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Childs Hall - A lot of happy memories
Halls Of Residence At The University Of Reading
Member Name: fulldonx
Halls Of Residence At The University Of Reading
Advantages: great memories, meet loads of people
Disadvantages: dated building, shared facilities
The thoughts of my time in Childs Hall brings back many happy and many more hazy memories. I was in this hall during my first year at reading university in 2000/2001 (seems like a lifetime ago).
Rumour has it that both Childs and Bridges were built in the 70's and designed to be temporary accommodation. Well, 40 years on they are still going strong and still serving a purpose as the place where freshers get their first taste of life away from home.
Childs hall is huge, it holds close to 500 students which means 2 things...you will meet a lot of people in your first year, but on the flip side don't expect to get a lot of sleep! Accommodation costs here are on of the cheapest on Whiteknights Campus, I believe mine came to around £1000 per term for a catered room.
There are 4 floors and each floor is separated into units which are self contained and have their own communal bathrooms and kitchen. I don't really have a problem with sharing facilities but there were some mornings (Thursday in particular) when it was like a war zone in the bathrooms. I tried to avoid them as best I could after big nights at the union as you never knew what you might come across.
With the kitchens it was a case of, if something wasn't locked up it was fair game! The kitchens were used mainly as places to have a communal drink up, or eat our take aways at the weekend.
The rooms themselves are basic with a single bed (mine was like a camp bed), desk, chair, bedside table, sink and wardrobe. Bedding is provided and all electricity is included plus you have a phone line available in every room. The room was a fair size and certainly bigger than the room I moved into in my second year when we rented privately. The carpet was an awful brown colour which I suppose at least hid the dirt a little bit. The wardrobe is massive and even for myself as a man with far too many clothes it was more than adequate. I was on the top floor and so had a nice view into the "quad" which was the grassy area in the middle of the block.
The rooms are cleaned daily. I say cleaned, the bin was emptied daily. The maids were usually in first thing in the morning and I am happy to say that I slept through their visits throughout the majority of my first year.
Childs Hall is catered which means 3 meals a day Monday to Friday and breakfast and lunch a the weekend. There is a massive canteen which is very much like you would have had at school, but then imagine that the seating area was the size of your school hall. I can't really tell you too much about breakfast as I can count on the fingers of one hand the times that I was down in the canteen for it. Lunch and dinner were ok, there were usually 2/3 options including one for vegetarians. Fruit or yoghurt were also available for dessert. My personal favourite was "High Tea" on a Wednesday which was hot dogs and chips..a perfect stomach liner for the carnage that lay ahead in the Union.
Mail is delivered into lockers which are sorted by surname. You have a key to the locker displaying the first letter of your surname.
There was a bar in the halls but it wasn't open late enough for my liking. The prices were ok and they occasionally a special promotions on, but Clive the barman was so slow it was like he was in reverse! The music was loud, there wasn't really anywhere to sit and it was dead 99% of the time. I really think the halls missed a trick here because this could have been a real little earner for them.
Other facilities at the hall included a laundry room (£1.20 a wash and £0.20 for the dryer). There was also a snooker room which was random but cool, 2 full size snooker tables which were available to hire for a small deposit. This room was so well hidden that I only found it in my final term.
There are many bad points that I could level at Childs Hall, the council-look of the outside, the poor bar area, the state of the carpets in the room and the asylum-style corridors to name but a few. However, I spent one of the best years of my life here and made a lot of friends for life as well. I suppose its coincidence that we were all thrown together, but I don't know one person that couldn't reel off a few Childs Hall tales.
If you are fussy or like the more peaceful life, then you are better off applying to be housed elsewhere. Me, if I could have my time again, it would be Childs all the way.
Summary: A great place to make great friends
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