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Wesley House in the 1960s

The Rev Dr John Barrett

Common Room

Students 1960s 2.jpg

Family life at Wesley House. Identified: Susan Gribben, [unknown], John Pratt, Robert Gribben

Common Room life continued much as before, at least until 1968. The arrival of families with young children changed everything - so that one subsequent college principal is recorded as asking, with some exasperation, whether he was running a theological college or a kindergarten?


Married men were now only required to dine in formally twice a week, with wives includes for one of these. The student body continued to be solidly male throughout the decade, of course, reflecting the situation in the Methodist Church, though that was about to change.


The House continued to put on a play each year, usually in Wesley Church, achieving a pretty good standard for an amateur production.


Sport developed in the decade, particularly football, playing against the other theological colleges. Some students also played in a joint theological colleges’ rugby team, with fixtures against second and third fifteens from the University colleges.


The House was, of course, alcohol free. The discovery of a bar across the road at Westcott House, which was open for limited periods on some evenings, improved Anglican/Methodist relations considerably.


Smoking was not yet frowned upon, and several students smoked an occasional pipe. Although not himself a smoker, the Principal was known to pass around a box of cigarettes when entertaining visitors in the Lodge.

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