• Mrs Helen Hughes (May 1941)

1921: The first students

At the Conference of 1920 the Rev Dr H Maldwyn Hughes then at Clapham, was designated Principal of the new College which was afterwards called Wesley House. Sir Henry Holloway had become interested in the scheme by that time and was appointed Treasurer.


Dr Hughes and his family moved to Cambridge in June 1921 and on October 5th the first six members of the House arrived and were accommodated in Cheshunt College. They were:


EW Baker BA (Christ's College, Cambridge)

HS Collins bA (St John's College, Cambridge)

Harold Roberts MA (Bangor)

GE Grieve BSc (Liverpool)

GB Jackson BA (Manchester), son of the Rev George Jackson

WR Shearer BA (Leeds)


These first Wesley House men, while sharing fully the fellowship so generously extended to them by the Chesunt students, built up their own communal life and traditions. Invaluable help was given by Mr Barker and Mr Collins in introducing other members of the House in University etiquette. In those early days both Dr Hughes and the men were greatly indebted to Dr Cave (Principal) and the Rev EW Johnson (Tutor) of Cheshunt College, also to Mr Reddaway, then Censor of Fitzwilliam Hall (as it was called at that time) through affiliation with which the men became members of the University.


The Rev H and Mrs Bisseker of the Leys School were the kindest and most helpful friends. In their house an At Home was held on October 12th to introduce Dr & Mrs Highes to members of the University and Town.


At the suggestion of Sir Henry Holloway the lawn of Wesley House was made into a tennis court which gave new interest to the life of the men, they also shared the Fitzwilliam Sports Ground in Oxford Road.


Lectures in Theology were given in the lecture room by Dr Hughes and the men attended lectures in other subjects given by University lecturers.


Gradually arrangements were made for preaching appointments both inside and outside the Circuit and a week-night service at Romsey Town was held during term. Later, work among young people was undertaken there.