Alumni Services

A trip down memory lane

15 historians and economists travelling from as far afield as Liverpool, London and Warsaw gathered for a weekend of memory-stirring events in Edinburgh in June.

1973 reunion

The reunion of 1973 economics and history graduates was organised by David Andrews who was inspired by our website reunion features and noticed an abundance of medics, chemists and vets but very few from his own field of study.

Lost friendships

David’s career has been a varied one starting as a feed salesman in this country, then as an agricultural economist in Papua New Guinea and Australia and ending up as a transport economist at South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive.

He admits to still using the econometric techniques that he learnt as an undergraduate in his current role as part of the project team for developing Sheffield City Region’s transport services but that friendships were not so easy to sustain beyond graduation.

Edinburgh has left me with memories of great friendships made although generally not actively sustained thereafter. I often wondered what friends and colleagues who trod the same path as me had made of their lives and of the start they had had in Edinburgh.

David Andrews

The Newington core

Planning for the reunion began in 2013 after David had enlisted the help of his best man and university flatmate, George Johnson. They decided to focus on the flatmates of Middleby Street as this Newington location pulled together various threads of friendship and was where George and David rented digs for two years.

Henderson’s on Hannover Street had been a regular haunt for Middleby-ites in the 1970s and David was astonished to discover that the Edinburgh vegetarian institution was still going strong and so it was enthusiastically built into the weekend plans.

Dinner in 1981

40 years of change

Many things had changed in 40 years. From the location of the history department (now in the West Wing of the Grade A-listed Old Medical Building), to the presence of women in the Mens Union at Teviot Row House and the designation of silent and quiet floors in the Main Library.

Not overly nostalgic

The weekend was, in the words of one returning graduate, very sociable and not at all overly nostalgic, with visits to the Schools of History and Economics as well as a tour of the Main Library led by former Chief Librarian, Shelia Cannell.

There were also presentations from current and former staff, and a tour of the National Museum of Scotland led by Professor Hugh Cheape.

The weekend ended with a resolution to meet again in the not too distant future. David thinks he will, let the dust settle a bit first!.

I thought the whole weekend was fabulous really. It was great to have the various different opportunities to chat in slightly different groups and to catch up with some that we haven’t seen for a long time, or in some cases, since graduation.

Reunion attendee

Thinking about arranging a reunion?

Reunions are more popular than ever. They are a great way of renewing old acquaintances and keeping in touch with friends who may be based all over the world.

Each year, over 40 reunion groups get together to reminisce about their time at the University of Edinburgh, and to find out what’s been happening at the University and in each others’ lives since they last met.

Find out more by visiting our reunion pages.

Find out more about reunions