Hatfield Day 2017 began at the crack of dawn – by 8AM a hoard of Hatfielders had already made their way to the college boat club to celebrate the end of exams, and a fantastic year at Hatfield.
Before long, the combination of blazing heat and a few drinks had woken us all up. Hatfielders of all years congregated outside the boat club to test the university’s health and safety limits with some good old-fashioned day drinking on a precarious landing stage over the river.
Next came the first meal of the day, as sea of students poured into the dinning hall to enjoy a huge breakfast complete with all important hash browns. In true Hatfield formal-style, one brave student started the tradition of ‘spooning’ (banging a spoon on the table to create a deafening uproar). Soon, the hall erupted with noise as we all joined in.
Fortified by college breakfast, the army of Hatfielders then carried out the tradition of storming the castle – in a calm and orderly fashion, of course – sporting our uniform of white ‘Hatfield Day’ t-shirts. We made our presence known in the quad of University College with our enthusiastic, if a little out of tune, singing. After a commemorative photo outside the infamous cathedral, we retreated back to Hatfield.
In keeping with this year’s theme ‘Now That’s What I Call Hatfield’, some classic naughties tunes were blasting through the speakers as students ran to the buckets full of water that were scattered around the courtyard, initiating a college-wide water fight. Meagre attempts at pouring small buckets of tepid water over a friend’s head quickly descended into a frantic scramble to get our hands on any receptacle we could and fill them with water: bottles, bowls, even recycling bins!
It quickly became clear that white t-shirts and water fights are not the best of friends, and so soggy students made their way to sit outside the bar to dry off and enjoy a BBQ whilst listening to some of Durham’s best musical talent which was showcased throughout the day, including the Durham Gospel Society, Northern Lights and Chazz Band.
We didn’t have to wait long until the next instalment, which brought out the competitive (and childish) side in all of us. Huge inflatable courses were set up on the tennis courts, where students watched their friends battle it out on the inflatables whilst snacking on candyfloss and waffles.
As the day drew on, we took a much-needed rest outside the bar. The live music continued as we relaxed on the grass and enjoyed even more food and drink, in-between posing for photos with cheesy grins.
By the end of the evening, live music turned into a DJ set which had us all dancing like there was no one watching. Then, like all good evenings in Durham, the night ended in Jimmy’s where we danced on the jam-packed dance floor into the early hours of the morning. It was the perfect end to Hatfield Day 2017 which left us all excited to buy our ticket for next year – after all, it would be rude not to…