A new and improved Students’ Union bar

by Kate Coghlan on 4 October 2016

Last year the College completed the first phase of a large refurbishment project in the Paul Paget room in Oldham Hall. Now, thanks to a generous donation, we have managed to complete the project just in time to welcome new students for Michaelmas.

The Paul Paget room has provided a meeting place for students since Oldham Hall was built in 1989, and most of the furniture in the room was dated from that time, until this summer. The conservatory and new bar were constructed in 2005, and the room was knocked through to create an open space so that students could have access and ownership of a larger area. However, the majority of the furniture and furnishings remained unchanged. Various pieces of furniture were donated over time, including second hand sofas from another College last year, but the result was a mismatched and unwelcoming sight. The original artex ceiling was old fashioned, the vinyl floor was marked and the poor lighting added to the gloomy and dark feel of the place.







Our Domestic Bursar, Christine Houghton, started to investigate plans for refurbishment a year ago, and she liaised with students on a mood board which showed a Nordic style of furniture in more attractive colours. She planned to replace only the furniture in 2015/16 as phase one of the project, then to budget this year for phase two which included replacing the floor and ceiling, the lighting and the decoration.







Phase two was brought forward though thanks to a generous donation by Keith Maddocks, a long term supporter and neighbour of the College. Keith’s wife Susan had a friend who was a student at Lucy Cavendish, and this connection led to great things for the College.

Susan Maddocks studied later in life, gaining an Open University degree in the History of Art. She met her Lucy Cavendish friend at events organised by NADFAS, an arts-based educational charity. During visits to the College she could see the good work it did, and she realised its urgent need for funding. This led her to leave a legacy to the College when she died in 2005.

Mr Keith Maddocks and his daughters executed the will, and Keith was pleased to meet the President at the time, Dame Veronica Sutherland. He continued to support the College financially over the years, and whereas his wife preferred to support students with bursaries through her donations, Keith appreciated the need to grow the infrastructure of the buildings.

Keith attended the University of Manchester during the period when a generous donation enabled the building of a new Students’ Union on Oxford Road. The new building made a huge difference to his student life, so the idea of contributing to a new student bar at Lucy Cavendish appealed to him.

He said, “Improvements to student facilities in Manchester made a huge difference to my time there as a student so I’m glad to be able to support Lucy Cavendish in the same way. It seems like a good idea to me to help current and future students to get the most from their time here.”


Photo of Jackie Ashley, Sarah Westwood and Keith Maddocks at the opening of the new bar






The Student Union and arriving freshers have said that they are delighted with the new area and they have planned many bops, movie nights and socials there.

Domestic Bursar Christine Houghton said,

“The area is much more contemporary and welcoming. It is light and airy now, and the students can use it in a very flexible way. We are really pleased to have completed the full project in time for our new arrivals and our returning students.”


Photo: Jackie Ashley, Andrew Marr, representatives of the Students’ Union, Keith Maddocks and Lesley Thompson celebrate the opening of the new bar.

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