students off-campus”. Blimey, is it THAT dangerous in Bradford these days? (Then again, there were two riots while I lived there)
  • The “famed” Friday Night Disco (or FNDs for short) are no longer FNDs. In a nod to the subtleties of today’s multicultural multimedia multitasking students, they are now called Flirt! instead.
  • The Biko bar – where I spent the odd night drowning in perry before it disappeared from every pub I went to, only to come back into the warm bosom of my throat 15 years later as pear cider – closed in 2005
  • The student magazine I used to write for (and the one which got me a whole week in Prague just before the Iron Curtain was blown apart by McDonalds and Starbucks) has now been renamed from Scrapie to the unimaginatively entitled ‘The Bradford Student’. Tsk, tsk, no imagination these days.
  • When I was there, four people I knew ran for President or Vice President. Which was a shame, because the post was apparently abolished in 2000. Although they still have a Woman’s Officer. I hope she’s as feisty and alluring and purple-headed as she was in my day…
  • Radio Ramair offices

    Radio Ramair offices

    There’s a student radio station called Ramair, where I had a terrible radio show for three years. I’m also listed as News Editor in 1995, but I can’t really remember that much about it. Which seems odd considering I must have had to do at least one news bulletin a day…

But most important of all …

Back in 1994/5, I ended up setting up the Bradford University Union website, back when most people didn’t even know what a website was. Somehow, I was given Lifetime Membership of said Union as a reward, although I’ve never been back since to claim my discount pints. And for all the confusing clutter that it has today, it still has the name I gave it back in 1994 – UBU Online.

However, I shall now shut up (chorus: too late), lest I become yet another one of those sad people who relive their student days through golden-tinted specs, and are so compelled to write themselves into the story of a student media radio station that they set up their own amateur press agency. Yes, Simon Sheikh, I mean you. I’ve been trying to figure out why he wanted to add me on Facebook.

Hiding my Doctor Who love…

Hiding my Doctor Who love…

Ever since I’ve been a kid, I’ve been a Doctor Who fan. Not quite to the point of putting up posters but I definitely bought the magazines and recorded the programmes on VHS.

It did get to the point when I was notoriously knowledgable about it in my hometown, and when I accidentally recorded over my prized recording of Remembrance of the Daleks, even my TV-phobic parents knew how important it was to my 14-year-old self.

However, it became time to grow up, go to university and put away childish things. Although of course, the knowledge would always emerge somehow sooner or later – and it’s not as if pretending to like The Sundays hid my geekiness. But I consciously shied away from being too close to what counted for Doctor Who fandom at the time. Even if I did run the Cult TV society at University…

Fast-forward ten years, and Doctor Who geeks and fans are everywhere. And I mean, EVERYWHERE. In all shapes, sizes and ages.

Doctor Who almost always comes up at some point in work. But while I concentrated on trying to be cool at university (and failing), they unabashedly carried on with the love that dare not vworp its name, and started running conventions and the like. Now, they go on holidays with the production team and things like that.

I recently had a work meeting with a young mid-20s lady with a glamorous name, and was amazed when unbidden, she started talking about her love of Doctor Who, and namechecking Troughton and the like. Never mind the fact she knows what happens at Christmas…

Of course, working at BBC Wales for five years, three of which were spent looking enviously while other colleagues ran off taking pics on location and in studio didn’t exactly help. But ah well, not even the Doctor can change his own past (Eighth Doctor excepted, of course)

Protected: College memories aka Is she talking about the same person I used to be?

Protected: College memories aka Is she talking about the same person I used to be?

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June 28, 2008Enter your password to view comments.Read More
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