Our History

The Guild of Students is around 130 years old and today is one of the largest Students’ Unions in the country, representing over 34,000 students.

We have a rich and varied history and in 2010 Emma Packham (Vice President Student Activities and Development 2009/10) and Ed Sparkes (Vice President Housing & Community 2009/10) began to chart the history of the Guild and created this timeline.

We recently completed a History Project which aims to update members and interested parties on our history through the treasures uncovered in our archive.

You can download more information on Our History.

We have also compiled a list of past sabbatical officers.

Images of Guild of Students - half black and white from old photograph and other half modern day image


History Project

The Guild of Students has accumulated a large amount of archival materials over the years including photographs, minutes, reports, building plans, and publications. Although a system of storage was initially undertaken, over time the archive storeroom became a dark and dusty graveyard for anything deemed old but worth hanging on to.
When the Guild of Students building was refurbished in 2010 old photographs were sought for the opening event. It was while hunting for these photographs that it became clear we needed to address our archive and begin sorting out what wonderful treasures we actually had. A proposal was put forward and funding was secured for the History Project to begin in 2011.
Currently the project is in the very early stages but some of the key items that have revealed themselves include a ‘Wardens of the Guild’ truncheon (image 1); a copy of ‘The Mermaid’ from 1943, an early student newspaper (image 2); a plaque recording funding from students for hospital beds (image 3); a Quarter Mile Challenge cup with the first winner dated to 1907 (image 4); and an invite to the Guild Dinner and Ball in 1960 (image 5).
It is clear from the few items mentioned that the archive will be able to document a rich and colourful history for many to enjoy and slowly but surely, the dark and dusty graveyard is having a light shone upon it. Who knows what riches still lie awaiting to be unearthed?
If you have any further questions or information regarding the History Project please contact us here. We also have a Facebook Group and a Twitter page @GoS_History where people can share their memories and look at more photographs.
For further information on the general history of the Guild and the University please visit the Special Collections website here
image of Guild artifacts from previous years
Image - The mermaid magazine with list of contents
Image - Guild of Students plaque for hospital beds
Image - trophy from Guild of Students - date unknown
Image - Dinner invite to President of the Guild of Students - date unknown

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