Sunday, November 02, 2008

Meredith’s Leeds #2: The Large, Popular, Very Respected University,

Posted by Peter Quennell

[click for larger images]

Meredith studied at this hard-to-get-into university with the excellent reputation for two years. She would have returned for a third for sure.

These aerial shots show just the central campus area. Factoring in the many halls of residence, and the outlying schools, the total campus area must occupy several square miles.

Meredith would probably have spent most of her time in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures (the white building at left-center above facing left, and at center below), the main library (the round building behind it) and the Students Union (the large cluster of buildings at far-left center above, and at just below left-center below).

Please look for a much fuller description soon, in a new post coming up.

Below: Two outdoor and two indoor shots of the Michael Sadler building housing the School of Modern Languages and Cultures

Below: Two shots of the Parkinson building, through which Meredith might haver walked if she came by bus

Below: A shot and a diagram of the Brotherton Library; the Italian Section is two floors below the main reading room here

Below: Outdoor and indoor shots of the Students Union which houses cafeterias, book stores, health facilities, and recreation

Below: Some of the buildings in the modern style - some new, some from the 1960s, many connected by overhead passage-ways

Below: Night falls on the university; with 30,000 students studying there, you would never normally see it an un-peopled as this!

Posted by Peter Quennell on 11/02/08 at 12:00 PM in Concerning MeredithHer England

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My first reaction on putting this together was, it sure aint Perugia!

But in fact, it’s pretty Italianate - certainly there’s architecture just like this in Milan and places north, and even on the outskirts of Perugia.

I was looking at some Leeds U classroom shots with the students in them, and a few YouTubes, and the mood and morale seem very high. The campus really has plenty of life.

For myself, I like it - the look and the feel. I sure hope Meredith did. She could easily have found the same course in London, of course, so the living away from home on a campus was presumably exciting to her.

Posted by Fast Pete on 11/03/08 at 03:21 AM | #

This made me cry! The site is beautiful. I am now at Leeds Uni and it is as nice as you say. I didnt know Meredith but many of us miss her anyway. Thank you.

Posted by Anne on 11/03/08 at 04:37 PM | #

Once again, Pete, thanks for this living tribute to Meredith and her all too brief life.

Posted by Skeptical Bystander on 11/03/08 at 07:19 PM | #

Hi Pete,

Once again, your photographs are spectacular.  Coupled with your descriptions of where Meredith may have been, makes for a melancholy experience. 

I have a favorite!  The picture with the water and fountain.  Also the picture shows a piece of artwork attached to the building (something flying?).  Add the blue sky, and that is a really stunning shot to me!

A beautiful school for a beautiful young woman…

Thanks so much,


Posted by Tara on 11/03/08 at 09:12 PM | #

I like it too Tara, and it works with the great sweep of similar architecture in the background. The building is the Roger Stevens lecture theater building, and the rooms in it show what modern British decor really can be like.

Here’s something pretty amusing that a Leeds University student wrote about it:

Do you often find yourself gasping in amazement at the scale and beauty of this temple of 70s ‘futuristic’ architecture, engineered to cater for the imminent invention of hoverboots and teleportation? This, incidentally, is the reason for the big pipes on the side. Some say it’s made of pure kryptonite; others that it was originally 14 different buildings welded together in a catastrophic construction site accident. Either way, whatever the bloke who designed the Roger Stevens/Roger Sanchez/Rachel Stevens (depending on which graffiti, found in abundance pretty much anywhere, you find the most appealing) was on, I’d like some of it

That’s British for love. You see…. There are some virtual tours here of university spaces, the Roger Stevens included.

Take a look at the one right under it, the Rupert Beckett. That may have been the one Meredith knew best, as it is in the same building as her European languages department.

She would also have known Parkinson Court and Great Hall on that page.

I was in Leeds some time prior to the events in Perugia (what a surprise Leeds was) otherwise the shots I took (not all of these are my shots) might have been more beamed to things that impacted Meredith.

I may head there again one day soon. Let us see if and when the folks there are ready to share with us.

Posted by Fast Pete on 11/04/08 at 12:37 AM | #

Hi Pete

Great article! You’ve covered what I planned to do for you but haven’t had time thanks to a ridiculous amount of work piling up in front of me! You’ve captured the academic side of the Uni really well.  What I would say to add though is a big part of the attraction to Leeds is the Student Union as well as the academic side of life.  Students in Leeds work and play very hard indeed!  The SU is the heart of the whole Uni or it was for me! The place caters for everyone from party animal (gigs, club nights etc. Another interesting cultural tie as Leeds is to Goth what Grunge is to Seattle….Goth was born in The Faversham and Le Phonographique back in the early 80’s!)to the bookworm (every possible permatation of theatre, sports, political parties & beyond in terms of societies & groups). Leeds Uni Campus and it’s sister Uni, Leeds Metropolitan Uni, have basically taken over the Leeds 6 area (think a whole zip code for my American friends!). Meredith, like all second years, would move out of halls and into private housing for the remainder of her time in Leeds.  Most people relocate to Headingley, Burley, Kirkstall or Hyde Park.  The housing here is similar to the houses pictured in your first Leeds post (although those houses pictured are actually offices for the Uni now with a bit of post grad housing!), mainly terraced built in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s when Leeds was a powerhouse of the Industrial age. There are lots of pubs, cinemas and places to eat for students as well as a really good community atmosphere (Hyde Park, Skyrack, Arc & The Oak, my fellow Leeds people?!).  It’s not perfect thanks to a few naughty local people seeing students as easy theft targets (mainly cos they are!), but this is the same anywhere I think! People are driven to apply to Leeds as a ‘whole person’, both the academic side and the social side are the main factors when picking somewhere to study.

For a better understanding of student life at Leeds is really like, who attends etc, have a listen online to LSRfm ( bit proud to say that I worked on the station when I was at Uni and it’s a UK student award winning station!

Lol, Rachel Stevens Lecture Theatre.  My, my, she has come a long way since S Club 7 & Strictly Come Dancing…:D



Posted by daisysteiner on 11/05/08 at 04:59 PM | #

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Or to previous entry Meredith’s Perugia #1: Faces Of The City She Loved Getting to Know