When love brings you to Leicester

Posted by eew17 at Feb 14, 2019 09:47 AM |
Maureen and Douglas Ambrose met in the summer of 1955 and decided that they wanted to spend their University years together
  • RAG 1957.jpg
  • Students’ Union Dinner Dance  1957.jpg
  • Degree Ceremony July 1959
  • Seaburn Sunderland.jpg

On Valentine’s Day, read the romantic story of alumna Maureen (English BA, 1959) and her husband Douglas. Falling in love brought them to University College Leicester, as the University was then called, in the fifties, and they have been together ever since.

“My husband Douglas was just about to start at Leicester when we met in the summer of 1955 in Norwich at a Student Christian Movement conference”, Maureen said.

“We were attracted to each other immediately when we waited together with several others at Norwich Station for the minibus to arrive to transport us to the conference. I liked the look of this tall dark haired lad and Doug liked my smile.

“By the end of that fateful week we exchanged addresses, and so began our flow of letters between my hometown of Sunderland and Doug’s home in Cheam Surrey. We fell in love, and I decided to study at Leicester when I finished my A levels in 1956.”

Douglas started as a student at University College of Leicester on the B.Sc. General Science course in October 1955, and Maureen moved down to the city to begin her BA English degree the following October. As Maureen puts it “North and South joined together in the very Midland city of Leicester!”

Whilst at Leicester, Maureen and Douglas regularly attended Saturday night Hops and socialised with other students in Crush Hall.

Also amongst the highlights of their time at Leicester is going to classical concerts at De Montfort Hall when the Halle Orchestra were performing, conducted by Sir John Barbirolli, visits organised by the English Department to Stratford, and weeknight meetings of the University branch of the Student Christian Movement.

“These would take place at the Victoria Park Road flat and home of our wonderful chaplain Chris Hughes Smith and his lovely wife Jean, ending the evening by calling into Banners cafe on the corner of London Road and Evington Road for that very 1950s drink of Cappuccino coffee”,  Maureen added. “The opportunity that we had of meeting with students coming from different backgrounds to ourselves enriched our lives.”

Although Douglas did not graduate from Leicester, ultimately pursuing teaching, both received their qualifications in 1959. “Our love affair did not start at University College, Leicester” Maureen added, “but it certainly flourished there.

“I was in digs in Evington Road for my first year, and then spent a year in the original College Hall, and for my final year had a lovely single room in Regent Road. After graduation I returned to Sunderland and studied at Newcastle for my Dip Ed year. We married in 1960, and have two sons, two daughters and nine grandchildren.”

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