50 years after they met, a group of graduates from University of Sheffield’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning reunited in the city - keen to see what the years had done to their old stomping grounds.
Many of them had not been back to Sheffield since their student days and returned to help celebrate the department’s 50th anniversary.
The seven former students, all now in their 60s, walked through the Peace Gardens, the city centre and had a guided tour of the new buildings at the University of Sheffield, including the refurbished Arts Tower which was originally opened by the Queen Mother back in 1965.
“I remember coming to Sheffield in the 60s; it was a much darker city then but the air had just been cleaned,” recalled Graham Tipple.
“The Department was small and very friendly and there was lots of time to get to know new friends and learn how planning works.
“Once you could manage the Arts Tower’s paternoster lifts with aplomb, you felt a cut above the rest of the world. Through church and charitable societies at the university, I was inspired to work overseas where the Empire had just been converted to the Commonwealth. I have been a specialist on housing in Africa ever since, thanks to the University of Sheffield experience.”
Classmate Ela Yates added: “It was unlike any other University department I know of and my abiding memories are of our friendship with one another. Its been wonderful to have the chance to see everybody again.”
The Department is now the top accredited Royal Town Planning Institute School in the UK.