A couple of months ago, we caught up with Fleur Anderson to hear about her time at York and life since leaving university. This interview was conducted in February 2020, prior to the COVID-19 lockdown.
Tell us a bit about your time at York and what you studied
I was in Goodricke College and I studied Politics between 1990-1993. Then I stayed on for a year to be President of the Students’ Union. My degree opened my eyes to all sorts of thinking about different issues. Politics is really wide ranging, from philosophy to American politics, to the politics of fiction. It was a really varied degree and I really enjoyed that.
I was very inspired by Harriet Harman, who is an alum herself. Her writing about the numbers of women in politics really inspired me then. Not that I wanted to be an MP particularly, but I was just very interested in politics. It’s not as if I was sat there thinking about being an MP, things happened along the way and now I am!
What is your fondest memory of your time here?
Great parties! Apart from that, one interesting memory was when I was President, it was Professor Cooks first year and we wanted to demonstrate against student fees being introduced. So we had a demonstration in Central Hall, which was overtaken by others and became an all night sit in (he wasn’t happy at all!) It became a big protest – quite a few demonstrations were held in Central Hall back then.
To entertain her neighbours during lockdown, Olivia Ter-Berg, a University of York Music Department graduate, decided to put on a concert from her doorstep when she was passed by a journalist. Watch her interview and concert below.
On Monday, I decided to put on a concert for my street, playing the harp and singing pop songs, to try and cheer everyone up. I’ve been playing music everyday inside and I thought why not take this outside so other people can enjoy it too.
Olivia Ter-Berg, Graduate, 2018.
Olivia is also taking requests for songs, so if you would like her to do an arrangement of your favourite song get in touch with her on her social media: Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.
As people around the world stay indoors, many York alumni are thinking back to happy times spent exploring this beautiful city. In this alumni magazine article from 2018, alumnus Matthew Greenwood from Exploring York gave his insight into the city of York and his work as a tour guide.
What is the most enjoyable thing about being a tour guide?
I would say it is the expression on people’s faces when they’re surprised by learning something new about York, or when things piece together and they make connections between things.
What is your favourite place, area or building in York and why?
Well actually, it’s quite appropriate because it’s Kings Manor, which is a University of York property. I would say because it’s such an understated building in terms of its history – the fact that it was the council of the North for a period, so therefore it was parliament for the North of England, essentially. And that’s not a well-known fact outside of York. And for the fact it is such a beautiful building! A mini palace in York.
Tell us a weird fact about York which not many people would know.
York is renowned for its abundant pubs, but since the University’s founding in the 60s an influx of partying students would allow the nightlife of the once slumberous city to flourish.
Unfortunately, many of these establishments have folded and been unceremoniously replaced over the years. Alas, the legendary Willow restaurant closed in recent years and is now a Clintons cards.
What’s left of these venues are hazy memories and a just few photographs – a selection of which can be viewed below. Do you remember when Fibbers used to be Fazer’s Fun Club? (And when Nevermind used to be Fibbers?)
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