2022 – Hatfield Great Escape Reunion Weekend with Lion in Autumn Ball – Durham

Save the date and join the Great Escape – to Hatfield!

Hatfielders old and young are invited to celebrate 75 years since the College’s Great Escape from a planned merger with arch-rivals Castle at

The Great Escape Reunion Weekend with Lion in Autumn Ball – Friday 16 – Sunday 18 September 2022

Brink of being merged into Castle

Did you know that in 1946, on the eve of its 100th anniversary, Hatfield was on the brink of being merged into Castle? Unbelievable, but true!

Thankfully the proposed merger never came to pass, thanks to the efforts of the then Vice-Master, College Tutors, a former Senior Man and 150 alumni and students who banded together to form the Hatfield Association.

The Hatfield Association immediately resolved to lobby University Council for the appointment of a Hatfield Master and for Hatfield to reoccupy its own buildings.

The rest is history…

The Great Escape Weekend

The Great Escape Weekend will mark this pivotal moment in the College’s history and offer the opportunity to all Hatfielders to return to their beloved College for a weekend of celebration, with its climax: The Lion in Autumn Ball.

This special weekend will include:

  • the first-ever Great Hatfield Quiz
  • a variety of sporting & musical events – enjoy a game of croquet or get back on the river
  • the opportunity to stay in College again – perhaps in your old room
  • enjoy brunch in the College Dining Hall
  • plenty of time at your leisure to relive your best years in dear old Durham and
  • the Lion in Autumn Ball

including The Lion in Autumn Ball

A fantastic opportunity to enjoy the evening with other Hatfielders and friends, including:

  • a glamorous drinks reception
  • a Four Course Black Tie Dinner
  • notable speaker
  • and entertainment into the night with live bands and DJs

Save the date!

Full details in due course, but for now do please save the date in your diary: Friday 16-Sunday 18 September 2022.

Hatfield 175

The forthcoming 2021-22 academic year will mark both the 175th anniversary of the establishment of Hatfield College in 1846 as well as the 75th anniversary of the formation of the Hatfield Association in 1946.

The Great Escape Reunion Weekend with Lion in Autumn Ball

There are many things being planned to mark 175/75 but one date at the end of the anniversary year that you may like to put into your diary now is the concluding event of Hatfield’s 175th Anniversary celebrations: Friday 16 – Sunday 18 September 2022 the Hatfield Great Escape Reunion Weekend with Lion in Autumn Ball:

  • This will mark 75 years of the Hatfield Association, formed in 1946 to fight for the restoration to Hatfield of its own buildings, its own Master and freedom from the threat of merger with Castle;
  • Celebrate and give thanks for the flourishing of Hatfield over the succeeding 75 years, as a vibrant, eclectic, inclusive community; and
  • Offer an opportunity for Hatfielders of all generations who have been enriched by the Hatfield spirit to recognise their good fortune and help support the college to offer opportunities for the next generation of young people, including those of limited means in keeping with the 1846 aims of David Melville.

More details will be placed here in due course.

In the meantime – Vel Primus Vel Cum Primis!


Details and prices to follow, but for the moment – Save the Date!


Hatfield College is a vibrant and welcoming community to which each and every student, alongside other college members, belongs. Established in 1846, as the second college of Durham University, with the explicit purpose of being open to a wide range of students, we greatly value the rich diversity of our college members, who come from all sorts of backgrounds and places of origin, with all sorts of interests, experiences and views. We strive to ensure that all Hatfielders have the opportunities and encouragement to be the best they can be, reflecting the words of our motto, Vel Primus Vel Cum Primis.

Hafield College
North Bailey


About the Hatfield Association – Once a Hatfielder, Always a Hatfielder


The Hatfield Association was established in 1946, at a time when the future of Hatfield College, Durham University was uncertain – this was the first time that Hatfielders came together and probably the finest proof of the legendary Hatfield spirit.

Our aim is to ensure we have a strong, active and engaged network of Hatfield alumni (graduates), to facilitate and build strong relationships with the College and to support its educational and welfare needs.

To this end the Hatfield Association plays an active role in: organising annual reunions, helping to connect members through regular updates and publications, offering career advice for students through a partnership with SHAPED, supporting the outreach programme for schools and playing an active role in all three common rooms.

Our membership consists of thousands of Hatfield graduates, but we are always keen to connect with more!

If you would like to read the latest version of our annual publication, the Hatfield Record, to receive updates about our work and invitations to events, then please register for access to this website using the form on our home page.

Vel Primus Vel Cum Primis since 1846