Every student dreams of leaving their mark at university; be it through their academics, societies and clubs or their lasting friendships.

And for one University of Huddersfield alumnus, his legacy will be secure, when he is immortalised in the University archives in Heritage Quay later this month.

Finding notes

At the end of July 2018, while refurbishing the kitchens at Storthes Hall, staff came across a handwritten note. Not an unusual occurrence at this time of year after the students have moved out and the rooms are being prepared for the arrival of new residents. However, this note stood out! After all, it's not often that a note is found hidden in one of the rooms and states 'Don't look under the bed!'

Extract from 2002 note from alumni Rich H-P

Upon further reading, the reason for the note became clear... the author, a mysterious ‘Rich’, wanted to impart his valuable knowledge gained during his time at Storthes Hall to those who were to come after him.

Not knowing what to do with the note, but intrigued by who Rich could be, the staff at Storthes Hall reached out the Alumni Department at the University to see if Rich could be found. So, armed with a copy of the note, a couple of details provided in the script; and over 70,000 followers, a call was put out across the University of Huddersfield Alumni Society’s social media channels.

A screen grab of UoHAlumni Tweet

And our followers did not disappoint!

While the year of the note could be narrowed to between 2001 and 2003, the number of students named Rich during this time was in the thousands. Suddenly, Richards from across the University alumni were being tagged, messaged and chased to see if they were the elusive author. And while it took a few days, one particular Richard cropped up again and again - nominated as the possible author by staff, students and fellow alumni.

Then, three days later, just as our Alumni Department believed that maybe Rich was simply not out there... we received a message.

A screen grab of UoHAlumni LK

Who is Rich?

Student campaign for newspaper editor

In 2002 a young Richard Hartley-Parkinson, a student on the BA Media course here at the University of Huddersfield, decided he wanted to enrich the lives of those who would follow him at North Springs. Giving them the opportunity to live their life according to his own wisdom, gained throughout his first year at the University of Huddersfield.

Armed with pen, paper and his experience of writing for the student newspaper, our young author documented his advice for embracing the student life, tips on forgetting your troubles and even how to avoid fashion faux pas at your birthday party. The full note can be found in full at the foot of this article.

Upon the discovery of his note, 15 years after he put words to paper, Richard was thrilled to find he had not been lost forever.

'My note has brought many memories flooding back, although I fear that most of the bars I mentioned are now closed and the student nights I recommend are long gone. I wish I could remember what it was that we left in the ‘restricted’ cupboard in the kitchen of our flat, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t anything perishable.'

He continued that the note was written at the end of the 2001/02 academic year, at the end of his time in Storthes Hall, and that it was addressed to the new occupants for the room the following year.

Richard HartleyParkinson

During his time at Huddersfield, Richard was a very active student, something he recommends all students to do during their time here. As seen the in the photograph taken outside Student Central, Richard has always had an interest in journalism, campaigning to be the Newspaper Editor for the student newspaper early on in his Huddersfield years. A number of photos featuring Rich and his articles for the student newspaper can be found in the archives at Heritage Quay - soon to be joined by his note!

Since graduating with a BA in Media from the University of Huddersfield in 2004, Richard has gone on to qualify with The National Council for the Training of Journalists at Liverpool Community College; and has developed a career in media and journalism with roles including Report for High Peak Radio in Derbyshire, Assistant News Editor for Daily Mail Online and most recently as Assistant Editor at metro.co.uk.

What the future holds

The University of Huddersfield Alumni Society and the School of Music, Humanities and Media, looks forward to welcoming Richard back to campus in early September 2018, when Richard will not only get to catch up with lecturers from the Media course and see how the campus has changed over the last 14 years And he'll also be introduced to the materials which document his time at the University - including his note - in the University Archives in Heritage Quay.

The note written by RHP in 2002 Note found by Storthes Hall staff, written by former student Richard Hartley-Parkinson