Remembering our genesis: 50 years since the opening of Churchill College, June 1964

Churchill College is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its official opening with a special display featuring materials from the College archive, which will be open to the public from 20–27th June & 3rd – 7th July.

On 5 June 1964 the College pulled out all the stops to welcome The Visitor, His Royal Highness, The Duke of Edinburgh to perform the opening ceremony. It was a memorable occasion.

This month in College we have a display featuring material from the College archive: rare newsreel footage and audio recordings captured on the day itself plus later recollections.

We hear Sir Winston Churchill himself speaking of his hopes for the College which would bear his name; of the hasty transformation of the College from a building site to a place fit to welcome a Prince (piloting his own helicopter). From the Porter watching for his moment to hoist the Union Jack to the recollections of Natasha Squire, drafted in to devise the menu and dreaming up the idea of a cake in the shape of the Dining Hall; this display is a fitting tribute to a great day.

HRH Duke of Edinburgh and Sir John Cockcroft laughing with bedmakers by kind permission of Cambridge NewsHRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and Sir John Cockcroft with bedmakers. Photo credit: Cambridge News

Visitors will also be able to experience the ambience of the 1960s, with an installation of an original student room featuring functional and beautiful furniture designed exclusively for the College by the celebrated designer Robin Day.

Churchill Undergraduate Student in his room in 1960Jeremy H Burton, Alumnus U61

This display is about Churchill's pride in its history. It's also a moment to celebrate and to give thanks. Over £5 million has been raised through our 50th Anniversary Appeal for a new residential court thanks to the exceptional generosity of our donors and alumni. Building will commence in the autumn. We also record our profound gratitude for the hard work and inspirational leadership of Sir David Wallace as his tenure as Master draws to an end.

— Natalie Adams, College Archivist

The display will be open to the public from 20–27th June & 3rd – 7th July 2014 in the Junior Common Room during College business hours (9am – 6pm). Please visit the Porters’ Lodge for details. For further information please contact: archives@chu.cam.ac.uk.

 

Images top: CCRF 111 1 1 Opening Ceremony Programme and CCRF 120 003 001

Credit: Edward Leigh image by kind permission of Lafayette Photography

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