Nigel Sinnott

Rolling back the years: Nigel Sinnott

For those alumni who can remember the early days at Coleraine, an old leaflet discovered by a graduate now living in Australia may bring back some memories. Nigel Sinnott undertook an intensive course in Irish Language at the Coleraine campus.

During an inventory of his bookshelves, repairing books that had loose pages or faded spine labels, Nigel discovered a piece of paper he had used as a bookmark. It turned out to be a leaflet offering travel information to students for 1970–71.

He recalled: “Those were the days when you could fly from Belfast to London Heathrow for £10. Or you could take the ferry from Belfast to Liverpool, which I did once, for £2.50 (second class). A train ride from Belfast to Coleraine cost 16 shillings (80p), and from Coleraine to Derry, 11 shillings (55p).

“I remember the Portrush–University (Ballysally) trains with great affection: it was the only railway service that, to my knowledge, would go back for a student if he or she arrived on the platform as the train was pulling out.

“And, of course, I remember Decimal Day at the University in 1971 when the UK and Ireland went over from shillings and pence to new pence. Exciting times!”