Allen Hall

Allen Hall

Allen Hall is the smallest of the student halls of residence that constitute the University of Manchester's Fallowfield Campus, with just 120 students.

The present Warden of Allen Hall is Norman Gillson, and Sajeev Shanmuganandarajah is the JCR President for the 2008 - 2009 academic year.

Allen Hall comprises three accommodation blocks: Newman, Teilhard, and More - centred around the main building where the office, common room, bar and laundrette are located. The hall is located approximately half a mile from the main Fallowfield campus, and is positioned opposite Platt Fields Park.


The hall was owned by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Salford until 1979, but was licensed by the University of Manchester and initially accepted only male undergraduate residents who were students of that university (or UMIST). The first female students were admitted in the 1995-96 academic year. There was no requirement that students had to be Catholic, but there was a large chapel on the first floor of the main block, where Mass was celebrated on Sundays by priests from the Catholic Chaplaincy, and the Catholic religion was an important feature of hall life. Former residents include Dave Smolira SJ (commonly known as 'FB') who was President of the JCR and later went on to become the Provincial of the English Province of the Society of Jesus. His deputy, Dermot Preston SJ, was also a former Allen Hall resident. The hall is named after Cardinal William Allen - who has the distinction of being the only Lancastrian to have been appointed Cardinal. The blocks - Newman, Teilhard and More - are named after prominent Catholics from history. During its time as a Catholic Hall, there was a strong - and some might say insular - culture and 'Platt Fields Awards' were given at the formal dinner at the end of each term to those residents who had not served the hall community sufficiently well in the eyes of the JCR Committee. The awards were given immediately after the dinner. This involved the unfortunate recipients being taken across to the nearby Platt Fields Boating Lake and thrown in.


The hall features its own private bar which was recently refurbished at a cost of £15,000, as well as a lively common room, a music room and a large hall for parties and activities. The hall caters for students, mornings and evenings, Monday to Friday, although each floor of rooms has its own kitchen, which can be used freely by students to cook whenever they desire.

Allen Hall is well known for its active Junior Common Room (JCR) committee who oversee the organisation of social events within the hall.

Charity events

On March 25 2006 some 58 residents of the hall gathered to break the Guinness World Record for the 'Longest Line of Dancing Drag Queens.' The title had formerly been held by students of Nottingham University and stood at 49. The event raised approximately £600 for Christie's Hospital in Withington. The record was apparently challenged (and broken) in Portland, Oregon on 22 July 2007. [] A further challenge appears to have been undertaken recently in Hull [] and another attempt is planned as part of the Manchester Pride festival. []

Furthermore, Allen Hall had the distinction of raising more money for charitable causes than any other hall of residence in Manchester in 2005-6. Some £4,200 was donated to causes as diverse as the Pakistan Earthquake Appeal, Christie Hospital, the Catholic Children's Rescue Society and the BBC's Children In Need.

JCR Presidents

** Sajeev Shanmuganandarajah

** Steven Andrew Booth
** Mark Andrew Kowalski

** Philip Wright- Christie

** Daniel Mills

** Adam Woolhead

** David Riggers

External links

* [ Manchester University: Official website featuring information for prospective students]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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