University days hold a special place in many graduates’ hearts, but for newlyweds Nikki Watson and Mel Shield, Hope is more than just the place they studied – it’s also where they said ‘I do’. Nikki shares their story…
“We met in the Students’ Union bar within the first few months of being freshers. Mel was always there with his friends and I would go in and hope to see him. It took many weeks to even talk to each other, but Mel finally asked if I’d like to play a game of pool. We loved going to the SU together. The room is very different now, but we'd always play pool, go to the Sunday quiz, and play air hockey together. I will always remember when we were in first year we made snow angels outside my halls.
“I originally planned to study in Newcastle, but after seeing Hope on an Open Day, I had to be there. I’m from Southport where we are both living now and Mel came to Hope from Cramlington in Northumberland. I didn’t think I was smart enough to go to university, I was the first in my family to go. My college tutor encouraged me to apply, as I always had an interest in areas around Disability and wanted to learn more.
“At Hope, I studied Disability Studies with David Bolt, and Mel studied English Language. We both lived on campus, I was a resident in Angela Halls and Mel was in the ‘Harry Potter Halls’ – the Hilda Constance Allen Halls. Since graduating, I’ve been working at Mencap, supporting disabled adults, while Mel works as a Bills Draftsman at a solicitors.
“We couldn’t have had our wedding anywhere else, it was the very top thing on our must-have list when planning our big day. To celebrate our wedding back in the very room where we met – not many people can say they did that. Our first dance will be Mr Brightside by The Killers, not your typical first dance, but it was the first thing we danced to in the Students’ Union!”
Picture: Memory Box Pictures