Anglia Ruskin town centre development sparks memory book as former students remember the old 'Tech'

Published: 14 October 2005 at 14:55

The life and times of Anglia Ruskin University is the focus of a new book put together by former students of what was formerly known as the Mid Essex Technical College.

Simply entitled "I Went to the Tech", the book charts the history of the buildings known as the Commercial Block, the Technical Block and the Art Block. It also includes a selection of memories and reminiscences of the co-authors involved in the launch, who now fondly describe themselves as 'golden oldies'.

The collaborative writing team behind the publication includes Peter Carter, Derek Wilks, Alan Taylor, Christine Hoad, Reg Richardson and contributions are also featured from the late John Marriage. Will Guest from Anglia Ruskin's Alumni office has also played a contributory part in the writing and editing of the book.

One of the first copies of the book was presented to Anglia Ruskin University's Vice-Chancellor, Professor David Tidmarsh, and Secretary and Clerk, Steve Bennett - by Alan Taylor, Christine Hoad and Reg Richardson - during a recent handover event staged at the University's new Tindal Building on Rivermead campus in Chelmsford.

Speaking about the book, Christine Hoad said:

"The book chronicles the 70 year history of the Mid Essex Technical College in Essex. It draws on the memories and recollections of the students who were studying there between the 40s and 60s to improve their education and career prospects.”

"It charts growth of the 'Tech' from Market Road to Chelmer Valley and beyond. It is a must-have purchase for anyone who went there or has family or friends who did."

Professor David Tidmarsh said:

"Anglia Ruskin University owes a debt of gratitude to these dedicated former students for recording yet another important slice of our University's history.”

"It is most appropriate that the launch of the book coincides with the recent renaming of the University - a point that proves that whilst history moves on and names change, educational institutions always occupy a central place in people's lives."

The Mid Essex Technical College and School of Art was established in 1935. In 1976, the Mid Essex Technical College and Brentwood College of Education merged to become the Chelmer Institute of Higher Education, and then in 1984 the Chelmer Institute became the Essex Institute of Higher Education. 

The Cambridgeshire College of Arts and Technology and the Essex Institute of Higher Education merged in 1989 to become Anglia Higher Education College and the institution was granted Polytechnic and then University status in 1991 and 1992 respectively.

During October the Privy Council approved a new name change which sees the University drop the 'outdated' polytechnic reference to become Anglia Ruskin University.

Copies of the book are available from Christine Hoad of the Book Committee on 01245 266616.