NORTHUMBRIAN CAMBRIDGE ASSOCIATION
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
Friday, September 30 2016, 6.00 p.m.
Royal Grammar School, Eskdale Terrace, Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 4DX
1. Apologies for absence
Apologies for absence had been received from Lesley Aers, Peter & Liz Atkins, Tim Gray, Bea Handley, Jane Ruddle,
John Saunders, Theresa Saunders, Chris & Ann Petrie, and Vinny Holden. Apologies also came from James Wright,
who was looking after our speaker and who would join us for the lecture.
2. Minutes of previous AGM, November 6, 2015
Minutes of the previous meeting had been sent out to members. Additional paper copies were available in the hall.
There were no comments or amendments.
3. Matters arising
There were no matters arising.
4. President’s Report
The President reported on the events of the past 11 months since the AGM and Annual Lecture on November 6, 2015,
which was attended by 29 people, including guests, and where we heard a stimulating lecture on the subject of ‘Patient-
Inspired Innovation’, given by Professor John Pickard, Emeritus Professor of Neurosurgery in the University of
Cambridge and Fellow of St Catharine’s College. The audience was added to, as this year, by staff and sixth formers
from the school, whom we were delighted to welcome again.
The RAF Concert at The Sage on October 25 was a great success, with 14 in attendance, including Hugh and
Ruth Turner of the Oxford University Society. We received a group reduction for our tickets (which were priced at a
modest £25.00) and a discounted price for the 2/3-course dinner which we shared in the Brasserie beforehand. The seats
were excellent and those attending felt that this was a new element in our programme which should be repeated.
At the first of our festive events on December 4, members once again enjoyed a 3-course Christmas lunch in
the Strauss room of the County Hotel, Newcastle. 25 people attended. The President welcomed everyone and outlined
our 2016 programme. Two of our members, Jack Lindsay and Jeremy Handley had 84th (December 4) and 85th
birthdays (November 30) respectively, and these were celebrated. The staff were attentive, the cost (£13) outstanding
value and the occasion went with a swing. We have booked again for this year (Friday, December 2, 2016).
The Festive Afternoon Tea and Film at the Tyneside Cinema was again a great success, with an attendance of
26. We had an excellent afternoon tea in the Digital Lounge, with bar, and a showing of the colorised version (1989) of
‘Scrooge’ (1951) with Alastair Sim. The attendance consisted of 11 NCA members, 2 Oxford University Society
members and 13 guests, and we were served by attentive staff.
The visit to the Great North Museum, Newcastle (Saturday, February 13, 2016) was a great success, with 21
people attending, five of whom had not been to an event before (or recently). Excellent tours of the Shefton Collection
and the Library & Archives—Natural History Society of Northumbria (NHSN), the Library of the Society of
Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne (SANT) and Newcastle University’s Cowen Library—were given by Robert
Murray and Andrew Parkin, and our thanks went to Dr Ray Brown for organising this.
The Annual Dinner took place at the Northern Counties Club, Newcastle, on Wednesday, March 9, 2016. 29
attended, including three new members and a number of guests. Following an excellent 3-course meal, with wine and
coffee, the President and the Hon. Secretary gave some joint reminiscences of Cambridge in the 1970s, in after-dinner
speeches entitled “Cambridge Town and Gown: Seeing Double”. There was the traditional quiz, this time matching
famous people and their colleges, and a box of liqueur chocolates, entitled ‘Famous Names’, went to the table with the
highest score. Toasts were raised to the Queen (the President), to Cambridge University (Wendy Bond), and to the
Northumbrian Cambridge Association (James Wright).
Our Spring Walk at Wallington took place on Saturday, May 14, 2016, and was attended by 21 people. We
met at the Clock Tower at 11.00, after coffee in the Clock Tower Restaurant. A one-and-a-half hour tour of the Walled
Garden was conducted by one of the gardeners, John Dickinson, after which we had a sandwich lunch in an upstairs
function room. Some members did the longer Wannie Line walk but most opted for the shorter, one-and-a-half hour
Broomhouse Farm walk, which we had to substitute for the advertised River Walk (closed due to storm damage). Some
members had afternoon tea at the Clock Tower Restaurant afterwards.
The Summer Meeting to Vindolanda and the Roman Army Museum took place on Saturday, June 18, 2016. It
was attended by 16 people. We met at the Vindolanda Cafeteria at 10.00 and were conducted on an excellent guided
tour of the site by Blue Badge Guide, Heather McFall. After that, we travelled the short distance to the Twice Brewed
Inn, Bardon Mill, for lunch, and then on to the Roman Army Museum where we spent time exploring the displays and
seeing the special film, ‘Edge of Empire’. Our thanks went to Judy Vigurs, who organised this event.
Our Freshers’ Party at Sinton’s Law firm took place on Monday, September 19, 2016. There were 17 attendees
(10 freshers, 2 guests and 5 NCA members). The President, Hon. Secretary, committee members Ros Lawley and
Vinny Holden, and Tim Gray, who hosted the event, were there to welcome the new students. We had hoped to have
one or two representatives of the Cambridge Alumni Relations team at the event, but in fact none was able to join us.
However Claire Baxter, Alumni Relations Co-ordinator for the Cambridge Development and Alumni Relations Office,
hopes to join us for a future event. Photographs were taken and a registration form completed, so that we now have the
names, college, course and contact details of the freshers. As a means of maintaining and nurturing the contacts made,
we have offered free associate membership to the freshers for the duration of their studies, would be sending them
details of our events and our newsletter, and a pre-Christmas follow-up get-together would be arranged. This annual
event is an excellent way of making contact with a new, younger generation of future Cambridge alumni, and Tim Gray
and Sintons Law were heartily thanked for being prepared to host it.
This had been a good year for the Association, therefore, although we noted with regret the passing of some of
our longstanding and most devoted members: Jeremy Handley, Christopher Beadle, our Hon. Treasurer, and most
recently, Peter Willis, a former Secretary of the Association. Jeremy Handley, with his wife Bea, was a regular and
active participant in NCA events, where his cheerful company added a great deal to each occasion. He was taken ill in
the spring while he and Bea were on holiday, and he subsequently died in Bristol Royal Infirmary. We have extended
our deepest sympathy to Bea on behalf of the Association and hope to see her at future events.
The death of the Association’s Honorary Treasurer, Christopher Beadle, on June 19, 2016, was also a great blow to us. His funeral took
place on July 6, 2016, and was attended by a number of NCA members. A sympathy card was sent from the committee
and members to Christopher’s partner, Colin Ferguson. Contact has been maintained with Colin since then, and the
committee agreed that he should be invited to future events. An ‘In Memoriam’ feature was included in the July
Peter Willis died on August 12, and his funeral/thanksgiving service took place on August 24, 2016, at St
George’s Church, Jesmond. A number of NCA members were in attendance. A sympathy card was sent from the
committee and members to Jenny Willis, and, as with Bea Handley, an invitation was issued to her to continue
attending our events. There will be an ‘In Memoriam’ piece on Peter in the January 2017 newsletter.
5. Hon. Secretary’s Report
The Hon. Secretary gave an overview of forthcoming events, as follows:
a) Autumn Musical Event
This year we have reserved tickets for the ‘World of Brass in Concert with Black Dyke Band’ at the Sage on November
19, 2016. The response to this has been good and we have had to increase our reservation from 15 to 19. The Sage
Brasserie has been booked for dinner and the menu will be sent out a few weeks before the event. The cost of a ticket is
£25 and the price for the set meal will be no more than £20 for two courses and £24 for three courses.
b) Christmas Lunch
This year’s Christmas lunch will be held once again in the Strauss Room of the County Hotel, Newcastle, on Friday,
December 2, 2016. A contract has been signed with the County Hotel and a £200 deposit paid (£10 per person, estimate
20 people). The cost will be £18 per person. The flyer will be sent out shortly with the autumn mailing.
c) Festive Afternoon Tea & Film
We return to the Tyneside Cinema, Newcastle on Saturday, December 10, 2016 for our annual festive afternoon tea and
film. This year’s film will be the popular Nora Ephron romantic comedy, ‘You’ve Got Mail’, which was released as a
Christmas film in 1998. A contract has been signed with the Tyneside Cinema. The cost will be £27.00 per head, as last
year (to include afternoon tea, popcorn, candy cane, glass of prosecco, plus tea and coffee; digital lounge; staff
members). We have been given a discount of £3.00 per person on the usual rate of £27.00. The flyer will be sent out
shortly with the autumn mailing.
The Hon. Secretary also announced that the next meeting of the executive committee would take place on
Wednesday, Nov. 16, at 6.00 pm. Plans for 2017 will be discussed at this meeting, ready for inclusion in the January
Newsletter. As always, suggestions were very welcome.
The following events/dates for 2017 have been planned:
a) Northumbria Police (Forth Banks Facility) (Saturday, February 11, 2017). This has been booked
with Chief Inspector Hails.
b) Annual Dinner, Northern Counties Club, Newcastle (Wednesday, March 15, 2017). This has
c) Richard III Day, Barnard Castle (April 22, 2017). We will be kept informed by Colin Dunnighan
and will circulate details when these are available.
A new membership application form has been produced, and a welcome letter to new members.
Our twice-yearly newsletter is being sent out to members in January and July. Contributions are especially
welcome from members and should be directed to the Hon. Secretary by mid-December for the January issue. Text
contributions should preferably be between 200 and 500 words. Photographs are welcome, preferably in electronic form
(but not necessarily – great care will be taken with prints).
We are still keen to sign up as many members as possible to receive event flyers, newsletters and other
communications electronically. This method of communicating saves a great deal of time and a substantial outlay of the
society’s money. If you have an email address and are willing to receive your NCA mail this way, please make sure you
include it in the attendance form or email the Secretary at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The website [www.northumbrian-cambridge.co.uk] is being updated as often as possible, and so we encourage
you to make it a regular source for information, along with our group page on the Cambridge Alumni site
6. Membership Secretary’s Report
The Membership Secretary, Judy Vigurs, spoke to her report, which was handed out to members at the start of the
meeting. She mentioned that the membership records had been updated, thanks to the combined efforts of the President,
the Treasurer and herself, and appealed for anyone who suspected their records might still be in need of updating to get
in touch. She reported on the current state of the membership (192 members) and listed the losses and additions to the
membership. She reported that out of the total, 153 people (80%) now receive communications by email, which
improves efficiency and reduces costs. She also pointed out that a substantial portion of the membership has not yet
paid their subscriptions and encouraged those who were in arrears to do so now. There was some discussion of the
consequences of non-payment of membership fees, but the President pointed out that everything was being done to
encourage members to attend our meetings and events and that the Committee felt that in the meantime some leniency
should be extended to the defaulters. The matter would be kept under review. The Membership Secretary highlighted
several ways in which the committee had set out to attract new members and in particular mentioned the contact with
new students, who hopefully would go on to become alumni members of the Association. She also noted the strong
support from the Cambridge University Alumni Relations Department and our contact person Claire Baxter.
Consideration was also given to the possibility of making contacts with College Alumni societies. Judy was thanked
warmly for her work as Membership Secretary.
7. Hon. Treasurer’s Report
By way of background, the President reported that Christopher Beadle had indicated in the spring that he wished to step
down at the end of the current year, and so the Committee appointed an Hon. Treasurer-in-waiting, Colin Dunnighan,
who was prepared to shadow Christopher from the summer onwards. Christopher’s death, however, was much more
sudden than we anticipated, and so the President and Secretary initially took on the joint responsibility of Acting
Treasurer, sifting and sorting the Association’s financial data, which Christopher’s partner had made available, and
having meetings with HSBC in Newcastle, the bank that holds our NCA account. A new mandate for the Association
was taken out, with Hon. Secretary, Andrena Telford, as primary user, with the Acting Treasurer, Colin Dunnighan, as
secondary user, and with Hon. Secretary, Hon. Treasurer and President all as signatories. Internet/mobile banking was
set up, with access to the Association’s account for all three signatories, and a chequebook and pay-in book obtained for
both the Hon. Secretary and the Hon. Treasurer. In the late summer, we asked Colin Dunnighan formally to take over as
Acting Treasurer. All the financial files and notes inherited from Christopher were passed to him, and help was given to
secure his access to the account. Despite the difficulties, Colin did an excellent job in preparing a statement of the
Association’s accounts for 2015-16, and these he presented, as Acting Treasurer, to the members. The President
thanked him most warmly for this.
8. Auditor’s Report
In the absence of the Auditor, Vinny Holden, the President read out his report stating that the accounts had been duly
and a signed statement to that effect was available. All account statements (financial audit statement, balance sheet
& accounts) for 2015-16 were approved by the membership.
9. Election of Officers and Executive Committee
Nominations were invited for Officers of the Association, as follows:
President, Honorary Secretary, Honorary Treasurer and Honorary Auditor, and between five and seven other members
of the Executive Committee. Note: One member of the committee is co-opted to act as Membership Secretary.
The following continuing appointments were voted on and approved:
President William Telford
Hon. Secretary Andrena Telford
Hon. Auditor Vinny Holden
Membership Secretary Judy Vigurs
Committee members Ray Brown
Colin Dunnighan was nominated as the new Hon. Treasurer (proposed: Margaret Wilkinson; seconded George
Two new members of the committee were proposed: Professor Peter Atkins (proposed: Heather Cordell;
seconded: Nick Jackson) and Mrs Liz Atkins (proposed: Wendy Bond; seconded: Margaret Wilkinson). Both were
welcomed in absentia to the committee by the President.
Thanks were expressed to retiring committee members Michael Gaunt and Nick Jackson for their valuable
services to the Association.
At our last AGM, the Association registered its appreciation of the outstanding contribution made by James
Wright over the years of his former Presidency. The Executive Committee had decided, therefore, that, on account of
his long and valuable service to our Association, James should be awarded the status of an honorary member. The
membership approved this warmly with a show of hands.
The President also thanked the Executive Committee for all their hard work for the Association during the
course of this year, especially the Hon. Secretary.
10. Any other business
There being no other business, the meeting was adjourned.
Time of Meeting: 55 minutes Number Present: 36 (26 members; 10 guests).