Home » News » Petroc 70 – Student life in the 60s!

Petroc 70 – Student life in the 60s!

As we reflect on the fantastic photographs and memories we have received in celebration of our 70th anniversary, there is one former student who really blew us away with his stories and photos of his time at College.

It all started when we discovered this evocative photograph on Pinterest. It’s of the North Devon Tech RAG Queen, Leslie Wakeley, which was taken by Roger Griffiths in the 1960s.

After reaching out to Roger (who now lives on the other side of the world), it transpired that he studied A Level Maths, Physics and Chemistry at what was then the North Devon Technical College.

Much to our delight, Roger dug into his photographic archives and sent us several more photos which mostly centred around the shenanigans of the RAG Committee in 1968. The following image is of the Rag Committee taken in the main stairwell at the College. Roger recalled a few of the names but apologised for those forgotten! They include Lesley Burnell, Esther, Anthony ‘Andy’ Eyres, Neil ‘who captained the rugby team’, Heather Rabbich, Sue Balham, Mia Griffiths, Danny, Lesley Wakely, Trudy, and Anna Marriott. 

Roger went on to tell us about one of their many RAG fundraising events – the launch of the Good Ship Lollipop – with this series of fabulous images. He reminisced: “The ‘ship’ itself was cobbled together mostly by Oliver Bettison, but it didn’t raise a lot of cash as far as I am aware. I doubt that more than a dozen people actually saw the valiant attempts of our intrepid matelots to avoid drowning!”

The Good Ship Lollipop was also the name of a local band who are pictured below playing on the banks of the River Taw in Barnstaple:

Roger even sent us shots of students stopping traffic in Barnstaple to “allow motorists to volunteer donations”!

After his time at North Devon Tech, Roger went on to complete an engineering degree at Cardiff University. He then emigrated to Botany Bay near Sydney and on to Brisbane where he worked in an oil refinery for almost 38 years. His STEM-based A Levels clearly set him up for a great life! Of his Physics lecturer (Roger doesn’t remember his name but recalls that he was a Scotsman!), he said his favourite expression, during practical classes, was “Careful with that, boy, it cost more than you did!”

We’re immensely grateful to Roger (below – then and now!) for sharing his funny and nostalgic stories and photos , and we hope you enjoyed them as much as we did!

Take a look at our Petroc 70 Gallery for more of Roger’s photographs, as well as other pictures that have been sent to us by former students or that have been retrieved from our archives! www.petroc.ac.uk/petroc-70  

And if you recognise anyone in these photos, please get in touch! We’d love to hear from you at petroc70@petroc.ac.uk


06 June 2023


Students, College news