Summer in Durham…..how could I forget?
Thursday 28 June 1956 was Graduation Day in the Great Hall of Durham Castle, Sir James Duff presiding. Photographs on the ‘hallowed turf’ of Palace Green , ‘Keep of the Grass’ enforced by the University Police, who would have been overrun by new Grads and families!
On the following Saturday 30 June 1956, we celebrated our wedding in a Co. Durham village, Best Man Ian Nichol (Hatfield), Bridesmaid Joan Gregory (St Mary’s). Our honeymoon was two days at Roker Hotel, Sunderland, because our real honeymoon was to travel to Calgary, Alberta, Canada, where we had emigrated in the confident hope of obtaining employment in the Oil Industry.
We travelled five days across the Atlantic on MS Carinthia (Cunard), no regular flights in those days, and then three days and two nights (sleeper bunks) from Montreal to Calgary arriving at 8am. First stop “Job Centre” (we didn’t have jobs to go to!!). Stop No. 2 was Sun Oil Co. where the Chief Geologist had heard of Durham University and took me without hesitation.
My wife was a professional Chartered Librarian and she also was well received with her qualifications and employed. We had agreed to meet back at the railway station at lunch time and we were both rejoicing. We hadn’t any accommodation arranged or anybody we knew in Calgary but the Chief Librarian invited us to stay at his home for the duration of the summer. What a wonderful welcome. Our lives are full of miracles aren’t they?
We are thankful for our time at Durham University as the opportunities for character development gave us an assurance to do “crazy things” like this and come up smiling. Thank you to all concerned.
Albert V Hodgson Hons Geology, was a student at St Cuthbert’s Society 1952-56, his wife Mrs Elsie Hodgson ALA.