Leicester College, the leading provider for cookery, food service, bakery and food manufacturing courses in Leicester and Leicestershire, hosted a reunion of students and their Hotel Reception Lecturer to celebrate 50 years since they attended the first Pre-Diploma catering course.
The then South Fields College (which later became Leicester College) launched a pilot course in the catering department in 1972, under Head of Catering, Dorothy Rigby. It was aimed at students who had the abilities to complete the Ordinary National Diploma (OND) in Hotel and Catering Operations, but had not obtained the necessary O levels to qualify. The course had a mixture of O level study, hotel and catering subjects, including a qualification in Hotel Reception.
The following year, the full course was rolled out to the students of 1973. On 29 September 2023 the group organised a 50-year reunion of students from that year, and along with South Fields College lecturer John Freeman, they met up to enjoy lunch in the College’s Taste Restaurant.
Verity Hancock, Principal of Leicester College said: “The College continues to offer a rich mix of catering courses that have helped many students to build successful careers within the sector. We were delighted to celebrate the legacy and origin of these courses by welcoming the first students and lecturers back to the College to enjoy themselves in our award-winning Taste Restaurant.”