Outside Lazenby: (l-r) Brian Monckton, Diana Hillage, Cathrine LeMaistre, Celia Baker, Diana Lloyd, Jimpy Newnham, Biz Bizzell, Pip Rhodes

Lazenby visit marks 50 years since graduation

In April 2016, alumna Elizabeth ‘Jimpy’ Newnham (BA English, History and Geography 1967) sent a photo of Lazenby House on the Streatham campus to a small group of old friends from her days at the University of Exeter. From this grew the idea for a group of alumni to visit Streatham campus, many travelling from all over the world, to mark 50 years since their graduation. 

In July 2017, ten Exeter alumni returned to the Streatham Campus, many of them having not visited since graduation. They travelled from their homes all over the world - from Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Germany – to meet up again in Exeter and reminisce about their time at university. During their visit the group arranged to visit Lazenby house on the edge of the Streatham Campus, where many of them lived during their studies.

The group, who all graduated between 1965 and 1968, explored the building, now being used as offices, and were even able to step foot inside their old bedrooms and kitchens. Amongst the group were:

  • Dr. Cathrine LeMaistre, née Anthony (BSc Chemistry and Physics 1966, PGCE 1967)
  • Elizabeth ‘Jimpy’ Newnham, née Parker (BA English, History and Geography 1967)
  • Diana Hillage  (BSc Pure Mathematics and Physics 1967, PGCE 1968)
  • Diana Lloyd (BSc Geography Politics and Economics 1968)
  • Pip Rhodes (Diploma in Social Administration 1965)
  • Dr. Celia Mappes née Baker (BSc Botany 1966, PhD 1969)
  • Brian Monckton (BSc Mathematics 1966, PGCE 1967)
  • Richard Hart (BSc Chemistry 1966, PGCE 1967)
  • Eileen Janet Hart née Curtis (Law and Sociology 1965)
  • Biz Bizzell

Speaking of the recent reunion, Jimpy said: “It was very special to be able to revisit [Lazenby] after more than 50 years. I was there for three years from 1963 to 1966 before moving out to a flat. It was such good place to live with that beautiful garden.

“We are still all emailing each other and reminiscing and exchanging photographs. It was a good reunion and it was great to be in Exeter again. There were only 1,800 students when I started and there are now over 21,000. It must be one of the most beautiful campuses in the country with all the fine old trees, splendid older buildings like Mardon Hall and Reed Hall, and the new buildings reflecting the contours of the site.”

Biz Bizzell also arranged the visit, contacting the alumni office for assistance. “We found Lazenby - where it had always been, in the grounds of Hope Hall. At first sight everything was recognisable, but the buildings that once were Ladies Halls of Residence are now Administration Buildings. By special arrangement we were allowed inside Lazenby and made very welcome by the present incumbents. The ‘girls’ were able to identify their old rooms and had a lovely time reminiscing - even though some of the memories conflicted. We had a great time so many thanks to everyone who made us so welcome.” he said.

If you are considering organising a reunion in Exeter, do get in touch and let us help you organise your visit by emailing alumni@exeter.ac.uk or calling +44 (0) 1392 723 141. 

The photo which started it all off.


(l-r): Pip Rhodes, Jimpy Newnham, Diana Hillage, Margaret Cowe, Cathrine LeMaistre, Diana Lloyd


Outside Lazenby: (l-r) Margaret Cowe, Cathrine LeMaistre, Diana Hillage, Jimpy Newnham, Pippa Rhodes, Diana Lloyd


In the Ram: (l-r) Diana Lloyd, Brian Monckton, Margaret Cowe, Richard Hart, Jimpy Newnham, Biz Bizzell


April 1965 outside Lazenby: (l-r) Diana Lloyd, Cathrine LeMaistre, Jimpy Newnham, Magaret Cowe, Pip Rhodes

Date: 8 September 2017

Read more University News