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Celebrating 50 years of lifelong friendships

Posted: November 24 2022

Pete Wescott

Celebrating their 50th anniversary since graduating, members of our Maths class of 1972 visited us on campus in October 2022 to mark their special year. A guided tour of campus brought back plenty of special memories for the group, as did a trip to Uxbridge town centre for a reunion dinner in the evening, celebrating a milestone of lifelong friendship and Brunel memories.

Read all about the story of the Brunel Maths class of 1972 group below, written by alumnus Pete Wescott.

Our time as Brunelians

In October 2022, a group of 10 of us from the Maths degree class who all graduated in 1972 got together for our 50th anniversary reunion. As there were less than 40 of us who gained our Maths degrees in 1972, that still represented over 25% of the group. Despite the wondrous powers of the internet and social media, our efforts to track many others down have failed, but maybe some will read this blog and want to get back in touch?

We are, of course, all enjoying ‘well-earned(?)’ retirement after full and varied careers in various sectors of industry. Some of us made more use than others of the specialised knowledge we gained in our degrees!

We all did what was called a “thin sandwich” degree course involving three years with two university terms and six months in an industrial work placement. The fourth year was wholly at University and resulted in a Bachelor of Technology degree. Several of us ended up starting our graduate careers at one or other of our placement companies.

Looking back

We have come back to Brunel a few times over the years for various reunions and it is fair to say it’s a completely different world these days! When we began our courses in 1968, the Uxbridge campus had only just opened and there were less than 1,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students based at the site. There was only one hall of residence housing around 150 students, and within a few weeks of starting, most of us knew most of the others - by sight if not by name. Our social lives revolved around the local pubs, the Students’ Union bar and the weekly dances, discos and guest bands.

In those days the music scene was quite small and Brunel’s very active social organiser was able to get many of the most successful bands of the time to Friday night gigs, which were held upstairs in the refectory building (well, at least they were until Keith Emerson’s band ‘The Nice’ got the crowd rocking so much that the floor started pulsating. They moved downstairs after that!).

There were numerous local pubs, of varying degrees of salubriousness, notoriety or ‘localness’. RAG Weeks usually resulted in one or other being drunk dry! Recent visits have shown that, as elsewhere, many have now disappeared. Uxbridge has also changed totally. When we were there it was a small and quite old-fashioned town and still had quite a separate identity to its massive London neighbour. Now it appears to be a metropolis in its own right (as does the Uxbridge campus!).

Happy days (well mostly anyway - panic usually set in a few weeks before the yearly exams when we realised we’d spent far too much time expanding our social horizons rather than our Mathematical ones!).