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In the frame

Alumna Margaret reflects on her years studying at Nottingham from 1945.
Connect Community In the frame

Margaret Hempsell (Economics, 1948) recalls life at Nottingham during the post-war years, a time of hardship but with hope for a brighter future. 

"This is my graduation photograph from 1948. I started at Nottingham in 1945, when I was only 16. My father always wanted me to go to university. He believed in educating girls in the same way as boys. It was fairly unusual to go to university at 16, but it was only because of the war. They used to take the boys at 16 or 17 so they could study for a year before they were called up. When they came back, they went straight into their final degree course.

You never forget your old university, do you? I'll always think back fondly to these times.

"The demobbed didn't speak much about the war. It was a very serious atmosphere, but there was hope for the future because the war was over. We didn't have much though as we were still rationed. It lasted a long time, when I got married in 1952 we still had ration books. 

"Being at University is one of the best times of your life. You're fairly free of responsibilities, you're doing what you want to and studying what you enjoy. I didn't really go far from campus, there was everything you could want here. we had 'hops' in the Great Hall - when we'd sing the University song! - and I performed on stage there with the Drama Society. 

"You never forget your old university, do you? I'll always think back fondly to these times."