Pater Noster.

Pater Noster.

Hi there!
Thanks for popping in.
Friday’s blog a private peek, right?

Well, I’ve been in Manchester in thought all week, 
as, I should imagine, have most of us.

Although just not able to tap into the news and constant updates, 
I have been there in spirit undeterred.
Don’t need to be told the details of tragic loss and travesty.
But there’s nothing like a senseless, barbaric, vicious attack on innocents to rightsize all the banalities of your own life, is there?

Quite by chance I came across this old photo of Mum, Dad, Steve and myself at my graduation from Salford. 

I didn’t get a brilliant degree, but I got one.
Spent way too much time partying and having fun.
It was a miracle I got one at all really!
But hey! I finished the course, 
and got to strut my stuff in a mortar board for a day.

See the building on the right?
That was the Maxwell Building or Tower as I recall.
Back in the day, that was where we held all the big gigs and concerts. I worked in the Union bar (of course!) and got to see loads of great bands coming through in the late 70’s.
The bar was situated below the auditorium, so we would serve drinks until the gig started, clean up, and then go watch the band for free.
I remember the night Bob Geldof was playing with the Boomtown Rats. We were still mopping up downstairs, but we could hear the very, very loud music. The audience was going nuts, pogoing in unison (as you did to punk music), and we could see the windows in the bar below literally bowing under the load. So one of the security guards went on stage and asked young Geldof
to get the crowd to stop pogoing, because it was compromising the structure of the building. So what did the young Irish prat do? Yep, he kicked off about the establishment, and about the system, and he incited them to jump even higher in unison.
The windows started popping, cracks quickly started appearing in the bar below, we ran for our lives, the concert was stopped, the building was evacuated.
And the building remained closed for the rest of my years at Salford. Maxwell Hall was deemed unsafe and required a complete rebuild. Our language faculty was at the very top of the building, and we couldn’t use it any more. We were farmed out to other engineering blocks on campus and along the Crescent for the remainder of my time there. It was a shambles.

So every time I hear or see Geldof on TV, the first thing that goes through my mind is that that stroppy little shyster caused an entire 12-storey building to close down. Do you hear about that? Nope. You hear all about Live Aid and Sir Bob, but you never hear about the chaos he caused at Salford University. 

One of the best things about the Linguistics faculty on the 11th and 12th floors was the Pater Noster lifts. If you aren’t familiar with them, they are lifts without doors, like a continuous, ever-moving chain of revolving compartments, and you just had to jump on and off at the appropriate level.  
(appropriately translated: Our Father/The Lord’s Prayer. I think it was thus named because the construct resembled a chain of rosary beads. But we used to tell visitors it was because you were well advised to say your prayers before jumping on or off!) 

Look! I found a photo from the Salford Uni archives.
Cor blimey! That brought back memories.   

At first, the Pater Nosters were pretty terrifying.
But once you got used to them, they were easy to navigate.
And the café was on the top floor, so there was a constant stream of people pouring upwards and downwards.
It really was great. I think they’ve done away with them now. Health & Safety to the rescue!

Ahh but those were the days, my friend.

Love & Hugs,

31 thoughts on “Pater Noster.

  1. What fabulous memories Barb. Sadly not something those poor families in Manchester will ever be able to do. My heart really does go out to all those families and those still in hospital. It truly is heartbreaking. Xxxx

  2. Great memories. Not sure I could have coped with those lifts, I do not like them at the best of times. I looked at your graduation photo an it immediately refreshed my memory of our kids graduation days. Gosh they seem a long while ago now. Our youngest moved into his new house today with his lovely girlfriend, last one settled now. Made me realise how lucky I am to be seeing my family growing up something which has been denied to so many. xx

  3. What a brilliant blog Barbara. Thank you for sharing your treasured memories with us. You haven't changed a bit, wouldn't need to be told it was you in that photo. Same with your dad too. I've got a science degree, did it part time later on, developed CFS half way through, (the degree course wasn't the trigger, just coincidental). Hope delving into your memories have helped calm you in your head, and taken you to a better place, even if just for a short time.

    I know what you mean about banalities. I got sad earlier when I saw Hochanda's so called exciting news – only going to broadcast until 7pm on freeview. Sad that I'll miss Clarity shows, as I need to record and watch in my time in bits. Then I immediately thought of Manchester, and further afieled, and that right-sized it all…

    Hope you can have a lovely weekend, just chilling and doing what you want to do.
    Love Brenda xx

    1. You will be OK Brenda. I can only watch on freeview or on my pc which doesn't stream well. However according to Hayley on the Hochanda fb page the ODS launch will be on at 6 pm so we won't miss shows! Hochanda will be on now from 6 am til 7pm on freeview. I do wish that Virgin Media would air it!
      Hugs Jane xxx

    2. Thank you for that info Jane. Yay, we won't miss much if anything of Clarity shows as they normally are on earlier, maybe just a later ODS show if they do one. Guess they must be needing to save money, although they'll lose sales as a lot of people can only watch in the evening. I've tried recording on my pc but it was pretty rubbish picture quality. Hugs back Xx

  4. Thanks for sharing your wonderful memories. When I was doing my master's at Essex University they had a pater noster lift in their library building – never used it myself, but other's used to hop on and off without a worry! I've been watching the Chelsea flower show to lift my spirits this week, and it's worked it's magic x

  5. Hi Barbara, lovely photo of all of you. Apart from 'I don't like Mondays' I'm not a fan of Bob Geldof, even less now! It seems alcohol follows you around what with your blog about optics the other day !

    I remember they had a Pater Noster lift in Oxford's Biochemistry Department, I only went on it once up and once down and couldn't help but wonder what happened if you didn't get off at the top floor, did it just go over the top and around agin !! It was a bit scary. X

  6. Gosh Barbara you have taken this golden oldie back to the UNI days and after. While I was studying, I worked at ICI and they had Pater Noster lifts. I jumped in on someone the first time I used it and wrapped my umbrella round him! He was only one of the chief exes! Second time I misjudged getting out and twisted my ankle. But I think the silliest was – my friend and I decided to do a round trip – we thought we would be squashed when the lift reached the top or the bottom. Yes we also thought the earth was square.
    Thank you for bringing back my memories too – they certainly were the days.
    Peaceful, happy weekend to everyone.
    Love Anne (Reading)

  7. I love hearing all your memories come back too. Isn’t it interesting, how we can recall like this? Aren’t humans actually amazing? Capable of so much! And I mean good!

  8. Hi Barbara
    What lovely memories today, oh yes I'd recognise your family, not changed a bit, just a tad older!! Those lifts sound quite scary. You must have seen some great bands over the years, and some sights! Wow pogoing bringing the building down, that's some power but what problems it caused for you for the rest of the years you were there. Hope you get a chance to enjoy the sunshine this weekend.
    Love Diane xxx

  9. Your blog is brilliant today Barbara! The photo of you at your graduation is fantastic… Your mum and you look identical and your Steve is the spitting image of your dad!
    It made me think back to my uni days. Whereas you came up the country to Manchester I went down to Bath to the teacher training college. Our site was built behind one of the beautiful crescents and the student accommodation was in the crescent itself. We had a resident matron to look after us girls….home economics meant it was mostly girls that chose this course when I was at uni in 1979-1982. So this matron was to keep her eye on us and had certain rules if we were to entertain a gentleman guest…. Haha! Let me tell you about that sometime!
    I think my uni days were magic! I did enough to get my degree but made sure I enjoyed being a student as fully as possible. Bath has a lot of really happy memories for me and those include Colin too…I got engaged to him before I went to uni and married the year I graduated and yet people doubted we'd last! Ha!
    Can't believe I graduated 35 years ago…seems like yesterday sometimes! Still they do say that the happiest memories are the strongest!
    Whilst there is so much sadness on the news and around us it's good to think happy thoughts.
    Hope you have a good weekend
    Love and hugs xxxx

  10. Ha ha that brought back memories of my early physiotherapy life at St.Thomas' hospital in London Barb where we also had pater nosters, for staff use only. I agree it was terrifying but a really quick way of getting around, saved waiting for the real lifts!. I was amazed to hear about the damage Bob G caused, these days a uni would probably sue for damages (quite rightly!) Enjoy the bank holiday weekend and this gorgeous weather xx

  11. I remember feeling very cool and impressed with myself as a very young 17 year old being invited to a party there. The party wasn't all that, everyone seemed soooo old so off we headed to find some fun. I was the one nominated to see what happened when the lift reached the top. Guess what, it didn't even turn upside down! We were mesmerised with them until that point. Ended up returning to the paty after having all our illusions and theories shattered. I did actually get a kiss from a boy that i liked but he turned out to be a bit boring. There was no way he was going over the top in them lifts! Great glimpse into your little world.

  12. They had those lifts at Crawley College – fortunately never had to use them as we were in the Annex. Your story of the pop concerts brought back many memories. My brother was in a rock group in the 60s and used to be a support group for many of the big stars gigs at Uni's around the country. They travelled in an old white van, complete with a huge double keyboard organ at one time. He then progressed to a more manageable one – and the girls used to go wild when he played it with his feet! Those were the days!

  13. Great memories Barbara and what a wonderful photo of you all at your graduation. It is good to reminisce sometimes and remember those landmark occcasions. Thanks for sharing these memories with us. x

  14. Hi Barb,
    Brilliant blog today with your reminiscences. Your graduation picture is lovely, you've not changed at all. Never been on a Pater Noster lift but they did remind me of a ski trip I was on in my first year of teaching. It was to a little village called La Feclaz in France and we had to take the kids up the mountain on a ski lift. However, this lift consisted of individual cages that just went around on a loop ( sort of a sideways Pater Noster) The only problem was that one of the little darlings got a bit scared when it was time to get off and ended up going back down the mountain! There was nothing we could do but wait for her to come back up and just pull her off! I had visions of getting the sack when I got back to school, but fortunately everything worked out well and we all did a bit of cross country skiing back down. I haven't even thought about that since Easter 1977!!!! Funny thing memories. On a different note, my sale goodies arrived today – thank you for getting them out so quickly – brilliant service as ever. Love and hugs Alison xxx

    1. Hi bloggy friends,
      Hope you've all coped with the heat today. We went down to RSPB reserve at Ousefleet and the journey back was horrendous – there was an accident on the opposite side of the motorway and we were stuck in traffic because of the rubberneckers. Then we were held up for nearly an hour through roadworks on the A1- I thought at one point I was going to melt! Love and hugs, Alison xxx

  15. Wow, your mum is stunning, and a fantastic Purdey haircut. What a great photo.
    When I worked for a high street bank our training was in Manchester, and they had a Pater Noster lift. I was terrified at first, but you do get the hang quite quickly. Some of the crowd used to stay on till it got to the top, or bottom, where it did a sideways shuffle in the pitch black. But I was too scared, haha.
    On another course with the same bank, we saw Bob Geldoff in Bayswater London, walking his dog. He was so scruffy (Bob, not the dog) x

  16. Brought back memories of my own uni days, thanks! Indeed those were the days, my friend, we thought they'd never end, we'd sing and dance for ever and a day. We'd live the life we chose, we'd fight and never lose for we were young and sure to have our way. Yeah, that turned out to be true didn't it?? Great fun though, and thanks for the Bob G anecdote xx

  17. Paternoster lift is still in use in the Library at Essex Uni in Colchester. I'm sure all first years have nightmares about using it!!

  18. You haven't changed at all and your mum looks like your sister on that photo…great post and I was happy to here something nice about Salford as I was born there…x

  19. Dear Barbara…you are so like a dear friend that shares a piece of her heart to me each day. Your spirit undaunted, your talent extraordinaire! I thank you from the bottom of my heart to yours for no matter the story you are telling, I feel every emotion, love every word. Especially the sassy bits 🙂 Keep on keeping on! I and the rest of your fan club adore you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *