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Treasures from the Archive

This year has been a slower year for the archive, as the focus has rightly been on reopening the hall and rediscovering Slems, both old and new. New material, however, has included several early editions of Floreat, presenting a picture of life in hall as it was fifty years ago. A particular gem from Floreat 1969 is a musical interpretation of the traditional Hall moto ‘Floreat Aula Sancti Anselmi.’ It reportedly lasts an exciting 37-seconds and we look forward to hearing it recreated in chapel soon (Hugh)! For the more intellectual among you there is the option to learn about ‘The purpose of Law and the Penal Code’ or the development of the Hall Prints scheme which by 1969 had reached a heady ninety-nine works.


Meanwhile, plans are also being put in place to create a digital record of some of the ‘student files.’ In particular, we would like to digitise the records of twenty-four Anselmians killed in action between 1939 & 1945. This will make widely available for the first-time original records describing the lives of the men and their various contributions to hall life. Among the names are a JCR president, a treasurer, a secret service agent and many others. Digitising these files also compliments the work being done by Hugh to create a 2nd edition of the ‘Floreat: The Fallen’ book and offer an opportunity for more students to be involved in the hall’s history.


As part of the preliminary work, we have added to the archive site photos from the file of Lawrence Tremlett. Born in 1913, Tremlett-possibly known as Trem- was one of two brothers from Chester who lived in hall in the 1930s. Tremlett, who studied Electrical Engineering, was described by the Warden (South) as ‘a rather unusual person… In Hall he was liked, respected, and trusted by everybody, but to the end he remained something of an enigma to us all, his attractive manners hiding a very deep reserve.’ Tremlett is particularly notable in that he went on to have a long and distinguished ‘Slems’ career, during which he became a post-war hall Tutor (along with fellow Slemsman Tommy Lawrenson) and become one of the founding members of the now annual association dinner. His file is also notable for containing a letter from September 1938 reading ‘I was hoping to have apologized for my absence from the Old Members Dinner…’ This would appear to be the earliest known reference to what would become the St Anselm Hall association.


We are also continuing with our efforts to digitise historic editions of Floreat and are grateful to Tony Blackman and Crispin Bloomfield for their loan of editions. Recently we have also purchased a secondary copy of the 1950-51 hall photo, which we hope to also make available online soon. And finally, a quote from Floreat 1969 ‘JCR procedure is like the peace of God: It passeth all understanding.’ And so, sometimes, is the occasionally quirky history of St Anselm Hall!


Anna Smith and Izzy Sumner, Hall Archivists

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