The picture above is of my room at Bishop Grosseteste Teacher Training College in Lincoln. I had it all to myself, a real luxury having shared for the previous two years. It also had a washbasin and mirror and a desk and chair but was a bit on the small side. For my fourth year I moved to a more spacious one at the other end of the corridor. I’m no longer in touch with those lovely girls, so I hope they don’t mind me sharing this picture. I can barely remember their names; Maggie, Jeanette, Debbie and Joan, I think that’s right.
We would usually congregate in one room or another, although we did share a little ‘common room’ to each four bedrooms which had easy chairs and a coffee table (and, being the 70s, was plastered with iconic posters of Robert Redford and Che Guevara!).
Look at those coffee mugs and that 70s bed cover and matching curtains (drapes) as well. Can you see my trendy patchwork suede bag hanging above Maggie’s head? I had a mini-skirt to match. I don’t know what the picture is behind Maggie’s shoulder but it helps me to match this picture with the prompt for Sepia Saturday this week. Taken from the State Archives of North Carolina about 1917. It’s a room much more sparsely decorated; an iron bedstead and bare wooden floorboards. A picture on the wall which looks like a man in uniform and could be the girls’ idol, the equivalent of Robert Redford.
No posters are visible however, instead we have college pennants which would have been just as important to these girls. I couldn’t resist scrolling through The Knowles Collection, from which this image comes, and immediately found myself sidetracked by accompanying pictures which come from ‘The Peace College'. There are more of girls in their dorms, and, like the image above, the odd ukulele or two puts in an appearance. Apparently it was ‘The Ukulele Club’ of Meredith College (or Peace College).
And there are more pennants(and ukuleles) and girls on beds and pictures on the walls in other pictures in the collection.
I spent a happy hour or two scrolling through the Knowles Collection, donated in the mid-1960s by antiques dealer J C Knowles who saved them for us by accepting an offer from a Mr Leavister (himself in the business of salvaging from demolished homes) of a box of old glass negatives. Very few of the subjects are identified, but the girls (and their ukuleles) also appear in the year book of the Peace College. If you decide to follow my example and click the link to this collection, be prepared for some unexpected and somewhat shocking images suddenly appearing amongst the jolly college groups and ethereal brides. The wonder of Flickr and of Sepia Saturday. Why not jump aboard and discover the delights that other Sepians have shared, room for one more; "There were ten in the bed and the little one said......"