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28 October 2014

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Clair Parker
Clair Parker

Bye-bye Bretton Hall

By Clair Parker
So Bretton is closing. How very sad. Everyone at Bretton knows that it is a decision that has already been made. The students are still fighting it though, as you may have seen in the papers recently and on the news.


Clair Parker is 24 and studying Arts Education at Bretton Hall.

For many, the loss of Bretton will also mean the loss of their home, their friends and their tight knit community they have established. For some, it will mean a shorter journey and bigger city. For me, it will not make much difference, as I already live in Leeds and will have left by the time the move happens anyway.

Not that I don't care: Bretton Hall is a beautiful place with the Sculpture Park, historic mansion and acres of rolling hills. Sometimes, on sunny days or when it's snowing you can look out of a window and be transported back 300 years or into a Narnia-like place. It is a pity it is closing.

But the Sculpture Park will still exist. And most of the people who are against the move will not be affected, as the move will not take place until 2006/2007, and therefore only affecting the current first years.

But for me, the most upsetting aspect of the move is the loss of the BA Arts Education course (among others) and with it the possible loss of my lecturers. I'm sure some people have a distorted view of what lecturers are like; thinking they are corduroy wearing, patches on sleeves, smoking pipes and smelling of coffee. But Bretton attracts a certain type of lecturer – one who has a passion for the arts and their people and everything they stand for.

I don't think you could replace many of the lecturers at Bretton, and no one would want you to. I'm very saddened to hear that they are as much in the dark about the move as the students at Bretton are. I hope that all the tutors, from all the courses, and especially my own will go on to bigger and better careers, but I know that they will never have an experience like they have had at Bretton Hall.

It looks as though many of the teaching staff will leave by next year anyway, because of the need for new jobs and disgust at the way they have been treated.

But I hope they realise that for many of us, it's not Bretton closing that makes us sad, but the loss of the great lecturers and teachers that have made the place what it is.

last updated: 02/11/04
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