Trip down memory lane for Lilian after 3,000 mile journey

September 2016

A former student who came to UCB more than 40 years ago on a Government Scholarship has made an emotional return journey from her home in Nigeria.

Lilian Elaho was just 21 when she bravely left home in 1971 and travelled to Birmingham to study at the College of Food and Domestic Arts, as UCB was previously known.

This week she returned with her husband Raymond to relive her student days, and see for herself how the site has been transformed into a state-of-the-art University College.

Lilian, now aged 65, said: “I was always very proud to tell people where I studied because it had so much history; it was known as the best catering college around. I still thank UCB for helping me to become someone.”

Birmingham was Lilian’s home for four years. She recalled fond memories of walking from her student digs in Edgbaston to the campus in Summer Row, where she studied a variety of City and Guilds qualifications in catering service, hospitality and hotel management. She also remembered working at The Shakespeare pub, which remains in Summer Row, and at New Street Station.

She returned to Nigeria in 1975 with Raymond, who she met at a party in London, and worked for 35 years at The University of Benin as a catering manager. The couple now have four children and 10 grandchildren.

After a tour of the Summer Row campus, Lilian said she was amazed by the facilities, and was particularly impressed there was now a lift! She added: “Birmingham will always be my second home.