Wednesday, February 3, 1982


Dad took the day off specially to take me to Brynmor and after a stop at a Farnshaw garage to get two new rear tires fitted, we headed up Debdenshaw Road and were away. It only took us about an hour-and-a-half, motorway all the way, and soon enough Brynmor, the University, and Castle Fitzgilbert loomed spectacularly out of the haze.

Dad sat in the car and read the paper while I went into the Arts Building and Lecture Theatre G (glaring lights, pale brown wood-panelling). Most of the fifty or so potential American Studies students seemed to be girls and we listened to the convincing and reassuring guff about the city, the course and the university. "The John Kemp library is the best library for American Studies in the British Isles," and so on.

Then we were all split into groups of six and led off with student guides around the campus to see the bookshop, the library, the Union building and the AS dept, everywhere a bustle of activity. Outside, in the bitter dry cold, a chanting crowd of students were trying to occupy the Senate building. Noise, crowds, laughter my first impressions, and as we dined in the Union building, a student climbed onto a table and shouted “Fight the fash!” and “Down with the Tories!"

Our guide, a girl, led us into the huge canteen and bought us all coffee and talked more about the course but I couldn’t hear. Finally, we ended up in a faculty office piled high with books and papers and listened to an old professor ramble on. Someone asked him about Brynmor’s social life and he talked about ballet, opera, Wagner, and Dvorak . . .boredom. . . . The chants drifted noisily across from the Senate. . . .

At four, I hurried to the car, and we were home for five-thirty. I quite like Brynmor but I have doubts. It seems too small somehow, too simple . . . I don’t know. . . . Anyway, I sent off a provisional acceptance.

What to do?

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