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As we continue our 1950s themed week on social media, Alwyn Peel, a 1953 alumnus, has shared with us some of his memories of his time at College. In today’s blog post, Alwyn talks about Rag Day. During Rag Day (which stands for Raise and Give), students would join together to raise money for different charities, encouraging people across the city of Chester to give to good causes.

Rag Day

“Rag Days involved all students. There were many floats built on lorries to convey us around the city, with accompanying characters collecting for charity. There were also several activities that were not fully planned but happened! When we gathered back at College late afternoon, Principal Astbury congratulated everyone on the magnificent effort of collecting over £600 for various charities. The total raised on the day was a record for any Rag Day. It would not sound like a lot of money now, but then it was a small fortune!”

“It was during the week preceding the Rag on the Saturday, when we had visited every large shop, hotel and pub in the city, and on payment of £5, a green ‘STUNG’ label was affixed to their window, meaning that we didn’t bother them further on the Saturday. One very large shop, Browns of Chester, next door to the Grosvenor Hotel, had refused to pay so as we all gathered outside. The President of the Guild Council entered to meet the Manager who very quickly produced £5 to keep us outside, but then found out that the price had risen to £10… He paid!

“During the day, I and a few others were stationed near the Cross with our collecting tins. I spotted the Brigadier’s car driving slowly up Eastgate towards Watergate (and then on to the HQ of North West Command, now a part of the University – Queen’s Park Campus). I stood in front and stopped the car and despite the army driver impolitely telling me to move, the Brigadier kindly leaned out and put quite a bit of cash into my tin, wishing me success in the venture.

“I also fondly remember our visit to St. John’s York for a day of inter college sports activities. It was a full day out for the whole College, about 150 of us altogether, plus staff! Travel was by bus to the railway station, and then train to York, met by buses there to convey us to St. John’s. I still have the programme which indicates all the information about activities during the day. Meals were provided and it proved to be a very enjoyable day.”

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