It’s never too late: Pensioner turns student – aged 89

Ken Hall.
Ken Hall.
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PENSIONER Ken Hall has proven its never too late to learn.

The 89-year-old became an author in his 80s after a short-term course at Sunderland College and went on to have his children’s stories published.

Ken, who lives in Tunstall, returned to the college to tell the next generation of students about his success.

He was one of a number of visitors who attended an event at Sunderland College that was created to celebrate equality and diversity.

The retired engineer spoke to students about his own experience at the college, having completed a computer course some years ago that inspired him to write his own short stories.

Ken said: “I have a saying, and that is that people who believe that they are too old to read a children’s fairy story are very old indeed.

“People who believe they are too old to learn new skills are also very old indeed, and I was glad to be able to show that college is not just a place for young people.

“The course I completed helped me turn what was a hobby and a lifelong ambition into a reality.

“It was a real pleasure to take part in the course and even better to come back to the college to help students see this is a place that can make a difference, whatever your age.

“I never thought that, in my 80s, I would be able to learn new skills, but I did just that and it was great.”

The grandad of three, whose daughter Kris Coates is a lecturer at the college, completed a flexible adult course at Bede Campus.

For more information on adult courses visit or call 511 6000.