In 1961 I got married and spent two years studying for a Master's Degree at the College of Aeronautics, Cranfield. We spent the first year on a caravan site, but were able to move with other married students in the second year to a row of houses on College Road. This is a poem about those two years that I spent at Cranfield and where I met some friends that I am still in touch with.


At C-o-A, at C-o-A,
Just what did you do today?
I dug a sess- pit,
Way out back,
Just hope its contents
Don’t attack.

The college had
A trailer park.
For married students,
What a lark!
We studied hard,
And only saw
Our better halves
From three to four.

That’s after midnight
I’m afraid.
For three brief hours,
In bed we laid.
And then we had to
Beat the books.
Our wives just gave us
Dirty looks.

We must have
Done a few things more.
For other souls
Increased our score.
And babies came
Upon the scene.
As we fit
Studies in-between.

The water system
Wasn’t much.
A hose connected
To a hutch.
It works fine
While the weather’s hot,
But there was one thing
We forgot.

In winter time,
It froze at night.
And even calor gas
Won’t light.
Thank goodness for ‘lectricity,
As we boiled water for our tea.

The day before
We’d fill the pot, (An electric kettle)
So we could get
Something that’s hot.
We pour hot water
On the can,
To light the stove,
And heat a pan.

We made it through,
Towards year two.
But now abode
In College Road.
But this time round,
A thesis found
That took up all our time.

For five long months,
We lived like monks.
And worked all through the night.
Near round the bend,
But at the end,
We glimpsed the final light.

And then the great day came at last,
And we could all relax.
We through that window theses cast
And gave the staff our facts.
The bridge upon the River Kwai,
Was our THID theme that day.
We built a tower up so high,
Retreating then to pray.

To pray inside the Student Bar,
And celebrate the day.
To raise a pint and raise a jar.
And stamp, and shout, and pray.
To pray that we had done enough,
Through two long years of toil.
Some days were hard and some were tough,
But some were smooth as oil.

The student bar had never seen,
A party quite this wild.
‘Twas wild, of course, but not obscene.
But, I wouldn’t call it mild.
Our task was truly at an end,
With nothing left to do.
Our enemies were now our friend,
We were a joyfull crew.

The last day at the College,
Was spent by one and all. By dancing with that knowledge,
At that final big THID Ball.
Next day, all those still on their feet,
Were scattered far and wide.
To use our minds so we could meet,
And greet this world with pride.