It is truly a sad day (well quite sad anyway) for the University of Leicester as one of the institution’s oldest members sadly retires. Yes today the university has officially announced that the trusty paternoster, one of the few good things to come out of the 1970’s , has been shelved. While that may sound a bit overblown for the retiring of what is essentially an unsafe lift, the paternoster was one of the last few left in Britain, after they stopped being built in the mid-1970’s due to safety concerns.
The paternoster has been closed for the last few weeks for repairs to take place but unfortunately the university announced today that it had reached ‘the end of its working life.’ While this sounds a bit like its a dog being put down there has been an outpouring of emotion about the paternoster today, which again is remarkable considering it is just a crap lift. The paternoster was one of the defining things about the University of Leicester and made the Attenbrough Tower much more than just a building which looked like a demented cheese grater. Now students will actually have to take the normal lift to get to the upper floors of the tower, which while much more efficient, is significantly less exciting.
So what becomes of the paternoster now? Will it sit around and enjoy a graceful retirement, perhaps take up golf or go on a world cruise? Of course it wont, its a lift, so it will be replaced by a modern elevator by September 2018. But I will miss the paternoster in a way. Sure I only went on it once or twice, and was terrified for 95% of the time with a lingering dread that it could malfunction at any moment, but it was a defining characteristic of the University of Leicester, and will be sorely missed.
Of course this news of the paternoster’s retirement comes mere weeks after it was announced that everyone’s second favourite student pub (because the queues at the bar in the Loaded Dog are marginally shorter) the Dry Dock was being demolished at the end of the year. The Dock is being demolished to make way for extra accommodation, because what this university really needs is more Freshers. Again I quite enjoy the Dock for its affordable beers and novelty of being shaped like a boat and will be sad to see it go. However, I did find its app-based pub quiz mildly confusing so swings and roundabouts.
It certainly is the end of an era at the University of Leicester, with the Percy Gee building set to be completely redeveloped from March onwards, which is mildly inconvenient given that’s where the press office is. Change is very much in the air at the University of Leicester, and as long as they don’t demolish the Loaded Dog I won’t complain too much.