Blog Archives

Ushaw College 1808-2011

In Omnibus Sumentes Scutum Fidei

A little piece of history is about to be consigned to the recycle bin of fond memories (well, for some anyway….). Yesterday I took a train journey up to Durham, and a short bus-ride out to Ushaw College to ‘celebrate’ the last “Grand Day” of its 203 year history.

Ushaw College has been the principal Catholic Seminary for the north of England for 2

Aerial view

centuries, and was established from Douai College in northern France even before Catholic Emancipation became official in 1829.  Read more here. The College has had a long and complex history, culminating in its fight over several recent years to survive the tides of change. After a couple of ‘stays of execution’, it has finally thrown in the towel and announced its closure in June of this year. The reasons given are entirely financial.

When I joined the College in 1961 as an 11 year old, I joined what was then a flourishing Junior House that formed part of the extended College, which trained students from the beginning of secondary schooling right through to ordination at the age of 24/25 years. There had been a post-war boom in vocations, and the Catholic church had invested hugely in seminary training from a young age, inculcating a curriculum that was heavily biased towards the classics with a quasi-monastic existence (which didn’t appeal to everyone!). It probably was not surprising that there was a high drop-out rate. The 60s and 70s heralded massive changes in society. Some say that if you can

St Cuthbert's Chapel

remember that period you weren’t really a part of it. Those of us at Ushaw watched the 60s unfold from the touch line, and most couldn’t resist running onto the pitch to be a part of the great melée. Hence, the Junior House eventually closed down and the College continued as a Senior Seminary in liaison with Durham University becoming, at one time, a residential University College.

Exterior of St Cuthbert's Chapel

This year’s “Grand Day” (ie Old Boys reunion) was the final Act of the 203 year drama. About 300 former students of all ages, many in the ordained ministry, but perhaps the majority (like myself) lay members, gathered together for Mass in St Cuthbert’s Chapel (a historic monument in its own right) and a convivial meal afterwards in the Refectory, a place that conjured up so many memories for all present. Like most Grand Days, the celebration was rounded off with a game of Cat (a French game inherited from Douai College and unique to Ushaw in the UK).

As I hastened down the long drive to catch a bus into town, I chanced by another Ushawman from the 1940s who shared a number of fond memories of his time at the College. But what stood out for

The game of cat: precursor to baseball and rounders?

him (a little painfully, perhaps) was that when his brother joined him at the College, his parents always sent letters to be shared by both of them, and they were always addressed to his younger brother. For several years, he had never received an unopened letter from home. And at the age of 76, that was still a little unresolved grievance for him.

So, many of us were meeting up for the first time since our College days. I counted at least nine from my own year group, and some of us were celebrating 50 years since we joined the College in 1961. And how we had all changed!! Memory has the habit of playing tricks on us. As we scanned the ranks for familiar faces, we conserved the memories of classmates as they had been 50 years ago, and that could be very deceptive. But by the end of the afternoon, we had all located each other, and this is the result. Happy days!!

Class of 1961-1974

Advertisements
burnsyogaandfitness.wordpress.com/

It is health that is the real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver - Mahatma Gandhi.

Matildas Musings

A blog written by Matilda - the "old lady" classic tandem - and her Musings about her adventures, trials and tribulations with the "old git" and Chief Pilot, aka Colin and the "old gal" and Chief Stoker (as well as Chief Engineer) aka Diane.

Fit Recovery

Stay Clean Get Fit

Northern Walker

Lightweight backpacking, hillwalking and bicycle touring adventures in Northern England and Scotland

Looking For 42

Traveling the world looking for the meaning for life (and whatever else I might find along the way)

Off The Beaten Path

All contents ©2018 Compass Cycles.

Bike 5

Five miles or less? Bikes are best!

Kite*Surf*Bike*Rambling

KITESURFING, CYCLING, SUP: ramblings, idiocy and not much more

Cycling Dutch Girl

the only certainty is change

4000milestothesea

On a bicycle from coast to coast across the USA

Self Propelled

Self propelled adventures through life; blogging on cycling, touring, micro-adventures, general shenanigans, and environmental news

chrisp666

Cycling across Europe, Cornwall to Munich

The Vicious Cycle

A man searches for meaning...in between leg shavings

2 l o v e c y c l i n g

It's about cycling ... and other travels

There And Back Again

Life at 15 miles per hour

As Easy As Riding A Bike

Well it should be, shouldn't it?

Bike Around Britain

Blog on cycling around the coast of Britain

David Noble's Blog

Life, Loves and Living

weston.front

The Weston Front - the destination of a road less travelled...

The Innocent Bikestander

It can be better

Bike, Banjo & Baby

They go together so well

Something for Kiki and the Pok

the adventures of Christopher Yardin - by plane, bike, through a lens, or the eyes of a child

Bricycling...

Cycling Blog

Richard Tulloch's LIFE ON THE ROAD

Travel adventures on wheels and legs

THE SPORTSWOOL DIARIES

................."Cherry picking the nicest places in the world to cycle"

Gippsland Granny

Musings from Metung

Serendipities of life

Taking the road less travelled

I Do Not Despair

When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. ~H.G. Wells

Tom’s Bike Trip

Adventures and experiments in two-wheeled travel

All Seasons Cyclist

Real World Product Reviews For Avid Cyclists

machacas on wheels

Taking the road less travelled

%d bloggers like this: