I’ve posted lots of other people’s memories of Edge Hill, but what of my own? I’ve worked at Edge Hill for almost four years but it’s influenced my life for much longer than that.
I grew up in and around here – I went to Ormskirk Grammar School for seven years and one of the annual rituals was walking up Ruff Lane to hold the Sports Day at Edge Hill College (or EHCHE as is was known then). It may not surprise you to learn that I wasn’t my form’s best athlete but even then I was a bit of a geek so for five years one of my friends Craig Rigby and I ran the score keeping.
This was advanced stuff! We didn’t have Excel or Access – we wrote software from scratch to log results, show a running total and work out top girl and boy within minutes of the last race.
The first few years we were locked in the entrance to Stanley Hall, barely allowed out into the sunlight but eventually Sporting Edge was built and we got stationed in the gym before it was fully finished with a view across the events below.
The opportunities I got to develop my skills while at school stood me in good stead for my working life.
Back in the mid-nineties Edge Hill played a role in connecting up Lancashire’s schools to the internet and that included providing dialup internet and email access to Ormskirk Grammar. Originally the Grammar was connected through Demon Internet but Edge Hill was able to offer a similar service for free.
This involved a SLIP connection (pretty rare because most ISPs only provided PPP) and email queue. Our original Demon addresses ended @ogs-net.demon.co.uk but Edge Hill didn’t support dashes in subdomains so my email address had to change to firstname.lastname@example.org. A few months after I started at Edge Hill I got to take a look at the DNS configuration and was far too excited to see ogsnet.ehche.ac.uk still at the bottom of one of the files!
We might get to hear some memories of his time at Edge Hill, like this one he recounted at the award of his honorary degree:
“Music was one of my main loves when I came here. I remember when I came to take my place in Lancs Hall with my mate Nigel, with our array of musical instruments and the fledgling band we had at the time. We once got kicked out of the music rooms which had pianos because we were told they weren’t for bands. They were for people to sit and play Debussy’s tunes, not for two or three blokes from Wigan to thrash about making a racket. At the time I thought it was the man trying to stop my music but I realise now that it was perfectly reasonable.
“Quite soon after I got here, the Hall President, who was a nice Welsh bloke called Dewi, was very into rugger, very into Chris Rea, very into all the kind of music and things that me, being a lad from Wigan, at the time thought terrible. We once heard about a letter that he had written home that said: ‘I was rather hoping for some good fellows to go drinking with who could form a rugby team with me, but all I seem to have got is some punk rockers with electric guitars.’ I, of course, thought this was wildly exciting and it made my chest swell with pride.”
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