Who are you?!
I'm Alan, one of the porters at Clare.
How long have you been with us?
I wish you hadn't asked this. Doing a quick tally, I suddenly realise I'm just into my seventh year. Time really does seem to be speeding up alarmingly.
Tell us about what it is you do here at Clare
It's a job in two parts. During term time, most of our contact is with students and dealing with their various day to day issues. It's very different to the conference periods; I've yet to have a conference guest tearfully tell me about the struggles to meet an essay deadline or need patching up after falling off a bicycle. They are of course perfectly welcome to avail themselves of these services if they
What is your favourite thing about Clare?
It's the freedom from constraint. So many places today are restricted by company policy.
While College has rules, many of them seemingly archaic, we still retain the ability to exercise discretion in dealing with problems.
Which is your favourite space in the College?
This changes according to season. Very early on a summer morning, it's the Clare bridge, watching the resident kingfisher as he searches for his breakfast. In December, it has to be chapel. Listening to the Clare choir hitting the high notes as it pumps out 'Hark the Herald Angels' is about as
Christmassy as it gets.
What makes Clare different to other Colleges?
Have you experienced the other colleges? A friend of mine recently attended a corporate meal at a close neighbour and the group was kicked out at 10 o'clock. No one at Clare is going to prioritise turning off the lights and locking the gates over having a good feed.
If you could describe Clare with one word - what would it be?
I always refuse to answer these one word questions. I rceived a thank you letter some time back that included the words 'civility,' 'consideration,' and 'generosity of spirit'. A bit over the top perhaps, but it does often strike me how closely the College sticks to the statutes laid down by Elizabeth de Clare seven centuries ago and if we were to reduce her aims to a single word it would have to be 'inclusivity'.