Sunday, 30 August 2015

Sherfield Hall Reading Berkshire in 1998

The Halls were brick built, some students - a tiny minority - resided there for 2 years before getting accommodation elsewhere, Sherfield was self catering. Students in their second year were those elected Student Representatives for the Halls the year before.

Inside the rooms you cannot swing a cat in (though one student brought a dog)

The on suite

The bed for the 5 foot challenged person, its a camping bed therefore bare metal springs. I still use the Rhythm alarm clock, there is a narrow shelf on the wall at the foot of the bed where a 486 pc (Windows 95) with CRT monitor stood. At  this time there was neither intranet, intranet or enough power sockets, you used a floppy to transfer your work. The bed would go under the shelf, the rooms were 6 ' by 5 ' feet

I gave up on the bed, folded it up and slept on the floor. I am 5' 11' 3/4.

Rooms were cleaned by a maid every Wednesday, bar mine which I kept spotless because I would be ashamed to have someone see dust or my clothes which were in style in my dads day. 

The residents in my block level 2

This guy spent his time boxing, drunk and eventually making everyone's life around him unpleasant 

Notice Russel holding the glass who is probably very successful somewhere, was student council representative along with his twin sister.  Charlie from London is the partial body on the right. The Girl center I believe was an RAF trainee and ran for student council, The Girl bottom left was a friend of Charles who dropped out in Thailand begging for baht since they have lots of baht(the entitlement generation), eventually getting parents to send her the ticket home.

The story behind the eyebrow was one of being drunk, swimming the Taff and having several Rugby mates with an odd sense of humor

The girl on the left was Welsh and ultra friendly - too friendly to the problem guy, spending all her time with him, the guy in the jacket and tie was her boyfriend who commuted from Swansea every Friday and stayed the weekend.

Rules for her were sort of optional, as was the one on keeping pets when her Mum had to take her puppy from the room. 

The person in the block totally unremarkable, usually my spot, notice the NOW empty sink, never talked.

I never understood the need for the boa, I left this dorm at Christmas due to the guy at the top being psychotic after Russel reported him in to the dorm Manager (for all night parties and trashing the block including leaving the sink full of unwashed items ), he tried it on with me threatening to knock my lights for reporting him in ? while I had 2 kitchen knives in my hands while sitting on the table edge near the door (where the knife tray is) and he was too pissed and drugged up to notice! 

Sherfield Hall Football team  

The real reason for Sherfield was its glorious sports teams with the records of the worst achievements of any in the University of Reading, Sherfield's Football team regularly lost 25 nil to Windsor in 1997, this changed to 26 to 25 while I was goalkeeper.

No special reason, the team could not defend but had one brilliant striker if you served him with a goal kick 1/2 the time would score.

The guy in the purple keeper shirt is me, Ben's to my left, bottom third right is Saff  Ahmed, I think they went to the same school in Nottingham. Saffras was a Chemistry Student. I ended up in their block as a student vacated, all Asian bar Ben and all part of the football team. 

We had a new player in December 1998 who was immediately gored by a Windsor with metal studs from the front.

The wound went through the epidermis into the fatty tissue missing the veins and arteries.

Social life was largely sports and Rileys Snooker hall with the football team which has now closed in Reading ( and despite the student reputation we had neither money nor the inclination to be anti social by drinking with friends who were Muslim. Alcohol was limited to 1 pint paid for by the Sherfield student reps if we won at football. This caused heartache for the largely Asian side(and Kate in charge of the budget) as for the first time we started winning some games.

Taxis were a couple of pound and the Pakistani drivers were notorious for using illegal FM frequencies in the 83 - 105 mhz range.

October 31st 1998 Halloween 

At the Students Union and Mojos Bar

Ben the Reaper went around with Saffras during the first week wearing Afros and flares.

Russel with then Girlfriend from Cyprus.
Would probably be a Grandmother now at age 38, In my local estate would be a great granny each child with a different father a beneficiary of the benefits generation. Cyprus now in dire straights due to EU looting to bail out the Deutsche banks loans to Greece.

Possibly Tina Earhart, a student from Germany 27 at the time, could never understand why she would come over to do a year at an inferior educational establishment to those in Germany.They also were in the process of abolishing tuition fees in the exact opposite to the Blair 'Reforms' in 1997, Lower Saxony was last to do so in 2014.

Another Nottingham Student 2nd from the right called the 'gimp' by Saff

Kate and friends.

I think this is Kate Sister to Russel. 

KISS fans

I left Halls early in March 1999 to cat sit Smudge (1991 - 2014)

while my Brother went to work in South Africa. Unfortunately Visual Dyslexia not only stops me from remembering most names everything but stopped my first year in its tracks being unable to pass the Miranda exam, Reading University at this time embargoed any student who failed the first year from entering the University for another 3 years, never said that on the small print.

Met a PHD Cybernetics student in Sherfield whose thesis was that Digital TV would be impossible due to interference and signal degradation, and perhaps it soon will with contention, extended range and the unexpected massive use. Already this is happening in schools with home WIFI. A possible person of interest was a Kate Silverton lookalike who was attending, she graduated from Durham but has a career hole pointing to several extra years as an adult learner. Nobody puts on their Resume failed Reading University.

Studied the Cybernetics Module while Kevin Warwick was head of department my highest exam score at 51%. The initial interviews for the Computer Science course was a terrible Head of Department with two interviewees affair, I was paired up with a public schoolboy self confessed year head prefect from the right social background, I was an adult student with access to HE and a diagnosis of Visual Dyslexia from South Cheshire College. And the Head of Department had the cheek to say I was to give them a chance !.  

(Photos are 35mm - you know in the days before digital, processed in GIMP to remove some artifacts hairs )

The Reading Physics department was closed nearly 8 years later, Cybernetics, Electronics Engineering and Computer Science - now the School of Systems Engineering is due to be closed next year (