Ashburne Association

Aims of the Ashburne Association

  1. To work for the well-being of Hall, its students and staff.
  2. To maintain links between students past and present.
  3. To publish an annual magazine/newsletter (Yggdrasill) and to organize reunions.
The Ashburne Hall Crest

History of the Ashburne Association

In 1899, at a meeting in the Lord Mayor’s Parlour, in Manchester Town Hall, it was decided to establish a Women’s Hall of Residence in Victoria Park. At first there were only eleven students but as numbers grew, they felt a need to maintain links with each other and Ashburne House. Women graduates were small in number, often experienced prejudice and chafed against the need for chaperones. In 1902, at a summer tea and tennis party, they decided to form their own Association. As the Warden, Helen Stephen said, “College friendships do not end with College days.” They engaged in what today would be “networking”, staying with each other for brief holidays or when travelling to a job interview, for these early students were working women. Ashburne House was not a smart finishing school for young ladies, though young ladies they were. Indeed, these early students worked very hard, determined that “the men” would not be able to denigrate them as mere social butterflies. As late as 1905 the University Magazine commented on “the Ashburne experiment” but it was far beyond that stage: larger premises were constantly being sought to accommodate women students.

Since then, the Ashburne Association has flourished, holding regular reunions in Hall and publishing an annual magazine or newsletter. Whilst many informal reunions are held amongst groups of friends, it is always special to attend a reunion in Hall and revive old memories. After the Second World War it was decided that we should become the Ashburne Association of Past and Present Students. All students in Hall are members whilst in residence and have the chance to become Life Members when they leave.

Ashburne Hall, 1948 Sketch by Jean Hannay (Mrs.Dunkley) Ashburne 1947-9 Architect.

Officers of the Ashburne Association

President: Dr. Elizabeth Healey

Hon. Secretary: Mrs. Sheila Griffiths

Hon. Treasurer: Mrs. Caroline Hartley

Committee Members: Warden, Norman Gillson. Janet Argust, Sylvia Crummett, Victoria John, Jennifer Schofield, Dr. Kay Weston


Life membership £20

Students joining before they leave Hall £10

Students in residence in Ashburne&Sheavyn pay £1 pa from house subscription.

There are no annual subscriptions. Please make sure you pass on a new address.

If you have not joined and would like to, please send a cheque payable to The Ashburne Association.

To : Mrs S.Griffiths Hon.Secretary Ashburne Association, MWC16 Ashburne Hall, Fallowfield, Manchester M14 6HP

Please add your dates in Hall and any change of name, subject studied and news of yourself.

Ashburne Students, 1902


One Comment Add yours

  1. Susan Hare says:

    I need to let you know that my mother, Cynthia Cooksey, née Jackson, who was a Manchester undergraduate from 1944 and a resident of Ashburne, died on October 5th, 2021. (DOB 8/03/1927.) She kept in touch with other ex-students throughout her life, attended at least one reunion and was, I think, a member of the Ashburne Association. I thought that you would wish to be notified. I know that her Ashburne days meant a great deal to her. A photo of the hall of residence surrounded by portraits of her friends, hung on her wall until her death at 94.
    Thank you,
    Susan Hare (daughter)


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