The REAL 18 things you’ll only remember if you went to university in Swansea in the 1990s

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I was so excited when this article flashed up on my Facebook page. 18 things you’ll only remember if you went to university in Swansea in the 1990s?! Yep, that’s me! I loved the four years I spent there – I made some amazing friends, met my future husband, and found my degree fascinating – and couldn’t wait to reminisce. Except this article did nothing to conjure up the amazing and colourful experience that I and, judging by posts on my Facebook page, thousands of others, had.

Yep, we cut out our 50p a shot tokens for the vodka bar from the student newspaper, The Waterfront (as a writer for the paper, I had an unlimited supply); and yes, we frequented The Potters Wheel (even back then the lack of an apostrophe confused me) and the Uplands Cafe… but I finished the article feeling rather deflated. It made the student experience at Swansea look miserable and grey, when it was anything but. So, for myself and all my other friends who were disappointed by the article, I present to you the REAL 18 things you’ll only remember if you went to university in Swansea in the 1990s.

1. Drinking pints from plastic cups on Fulton House steps every time the sun was shining

Situated in the centre of the university campus, Fulton House was home to exam and dining halls, cashpoint machines, the ENTs kiosk, a shop and other such things. However, it was the Fulton House steps that were the truly important part of this building. They were the place you arranged to meet anyone. It was the late 1990s – we didn’t have mobile phones back then so we had to pre-arrange. During my first year, I remember seeing a group of finalists celebrating their last exam with bottles of Champagne on Fulton House steps. I decided then and there I was going to do the same with my course mates and cried when we finally did. In the interim, I spent many a sunny hour or two, in between lectures, with a plastic pint glass filled with Fosters (£1.30 a pint, bargain!), sat on those steps, with hundreds of other students doing the same. Some days, you’d get treated to the male students having a game of football on the grass in front, too.

2. Getting all dressed up for the Beer Race
How could anyone who studied in Swansea not remember the sight of thousands of students all in home-made fancy dress, necking half a pint in various pubs, descending from Brynmill to town, culminating in a massive party in Ritzy’s? Particular highlights for me included the year someone in our team thought dressing up as Egyptians would be fun and, despite my better judgement (every year I wanted to be a cheerleader but no one listened to me), I went along with it. Given how much it rains in Swansea, it’s amazing we didn’t consider what would happen to our costumes should there be a downpour. We arrived at our final destination, covered in poster paint, our black Cleopatra style wigs clinging to our faces. One of my housemates could see so little through her wig, she even walked into a lamp post! Bitterly cold, drenched to the skin and worryingly sober, the rest of us were crying with laughter at her. We still talk about it to this day. The next year, we decided not to partake in the pub crawl bit and got drunk in our house and went straight to Ritzy’s instead. And I finally got to be a cheerleader.

3. Painting your face green and white for the annual Varsity match
Ah, I loved the Varsity match, the annual sports battle between Swansea and Cardiff Universities. All the sports teams took part, but the highlight for most was the men’s rugby firsts game. Those guys were legends in the university – no surprises in a country obsessed with rugby. We were on a winning streak while I was at Swansea Uni. Heck, we even went up to Twickenham one year and saw our boys become BUSA champions. The Varsity match alternated between Cardiff and Swansea. Faces painted green and white, we would either board the dozens of coaches headed for Cardiff, singing our way down the M4, or descend on the pubs around the stadium, a sea of green and white. “You are my Swansea, my only Swansea, you make me happy, when skies are grey…” or later in the night, “You’re going home in a Swansea ambulance”. My Swansea Uni rugby top still hangs in my wardrobe 14 years after graduating.

4. The queue to pee in the cave at the annual beach party
After the exams were over, thousands of students were bussed down to the beautiful Caswell Bay, for the Geography Society’s annual beach party. Cans of warm lager were served from the backs of vans, people lit BBQs, bands played… and a certain cave became designated toilet for the night. Even on a beach, wildly drunk, we still remembered our manners, and queued politely until it was our turn. The beach party got stopped in my final year due to health and safety concerns. Apparently a bunch of students got caught when the tide came in. It made me mad at the time but as a sensible grown up, now I can see the decision was probably for the best!

5. The England and Wales five nations match
Most English students don’t realise how passionately people in Wales feel about this particular rugby game until their first spring term at Swansea. All the union bars – JCs, Divas and Bar Hendre/Idols – would be full to bursting with English students singing about their sweet chariots and Welsh ones telling them where to stick them. The singing was deafening, but that was nothing compared to the drunken roars every time someone scored. I met my husband at Swansea. I’m Welsh, he’s English. We watched it together once in Divas. What was I thinking?! To this day, I can’t bear to watch the game with him.

6. Waiting for an hour to use the computers in the library…
Now that I’m a proper grown-up, I do some part-time lecturing at a university myself. My students each have their own Apple iMac, usually pimped with some crazy outer case. Back in the second half of the 1990s, we didn’t have computers in our student houses. Most of us hand-wrote our essays back then. It took forever and you had to decide whether to Tippex out your mistakes or start again, not to mention counting the number of words yourself. Towards the end of my degree, typing out essays became more common. This meant booking a slot on a computer at the library or waiting for an hour until one became available. You then had to print it out and hope your pages didn’t get stuck in the printer or mistakenly picked up by someone else.

7. …and the year someone discovered the photocopying code
I spent hours copying out relevant paragraphs from books in the uni library to help with essays and exam revision. If I was feeling particularly extravagant, I would load up my photocopying card and print off a few pages. And then someone discovered a photocopying code which allowed you to copy for free! News of this magic number spread like wildfire across campus and soon everyone was printing off whole chapters of books. I always wondered where the code came from. Did some department suddenly get presented with a bill of thousands of pounds? Whatever. It saved me a fortune at the time.

8. Queueing for an hour to get into Divas every Thursday, Friday and Saturday
We all knew that other university unions had their own full-scale nightclubs – but we adored Divas. It might have been small, but the combination of cheesey music, cheap alcohol and the adjoining Divas Diner made it a top night out. So much so, that some weeks you’d go there on a Thursday (karaoke night), Friday and Saturday. You had to get there an hour before it opened though and queue under the steps. Great fun in the Welsh winter. We found coke bottles topped up with vodka helped keep us warm. Finally, some bright spark in the ENTs team decided to sell tickets. It made it so much easier.

9. Getting the bus down to the air field for the annual summer ball
The summer ball never lived up to expectations. You’d always lose your friends or see the person you had a crush on snogging someone else. One year, one of my male housemates had five girls crying on him about some bloke or other at various points throughout the night. But I loved the bus ride there. Seeing a bunch of students dressed in (hired) tuxes and (high street) ball gowns was surreal. Especially the surfer dudes who you had only ever seen in shorts and flip flops no matter what the weather was doing. The queue for the bus was the first chance you got to see everyone all glammed up. It was only after graduating I realised how hilarious the sight of all of us in black-tie drinking from cans or plastic glasses must have been.

10. The Wednesday battle between AU night at Escape and funk night at Barons
Oh, I hated Barons. That terrible funk music that all sounded the same. How hot and smoky it was in there. The odd clothes people wore. Three of my house mates loved it though. The rest of us preferred sports night at Escape. Sporty men in suits plus cheesey music. What was there not to love?! This was a constant battle in my friendship group. I sometimes went to Barons begrudgingly but all night my mind ached for what was going on down the road at Escape. I had a severe case of FOMO before it was even a hashtag.

11. Chips and cheese at Kings Diner after Ritzy’s on a Monday night
You’d never go there during the day, but after a night of drinking and dancing at Ritzy’s, the discerning student would head to Kings Diner for chips and cheese. I remember some of my housemates telling me that chips, topped with grated cheese, was a Welsh thing. They’d never heard of it before coming to Swansea. I’m not sure if that’s true, but thick-cut chips, a good handful of grated Cheddar, topped with a shed load of salt and vinegar, was the perfect way to end a night out.

12. Jumping in a Yellow Cab
Bellies full of beer and chips, Swansea students relied on Yellow Cabs to take them home at the end of the night. £3 to the student village; about the same to Uplands or Brynmill. There were other cab firms in Swansea, but good old Yellow Cabs was by far the cheapest.

13. Dancing in the Knab Rock on the Mumbles Mile
In the mid-1990s, the Mumbles Mile was still great. I don’t think the locals especially liked the students turning up every Saturday, but it was before Wind Street took off and in the days when students wouldn’t have dreamed of going into town on at the weekend, so that’s what we did. I never did the whole mile. I never even tried. We’d have one in the White Rose, dash down to the William Hancock or the rugby club or somewhere else in between and then on to The Knab Rock, which later became The Hungry Bear. It was the best place for a boogie. Sometimes we’d head on to Neptunes or Cinderella’s but mostly we couldn’t be bothered. I met the man who is now my husband on the Mumbles Mile, outside the Knab Rock. His mate was pulling my mate and I got stuck talking to him. We didn’t get together until a year or so later, but it’s a special place to me.

14. Thinking your university residence was the best
We all laughed at the rich kids for wearing gowns to dinner at Clyne Halls. The kids in Sibly and Mary Williams pretended to laugh at those in Lewis Jones for peeing in their rooms (they had en suites rather than communcal bathrooms). The kids on campus laughed at those in the student village for having to get a bus to uni. But those of us who lived at Hendrefoelan knew what an amazing place it was. Our own little bar (Bar Hendre or Idols, depending on when you studied there) with fancy dress themed nights (I worked there and we absolutely loved hosting the theme nights), karaoke, film night, and quiz night; house parties every weekend; BBQs on the lawns outside our houses; sneaking onto the sports pitches after hours for a drunken kickabout. It was like Butlins. My next door neighbours even kept gold fish in their bath!

15. Spending a fortune at the book shop on campus
We didn’t have Amazon back then. We’d go to the bookstore on campus, order our books, and a week or two later they would arrive. Students these days don’t know how easy they have it.

16. The Smoking Dog living up to its name
It’s hard to remember the days when people still smoked in pubs… but, as anyone who ever drank in The Smoking Dog will testify, they sure did. This student pub would leave your eyes watering, your hair and clothes stinking, but we still loved it.

17. Going to Verdis with your parents

You’d never dream of taking them to any of the places you went to eat with your uni mates but this was one place you could guarantee a posh meal washed down with a gorgeous ice cream – and you didn’t have to pay a penny for it yourself. It was probably the only time you ever saw Mumbles sober.

18. The car that got swept to sea
Okay, so unless you were in my social circle at uni, you probably won’t remember this – but it’s too good not to share. It should become part of Swansea Uni folk lore. Some of my housemates decided they wanted to go and watch the sun rise in the Gower one morning. I didn’t go because I had something important on that day and couldn’t face waking up at the crack of dawn. He parked his car on the beach, they all walked off to enjoy the view…. and when he came back, the tide had come in and his car was floating away. People with tow ropes and bigger vehicles tried to help, and eventually it was rescued. The poor lad has never lived it down.

I’d love to hear your memories of Swansea Uni in the 1990s. It was a really special place to study.


*****************12 more things you may remember about Swansea Uni – ADDITION – 9th AUGUST 2014***********

Wow! I am in absolute shock at the response to this blog. At the time of writing, it has been read almost 11,000 times in countries across the world. Thank you all so much. I’m so thrilled you all have so many happy memories of your time in Swansea and I have really appreciated everyone’s comments, likes and shares. I’ve loved the people who have taken the time to share their memories both on this blog and on Facebook. You’ve helped me remember some more awesome things about Swansea – so, with thanks to those who have inspired me,  here you go:

19. Lunch in the refectory.

Resembling a giant school canteen, this is where you went for a hot meal between lectures. The food wasn’t great. Most things came with chips but you could get a plateful of hot grub for a couple of quid. Brilliant news for the hungover student with an empty fridge. I loved it for the people watching.

20. Tuesday all you can drink night at Spoofers

I had forgotten about this bar until a friend reminded me. Probably because it was one of those places where you had to pay an entrance fee and then you could drink as much as you like. Lethal.

21. The illegal rave in the quarry in the Village

Summer 1998, Idols had just closed up for the night and we all headed to the quarry at the top of the village for a full-scale illegal rave. There was music, there were lights, there was alcohol, there were (probably, I guess) drugs. We were having an awesome time…. and then the police descended and that was it. I seem to remember it was a guy called Adam who organised it, but I may be wrong. Whoever, it was such a surreal experience.

22. Super Nintendo and his green cat

Another one for people who lived in Hendrefoelan. The university gave him the job title Super Intendant and he was the man in charge of the Village. Being students though, he was universally known as Super Nintendo, after the games console. He knew that’s what we called him and I think he secretly loved it. He drank in Idols a lot and was lovely. I don’t actually remember this myself, but someone who commented on this blog told me that his cat got painted green! Wow!

23. Getting to Icon and Ritzy’s early on Thursday 80s night and buying Decoder for 80p a bottle

That drink was vile. But it was 80p a bottle, I think, if you got to the club before 10pm. And so we drank it. Even thinking about the taste of Decoder makes me want to puke. But the music was cool.

24. Queuing for hours to use the payphones

This was definitely true for those of us who lived in the student village. Hubby tells me it was the same in halls. Standing there with a pile of change, in the cold, while the person in front of you chatted away for eternity. You could guarantee as soon as they finished their call and you were ready to phone home, someone’s sixth form sweetheart would call up and ask you to knock on their door to fetch them. You’d then have to wait another hour before you could call home. Or you’d give up and leave it another week to call home – or perhaps your folks would page you wondering if you were still alive. It wasn’t until my third and fourth year that mobile phones started appearing everywhere. I remember the first people in my gang to get mobiles debating different packages and tariffs. I thought it was all so unnecessarily I wrote a big rant in The Waterfront about it. Oh, how little I knew! I genuinely don’t know how I would cope without my iPhone these days!

25. Doing all your banking at Lloyds in the Taliesin building

How many of you reading still have a bank account with a Swansea sort code? Students like an easy life and so many of us banked with Lloyds purely because it was there. I remember the frustrations of housemates who banked elsewhere having to pay to withdraw their money on campus, or borrowing money until we got to town and they could go to their own bank and not get charged. Half the time people only used to withdraw a fiver anyway.

 26. Nicknaming The Tafarn on the Lake The Pub on the Pond – and then being amazed when it changed its name to the latter

It was the pub next to campus that you’d go to for a treat or when your parents were visiting. Students, being students, called it Pub on the Pond. And then it bemused us by relaunching with that very name. Well, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.

27. The bollards in Singleton Hospital

The bus route to uni went through the hospital… and over the scariest looking bollards, which disappeared into the ground as the bus went over them. As one reader of this blog commented, “Everyone knew someone who had seen the bollards lift a car up. But you never saw it yourself.”

28. Café Mambo on the Kingsway

Ah, they did such amazing cocktails there! It was the place everyone went to warm up before departmental or society balls or for someone’s birthday. It felt so decadent back then.

29. Tea for £1 at the Fly Half and Firkin

That pub certainly knew its student market. And then we’d all buy a four-pint pitcher for £4.  Fed and drunk for less than a fiver! Or was that just me? Hubby and I had our first proper  date there. Classy.

30. The time someone stole the owl statue from outside the Talisein
It was three-foot tall and made out of copper. Yet still someone managed to carry it home! It made the Waterfront and the Evening Post. Damn students and their beer trophies. It did finally get returned. Imagine trying to sneak that out of your house and back to campus?!

Happy days indeed!


Have you had children since leaving Swansea Uni? If so, you might find this blog amusing…. 20 differences between weekends before and after children.

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77 Comments to The REAL 18 things you’ll only remember if you went to university in Swansea in the 1990s

  1. John Legge

    Great article Cath, Still remember the car incident and Al getting presented a ‘car in a bottle’s at the footy awards that year. Great times never to be forgot! Jxx

    • I went to Swansea uni 1997-1999

      I miss the friends I made a lot there

      And my god we had some laughs

      Divas, ritzys Barons, steak by night, mayhem in the kitchen
      In Lewis Jones

      Sunday all dayers in the firkin pub

      Mr D,s

      I remember in October we had a Halloween and bonfire party in king Edward rd
      We set fire to the furniture in out house loads of people turned up
      So wrecked it’s was crazy and funny at the time

      Driving Oliver’s vauxhall car half drunk into the uni entrance
      And down the Revine on the left

      Close shaves with the law at house parties

      Can’t quite believe we are now 15 years later !

      So many more memories and So much I can’t quite remember
      But it was an amazing place

      If like to know of anyone can tell me how I can get in
      Touch with those I met at Swansea

      James A Jenkins
      Politics graduate

      • Sounds like you had some fab times. Such a great university to go to.
        I think if you contact the Swansea Alumni association, via the main uni website they may be able to put you in touch with people.

  2. Elizabeth Stanley

    camping in the dunes at Three cliffs bay – 8 of us with a 2 man tent and only 3 sleeping bags! Much doubling up occurred as even in the summer it gets blooming freezing cold
    Answering the phone outside house 13 (after it ringing non stop for what seemed like hours) pretending to be a takeaway and then hearing Uma’s voice on the other end.
    Oh and the exciting day that you could text on a mobile – only a handful of us had phones which made our excitement really daft but fun
    Bank holidays at the Olchfa – they had the game bash the rabbit for a whole day! We clearly thought it was great to bash seven bells out of this with full tummies of beer, everyone else however thought otherwise! the 2nd day we went back it was switched off and we were greeted with many frowns – sorry (but it was so much fun)
    Can anyone else remember the nightclub in the gower that was rubbish but with a free bus and free entry went anyway?
    The student ball was the best – swigging out of bottles of wine seems insane now and going on the big wheel and high swings seems insane now but was great at the time
    as for Bar Hendre – Mr D and Cuddly Dave were awesome
    | miss you Swansea Uni and miss the student village more, especially House 20

    • How could I have forgotten queuing for the pay phones in the student village?! I always got stuck behind someone chatting for hours.
      Your camping trip sounds fun! X

      • Elizabeth Stanley

        blimey, the queuing. I used to give up pretty quickly then end up with a letter asking me to phone home when i had the time, i was pretty awful at calling home

  3. Rhys Thomas

    Hey John!

    Great article Cath! I thought it was weird when the original article said about Wind Street when no one went there before 1998. I used to look forward to my hot dog with chilli sauce and chips in Divas Diner more than Divas itself…

  4. I worked at Divas and JCs for most of student experience which made it much more fun. But the Hendre bar quiz night was epic and I didn’t even live the village always follow the party on somewhere!

    • Working in a student bar is the best job you can have at university. Basically being paid to chat to your friends and meet people. I worked at Idols for three years and loved it! We always used to cover at Divas when they had their staff nights out. We basically used to get drunk on their alcohol…. they did the same when they covered our nights out too though, so only fair 🙂

  5. Brett Suddell

    Excellent article Cath, thanks for taking the time to write these great memories down. Brought back many happy memories for me and i had a few laughs whilst reading. I look at the students in Swansea now and think they miss out on so many of the great times we had. For instance, their summer ball is now in the Abbey meadow, and the dress code is smart/casual – not a black tie in sight! and certainly not on the scale of the Summer Balls held on the airfield. Such a shame Hendre is closing next year to be demolished and turned into a new housing estate 🙁 times do change but it’s important to remember the good times and share with others.

    • Oh that’s such a shame the ball has been down-scaled. I loved getting all dressed up and seeing all the guys in their tuxedos. I’m sure the students there are having as awesome a time as we did though. It’s such a lovely university. I remember on my open day noticing that everyone was smiling and that was one of the things that sold it to me. I’m gutted the village is being knocked down. It was such a special place to live.

  6. I remember celebrating with friends on the steps of Fulton House with a bottle of champagne at the end of exams – be funny if we were the group you saw although I’m sure hundreds did that! Sad to hear Hendre is going 🙁 Sibly girl myself – was the best hall and so many good memories there:-)

    • Best way to celebrate! My hubby was a Sibly boy, he loved it there too. Thanks for reading the blog. It’s lovely to know so many people have such happy memories of Swansea too. It was an amazing place to study.

  7. Great article Cath. I was there in the early 90s when gnarled up tapes of Jamiroquai, Oasis, Nirvana, Galiano, Corduroy, and REM span in countless damp student hovels and in the musty Mandela Bar. Back then there was a slightly shorter queue for the massive IBM computers in the EBMS building than the library, but the frustration with loosing a days work thanks to a dodgy floppy disc was equally painful. We researched essays with CD rooms and photocopied books because the information superhighway hadn’t extended far enough along the M4. I think it was Ritzy on a Monday night and Central Park on a Friday with curry sauce and chips to follow (though sometimes had the cheese option!) it was the Mumbles mile every Sat for sure, early shift from 5 if the rugby was on and later for a second wind. Also liked the Knab Rock (why DID they change it to the Crazy Bear?!), but the Antelope was favourite (why why why Delilah?) How did Vincent put up with 1000s of students every week and why did we wait an hour in Cinderella’s “collectors bar” drinking warm Special Vat cider to enter one of the nations tackiest and stickiest clubs? Happy to say I was at Clyne, though was neither rich nor wore a gown…we all laughed at each other though, let’s face it. The location was amazing, on the hill with sea views in between Mumbles and town. I met my future wife in the Woodman, and have now taught my kids how to make Welsh cakes, inspired by Davies baker in Mumbles and the amazing indoor market. I still have a Lloyds bank account thanks to the handy Taliesin branch, still own a UCS sports top..the green canvass thing, still think of King Edward Road when I see a Cricketers pub. One word to summarise the whole thing – TIDY!

    • Sounds like you have so many happy memories of Swansea too. Tidy indeed! Glad you were also a fab of the Knab Rock, I loved it there. Home made Welsh cakes are the best! Sounds like you need to take your little ones back to Swansea to see where it all began for Mummy and Daddy, if you haven’t already! Thanks so much for your comment. This blog has gone well and truly viral, 7,000 views and counting! Obviously so many people had the BEST time at Swansea.

  8. Ken Penton

    Hi Cath,

    Lovely piece.

    I’m the SU President whose main legacy appears to have been securing a bar in the union – Divas. I’m glad you -and most of the people who have commented on your blog – enjoyed it!

    Ken Penton (SU President 1992-93)

  9. The House 49 end of term party when the whole student village turned up and the locals were up on the roof. The illegal rave in the quarry that the police busted. Someone painting Super Nintendo’s cat green. Waiting an hour for the washing machines to make your clothes 2% cleaner. England 60-Wales 24. Walk of shame in a crumpled tux. ‘The Beast’ breakfast. Pitch invasions at the Vetch. Happiest days ever!

      • Amazing. I lived in House 49. I remember sticking up a few posters and not expecting much and then it went mad. Alex was DJing out of his bedroom window for the crowd on the lawn. The lights got knocked out of their fittings and so many people walked on them they just ground into dust. Do you remember when the police cut the music at the rave and all went quiet and then Lewis from house 43 fell off the side of the quarry!

        • It was a fab party! We lived in house 19 at the time. I remember some of the guys in your house – I used to work in Idols. One of your housemates was a surfer guy and one of my friends had a big crush on him ha ha! The quarry party was crazy although I don’t remember the guy falling! Was he okay?

      • Yeh, Lewis was fine, it was hilarious! Super Nin tried to start a fight with us when we were walking down from the quarry! The surfer would’ve been Dolan or Callum, I still see them both now and again. Cheers for prompting some great memories.

        • I’ve loved hearing everyone else’s memories too, it’s reminded me of so many things I’d forgotten about. I’d even forgotten everyone called him Super Nintendo! So funny!

  10. Neptune’s and Cinders both missed your list, may their sticky floors rest in peace. Drink a pub dry night at the Cricketers was memorable, at least the half I remember. All you can eat curry at any number of dodgy curry houses on St Helens Road.

    • I’m not a curry fan but I remember my house mate being mortified that the guy in her favourite curry house knew her voice and where she lived when she rang up to order take away!
      I briefly mentioned Neptune’s and Cinders in the bit about the Mumbles, but I very rarely made it that far to be honest. I loved the Knab Rock so we’d often just stay there dancing to all the cheesy music. Happy days!

  11. Brian O'Connor

    I had one year there and it was my best year in college.
    What was the name of the bar in the student village? The run up to the World Cup in 98 was great fun in there as were many football matches and nights of karaoke.
    FYI- the chemistry society also had a fantastic beach party

  12. Drinking in JCs so much in the first year we got invited to Tony’s wedding! All the Greek engineering students just about lasting 40minutes in a lecture before piling out to smoke 5 fags and call each other Malaka! LovDup nights in the refectory. Falling through the glass front of the on campus kebab shop! Oops… The Wales England games oof! Trashing JCs the last night before the refurb in 93(?). Indie night in Barons (Bang Bang Machine!). Barons mix tapes! Local dub reggae band Ashaman. Missing one or two lectures chatting to lovely old ladies on the walk in from Brynmill. Nipping up the Uplands Tavern, cashing a £30 cheque knowing full well you had no money. Couple of Lowenbrau and into the chippy for the biggest 50p(?) chip butty known to mankind. Tramps for the hardcore nights! The Gower <3. Wind Street = Rat and Parrot for some cheap cheap smelly old man drinking. Wind Street also = The Coach & Horses. I'm sure some of you will have bought a coke and gone out the back ;o)

  13. This is a great article….. Thougt I might shared memories also!

    Being disappointed when they closed the corridor between divas and JCs

    Drinking Fromm a Chalice of plastic glasses in divas

    Pizza with garlic salt from Mr Ds in uplands

    Discovering wind street in your last year. (As it only just opened)

    Vodka red bull 50p in spoofas

    Asking the bar staff in Ritzy & Central Park to use a dirty glass as they had run out of clean ones.

    Central Park on a Thursday. When they opened the adjoining door to ritzy

    When icon opened wondering why the sign said “SCON”

    Gaining a ‘gallon’ ‘one over the eight’ or ‘hand puller’ t shirt in the fisherman and firkin

    Arguing with a townie in Yates wine bar

    Weighing up the benefits of a green bus pass or buying a bike to get from hendefoilan to uni

    Sunday roast at the Olchfa House or Steak and chips at the black boy as a treat.

    Happy hour at the village inn Killay.

    That bizarre palm tree area in escape

    Dressing up for funk night in barons

    Walking home from cinders

    Balancing on the planks of wood & stones to get past the puddle on the way from Brynmill to Uni through singleton park

    Looking in awe at the bollards that disappeared into the ground when the bus went through the hospital to the uni. Everyone knew someone who had seen the bollards lift a car up. But you never saw it yourself.

    Having a lift from Hendrefoilan to the uni from a mate who had a car and trying to sneak into singleton hospital car park.

    Enjoying a burger from hendre diner still frozen in the middle.

    Queuing for the communal pay phone in reception of your Hendrefoilan block (mine was 136-144) when the person in front finished on the phone the bloody thing would ring !

  14. The good lady wife (who i got together with in funk night in Barons!) has added…

    Cocktails in cafe mambo on kings way

    Cleaning for a house inspection

    And some more from me..
    Putting a poster over the hole in a wall from your drunken antics

    Creating a beer wall from empty cans of beer.

    • Oh yes, Mambos! I loved that place! And those house inspections when none of the hoovers ever worked! Who ever would have thought Barons was such a hotbed of romance – I hated it there!

  15. Dave Griffiths

    Hey Cath. I wondered who’d written this article and lo and behold it was you! Hope all is good with you. Glad you’re still writing. Loved my time at Swansea. In fact the flat in the original photo we had was the one we had in our first year. Good times. Sad to hear they’re knocking down the village but I guess times move on. Oh and that legendary car being washed out to sea really did happen in 1994. It was my housemates car. He managed to salvage the car and cleaned the engine parts afterwards in our shower at the village.

  16. Dave! Someone else washed a car out to sea too?!?! I thought it was just my housemate who did it! In 1996. I can’t believe someone else did that too!! Hilarious! My friend’s car wasn’t salvageable though! Yep, still writing, been freelance since 2007. Hope all good with you. X

  17. Robin Appleby

    Thanks for this…such happy memories. I was there in the late 90s and met my wife in the shadows of Ritzy. A few additional memories from me…

    As a resident of Beck in the first year, every week involved a fire alarm in the early hours caused by someone smoking in their room.

    Monday nights out involved trips to Ritzys with the biggest bouncers in the world (litterally the size of a double door), stocking up on alcoho-pops (lime woodys, V2, decoder) early before the prices went up, hearing about the massive girls toilets complete with sofas (I never saw them) and then stumbling out for a chicken tikka nan kebab on the way home from Alamin.

    Other food related memories are fish fingers, chips and beans in ‘cheap and cheerful’ in the refectory for only £1 and going for a curry at 3 in the morning on St Helens Road just because you could!!

    The summer ball was the ultimate hilight though. I’ll never forgt the excitement building up to it where rumours spread about who was playing – Robbie Williams, Kylie etc. We settled for Echobelly, My Life Story and St Etienne!!

    Thanks again for sharing!

    • Glad it prompted some happy memories for you and I love your additions too.
      Decoder… That was hideous but we still drank it! I loved having lunch in the refectory. More for the people watching than the food though!

  18. Loads better than the first stupid article!!

    My housemates Jo and Will were arrested from the rave, and taken on a magical mystery tour of South Wales police stations as they were all full! Got home really early next morning looking real sleepy! They weren’t charged with anything as they hadn’t actually done anything!

    Oh, and Idols was clearly the best uni bar in the city!

  19. Sorry I was not there in the 90’s, I was there in the late 60’s (close, whats 30 years between friends?).
    I remember Rag Balls with “The Who” and “Eric Clapton”. Always the BBQs on the beach and ever present bonfires to keep warm, the pub crawls around Swansea, not sure if anyone ever got right round without making a pavement pizza! I remember the Anarchist marches, was never sure what they protested about, but were always fun affairs.
    I also remember being chased, along with a few dozen others around Rotherslade Bay by the police after we had all been skinny dipping. – Fun times but so long ago!!!

    • Sounds like it was just as fantastic in the 60s as it was in the 90s then! Thanks so much for sharing your memories, looks like you got better bands than we ever did! My godfather was there in the 70s and he tells some amazing stories about students taking over the academic registry in protest over something. I don’t think students are so political these days!

    • Aw Jess, this was the first ever blog post I shared with people. I’d been blogging in secret until that point. The response was amazing with so many people sharing their Swansea memories. Happy days! X

  20. So this blog came up in my FB feed 2 years after being written – but no less relevant! Great times!

    I was there from ’96-2000. Lived at Hendre during 1st year, Brunswick St in 2nd, disappeared to Canada for my third before returning to Brynmill for my 4th year. Worked at Divas on Friday nights and also for Comedy nights whenever that was.

    Fulton House steps were the centre of the universe, summer days could get wasted sitting there for hours. I definitely remember spending several hours there waiting for the final lecture of the day, and then deciding not to bother going and staying on the steps instead.

    Noticeboards- I remember having to check a noticeboard several times a day to keep track of team selection and fixture arrangements for the hockey club.

    I also remember having to go on a course before I was allowed to drive the AU minibus.

    Strangest memory was realising in the middle of an exam that the building the exam was held in had been featured on Challenge Anneka a few years previously!

    Great times – and my rent was only £45 per week, bills included.

    • Cardiff Mummy Says

      Thanks so much for your comment – yes, the post is almost two years old but has suddenly gone viral again. Glad it brought back some happy memories for you – it really was such a special place to go to uni. We were there the same time then. I did a four-year course from 1996-2000 and also lived in the village in my first year. I worked in Idols… but was a regular at Divas. I’m sure we must have met at some point! Good times.

  21. Hey does anyone remember the Great Bus Pass Forgery Scandal of around 1997-98? Someone got busted for creating fake buss passes. It was a huge deal. From the States!

    • Ha! That was my housemate Dodgy Dave…best part was when he found out he’d been rumbled and hastily disassembled his PC, leaving parts of it at different peoples houses all around the student village.

  22. 20 years passed. I spent 4+ years in the Uni, the best of my life. I wish I could come again (did it once back in 2011). I don’t know you but I loved your article. All the memories we have, are not saved on a hard disk or a memory card but on our heart. Greek hugs and kisses

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