The Grey-Collingwood Blackout

On the night of 19th November, all students from Collingwood and Grey were evacuated from college.

Collingwood freshers were told at 9.15 in the evening of 19th November by the Junior Common Room President, Caragh Evans, to ‘completely decant’ Collingwood and Grey.

This was due to a power cut that had left the back up batteries ‘at the end of their working life’. The freshers had been asked to find friends to stay with in town, otherwise they were told to head to Maiden Castle, where it was reportedly ‘set up for everybody to sleep in’.

They were allowed inside the college buildings to get their belongings, but had to leave immediately after.

College Sports Team Captains and Social Secretaries offered their team mates places to sleep for the night. One social secretary, Lucy Hewitson, of the Collingwood Mixed Lacrosse team, offered her sofa ‘to anyone who [didn’t] want to sleep in MC’ as she did not want people ‘going cold or uncomfortable’.

Freshers were aware of the power cut in the late afternoon, and were informed they would not be able to eat dinner in college. Instead they were offered meals at Aidans, Josephine Butler and Van Mildert. Many freshers decided they would camp in the library, after a night out clubbing.

The freshers were told they would be able to return for breakfast, which would be ‘back on as normal’.  Assistant Principal and Senior Tutor of Collingwood, Grant Slater, thanked Collingwood students for their ‘outstanding cooperation… resilience and [their] good humour in difficult circumstances’. He said,  ‘I truly believe we saw both our spirit and community at it’s very best last night.’

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