In 1964 admissions interviews with academic staff and students took place in corridors in odd corners of the East Site. Some came in school uniform and particularly noticeable were the boys from Blue Coat School with their yellow stockings. The school certificates came in for checking ‘O’ and ‘A’ levels and some were framed in glass which made them difficult to return.
In 1965 the students arrived in smart suits, collars and ties, or sports coats with leather patches at the elbows. Some had already purchased the striking red/white and black Warwick scarves and it wasn’t long before most of the others did so and wore them with pride.
The sports facilities were non-existent until local people or firms offered help. Lord Leigh said that the students could play cricket at Stoneleigh Abbey but there was to be “no canoodling in the rhododendrons”. Steve Heighway, later a Liverpool star, came in 1966 and we became almost top of the local football league.
The original Library was in wooden huts followed by a circular glass building without any ventilation.
One of the first plays the Drama Group presented was ‘Juno and the Peacock’ which was done in the Library and there was an enormous brass bed with feather mattress on show. It made me itch every time I saw it. Some of the students used an old hearse for transport – even going to Edinburgh Festivals in it.
It was a very sad time when one of the students was struck by lightning when playing tennis and going to shelter under a tree. A few minutes later the sun came out yet a life with such promise was lost. It affected me very deeply.
It was a wonderful experience for me to be in from the beginning of what has proved to be an International Treasure.
Admissions 1964, Registry 1965-9