Obviously my son James’s choice of University will be determined only by a detailed cost-benefit analysis, with higher earnings built into a DCF model at discount rates of 13.7%.
I was, however, hopeful he’d be looking at some exciting open days in Exeter, St Andrews and Lampeter, all places meeting his requirements and near Good Beer Guide ticks.
Instead, we ended up in Chatham.
Now the University of Kent’s naval branch is very attractive, but why is it so cold here ? Years ago we visited just before the opening of Dickens World, and the adjacent dockyard was an ice rink, which was probably a bigger draw than the “attractions” in the UK’s most ridiculed theme park. Sad to see Dickens World close this week though.
The Open Day was a well organised run-through of course content, options, student loans and the merits of the on-site bar. If you can identify any of the beers at Cargo as cask, I’d be grateful.
There’s some really attractive buildings on the old Naval barracks, including a library converted from the old drill hall. I’d thought libraries were dead.
While James toured the lecturing facilities I got a bit distracted by the modern art, which seemed to me the best advert for Chatham.
The bus tour took us around the backstreets, home to some wonderfully basic Victorian locals, some of which I sense I may be revisiting later this year.
Some of the lectures are held in the Historic Dockyard itself, which just looked like old boats to me.
Cargo bar apart, I was impressed with the student accommodation. James was dragged round the kitchen and laundry while I snapped the art. From the rooms here you can see the magnificent sight that is Gillingham High Street.
Because I’d been well-behaved, I was allowed one new tick on the way home.
Being Kent, it was inevitably a micro-pub, and a deviously well-hidden one at that.
Strood’s 10:50 From Victoria is tucked away out of sight under the railway arches next to some antique shops, but manages to incorporate the most attractive outside seating area I’ve seen in a micro.
Not quite the biergartens of Nuremberg, but pleasant enough to attract a wide range of custom on a Saturday afternoon. The interior, seating and ale pricing were more traditional micropub, although that’s a hefty range of beers there.
Good to see Strood in the Beer Guide again. Next Saturday it’s the rather different attractions of the University of East Anglia in Norwich.