Saturday, 25 September 2010

Addendum to Ushaw College Photo Essay Number Five (posted 17/05/2010)

LD sends me this update to my last post:
You said in your blog:
The furthest Ball Place was the scene of an outdoor Mass to which the whole diocese was invited; thousands turned up but I am not sure of the occasion - I think it could have been the 150th anniversary of the founding of Ushaw in 1958 - I am sure that someone will be able to tell me (us).
Actually, Father, there were two great occasions in the 1950s and you would probably have attended both of them.  The first was on Sunday 2nd September 1951 which was to commemorate the 1300 anniversary of the death of St. Aidan, the first Bishop of Lindisfarne.  According to the official report it was attended by Cardinal Griffin and 15 archbishops and bishops and attracted a crowd of 40,000.  The rally was described as the greatest Catholic demonstration in Durham within living memory. Pope Pius XII sent a telegram to Cardinal Griffin and expressed “our cordial felicitations on this happy occasion.” I have a 20 page (A4 size) memorial booklet of the occasion [published by the Weekly Chronicle, Newcastle upon Tyne, for 1s.6d] and I am sure you will recognise some of the clergy – particularly Mons. Paul Grant, the President of the College, and Canon E. Wilkinson of St. Mary’s Cathedral.
The second occasion was indeed the 150th anniversary of the college.  On this occasion a Pontifical Mass was sung by the Apostolic Delegate to Great Britain and 40,000 attended this celebration – including myself.  I remember taking a photograph of Archbishop Heenan which I come across from time to time in my photo box. Fr David Milburn in his book A History of Ushaw College, also said that the celebrations afforded the opportunity of asking for £50,000 for further improvement, the first general appeal made by the college in a hundred years.  £50,000 could buy a lot in those days and this paid for new ablutions for the older students and washing facilities in the priests rooms, an intercom system, new garages, refitting the kitchens, virtually a new swimming pool, the complete overhaul of the power and heating supply, modernising the laundry, an extra laboratory, and the renovation of the domestics quarters.
(Thank you Leo.  And I may add that it must have been on this latter occasion that we had a Son et Lumiere presentation of the history of Douai and Ushaw, with the front of the College being the 'screen' for the presentation.)

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