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Staff Memories - Pat Venables

In the early 1970s we had a ‘Sit In’ on the East Site. At that time our office was in the building which since became the Estates Office. The main office was called the Registry and even the Senate met in the largest room. I think this was the first ‘Sit In’ at Warwick. The students filed in and took over the corridors and offices, and the VC’s office.

Our office was situated at the end of the corridor and Pam Bate and I and two other women locked ourselves in. The men all seem to have escaped! We hoped for a rescue. Then we heard knocking on the large window and there was dear John Watkins outside telling us climb out of the window. It made our day. We couldn’t stop laughing as the window he wanted us to climb out of was the small narrow window at the top of the main frame. It turned our imprisonment into a joke.

Eventually we were rescued by Sir Walter Coutts, the Pro Vice Chancellor and we followed him to freedom over the students’ legs and feet all along the corridor. The students made no effort to move.

I’ve always remembered this event and over the years have often laughed about it with Pam.

Pat Venables
1969 –1991, initially as Filing Clerk, then in the Postgraduate Office.