Life in England

Norsk flagg

Since I started studying in England in the autumn of 1995, I have had time to do a lot of things. In addition to telling you how life is where I live in Darlington, I will tell you some of the fun things I have been up to.

Photo of The front of Darlington College This is the front of Darlington College of Technology. This picture is not from a proportion pamphlet but actually taken by myself on one of the utmost few days with sun!

So, I study at Darlington College of Technology. This is not a university even though I am studying a university course. Strictly speaking I am a student of Teesside University in Middlesbrough but nearly all my lectures are here in Darlington.

Photo of The School of Journalism This is the architectonic beautiful building where I have my lectures!

We travel to Middlesbrough every Wednesday for a video lecture and to use the library. In the afternoon there are many student activities and I usually go to the swimming pool and splash around a bit with the union's swimming club.

Photo of The School of Journalism This is the architectonic beautiful building where I have my lectures!

I live in West Powlett Street. This is a small street close to the town centre. I use approximately ten minutes to walk to the college and about 15 minutes to the train station. The closest pub is about three minutes away so I don't suffer much.

Photo of Miaow! This is the cat in West Powlett Street. Her name is Perl but I don't think it is a nice name for a cat so I don't use it very much. She is a very affectionate cat and and wants me to pat her when I am trying to do something sensible, like homework.

Darlington is quite an anonymous town. Not many people knows where it is even though the number of inhabitants is around 100 000.

A reason for this is that there is very little happening in Darlington. The most exiting thing about the town is its history. The world's first railway went for Darlington to Stockton.

Photo of Barbecuing This is Tom and Terry (?) busy frying some sausages and burgers on the “grill”.

The nightlife is not much to boast of. There are two night clubs which are really quite lousy. There are quite a few pubs around but they close at eleven and then there is nothing more to do. If you want some more action you have to travel to Middlesbrough. The only problem is that the last train home goes at around quarter past eleven and that does not help much. It is a pity because we don't get very contact with other students at Teesside University.

Photo of Luke Oliver And then we have Luke! Here in the centre of Darlington.

Now and then someone has a student party and we don't go very early to bed...

The Yorkshire Dales

The Yorkshire Dales are quite well known, probably thanks to James Herriot who was a vet in the area. Here there is a lot of nature, in strong contrast to much of England with developed areas.

Photo of Roy in Swaledale This is Roy just after we had started on our walk.

Me and Roy wanted to go for a walk in something that looked like proper nature. We therefore took the bus first to Richmond in North Yorkshire and then another bus up Swaledale until we came to a small village called Gunnerside.

Photo of Andreas in Swaledale And I was along too!

The name Gunnerside derived from the Norse and meaning "Gunner's shielding or summer pasture," originally applied to the settlement on the west side of the Beck. The settlement to the east was known as Lodge Green.

Photo of More valley with a river We could have gone quite a bit further. This is the point where we turned and went back.

The population of the village grew significantly during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries when lead mining flourished. In 1851 the population was about 680, with some 180 being employed in the lead mines in Gunnerside Gill. But, after the close of the mines towards the end of the nineteenth century, many people emigrated to the Lancashire cotton mills, the West Riding woollen mills, or America. Now Gunnerside is a village of some 200 permanent inhabitants.

Photo of Andreas in richly coloured scenery Here I am standing in some richly coloured scenery. I was surprised to see all the colours in the countryside in the middle of the winter.

Photo of Old railway Once there actually were rail tracks here to transport ore from the mines. They don't seem to make railways like they did in the old days...

After we had finished it was very nice with something to drink in as far as we could see, the village's only pub, The Kings Inn. Because it was Sunday it was somewhat important that we caught the bus which was the last one home.


Terje wouldn't come up to visit me so I had to travel down to visit him and see how he was in Bristol in his first year as a student.

Photo of Terje brushing his teeth When I took this picture of Terje he thought I really had started to waste film...

The setup was as I had expected. He lived in a big student hall with one room of his own and sharing kitchen and toilet/showers. He didn't have to make his own food because he was served this three times a day.

Photo of Get the pizza out, Terje! It wasn't exactly a gourmet meal he served his dear brother but pizza isn't that despicable either.

We looked around shops in the town, talked to some of Terje's friend, tried out the PC room (which I only can dream of), tasted beer and cider at a few pubs and at the student union and I watched Terje doing his water polo training.

The nuclear accident

The Ministry of Defence arranged a mock accident where a nuclear missile was to have leaked some radioactive material. Some of the journalism courses were invited. My class was not one of them but I and some from my class managed to sneak along anyway.

Photo of The press conference We had to have a proper press conference! Not many of us journalists thought that the mighty men were very good at explaining and defending themselves. Aggressive journalists was obviously not everyday life for them.

Our job was to be journalists and write articles about had happened. We had to call different people in the ministry and interview them about what had happened. We also got lots of reports that we had to check out and then write stories.

The exercise lasted four days and I participated in the last two. Most of the dramatic stuff was over by then so we didn't do that much. We hung around waiting quite a bit. The last day someone suddenly asked us if we wanted to take a trip in a helicopter! And, of course, everyone wanted to come along!

Photo of Entering the helicopter I had to take some pictures of this Puma helicopter so I got a picture when some of the students form the IDJ class (international Diploma in Journalism) were on they way in.

With that we went to the helicopters and got ear plugs before we climbed into the metal thing. First we flew to the site of the accident so someone could do some filming. Afterwards we landed at the military site close by before we flapped back to the police headquarters.

Photo of The Puma helicopter lifts off Then the helicopter rose to the sky with a terrific noise and disappeared.

One of the girls had some problems with fastening her seat belt in the helicopter but she did not want to reveal this to the man looking after us. So the helicopter took of with the door open and flew away... I do not she liked to look straight down into the ground!

17th of May

One can't forget one's dear mother country when one leave Norway, especially not on the 17th of May! That is why many of us Norwegians went to Newcastle to participate in a 17th of May parade. To be on the safe side, we sung Norway's national anthem on the way. I think some of the other people in our train thought we were a bit nuts and we probably were too.

Photo of Parade in the shopping centre This was the very first time I had participated in a 17th of May parade in a shopping centre!

The 17th of May parade did not take very long time. We went through the streets in the centre of Newcastle. It was fun walking up Northumberland Street and being as Norwegian as possible. Maybe not strange we had a police escort.

Photo of 17th of May in Newcastle This is how it looks like when the 17th of May is celebrated in Newcastle!

After we sung some very Norwegian songs the whole thing was over and we all crowded towards the closest pub... Maybe not a Norwegian tradition on the 17th of May but that has perhaps something to do with the pubs, not us Norwegians!

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All pictures and illustrations are Copyright © 1995-98 Andreas Strand
This page was first made on November 8, 1996
Last updated on July 31, 1998