Dr Valerie Marett MBE, (BA 1950, Cert Ed 1951) 93, has crystal clear memories of her time at Bristol, where she took up her place to read History in 1947, not long after the end of the second world war.
Resplendent in a bright sweater which was a gift from her late husband (Dr Marett refuses to wear the ‘uniform’ of a white cardigan, which is prevalent in her residential home) she tells us of her time at Bristol.
Dr Marett came to Bristol from a state grammar school in her native Wales and found herself surrounded by ex-service personnel and pupils of independent schools. She liked Bristol because it wasn’t the University of Wales where other members of her family had gone. At that time her halls of residence (Manor Hall) were female-only, headed by the warden Miss Morgan. Because of the austere conditions in post-war UK, she vividly recalls the gasps from her fellow students when one young woman appeared ready for a ball in a Christian Dior New Look dress, glowing from her holiday on a film star’s Caribbean yacht. Dr Marett appreciated the supportive atmosphere at Manor Hall, as at that time only 5% of the student population was female. For her, the drama students and those involved in their productions were the life and soul of the University at that time, in particular a Gerald Lloyd-Williams (Sub Lt), who had served in the navy during the war.
The beginning of the year 2022 was marked by eighteen of our distinguished alumni being recognised in the Queen’s New Year Honours list for their extraordinary contributions to society. Among them are inspiring medical doctors, dedicated educators, and visionary scientists. We are extremely proud to showcase their achievements and their recognition. Read below to see if you recognise any from your time at Bristol. (more…)
Bristol alumnus, Ashley Dunn, is a man who’s always on the move. Currently working as a postman, he keeps his step count sky-high by delivering letters and parcels up and down the hills of Bristol. Since graduating in 2018 with a degree in Philosophy he’s also chalked up two triathlons, a half marathon and a 10K. Next year, the 30-year-old will tackle the challenge on every runner’s bucket list: the London marathon.
But running wasn’t always a way of life for Ashley. He started his fitness journey with the University’s Health Minds programme. This initiative, which started in 2016, aims to help students experiencing mental health difficulties to support their wellbeing through a bespoke exercise programme. Students benefit from the physical activity itself, but also by being paired up with a mentor – a member of the fitness team with advanced mental health training – who coaches them throughout. For Ashley, taking part gave him a much-needed boost during a very difficult time.