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News > Life After Hymers > Colin's Return to School and to Ask for Forgiveness!

Colin's Return to School and to Ask for Forgiveness!

Colin Egan (OH 1970-75) returned to talk to the Biology Society
Colin ensuring the bell rope can be reached
Colin ensuring the bell rope can be reached

Colin Egan, OH 1970-75, recently made his first visit to school since leaving to talk to our Biology Society. After finishing at Hymers, he studied Applied Biology for three years at Sunderland Polytechnic (as it was, it is now Sunderland University) until 1978.

From 1976, he spent 16 years working in Pathology Laboratories, starting while he was studying Applied Biology. Initially, this was in Clinical Biochemistry, and then Clinical Microbiology.  He undertook a number of Professional (Institute) Exams in Clinical Microbiology, which would now be BSc Biomedical Sciences and also at MSc level.  He was also involved in a number of PhD neurotoxicology research projects although he didn't get around to writing one of his own.

Since 1996, he changed career but remained in Higher Education to become a Computer Scientist where he researched processor design and finally wrote his PhD thesis in Processor Design. He then swapped careers again to research Colour Vision Deficiency. He also taught many topics of Computer Science (BSc/MSc) but specialised in processor design and network infrastructure design. On top of all that, he taught Electrical and Electronic Engineering and Bioinformatics, and supervised a number of PhD research projects.  He retired from full-time Higher Education in 2019 but is now doing some online tutoring for the Open University in Computing and IT.

Since retirement, he is now able to work with one of his passions. He is a National Bikeability Instructor and goes to schools in Hertfordshire teaching safe cycling.  He also work with the Herts Disability Sports Foundation teaching safe cycling to the disabled.

He is still in touch with Martin Spinks (OH 1968-75) from Hymers, sending each other Christmas greetings and an update on what they have been up to during the year.  Martin now lives in New Zealand with his wife so Colin has been unable to see him for many years.

Mr O'Dell (languages teacher) was one of Colin's favourite teachers because of his expressions which he still uses with a rye smile.

"Utter twaddle", "Progress is progress even if it is slow!" and many more.

Not always a model student, Colin did get up to a few misdemeanors:

I was the "boy" who tied up the bell rope so that it could not be rung by the school porter to start afternoon classes.

I was the "boy" who made Potassium Tri-iodide crystals which explode into purple fumes when the sun dries them out.  I placed a number of splodges of these crystals on the wooden mezzanine floor in the main hall and our headmaster Mr Ashurst trod on one.  He was enveloped in purple fumes much to the hilarity of the school!

I do enjoy telling these "boyish pranks" to my ever growing family but I beg I for forgiveness after all of these years!

However, Colin did also participate in a number extra-curriculum activities.  He was encouraged to set up a Photographic Society with its own darkroom.  In the Sixth Form he looked after industrial visits and would contact local businesses/industries to request a visit. He was a member of the Debating Society and a member of the War Gaming Society.  Although football was not encouraged, he was a footballer and they set up their own 11 aside and 5 aside teams.  He also enjoyed playing Eton Fives, and not forgetting squash and tennis.

In retirement I have had time to reflect on all of the activities I have done, and I realised how much Hymers College influenced me in such a positive way.  This lead me to finally become an "Old Hymerian".  From this, I was asked to give a talk to the Biology Soicety.  I was so pleased not only to see there is now such a society but I was honoured to give a talk.  As it is now the end of Covid-lockdown I journeyed to Hull for a long weekend and came into Hymers College to give my talk in person to the Sixth Form students.  This was the first time I visited since leaving in 1975.

Thank you Colin for coming back to visit. 

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