The following news story appeared on the T&M homepage:

   CONGRATULATIONS ALVIN!  

ALVIN GIBBS: OU BA (Hons) History

Time & Matter is delighted to report that after 6 years of studies with the Open University, the U.K. Subs’ bassist Alvin Gibbs attended his graduation ceremony on Friday 19 September 2014 in London to receive his BA Honours degree in History.
Both Mark and Rob at T&M would like to pass on their hearty congratulations to Alvin, on what is a quite incredible achievement, with Alvin’s studies, involving extensive reading and writing, being undertaken whilst he was also committed to the Subs’ own intensive touring schedule.
All of Mr Gibbs’ admirable hard work has paid off and he will be extremely pleased that he can now append to his name: OU BA (Hons) History.
Alvin told T&M about his experience and provided, at our request, a couple of photos to commemorate this fabulous achievement. 
 
On Friday morning I, along with hundreds of other graduating students, their family and friends, attended the Open University graduation ceremony at the Barbican Centre in London. I was among the first to be called to the stage and there in front of the assembled academics and professors, and a very large audience of students and guests, received from the Vice Chancellor of the Open University my BA Honours degree in History. I receive a 2.1, an upper second, just 5% points adrift of a 1st. 
This was the culmination of six continuous years of study in conditions that were generally far from perfect: reading and trying to retain information from text books while travelling in tour buses around the UK, Europe and Japan, writing essays and dissertations in dressing rooms, on beer-wet bars and in hotel rooms at 2am in the morning are not the best ways to go about trying to attain a university degree. But, despite these difficulties, I saw it through and, being the masochist I am, I'm now even contemplating going on to take a Masters degree in this subject.
 
Photo 1 is of my receipt of the scroll from the Vice Chancellor upon the Barbican stage; photo 2 shows me in ceremonial dress clutching my degree, post ceremony. Later, that evening, I was obliged to take to the stage again; but this time to play some Punk rock in Southend with the UK Subs... what a cool contrast! 
 
I really am a very lucky man to have such dualities as part of my life. I thank everybody who sent me messages of congratulations and look forward to seeing many of you on the forthcoming Subs Winter Tour…
 

Inspired by Alvin? Then Click HERE to find out more about taking an Open University course...
 
 
  • Alvin also confirmed to T&M that the next instalment of his memoirs will be ready for exclusive publication on this website very soon: read all previous chapters HERE