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10 things you might not know about Marjon

2016 Marjon Quad 10 things

As our end-of-term project we've compiled a list of little-known facts about the University.

Read on for some of our favourites, including stories of pioneering students, chocolate bars and even a Christmas carol...

10 things spurs image

We beat Spurs

In the 1890’s, the St Mark's football team played a match against Tottenham Hotspur. It was the first Spurs match with a programme (pictured) and we beat them 6 - 1!

We started out as two colleges

The separate colleges of St Mark and St John were both founded in London in the early 1840s in response to the growing demand for trained teachers. The term 'Marjon' was first used in 1923 when St Mark and St John merged.

10 things Joy

The Vicar of Dibley studied here

The 'real' Vicar of Dibley was modelled on Joy Carroll who studied with us. Joy was one of the first women to be ordained as a priest in the Church of England and became the main model for the character of Geraldine Grainger, played by Dawn French.

We run in space

Our researchers use a state-of-the art Anti-Gravity treadmill to simulate running in space to help patients recover from injuries. Ben Anniss explains: "There's a differential in the air pressure inside the enclosed area of the treadmill and the pressure in the atmosphere. There's a higher pressure inside the bag that causes a lifting force. That reduces the forces that go through the joints and the muscle so you can run pain-free and speed up rehabilitation". Our team are currently using the treadmill to help a couple of Plymouth Arygle players get back to match fitness after long-term injuries. Read more about our amazing kit in the Sports Science Lab.

We like morning naps

The most popular time for use of the nap room is 11am. Reverend Nick Griffin set up the nap room to support students who are juggling studying with family life and work commitments because lack of sleep is one of the biggest negative factors affecting the brain’s cognitive function. We love Nick the Vic!

Mmm, chocolate

Marjon’s favourite chocolate bar is the Twirl. It is the biggest selling chocolate bar in the campus shop selling approximately 1200 bars in the past twelve months.

We have amazing swimmers

You probably cheered as Ben Proud swam his way to 4th place in the final of the 50m Freestyle at the Rio Olympics this summer. But did you know that Ben is just one of six current students who swim for their national squads? We have students who represent Great Britain, Jamaica, Saint Lucia and Switzerland. Just in case you needed another reason to look forward to Varsity!

10 Things teachers

We've been training teachers for 175 years

We were founded as the UK’s first teacher training institution, with the aim of training young boys from the streets of London to be tutors so they could lift themselves out of poverty. Our early trainees included William Robinson Tucker from Bermuda in 1841 who is believed to have been the first ever black teacher trainee in the UK.

The eleven year old student

Our youngest ever student was age eleven, we know for sure this student was male and that he trained as a teacher. We think his name was William Benham and that he went on to teach at St Mark's College.

Merry Christmas!

We'll end with a festive fact. The popular Christmas carol 'Good King Wenceslas' tells a story of a Bohemian king braving harsh winter weather to do charitable works on the Feast of Stephen (Boxing Day). It was written in 1853 by John Mason Neale and Thomas Helmore. The latter taught at St. Mark's College for twenty-five years where one of his responsibilities was to train the students to sing a daily unaccompanied choral service.