A jam-packed summer of fun at St John’s

Easter term has ended with a bang and summer vacation is now in full swing! We’ve had Eco-Fest, Leavers’ Formal, Pride, Brewfest, John’s Day and graduation ceremonies, to name just a few of the happenings at St John’s as this academic year comes to a close.

Brewfest & Pride at John’s

College started to wind down for the summer with Brewfest, a whole day dedicated to beer, food and music, and Pride, where John’s celebrated love at a vibrant event in College. Both events had a summery atmosphere, enjoyed by students and staff alike. Colourful decorations adorned College for John’s Pride, which featured live music, talks, a chocolate fountain and an abundance of colourful face paint.

A focus on Eco-Fest

By Joanna Robbins

In the afternoon of the 10th of June, I dropped into Eco-Fest for a few hours and am very glad I did! As talks and music took place on an outside stage, the organisers were very lucky with the sunny weather. It was very enjoyable and relaxing to sit on haybales and chat with a friend, whilst listening to music with the leafy backdrop.

The two student music acts I saw were the rock band “Double Down”, and the singer and keyboardist Charlie Gregg who performed a diverse range of songs from “No Diggity”, to “Back to Black”, to the folk song “The Parting Glass”: I was particularly pleased to hear the latter which I know from the version by Irish singer, Cara Dillon.

Later in the day I visited the Eco market in Leech Hall and had fun seeing the range of products on offer. I was pleasantly surprised to bump into someone who I did my Music undergraduate degree at Durham with, who was at the Eco market promoting her company “Zephyr Jewellery”. She makes her jewellery using sea glass that she hand-picks on the Yorkshire coast. Other companies I looked at included the Dalton Moor Farm which sells products like vegan honey, preserves and cider, The Ugly Fruit Group which was founded by students at the university to help to reduce food waste, and Scoop which is a non-profit zero-waste food shop. At the Scoop stall I had to guess the weight of food inside a jar which was very difficult!

In future Eco-Fest events, it would be good to see a panel discussion, perhaps on the topic of veganism and the environment. It would also be good to have the opportunity to ask the speakers questions as I had a few I would have liked to ask! Overall, however, it was a very enjoyable event and I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in helping the environment and who would like to have a relaxing day with their friends. 

John’s Day

The day started at 9am with a lot of noise; a new tradition was brought in alongside old ones. For the first time, a march was organised down the Bailey and Johnians, dressed in blue, were armed with pots, pans and wooden spoons. With Olav the Alligator leading the way, students made as much noise as possible whilst parading down the Bailey, with the aim of waking up our neighbouring colleges.

University College was not left out as the march made its way up to the castle, where chants rang out across Palace Green:

A simple but effective chant!

Not long after the Bailey March, students and staff gathered by the river for the long-awaited raft race. This was the first time in two years that the annual raft race had occurred so there was much anticipation. Despite some questionable raft constructions, most contestants made it back to shore! It seems, however, that there was something missing from the race this year – this did not go unnoticed and after the race there were calls for the return of a College Officer raft next year…

After these two John’s Day traditions, there was plenty else to do. John’s students queued outside the LRC for ice cream, bands played on the stage which could be heard throughout the College (and from across the river…) and students made use of the inflatable obstacle course, padded sumo suits and laser tag set up on Library Lawn and in Leech Hall.

Celebrating Leavers, Graduands and Graduates

After a few difficult years, it is a pleasure to celebrate our leavers and welcome back alumni as they take part in graduation ceremonies. We are so proud to congratulate these Johnians on their achievements and wish them well as they begin new chapters after their time at Durham. We also encourage our students to stay in touch with College after they move on from John’s – whether that is to update us on their careers, tell us their memories from their life in John’s or to visit College when they are next in Durham.

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