Thursday, 17 December 2015

Welcome to student life in the 1950s

The University of Bedfordshire holds a unique collection of archive materials on the development of women’s physical education and women’s sport during the twentieth century.  The Bedford Physical Education Archive documents the development of Bedford Physical Training College from its foundation in 1903 through to its absorption into the Bedford College of Higher Education in 1976 and contains a wide variety of records.  These include syllabuses and examination papers charting the changing curriculum, reports submitted by the College in response to various Government initiatives which illustrate the contribution of the College in shaping the role of physical education in the nation’s health, students’ photograph albums showing life at the College from its very early days, and oral history recordings from students and staff reflecting on how the College influenced their life and career.

The Archive is a mix of formal administrative records created by the College and personal items donated from former students and staff.  One such donation is a collection of letters from a student who was at Bedford College of Physical Education in the years 1955-1958.  In weekly letters home to her parents, Alice (not her real name) describes her studies and life at the College.  The letters provide an insight into the activities and preoccupations of a PE student in the mid-1950s.

As part of the Archive’s outreach activities to generate awareness and interest in the College and its Archive, we shall be publishing some of Alice’s letters through this blog.  Alongside each published letter will be a brief explanation putting the letter in context and explaining unfamiliar terms, etc. and occasionally images of related items from the Archive.

We hope readers will find the blog interesting and enhance their understanding of what it was like to be at Bedford College of Physical Education 60 years ago.

Bedford College of Physical Education, Lansdowne Road, c.1950

No comments:

Post a Comment