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March 2015 - Student love on campus

Campus life has been an integral part of the student experiece as March's podcast shows. But what of campus love? Here nine interviewees who found their significant others on campus share their stories.

Student love on campus

Juliet Amery was a student at the City of Coventry Training College which later became part of the University. Studying at the College in the 1950s, Juliet and a friend ventured across the road via the College back gate to the local rugby club to watch a match. The students were invited to go to a club social event despite some misgivings from the founding Principal, Miss Browne, that the rugby players were ‘only after one thing’. Mistaking the Principal, Juliet said, “But, Miss Browne, we’re students, we don’t have any money.” On hearing this, she gave her permission!

Juliet remembers: “The young man who had taken our names down [for the social] was somebody who was injured and whom I subsequently married. If she hadn’t let us go that would never have happened. So I have a tremendous feeling of affection for the college and Warwick. We even booked Arden for our golden wedding anniversary.”

Elizabeth Ballantine, who had a number of links with the University, including working as a postgraduate Biomedical Sciences academic and positions in the International Office, Warwick Business School and the Estates Office. She met her husband in Biological Sciences in the early 1970s.

"He’d just arrived from Australia and I’d arrived from New Zealand, so we had Antipodial experiences in common, and contacts. He was a lecturer…the first virologist. We thought about it for a long time, but we only got married 26 years ago, and thought about it for about 15 years before that!”

Rebecca Earle progressed from several postgraduate degrees and a PhD in History at Warwick to becoming a lecturer and Professor of History at the University. Professor Earle’s father was a prominent mathematician at Warwick and she visited the campus as a child. She met her husband through Maths social events in 1967.

“[MSc Maths] was very different from what I was used to in the United States; I did terribly, I think I barely passed, to the mortification of my boyfriend who was a mathematician! He had to excuse himself from the exam board and declare that he was having a relationship with one of the MA students and couldn’t participate. I met him at one of the Maths department social events, they used to have parties in the common room with the postgraduate students and the faculty which sounds like a terrible idea now! He asked me to have dinner with him and one thing led to another.”

Kathleen Makinson met her husband Paul in the 90s, as an undergraduate student of Religious Studies and English at a church lunch in Coventry on a day trip with fellow students from the Christian Union at Warwick. He had just finished studies at Coventry Performing Arts.

“He was sitting across the table from me, and he started flicking peas at me. So I thought, this person’s a bit fun, a bit silly. We got talking afterwards. He plucked up the courage on Valentine’s Day to send a card and we had a few dates."

After applying for jobs, Paul and Kathleen split up, and Kathleen met and married someone else. Following a divorce, Kathleen bumped into Paul again in 2001, and they were married in 2007.

“That day I was supposed to be going to a school to teach in Littlehampton, the [teaching] agency had booked me in. I got to the school, and this had never happened before, but they said, ‘we don’t need you, we double booked’. So that’s how I ended up with Paul. It was almost meant to be! It could never have been planned.”

Alan Phillips, a Physics student and Students Union President, started going out with his wife Hillary when she volunteered to help organise the freshers’ reception, a social event, in 1969.

"We knew each other but we didn’t start going out until later in that year. And then we went on holiday that summer, travelled around Italy together, hitching around, had a great time. And we then, at the end of that, got engaged to be married. And we’ve been with each other ever since. And we have never had a cross moment at all and it’s been love, from beginning to end. [Laughs] It’s great. And we have three kids, one of whom went to Warwick.”

Sylvia Pinches left Warwick during the second year of her degree in 1975, but stayed on in Coventry.

“Because my boyfriend was still here doing engineering and we’d got this really good circle of friends, I might have spent my days in Earlsdon library, but I spent all my evenings over here. I still felt very much part of it. We were together until he died in April 2014.”

Steve Russell has held a number of positions at Warwick including bar staff, cellar man, and is now Commercial Operations Manager at the Student's Union. He met his wife when she was a student at the University.

“She was in the bar when I met her and we ended up married with two kids! So there’s an enormous amount of good memories and I still enjoy working here.”

Mike Redman met his wife at the church in Kenilworth in the late 1960s.

“[Warwick] was a great place for making friendships. I found a wife too! I think I first met her at St John’s church in Kenilworth, and then we had these wild parties in Queens Road. But I think at that point she was probably being chatted up by a friend of mine, and I kind of got to know her at one of these Queens Road parties, and I thought, hmmm! She eventually fell out with my friend, well, she still speaks to him, which is probably just as well, because I still do! And eventually we got married in my final term at Warwick.”

Millie Price is a current History of Art student, and met her boyfriend at the university.

“I met him in halls, in Rootes, in fact, so we lived together then and we live together now. So pretty much all of my university life he’s been there which is quite nice, I think. We’ve experienced it together. We have exactly the same memories, it’s nice that he remembers me on my first day and that I remember him on his first day. It’s never been a struggle because we can’t imaging not doing it. It’s just like living with your friend.”

There are more stories of love and romance on the Warwick Alumni "Warwick Weddings" website.

Listen to the March IAS podcast here for stories of campus life, and stay tuned for April’s instalments.

Click here to listen to the full interviews featured in the blog (and podcast). Browse the page by searching for a particular participant in the search bar, or scrolling through the alphabetical list.


Cadenas d'amour, love padlocks, with QR codes. Pont des Arts bridge, Paris by hans (via Flickr)
Golden bond by Abhishek Jacob (via Flickr)
Bride and Groom by Tim Dorr (via Flickr)
Scene Panama City Beach by THOR (via Flickr)