Class of ‘64 reunites to mark golden anniversary

The St Martin's College Class of '64 at their reunion.
The St Martin's College Class of '64 at their reunion.

A reunion was held at the University of Cumbria’s Lancaster campus to mark 50 years since the first students arrived.

Originally established as St Martin’s College, a teacher training facility, the Bowerham Road campus opened its doors to its first intake of students 50 years ago this month.

The first staff and students of St Martin's College, 1964.

The first staff and students of St Martin's College, 1964.

To celebrate the half century milestone, staff and students of the university have planned a series of events, including reunions, tours, exhibitions, talks, arts events and community activities.

There was also a reproduction of a photograph of the Class of ‘64.

A history of the University of Cumbria’s Lancaster campus...

1873 The War Office buys the land at Bowerham Road for £18,700, and by 1880 the Victorian barracks is built for the King’s Own Regiment.

1959 Bowerham Barracks closes, as National Service comes to an end, and an acute shortage of teachers is forecast for the 1960s.

1962 Charles Claxton, Bishop of Blackburn and Chairman of the Church of England Board of Education, and Lancaster’s Town Clerk, Don Waddell, are instrumental in instigating the idea of a new teacher training college. The Bowerham Road barracks site is purchased for £70,000.

1963 Dr Hugh Pollard is recruited as the first Principal for the new teacher training college and is given an office in Lancaster Town Hall whilst construction works take place on the Bowerham Road site.

1964 23rd September – St Martin’s College, founded by the Church of England to train teachers – opens its doors with 89 students and 13 staff.

1966 Princess Margaretha of Sweden visits and formally opens the William Thompson Halls of Residence.

1967 Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, visits Lancaster to formally open the college.

1976 Renowned actress Dame Flora Robson opens the newly constructed Harold Bridges Library, and later the same year, Dr Hugh Pollard retires.

1976 The second Principal, Robert Clayton, arrives and begins to oversee the expansion of the curriculum, diversifying into Arts BA degrees.

1984 St Martin’s College awards its first PhD.

1989 Development of a masterplan, after which followed major expansion, overseen by the incoming Principal, Ian Edynbry.

1992 New healthcare courses are added and result in the erection of the Dalton Building, and two new student blocks are built and names after Don Waddell, the Town Clerk who was instrumental in setting up of the college in the 1960s.

1993 The Hugh Pollard Lecture Theatre is completed, and formally opened by playwright Alan Bennett.

1995 the College opens Lakeland College of Nursing on Carlisle, establishing St Martin’s College as a major provider of healthcare professionals in the north west.

1996 The Harold Bridges Library on the Lancaster campus is extended, and Charlotte Mason College in Ambleside becomes part of St Martin’s College.

1997 St Martin’s College student numbers have reached 4,000.

1997 Prof Chris Carr is appointed as principal, following Ian Edynbry’s retirement, and oversees a huge expansion in student numbers and a period of modernisation.

1998 St Martin’s opens its first campus in Carlisle.

2005 St Martin’s is a major provider of teachers and healthcare professionals in the UK, but also offers undergraduate and post-graduate courses in arts, humanities, business, sports and social sciences.

2006 St Martin’s College is granted the power to award its own degrees.

2007 St Martin’s College, Cumbria Institute for the Arts, and the Cumbrian campuses of the University of Central Lancashire come together to form the University of Cumbria.

2011 Peter Strike is appointed as University of Cumbria Vice Chancellor.

2013 The new University of Cumbria Business School opens.

2014 University if Cumbria presents a masterplan for development of the Lancaster campus over the next 10 years.