Archive staff were very privileged to be involved in this year’s graduation ceremonies at Cheltenham Racecourse. Working with first-year students from the School of Media, we ran a Memory Booth at two of the ceremonies on 26 and 27 November, where past and graduating students were able to share their most memorable student experiences.
The ceremony on the morning of 27 November paid homage to both our graduating Education students and members of the Old Students’ Association, many of whom were present at the ceremony. As an institution we have been educating teachers in Cheltenham for nearly 170 years and old students from as far back as the 1940s were present last week to share their memories.
Radio Production student Alex Hawkins interviewed old student Martin Fry (1975-1979).
I knew that I wanted to be a teacher at the beginning. The interesting thing was at that time the first four weeks we went straight out into schools. And we went into a primary school, infant school sorry, then a junior school and then a secondary school. And after those four weeks there were a number of students who decided it wasn’t for them. You were already teaching, and don’t forget here I was at 18, just left school and then in front of a class and in the Royal Forest of Dean Grammar School I was teaching music the second week, having not any real skills in music, to sixth-formers who were literally six months younger than I was. That was obviously a great test and I think it was a real good point that you knew you wanted to be a teacher or you didn’t after that, and I did.
We hope to make these recordings available on the Special Collections and Archives catalogue very soon.