Michael Dillon recently told the Lancashire Evening Post about his fond memories of his time at Harris College…
“Preston’s Harris College is part of the city’s heritage. Although now encompassed into the University of Central Lancashire, many people have fond memories of their time at the iconic institution. UCLan is marking the 190th anniversary of the founding of the Institution for the Diffusion of Knowledge, the original forebear of the University, by creating an archive of memories.
Michael Dillon, now 70 and living in Penwortham, has nothing but fond memories of his two separate spells at the college. The father-of-one and grandad to an 11 year-old, recalls:
“I was there from 1962 to 1964. It was the only building then on Corporation Street. I was sent there after school. I was at Ashworth College,which was a private school my parents paid for me to go. It was down an end terrace of houses. Tom Ashworth started it and he died. The school closed down and we had nowhere to go so were transferred to Acregate Lane then Harris.”
Michael originally studied on the Preliminary General Course, preparing for the GCE-O-levels, which he took in 1964. He says: “I had some good times and really enjoyed being there every day.
“I remember all the teachers, especially, one Mr Hulse, who taught maths and frightened everyone to death. I got on with him, he lived in Penwortham, close to where I am now, and although he was very eccentric, he had an extremely clever mind. We had Mr Bochel for English, Mrs Bairstow taught us geography, Miss Rigg was history and Mr Huband taught French.”
After college he went on to work at Preston Corporation and found himself back at the Harris in 1967 on day release doing his City and Guilds in civil engineering. Michael got his qualifications and work took him far before he ended up as a trainer.
The retired CITB training adviser says:
“It was the Harris tech by then but things were just the same. I even found myself having lessons in the same classroom and had a lovely teacher, Mr Abrahams, who got me through. My biggest claim to fame was the inter-departmental five-a-side and playing with people like Howard Kendall. We also had Brian Finney, a long-time friend of mine.”
Michael carried on playing football and some of his old team-mates met up for a reunion a few years ago.
As told to the Lancashire Evening Post.
Photo credit: JPress.