I attended Bangor University (UCNW as it was then) from October 1973 to June 1976, gaining a BSc Joint Hons in Pure and Applied Mathematics.
Why Bangor? It looked like a very attractive University and I wanted to get away from Manchester for 3 years whilst studying and Bangor’s Maths course was well-respected. My 3 years there were the making of me, and the experience moulded me into the person I am now. Since leaving Bangor I embarked on a career in education which had three prominent strands.
Primarily I became a secondary Maths teacher in 3 schools, notably spending 30 years as a Deputy Headteacher of a school in Manchester. I never lost the joy of Maths that I gained from the course in Bangor. I retired from teaching in 2016. Secondly, I had a successful career in examining. I spent many years as the Chief Marker of the KS3 Maths assessments in England, but my significant role has been as the Chief Examiner of Mathematics and Statistics GCSEs at Edexcel/Pearson since 1988, the examination board with nearly 2/3 of the candidature of English schools. I will be retiring from this role in 2021. Thirdly, a career as the author (singly and jointly) of over 100 publications in Mathematics for education. My time at Bangor has resulted in an entire professional career at the highest level, putting into practice what I had learned.
For the full 3 years I was in Bangor spent my time in Neuadd Reichel. This photo was taken, I think in June 1975, showing the JCR students and the SCR staff.
I remember the many shared meals that the staff cooked for us (breakfast and evening meal). Notable also for the rush to the JCM (Junior Common Room) on a Thursday evening for the front row of seats for Pans People on Top of the Pops. There were many summers on the lawn playing crochet and then of course there was the ceremony of Benedicimus each 5th November. For those who may not remember, the objective was to carry a coffin from the hall down to the beach on the Menai strait; all the other halls tried to stop us and it caused local mayhem. In those days we had the sports complex opposite the halls, which was regularly used as a heliport for the RAF shipping injured people to the hospital before the hospital gained its own heliport.
I found the Maths course inspirational with wonderful lecturers that always went out of their way to help. There were not many of us on the course and here is a photo of the class of 1976 (excluding myself, who was the photographer), taken inside our beloved Maths block.
For leisure I joined the University sub-aqua club. From a mere beginner I ended up getting a scuba teaching qualification (a year before my Maths teaching qualification!). The group of students were mainly students of Marine Biology, and of course I ended up being the Finance Officer for the sub-aqua club and the Students’ Union. A typical Maths student!
I have been married for 40 years, have 4 children (all grown up and now left home) and 2 grandchildren. 5 years ago we decided to return to my roots in the area, and now have a holiday home in Anglesey, frequently returning to the many places of my university days in and around Bangor.
I am in touch with very few ex-students of my University days and would welcome contact from other alumni, ideally anyone from the Maths course or University sub-aqua club from my time.