The early autumn weather did us no favours as the fifth Loreto Freshers’ Fair got underway recently. Grey Mancunian skies frowned on the campus and a touch of rain in the air drove the planned outdoor stalls to seek the sanctuary of the Sports Hall. This was the only downside to the event, however, as record numbers of students, both lower and upper sixth, filled the Sports Hall and crowded around the various stalls.

All the old favourites were well represented and as popular as ever: Debate Club for those of a disputatious disposition, and the academic dimension provided by the Psychology, Sociology, Economics, and Government and Politics Clubs. The mathematicians posed some interesting questions about Herr Schrodinger’s infamous cat, whilst the Theologians challenged us to consider our place and role in the universe. The Law Society was keen to promote involvement in the Bar Mock Trial competition, and the Scientists are to be commended for braving the elements and staying outside, where their tent like shelter allowed students to have a go at CPR, using our very own dummy, supervised by Loreto’s Healthcare Professionals group. Computer whiz kids were keen to find out more about the Greater Manchester College Hack.

Loreto’s diverse student body always provides a steady number of students attracted to the MFL Film Club, and budding presenters and technicians made a beeline for the Media stall. The Performing Arts stall was kept extremely busy, handling queries about the various college dramatic productions and music related activities, with the Ukulele Club maintaining the tradition established by the two famous northern Georges: Formby and Harrison! Photography Club offered the prospect of high-end equipment and creative licence, The English Department Reading Group has a fascinating list of titles in mind for the year, and the Librarian was on hand to remind students that the printed word in traditional hard copy form still exists, alongside the extensive online research opportunities offered by modern technology.

The Kolkata Indian trip always provokes great interest and this year was no exception. The Chaplaincy has added a third exciting destination to the traditional locations of Lourdes and Taize: the holy city itself, Rome. The Fair Trade, Equality and Diversity, and Amnesty International groups are all well established at Loreto, and the numbers showing interest at the fayre suggest that another successful year is in store. The Duke of Edinburgh scheme is so much part of the fabric at Loreto that it hardly needs to promote itself further but staff and students were present to field inquiries and provide information. The Careers and Counselling staff were on hand to highlight the services they offer, including an apprenticeship club, as was a representative from Study Skills and Exams Access. NCS is growing in popularity year on year and the organisation followed up its presentation in assemblies last week by running a well-attended stall at our fayre.

Two new sporting activities made an appearance this year, Rugby and Cycling, with exercise of the cerebral kind being offered by Chess Club. Hall inspired hoodies were for sale and an ingenious take on the provision of refreshments saw enthusiastic students cycling to produce a smoothie! Further sustenance was provided by The Catering Academy, Love Joes and Britvic.

Despite the inclement weather, Freshers’ Fair 2018 was a resounding success and coordinator Ms Scholes and her team were delighted at the turn out and interest shown.