Wow! I didn't see this one coming. Granted, sometimes it's a little hard to see all the way across the pond, but I wouldn't have figured on this. The University of Leeds (in England) is closing Tetley Hall and putting the property up for sale! As far as I can tell, the place is a little run down and the University can't/won't spend the money to fix it.
Tetley is one of the University-owned residence halls. It's in a section of Leeds known as Headingley. You can walk from Tetley to the University in about 20 minutes - if you keep walking as you pass all the pubs that line both sides of the Otley Road.
As you can see HERE, the Hall itself consists of several Victorian houses and a modern block of dorm rooms. When I spent my junior year abroad studying at Leeds, I lived at Tetley Hall, in a section of the modern block known as Woodhouse. I lived on the 4th floor, which was all girls until January, the start of the 2nd term. One of the residents on our floor didn't come back to school after the holidays, and her room was taken over by John, an American grad student from Yonkers. Somewhere, I have a picture of him trying on a dress...
Anyway, that was all about 20 years ago. And now, after more than 50 years, the University is closing Tetley when the academic year ends this summer. Later this month, the Hall hosts its annual garden party, and all the Tetleyites are invited back for a final look 'round. A trip to Leeds is not in my immediate future, so I'll have to skip it.
But, I'll never forget:
- when Anne, Jackie, and I used green trash bags and caps made of cardboard to dress up as cans of Tetley Bitter for the Halloween fancy dress disco. We won second place and, I think, some chocolates.
- when movie night in the Junior Common Room featured "Grease". The room was packed and everyone sang along to every song. "Tell me more..."
- when I helped design the set for the Hall production of "Pirates of Penzance." Take white sheets, dye them tan, then hang them over a row of tables standing on end. Looks like a beach, doesn't it?
- when everyone sang carols at the holiday formal meal. I knew the words, but what in the hell tunes were they using?
- when a certain resident of W4 would get a phone call from her boyfriend in Canada (who she met in Africa while teaching lepers how to knit. I swear, I am not making that up. And, just to avoid confusion, the boyfriend was not a leper). Then, after they hung up, she would run up and down the corridor yelling, "He called! I can't believe he called!"
- when, after seeing "Top Gun," this same certain resident made a habit of running up and down the corridor yelling, "I feel the need, the need for speed!" The rest of us soon felt the need for silence!
- when I first hung my clothes in the so-called drying closet, which is basically a cabinet placed over some heating pipes. Your clothes will be dry in no time, my friend said. And, they were - if you consider 24-hours to be "no time."
Damn, they were good times.