AGM Agenda and Reports


1. Apologies for absence
Apologies have been received from Liz Atkins, Peter Atkins, Jay Bosanquet, Ian Fells, Nick James, Ian Lawley, Alan Townsend and Candida Whitman-Fells

2. Minutes of previous AGM, October 7, 2022
3. Matters arising
4. President’s Report
5. Hon. Secretary’s Report
6. Membership Secretary’s Report
7. Hon. Treasurer’s Report
8. Auditor’s Report
9. Election of Officers and Executive Committee
10. Any other business

President's Report, Professor Heather Cordell 27.09.23

I am pleased to report that in the past year (since September 2022) we have continued our usual full programme of in-person events, all of which have been announced via email or through the NCA website: These have included a concert trip to the Queen’s Hall in Hexham, a Christmas Lunch, a Festive Tea and Film at the Tyneside Cinema, an Annual Dinner, several excursions to places of interest and a late summer barbecue in the garden of the NCA President.

Rob Tindall will be standing down from the Executive Committee following this AGM. The other current Committee members are all willing to continue for another year. The constitution states that there should be not more than seven nor less than five non-ex officio members, so we have one potential vacancy, and we would welcome expressions of interest from others to join the Committee. Expressions of interest from anyone willing to take over as Secretary from Gilbert Cockton would be particularly
welcome! The Committee hopes that all members attending the AGM will approve the 2023-2024 Committee and give them your support.

I recently attended an Alumni Groups Leadership Conference in Cambridge. It was nice to connect with Committee members from other local Alumni Groups and to swap stories and experiences. We are tentatively looking into holding a joint event at some point in 2024 with the Cambridge Society of Edinburgh – watch this space!

Following the Alumni Groups Leadership Conference, I was also inspired to reconsider improving our social media presence as a way to recruit potential new members. The Committee is therefore currently looking into instigating a greater engagement with social media, including setting up Facebook and LinkedIn pages. Full details will be circulated in due course; we would encourage any existing members who engage with these platforms to follow/comment/share our content as appropriate.

Hon. Secretary's Report, Em.Prof. Gilbert Cockton 29.09.23

We have held five committee meetings since the last AGM. These are hybrid, with in person attendance and remote attendance via Zoom. These have worked well, with several committee members attending at least one meeting in person. After last year's AGM and annual lecture at Newcastle's Lit & Phil, we have booked this venue again for 2023. We have also held the Freshers' Receptions at the Lit & Phil since 2022. The last was on Thursday September 21st September. Fresher attendance was slightly reduced relative to 2022, with relatively fewer women and students from the south of the region. However, four 2022 freshers returned to share their first year experiences. A few students have already committed to joining us in 2024. Five committee members also attended, so there was a broad range of experience on hand for the freshers.

Alongside my honorary secretary role, preparing committee and AGM minutes, I have also managed the communications for NCA. The NCA website ( is well establised after a redesign several years ago. We need to migrate it to a new site building tool from our website host and domain name registrant. We are also making more use of email, with a rapidly reducing number of members relying solely on postal communication. We encourage everyone who can to move to email communication, as it is timely, efficient and cheaper than post. Email is also more amenable to feedback and suggestions, which we also welcome (as are postal communications, which we still receive occasionally).

Until the beginning of this year, I edited the NCA newsletter. This is now in the capable hands of Ian Lawley, who will edit his second edition for January 2024.  All previous NCA newsletters are available from

Membership Secretary’s Report

This year we embarked on a detailed review of our membership database as we were aware
that, of the 167 members listed, many had had no communication with and/or had not
subscribed to the Association in recent years. It was also essential to have a signed GDPR
(General Data Protection Regulations) form from each individual in order for us to be able to
hold their data and to contact them legally.

The ‘database clean’ resulted in the removal of 93 members from the membership list –
either due to non-response or to resignation owing to relocation, increasing age and
infirmity or lack of time. Sadly, a number were now deceased.

Current membership now stands at 74, including seven Honorary members and one Associate
member. Associate members are partners of deceased NCA members who have regularly
attended our events, and to whom it is our policy to offer NCA membership and continued
access to events. We have 66 members on our email list and eight on the postal list.
Although this may seem a dramatic reduction in numbers, the membership listing now more
accurately reflects those with an active interest in or involvement with the Association.
We are sad to report the deaths of Janet Townsend and most recently Stephen Lawson
(Downing 1964-67) and Mick Bond (Jesus 1958-62), all of whom were longstanding
members of the Association.

We offer free associate membership to students registering for our Freshers’ Welcome Party,
and now have 108 students who have agreed to be on our list (2019: 45; 2021 30; 2022 17; 2023: 16). We hope
they may become full members should they return to the area in the future.

Susan Austin
Membership Secretary 

Hon. Treasurer’s Report

This report accompanies the (unaudited) financial statements for the year ended 31 July 2023.

Subscription income has reduced this year, with around 20 members leaving the membership
list for a variety of reasons, as noted in the membership report. Around 90% of subscriptions
are now paid electronically (by Standing Order or bank transfer).

Bookings for events continue to be encouraging and we had another good attendance at the
Freshers’ welcome party with an outlay of £259.

The deficit of £104 on the 2022 AGM results from having to book a minimum number for
catering which was not ultimately matched by bookings although there was a significant
saving on lecturer’s expenses.

The deficit for the Spring Outing (Ryhope Engines Museum) is again food-related as we had
prepaid the pub on the basis of bookings received, but not requested payment in advance
from attendees, and not all stayed for the lunch. The visit itself was free of charge.
The concert also made a loss of £70 due to group booking of tickets which was not matched
by bookings. We will be taking a different approach to this event in 2023, as it is becoming
increasingly difficult to find concerts that have a widespread appeal and are also affordable.
There were small surpluses on the Annual Dinner, the Winter Outing to Sunderland Glass
Centre and the Christmas Lunch. The apparent surplus on the Festive Tea is cancelled out by
the deposit paid in the previous financial year, so this event broke even, as did the Summer
Outing to the Auckland Project.

A deposit of £350 has been paid for the 2023 Festive Tea & Film.

The new Lloyds bank account has been fully operational since January and is working
smoothly. All members seem to be up to speed with the change, despite some initial

Most administrative expenses are in line with earlier years. The increase in postage costs is
due to extra mailings relating to membership and updating the membership database and
increase in postage cost, although we do have a good stock of stamps for future use.
The outturn for the year is a surplus of £369.12, a good turnaround from 2022’s deficit of
£175.73. The Association is in a sound financial position.

Susan Austin
October 2023

End of year financial statement (unaudited).

Auditor’s Report

To follow.

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