Grays Court has a very long and exciting history. It stands on the site of a Roman legionary fortress and has welcomed historic and VIP guests over the years, including King James I! But what we’re most interested in is, of course, your experiences as alumni.
St John’s College became linked with Grays Court in 1949 when
part of it housed the Department of History. In 1963, the whole
of the house was leased to the College and the departments of
English and Theology moved in.
Hello fellow alumni! I graduated in 1980 with a B.Ed (Hons). I chose St John’s as it was THE only place to train to teach and York is a lovely place to live, of course. Gray’s Court was the icing on a very majestic cake.
Keeping this short – Gray’s Court was always a heavenly destination on a cold winter’s morning or warm day in spring. The cobbled courtyard led to those heavy doors and then up the carpeted stairway via History to English and my extended family – Brian Sourbut, Neville Brown, Edna Mallett and, of course Roy. Roy Stevens. It started with a nice cup of tea and ended with me being the proud godfather of his two children. Looking forward to so many memories from my fellow alumni – especially those who attended Doc Addy’s leaving drinks party in History – a regular Wednesday afternoon occurrence!
Among my fondest memories of my time at John’s are the Saturday morning lectures at Gray’s Court with ‘Percy’ Wenham, His infectious enthusiasm for all things Roman, his expertise on the siege of York and his love of his subject inspired me – and I am sure, many others. In fact, these experiences were so enjoyable that the end of the lecture saw us repairing to the Stonegate Coffee House where he would resume his theme with little prompting from his students!
Grays Court was a wonderful place to learn History and ‘Percy’ was a wonderful tutor. One of my prized possessions is his book ‘The Great and Close Siege of York’. Every time I read it, the years fall away and I hear his voice once more.
Happy days indeed.
Pam Allen (nee Parkinson)
I vividly remember the beautiful airy rooms with stunning views of the gardens and sweeping staircase which were features of my English Literature Lectures with my dear tutor Mr Stephenson. Looking over the green swathes at rear of the Minster, the golden stonework and the flowering cherries.
Mr Stephenson was very kind to me through a great deal of my time at St Johns. The quiet peace of his room was wonderful post lecture. Tea and sympathy.
I loved the great entrance door too with the crack of the huge black latch… stepping back into the past into the hallway.
The cobbled street leading up to Grays Court also features significantly in my memory… as the place the bolt on my folding bicycle rattled itself loose, leading to an experience in which I found myself both arriving and leaving at the same moment.
I’m very much looking forward to revisiting some of these again, hopefully in the not too distant future.
Has this blog brought back memories for you? Leave a comment below or send us an email at email@example.com