At the end of May, with marking almost complete, staff in English refocused their attention on research at an Away Day event in Gladstone’s Library in Hawarden, North Wales. In the inspiring environment of this wonderful Victorian place, and blessed with brilliant sunshine, we discussed our postgraduate provision, our public engagement activities and funding for research.

There was time too to share research ideas – and moderate our marking. Conversations, animated or quiet, took place in various corners of the library and its grounds. Colleagues found new connections in their research work, and took a rare opportunity just to talk about what they’d been reading.

We even found time for a country ramble – which, when confronted with a series of stern signs, revealed that some of the English team are more inclined to risk-taking behaviour than others (you know who you are!)

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