Leeds University Press Release

2007   June 28th  -  Press Release


Bretton Hall – celebrating 60 years of success

Bretton Hall campus enjoyed one of its greatest weekends this spring, when it opened its doors to celebrate six decades of artistic achievement

The Bretton Hall Weekend ran from 4th to 6th May and over 3000 visitors attended, including former students and staff who travelled from as far away as California and Canada.

The event commemorates a time of change, with the School of Performance and Cultural Industries (PCI) set to move into new purpose-built facilities in Leeds this summer. This made it the ideal opportunity to celebrate the rich history of Bretton Hall and showcase the talents of students, societies and alumni.

Alumni were thrilled to see old friends and faces from the past in the magnificent surroundings of Bretton Hall, as well as enjoying a varied programme of events including performances by existing students. Plays, fringe events and lectures drew in the crowds, while eclectic music was provided by a salsa band, and piano recitals amongst others. Visitors also got the chance to see art work by past and present students and staff.

Final year arts management student Anna Lavery was a driving force in organising the event. “It was a great way to remember Bretton Hall and to celebrate 60 yrs of academic achievement.” She said, “Everyone from current students, to alumni and even stars such as John Godber had an amazing time.”

The highlight for many was the Sir Alec Clegg Memorial Lecture, given by the ex Principal Dr Alan Davies.  The lecture, named after the founder of Bretton Hall College and Chief Education Officer for the West Riding, was sold out months in advance.  Dr Davies used the occasion to outline Sir Alec Clegg’s vision which he related to his shared views of education.  The success of this lecture was especially fitting as Sir Alec Clegg’s widow and children attended the event.  His name will be remembered in Leeds through the new studio theatre which is to be named after him in recognition of his work.

Alan Parker was one of thousands of graduates who attended, travelling from Scotland for the weekend, "The reunion was one of the most emotionally provocative events I have ever experienced", he said.   "To see all those old friends was fantastic and really overwhelming. The event was very well organised and it was a credit to the staff and PCI students."