By Russell Butt May 16, 2013 and reblogged with thanks from Get Surrey
IN recent years, only a handful of students have been privy to this stunning view across the Founder’s Building at Royal Holloway University.
The clocktower was once climbed by those who would maintain the clock but these days it is closed to students (although some intrepid rebels have made the climb under the cover of darkness).
However, two keen photographers – biomedical science student Shahi Ghani, 20, and film studies student Luke Davis, also 20 – were commissioned by the college to capture this view as part of a unique portfolio of images reflecting the history, character and quirks of the Egham Hill campus.
Luke is president of the college’s photography society, which was given an opportunity to undertake the project, granting members open access to the grounds, including previously out-of-bounds areas.
Shahi explained: “The brief of the project was ‘the overlooked aspects of Royal Holloway in 100 photos’.
“We therefore shot fine details, like the Royal Holloway logo featured on some of the radiators in the Founder’s Building, which are still the original radiators.”
However, when exploring each nook and cranny, there was one element that appealed most: climbing the clocktower.
Shahi said: “In the journey up, there were countless little things we came across that really showed the history of the university and the students that have been here.
“On the walls of the clock-tower there were many notes from former pupils who used to go up to wind the clock, notes from people who used to ring the bell and also from people who had managed to sneak up.
“We were surrounded by the history of the university, but from students of the past.
“It was a really amazing experience, a part of the university that not many people have been given the privilege to see legitimately. Being at the top was extremely moving, especially knowing you were one of a small bunch of people who has ever been up there.
“While taking pictures, we were desperate to share them with people. It felt like our photos meant something to the students of Royal Holloway and that we had to do the building justice.”
Shahi shared the photo on Facebook and it quickly had more than 800 ‘likes’ and was shared more than 500 times.
He added: “There was a sense of pride from students. I got messages from people who had long left the university but came across the picture and they told me stories of how much they missed it and how they missed living in Founder’s halls.
“I saw lots of people sharing the photo and writing things like ‘My university > your university’.”
A Royal Holloway spokesman confirmed the image will form part of a portfolio of 100 high-resolution digital images for the university archives and for use in publications.