Nottingham University held an open day on Friday.
I took my daughter because Nottingham is one of the places that offers American Studies which I don't remember being available when I was a student. If it had I would have jumped at it, a year in America being a welcome bonus.
The last time I visited the Nottingham campus was 30 years ago. I didn't see much (a few buildings and lots of trees) because it was after dark and I was trying not to draw attention to myself.
The previous year I had left my job in public relations and launched a national student magazine. Campus was founded in 1978 at Aberdeen. Others kept it going when I left but I wanted it to go national and when they graduated it seemed the right time.
The biggest problem was distribution. Student union shops refused to sell it because it was stridently anti-union so we were forced to flog copies door-to-door in halls of residence.
Students would sell copies in return for 50 per cent of the cover price. We also used our connections with the Federation of Conservative Students and that's how I ended up on the Nottingham campus one dark November night.
I arranged to meet the local FCS chairman and with the help of several other members we moved from one hall to another, knocking on doors, selling our illicit literature.
At one point we inadvertently knocked on the door of a student union rep who took umbrage and went off to alert the authorities. For an hour or more we kept one step ahead, moving from building to building, floor to floor.
Most students welcomed us and the knowledge we were selling – and they were buying – a prohibited publication gave the escapade a rather exciting clandestine feel.
For the record, the FCS chairman who welcomed me and was so hospitable that night was John Hayes, now minister of state for transport. Thanks for the memories, John!
PS. Hugely impressed with the Nottingham University campus. A friend's daughter who visited it a few weeks ago said it was "too green". That's what I loved about it.
I don't know how typical it is, but I particularly liked Cripps Hall. Built in 1959 (the year I was born), it features a minstrels gallery, oak panelling, chandeliers, large arched windows and a clock tower.
Now that's what I call a hall of residence!