Keele Memoirs

Reminisce with us, and hear from our alumni contributers about their time at Keele

Keele: The Early Years. A Pioneer Reminisces.

If you seek a raison d’etre for the existence of these memoirs, it resides in the belief that the four years I spent as a student at Keele [then known rather ingloriously as the University College of North Staffordshire] were perhaps the happiest, and certainly the most formative period of my life. I had arrived as a callow youth, just eighteen, and as one of my hut mates said, from his lofty perch two years senior to me, one of the naivest people he had ever met. He was not exaggerating. Still a country bumpkin and wet behind the ears, I had spent the previous ten years shuttling between the contrasting, but hermetic microcosms of village and public school, an adolescent with no knowledge of the fairer sex and with scant experience of the ways of the world. What I did know was that I wanted to gain entry to a new milieu, to partake of an adventure in which old memories would be sloughed off and discarded. Keele would provide that experience.

In truth, my last year at school had been a relatively happy one, making good friends, playing sport and enjoying most of the subjects - English, French and History - I was studying for ’A level’. I had become a monitor, won the school reading prize and had joined the debating society. I was developing my own rather hectic opinions, and was regarded as a bit of a character, standing on desks and naively railing against what I perceived as the injustices of an archaic system.

But Keele was something else – in every conceivable way. From the moment a fellow student helped me carry my bags to my new home, I felt the good vibrations of a brave new world where I was going to be treated as a grown-up member of a vibrant academic community. And that optimism would persist, even though I had dismayed my mother by refusing to stay on another year at school, cram for ‘O Level’ Latin, and take the Oxford entrance. The sense of guilt would never be finally expunged; it still persistently invades my dreams at the age of 86. Nonetheless, I felt privileged to be at Keele – after all, university was, in those days, an entitlement enjoyed by only three per cent of eighteen year olds, and I was the first boy from the village to hurdle that barrier. Ironically, the institution had been recommended to me by the tutor of the Worker’s Educational Association, a weekly group which had been established in my village as a result of the efforts of my parents. There was added irony in the fact that the founder of Keele, Lord Lindsay, was a leading light in the WEA.

The role of Keele in providing a rewarding environment for gifted young students cannot be underestimated. It was, in my experience, a relaxed and civilized community, with a rich social life and approachable staff. That Keele still wins national awards for the uniqueness of its student experience - is a reflection of those earlier values so cherished by its founding fathers. Ironically what might be viewed as its physical limitations actually worked to its advantage. I refer to the huts in which we were accommodated. A relic of World War Two when a rash of army camps had sprouted all over the English landscape, Keele’s country estate had been similarly commandeered by the army. The soldiers left; the huts remained. Two Nissan huts were transmogrified into the Students’ Union and Chapel; the rows of smaller huts became student residences.

Despite what one might imagine, these unprepossessing structures were extremely comfortable. Consisting, as I recall, of five rooms, one double at the end, all linked by a corridor and with a small self-contained kitchen and bathroom, each room was cosily furnished with an easy chair, a modern desk and a comfortable bed. Above all, they were centrally heated, with constant hot and cold running water. In the austere, ration-conscious fifties, such luxuries were not to be scoffed at. One of my hut-mates had come from a Durham mining community where the privy was an earth closet in the back garden. In hindsight, that may have had something to do with his insistence on displaying scale drawings of flush toilets on his room wall.

Keele had been founded four years earlier in 1949 by Lord Lindsay, a doctrinaire educationist with a vision of a university experience based on a synthesis of liberal ideas, some already proven elsewhere, many relatively untested in the acid bath of academic practice. He had impeccable credentials for the role. Formerly Master of Balliol College, and Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University from 1935-38, Alexander Dunlop Lindsay was one of the leading philosophers and academics of his day, a prominent figure in the Workers’ Education Association, and a powerful advocate of education for people who had missed the pedagogic boat at eighteen – mostly so-called ‘mature students’ with working –class backgrounds. Active in socialist political circles, he had served with distinction in the Second World War and been awarded the title of Baron Lindsay of Birker in 1945. His appointment as Principal of the new University College of North Staffordshire gave him a golden opportunity to put his ideas into practice.

The ‘Foundation Year ‘was one of the cornerstones of his educational philosophy. Eschewing the traditional notion of a university dedicated to narrow specialism, Lindsay devised a curriculum based on more broadly- based principles, a curriculum which meant that everyone was exposed to a wide range of subjects in their first year. The whole ’fresher’ cohort was expected to attend a daily foundation lecture given in turn by each professor - on the assumption that such talks would lead the listener to pastures new.

They certainly opened up new vistas for me. My fondest memories of those morning presentations involved subjects I knew nothing about, gravelly-voiced Professor Charlton on the culture of ancient Greece and Rome; the pocket dynamo who was Sammy Finer on political institutions; Alan Iliffe on Freud; Stanley Beaver on the role of clay and coal in the Potteries, Ron Evans on human physiology. It did not stop there. Such was the impact of reconnoitering this exciting new terrain, that many students changed their ideas about which main subjects they wanted to study to honours level in the following three years. For instance, students who had studied geography at school now had the opportunity to combine it with geology. An extraordinary 40% of those early students re-fashioned their main area of study by discarding one of their original choices. I was too timid to change course then; given another and later chance, I would have jettisoned History for Biology.

Lindsay’s ideas had powerful intellectual support. As early as 1873, Cardinal Newman’s ‘The Idea of a University’ had, inter alia, defended the notion of a liberal, interdisciplinary education [he himself studied both philosophy and mathematics], the study of the whole mind. Newman had argued, persuasively that a student’s contact with other disciplines was of paramount importance; that ’if his reading is confined simply to one subject, it has a tendency to contract the mind.’ Lindsay himself might have written that statement; it was a mainspring of his beliefs.

Paradigm shifts in undergraduate selection of main subjects were a powerful vindication of Lindsay’s belief not only in a more inclusive curriculum, in an interdisciplinary approach, but also in one that genuflected to current realities; politics, psychology, geology and economics were not then available at school as ‘A’ levels, but they were subject areas in tune with contemporary issues. For those older students who had already experienced the world of work, or the discipline of National Service, such vistas were especially appealing. Most mature students of my acquaintance at Keele opted for either philosophy or politics or economics as one of their two main subjects. Feisal Mazeedi, who was to become a lifelong friend and the first student from Kuwait to graduate from an English university, studied politics and economics – excellent training for a stellar career both as a minister in the Kuwaiti government and as a director of Gulf Oil. Sammy Finer remained one of his heroes.

If Lindsay’s profound conviction that interdisciplinary studies and the consequent interconnectedness of ideas were key to the student experience, then he was also aware that the teaching methods needed to be appropriate. Here the group seminar was of paramount importance. Why? Because he perceived that the acquisition of wisdom must come not just from tutors, but from other students, both informally and in structured teaching situations. Hence the pedagogic value of the student-led seminar. Based on dialogue and discussion, a Keele seminar [still often referred to as a tutorial], would typically feature no more than four or five students, and would open with a paper read out by a member of the group. Lindsay not only introduced this student-oriented procedure to subject studies; he added another weekly tutorial to the curriculum at which students from different disciplines came together to discuss matters of common interest. My weekly tutorial group was led by Professor Vick of the Physics Department; we discussed not only ‘splitting the atom’ but the consequent ethics of bombing Hiroshima. Other tutors used the occasion to consider matters raised in Foundation Lectures.

If this notion of a student-led seminar was relatively untested in the academy at large, the ritual of the individual tutorial had a long and distinguished history. Oxford students had, since time immemorial, enjoyed the privilege of tutorials – informal teaching on a one-to one basis, often based on the Socratic method of asking and answering questions. As a metaphysician, Lindsay would have known and encouraged such dialogues; it was certainly a common procedure in the twin departments of Moral and Pure Philosophy at Keele. For my part, I remember a handful of one-to-one tutorials, but they were usually to offer post-mortems on essays or exam efforts. It is worth noting that decades later, the so-called ‘New Universities’ began to question a teaching method which they saw as inefficient. As institutions of higher learning began to base their values more and more on business principles, large, specialist-orientated lectures were deemed to be more appropriate, more cost-effective than small-group or one-to-one teaching. However, Keele stuck to its guns. The tutorial/seminar stayed….

Much later, and as an academic at a ‘New University,’ I became all too aware that not only teaching methods were at risk. The business of university provision - and it is a business - has undergone massive changes since my days at Keele, and, sadly, not always for the better. Though in excess of 50% of young adults now enter higher education, they usually do so at massive personal cost. The notion of free university education is an anachronism. The majority of today’s undergraduates take out loans to pay for their courses and run up bills - up to £9,250 pounds per annum – which can remain as financial millstones round their necks for years to come.

We were fortunate in that most of us came to Keele on scholarships or bursaries - so-called County Majors or more prestigious State Scholarships. While these grants were means-tested on the basis of parental income, they were usually adequate enough for the relatively modest demands of campus life. I had a small grant from my Local Education Authority – I think it was £57 a term – much reduced - since both my mother and father were in employment. The idea was that, in such cases, one’s parents contributed to one’s upkeep. In my case, it never happened; I spent part of each summer vacation working as a cook and blue coat at a Butlin’s Holiday Camp to augment my finances. I guess it taught me the virtue of frugality. In any case, one could exist at Keele on a shoestring. Even the daily bus into Newcastle was free….

It goes without saying that no pedagogical system or educational establishment will succeed without gifted teachers. Keele had those aplenty, in large measure thanks to Lord Lindsay’s pulling power, his capacity to attract like-minded tutors from Oxford and elsewhere. Most of them were relatively young scholars, already possessed of glittering academic credentials. Predictably, they were a pretty idiosyncratic bunch – at least to my jejune sensibilities. Perhaps for that reason as much as any other, the style if not always the substance of their endeavours, remains in the memory.

That was certainly the case with John Lawlor, the Professor of English. I would exit the room after one of his disquisitions on Henryson or Dunbar, little the wiser and with perhaps two sentences of notes. With the whole gamut of English literature to choose from, I was never sure why he chose obscure fifteen century Scottish poets as subject matter. Nonetheless, I was intrigued by an enigmatic teaching style which I can still picture in my mind’s eye: portentous utterances delivered with an occasional lisp and with rolling eyes cast heavenwards. He did not talk; he pronounced….

Happily, he headed a young and enthusiastic team. John Harvey introduced me to untold riches: to W.B. Yeats, D.H. Lawrence and George Eliot. A relatively young man of considerable girth, he walked every day from his residence to his tutorial room at Keele Hall, usually alone and deep in thought. Yet his teaching was exciting, confident and often impromptu. I recall him asking a class to select a Yeats’ poem they did not fully understand. The result? An impressive exposition of ‘Long-Legged Fly.’ One of his special interests was George Eliot; he had published a paper on her use of authorial asides which we were all required to read. It is no coincidence that I would subsequently write my MA thesis on the Victorian novelist. He married a student, but sadly died at a relatively early age.

Michael Lloyd also made a huge impression on me. With his flowing blond hair and dramatic pronouncements, his seminars were always theatrical events. How could one forget that first encounter when he introduced the group to the poetry of John Skelton. I had never even heard of him, a fellow Oxford man who had been tutor to Henry VIII. But his ‘ryme.. ragged/ tattered and jagged/ rudely rayne beaten’ was a revelation to a young man brought up on the Georgian niceties of Masefield and Newbolt. Moreover, Skelton wrote about unpoetic things such as ‘Elynoare Rummynge ‘, who kept an unruly alehouse frequented by drunken, bawdy women. For years, I kept an essay I had written for him on Marlowe’s plays, remarkable only for Michael’s one-line cryptic comment: ‘You have real intelligence to pursue a chimera.’ There were various anecdotes – probably apocryphal – about his eccentricities including one where he was apparently discovered burying his head in a pile of warm lawn clippings. Surprised, he declared he was searching for new sensual experiences. His memoir, ‘Apulian Summer’, intrigued me with its surreal descriptions of Italy where Michael had done his National Service. Much later, I reviewed it.

I only encountered John Killham, then a newcomer to Keele, in my final year. A University of London man, he was in the process of editing a collection of critical essays on Tennyson. A series of papers on the symbolism in Tennyson’s early poetry had recently been published by American scholars: I and my friend Keith were required to write seminar papers which analysed their findings. John Killham, a quiet, reserved man, was generous in his praise. That I later studied Tennyson for my Ph.D at London was in no small measure due to him.

The procedure of getting students to examine in detail key, up to the minute articles – which could of course be duplicated more readily than books – was a practice which most tutors seemed to employ. Looking back, I wonder if it was a procedure deliberately encouraged by Lord Lindsay. It meant looking at key texts in an exegetical, even forensic fashion, a close reading for which many of us were not well-equipped, and which did not always meet with tutorial approval. I recall the displeasure of Paul Hennock of the History Department. He had asked the seminar group to read and summarise two essays on the rise of the gentry - a major historiographical debate among scholars at the time - by R.H. Tawney and Hugh Trevor-Roper. My efforts were treated with disdain.

Like English, the History Department, headed by the dour presence of Professor Blake, also had its quota of characters. Chief among them was Hugh Leech, a mediaevalist of encyclopaedic knowledge. He would lecture without a single note, speaking with extraordinary rapidity and fluency. A tall man with a deathly pallor, his relatively short life meant he was never able to fulfil his unique promise as one of the leading mediaeval scholars of his day. We were privileged to encounter him in his prime.

Equally impressive in his own way was Paul Coles. Nobody missed his lectures on Elizabethan and Stuart history. They were models of clarity, densely packed with information and delivered in a lively and interesting style. On the other hand, Paul Rollo was a bit of an enigma. An utterly charming man and a liberal and much-loved warden, he taught Nineteenth Century European history. He had the most wondrous voice, velvety and mellifluous and, as with so many tutors, knew his material so well that he lectured without notes. They were packed with detail – with an emphasis on political and diplomatic history. Yet, I have to confess, that the sessions never came alive for me: I found the minutiae of it all less than stimulating.

Indeed, the Keele experience was not always a bed of roses: thorns lurked in the bushes to prick the unwary. Consider this sobering fact. I still possess a photograph, taken in front of the Students’ Union, of a group of fresh-faced students with their luggage, newly arrived at the university. We all look relaxed and eager. Yet of those twenty-one freshers - sixteen men and five women, only fourteen survived to be awarded their degrees four years later. One third of that group had failed to last the course. Such a rate of fall-out begs the question. Why?

My own view, for what it is worth, is that the course was, in one sense, a victim of its own scope. Lindsay, himself a brilliant intellect, had loaded every rift with ore; his own wide-ranging vision inevitably meant a syllabus which made huge physical and intellectual demands on lesser mortals. For a start, the course was a double honour one – rigorous enough in all conscience - but in addition, there were the subsidiary subjects that students were required to pass. Thus, for my part, I not only studied Biology, Psychology and French, but combined my main subjects – English and History - with a Diploma in Education which meant extra study and vacation school experience throughout the three years of the honours course. Most students who failed to last the distance dropped out after the foundation year or, more likely, after ploughing subsidiary subjects in years two or three.

There were even occasional disasters at the final hurdle. Finals are aptly-named - in the case of myself and my peers, they constituted a purgatory of eleven or twelve three-hour papers spread over a concentrated ten days, a procedure which tested – at a single stroke - knowledge acquired over the previous three years. An exercise in memorization. All or nothing…. Nowadays, advanced courses contain a substantial course-work element; at Keele, there was little or no carry-forward of previous achievements. That Finals could be enormously stressful is reflected in the behaviour of one of my contemporaries. A bright student who had come to university on a State Scholarship, he panicked and walked out of a Finals exam. Result? No degree. I recall the physical and mental exhaustion. My mother had sent me some pills - I think they were called Pro-Plus - and, absolutely knackered, I foolishly gulped down several before the last English paper. I remember sitting there, squirming and fidgeting, my mind scrambled by an overdose of caffeine. For an hour and a half, I could not put pen to paper.

The first campus university to be established in Britain after the war, Keele was both residential and co-educational. Men outnumbered women by a ratio of two or three to one, but the presence of the fair sex made for a lively social life. There were fortnightly hops, many flourishing societies including a sophisticated Debating Society where John de Soares and others held sway. Most disciplines had their own communal events. Meetings of both the Students’ Union and Christian Union were always well-attended. The wardens held small social gatherings for their charges: the punch at Paul Rollo’s parties was not to be missed. And if you fancied a brief off- campus foray, there was always the Sneyd Arms at the end of the drive; there, students and tutors often met for a convivial pint. The Commemoration Ball at the end of the academic year was a lavish affair based on the tradition of the Oxford May Ball. I still possess a 1956 programme – ‘Dancing 9 pm to 4 am’ to the orchestras of Norman Jones and Ken Griffiths. As the University Chancellor, Princess Margaret attended. I was lucky enough to dance with her, an event duly recorded – inaccurately - by my mother in the local paper.

Inevitably, many relationships were established– a number of them for life. My good friend Keith Costain married Vera, a local girl from Silverdale who was personal assistant to Campbell Stewart, Professor of Education. Without naming names, I can recall at least another seven couples who met at Keele and became life-long partners. Promiscuity was not encouraged, for in those distant days, no educational institution dreamt of entertaining the idea of mixed halls of residence. Hence the Keele rule, fairly rigorously applied by the three wardens, meant that entertaining someone of the opposite sex in one’s room could only take place between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Moreover, as a male undergraduate, one had to be back on Horwood Hall territory no later than 11 p.m. Mary Wilson the women’s warden, drove around the campus on night patrol to ensure her ‘girls’ were not straying from the straight and narrow. The ‘So-called Swinging Sixties’ were a decade away, the riotous uproar of students manning the barricades from Berkeley to Paris in 1968 was not yet the merest of whispers.

In fact, I can only recall one incident of a scandalous nature which threatened the campus calm, an event which brought into relief the important and delicate balance between town and gown. On this occasion, the equilibrium had been potentially disturbed by a cleaner’s discovery, in a female student’s’ room, of a used condom discarded in the waste-paper basket. Duly informed, the authorities were forced into a corner. Aware that news of the incident would inevitably do the rounds, suitably embellished, in the local community, they had to be seen to act rigorously in the face of such a shocking act of moral impropriety. All too aware of the likely implications, a group of us asked for a meeting with the wardens. It was a tense affair to no avail. The student in question was sent down. To her eternal credit, and though we all knew, she never revealed the name of her boyfriend to the authorities.

A bit more about Keele’s physical setting. In essence, the campus was an amalgam of the old and the new, the traditional and the modern. For centuries, the estate had belonged to the patrician Sneyd family who had fought on the losing Royalist side in the Civil War. Set amid rolling hills overlooking the urban scapes of Silverdale and Newcastle under Lyme, Keele Hall was the centrepiece of a park of 250 hectares. The original mansion, in a state of some dereliction, had been demolished by Ralph Sneyd in 1851. The family fortunes now restored by the very industries he could view from his estate, Sneyd rebuilt the hall of mellow sandstone in an attractive Jacobean style with a spacious courtyard.

Close to the south-west front, he created a formal garden; beyond this parterre, an enchanting landscape of sloping lawns, lakes and woods stretched away, a tranquil vista that we students daily glimpsed through the ornate mirrors or windows of the reading room. If you were lucky, you might see a pair of mute swans; they had been introduced to the lakes in 1952 when the tradition of student Swanmaster had been established. After finals, a group of us discovered a more practical use for the grounds; we swam every morning in the lower lake. Happily, this secluded, pastoral world still provides a haven for generations of students, and a nature trail for local residents. There is a published guide to the trees in what is nowadays an arboretum with many new plantings.

The grounds to the north of Keele Hall had been requisitioned by the Army during the war. Hence the legacy of sixty or so huts. The entire estate had been purchased from Colonel Ralph Sneyd in 1948 as the site for The University of North Staffordshire. So, the huts, now refurbished, were destined to enjoy an extended life as student residences. There had been some additional building prior to the first intake of students in 1950: as I recall, a row of detached professorial houses, and utilitarian teaching blocks for Geology, Geography, the Sciences and Education. The surviving Victorian clock-house was, I seem to recall, the home of politics. Philosophy, English and History were based in Keele Hall. The mansion also housed the library, staff common room, reading room and bookshop. Tutors occupied the smaller rooms. As the university has developed apace, Keele Hall has now assumed the grand role of conference centre. Though the authorities have been assiduous in maintaining its unique campus feel, purpose- built structures now occupy most of the land north of Keele Hall.

As one might expect in such a fecund environment, the university was quick to create its own traditions. From the outset, gowns were worn by students for meetings with tutors, and formal occasions included candlelight dinners – apparently instituted after a real power-cut. A Thespian tradition was enthusiastically established. Quite how those pioneering students found the time to rehearse and perform, I am at a loss to explain, but every year saw at least one major dramatic production: ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ was performed al fresco in the grounds, another Shakespeare play in the Clockhouse courtyard. A hoarding near the main road advertising “‘As You Like It ‘on the Lawns of Keele Hall” attracted lots of local attention. There were performances of Gilbert and Sullivan operettas. A leading light in these activities was Peter Whelan, a local lad who subsequently became an acclaimed playwright and enjoyed a long association with the Royal Shakespeare Company. There were memorable revues: I was so enamoured of what was later to become known as ‘The Keele Song Book’ that I committed all of the tunes and lyrics to memory. As a result, I can still recall several of them. This opening salvo was followed by arousing chorus.

This tale of woe I now relate/ Concerns a poor young student’s fate 
Who in his first year had to take/ Claaassics and economics
Playing snooker day and night/His trade cycles would not come right.
At ancient Greek he was not bright/ To hell with Socrates and Plato!

It is no exaggeration to say that such a revue would not have been out of place in a Cambridge Footlights setting..

All this was achieved with no Drama Department, and on a shoe-string budget. Perhaps it is unsurprising that a number of Keele graduates subsequently attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. I happen to be aware of that connection, since I shared a flat in London with two of them. On one occasion, I attended an in-house production of ‘Macbeth’ at the Vanbrugh Theatre in which Keele’s own Bryan Reed and Peter Brooks trod the boards. Bernard Gibbons [Lloyd], who also attended RADA, went on to enjoy a long and successful career as an actor. And John Gregory, whose musical compositions had been such a feature of ‘The Song Book’ became a colleague many years later at Middlesex University.

Another tradition, enthusiastically established by the early students, was that of the practical joke. I recall incongruous personal items –‘objets trouves’ - placed on top of the flat refectory roof, and at least two examples of massive graffiti which appeared overnight. One, daubed along the refectory wall before the first Final exams in 1954, declared ‘Good Luck Lads’. Another one,’ Frying Tonite,’ appeared overnight on the Brutalist chimney of the chemistry block. Rag Week was another opportunity not just to let off steam, but to raise money for charity. I recall the camaraderie and excitement surrounding the first Rag Day in 1956. We all dressed up as bizarrely as we could and paraded around the Five Towns on decorated floats, dashing into the street wielding buckets to collect cash. The locals treated us with amused tolerance, but it was an effective way of cementing the tenuous bond between town and gown.

For an institution with such a small student body – maybe 500+ in my day - Keele inevitably struggled at sport against universities with ten or twenty times the number of students. Nonetheless, the rugby, cricket, hockey and netball teams competed with distinction, and outstanding athletes such as Brian Hopkins [football], Gerry Emere [rugby] and Kathy Duke [netball] regularly played for national university teams, known as the Universities Athletic Union or UAU. As with the acting fraternity, these people were my heroes. I am ashamed to say my own sporting contribution was minimal: I turned out for the odd game of cricket for the second eleven and played table-tennis – badly - for the college team.

For those who did not fancy team sports, there were other weekend activities such as rock-climbing or hiking. An enterprising group of student musicians headed by local boy, Phil Rhodes, started a jazz club in Burslem. I was a regular. The Student Union, where amiable Jim Roberts dispensed cheap coffee and sound advice, was the epicentre of many student activities: hops, film shows, meetings and debates. The old Nissan hut also housed the snooker room where many happy hours were frittered away. There were lots of free classes, mostly organized by the indefatigable Hank Hayley: you could learn fencing, tennis, swimming, golf, even ballroom dancing. My first room-mate became so enamoured of ballroom dancing that he took additional classes with the local teacher. By the end of the year, he had metamorphosed into a seriously accomplished performer. Unfortunately for him, it may have cost him a university degree; he was sent down for failing the Foundation Year.

Not a note on which to end…. I suppose the ultimate accolade I can bestow on my Alma Mater is that it kick-started my professional life. That news of the Keele ‘experiment’ had reached far -flung corners of the global academic community was evidenced by a letter received by Professor Campbell Stewart in June 1957 from fellow Professor Watson Thomson. A member of the English Department at the University of British Columbia, he wanted an English graduate, someone with a multidisciplinary track record, to improve the English and broaden the experience of the institution’s foresters and engineers. A couple of months later, I was in Vancouver, ‘staring’ like ‘stout Cortez’ at the Pacific Ocean through my office window, and savouring university life on one of the world’s most spectacular campuses.

About Patrick Campbell: