Elvet Bridge

King's College

Sharing our alumni's fond memories from King's College.

A Brief History

Durham University has had a long association with Newcastle. What is now the university was part of Durham University until 1963.

The association started in 1852 when the School of Medicine, founded in Newcastle in 1834, became Durham University’s College of Medicine, enabling its students to receive medical degrees.

The university also established a College of Physical Science in Newcastle in 1871, teaching courses and awarding degrees in the Pure and Applied Sciences. This became the College of Science in 1884 and then Armstrong College in 1904. Meantime, the Newcastle School of Art, founded in 1837, became part of this college in 1888, enabling the university to teach and award degrees in the fine and decorative arts. The Sunderland technical College, founded in 1901, began to be able to submit students onto Durham University courses at Armstrong and be awarded Durham degrees from 1930.

In 1937 Durham University was formally federalised with twin campuses: Durham Colleges in Durham and King’s College in Newcastle. They were headed by a warden and rector respectively, who alternated the top job of vice-chancellor. By this stage, many of the Pure Science subjects were also being taught in Durham, and many of the Arts subjects were being taught in Newcastle. Students usually graduated in their own location but could do so in either. After various discussions and proposals, the two campuses finally separated in 1963 with the creation of Newcastle University out of King’s College. Some joint committees continued for a while, and students who had started at King’s before 1963 could choose to graduate from Durham University rather than Newcastle.


Ricki P


Roy Springett


Geoffrey Chaytor

David Rees (Dentistry, King's College, 1957-62)

Being involved in rag week in the construction of the dental school float which was a mock up of the newly invented hovercraft, nicknamed the flying bedstead! All our year boarded the scaffolding made bed in nightwear.The bed had been loaded on the back of a flatbed truck and we went off down the road to join all the other floats to join the parade. We hadnt realised that when it was loaded onto the truck the mock up propeller blade on the top just narrowly cleared the overhead trollybus power lines.

When I graduated in 1962 I went to birmingham , my home town, worked in general practice and for the school dental service, started my own practice, sold it after a few years. Then I went to work for beecham dental research in Surrey. During this period I got married and had 2 kids. I went back into general practice in Horsham then the Isle of Wight for a few years, until I moved back to Guildford to work for 20 years until I sold the practice and retired.


Patricia Hussey


Ian Kenyon


Leslie Scarth

Ed Barbeau (Mathematics, King's College, 1961)

I went to Newcastle as a Commonwealth Scholar in 1961 to do my doctorate in mathematics, and graduated in 1964, choosing to obtain my degree from the University of Newcastle/Tyne. I had just married, which was quite unusual at the time. I have some very pleasant memories of Newcastle and of the North-East in particular (and was amused to be very close to places with names like New York, Washington and Toronto).

When we arrived in Newcastle, the Registrar, Mr.Hanson, with whom I had some earlier communication, had died and his widow had created a flat in their house in Melton Park that we rented for our first two years at 7 guineas a month (quite high in British terms, but very standard in Canadian terms).

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Development and Alumni Relations Office
The Palatine Centre
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0191 334 6305

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