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Leisure Pursuits

The College's distance from urban facilities meant that staff and students were resourceful in providing their own entertainment. Fancy dress and performing plays were always a popular form of entertainment amongst staff, both academic and domestic, and students. They also frequently performed together - strengthening social ties. Given the absence of male students, girls had to show initiative. They frequently cross-dressed - some more convincingly than others!

A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing


(RHC PH/285/6/6)



(RHC PH/241/44)

There was an excellent College band in which the staff enthusiastically participated. The Principal from 1907-18, Miss Higgins, played the violin, viola, cello and double bass in the band, and gave popular solo recitals on Sundays and after dinner. There were some very obscure societies, including the Unicycle Club, who, according to a contemporary description, 'drove big wooden hoops around the terraces in cold weather to warm themselves up before a lecture'. The Principal, Miss Higgins, was a particular fan of this bizarre activity.

The College's transition to a co-ed institution in the 1960s brought many social and entertainment benefits. It necessitated further developments in College facilities, including football and rugby pitches.

Football Team


(RHC PH/225/1)

There was no Student Union building until the 1960s. This was a very small building by today's standards - being housed in the converted bungalow, which had originally been built for the architect of the Founder's Building. Until 1965 students couldn't purchase alcohol on the College premises and even Christmas parties remained teetotal. This changed with the establishment of a bar in the Student Union.

Union Bar

(Uncatalogued materical Acc. 15/06)

Mixed-sex discos and balls became a key feature of student life from the 1960s. They were much more relaxed affairs than the controlled, teetotal and all girl College dances that were held before the admittance of men.

1972 Ball


(Uncatalogued material Acc. 15/06)


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