Friday, September 28, 2018, 6 pm
Royal Grammar School, Eskdale Terrace,
Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 4DX


Documentation circulated in advance (and available at the meeting):

  • Agenda; Minutes for September 29, 2017;
  • President’s Report;
  • Hon. Secretary’s Report;
  • Membership Secretary’s Report;
  • Hon. Treasurer’s Report;
  • Audited Financial Statement 1st August, 2017-31st July, 2018;
  • Audited Financial Statement 1st August-16th September, 2018;
  • Auditor’s Report;
  • FLAG/BAfM Friends’ Invitation to Reception & Dinner at Assembly Rooms (October 13, 2018).

Attendance List.
An attendance list was circulated. 20 members and 9 guests were present at the meeting.

Data Protection Policy, Flyers & Newsletters.
Copies of the NCA Privacy & Data Protection Policy, and flyers and booking forms for the three
events leading up to Christmas (The Sage Sixties Concert, the Christmas Lunch and the Festive
Afternoon Tea), together with copies of the July newsletter, were available in the hall and people were
invited to take any of these away.

Also available was the FLAG/BAfM Friends’ Invitation to Reception & Dinner at Newcastle
Assembly Rooms on October 13, on the occasion of the British Association of Friends of Museums
(BAfM) Annual Conference, hosted this year by the Friends of the Laing Art Gallery and organized by
the Chairman and Secretary. Anyone who would like to come was asked to notify one or other at the

1. Apologies for Absence.
Apologies for absence have been received from: George Astbury, Jay Bosanquet, Ray Brown (Hon.
Treasurer), Arnold Fairless, Ian and Candida Fells, Heinz Fuchs, Vinny Holden (Hon. Auditor), John
Saunders, and Trish Pemberton. Apologies were also received from James Wright, who was looking
after our speaker prior to the buffet and Annual Lecture.

2. Minutes of Previous AGM, September 29, 2017.
Minutes of the previous meeting had been sent out to members and additional paper copies were
available in the hall. There were no comments or amendments. Acceptance of the minutes was
proposed by Mick Bond, seconded by Gilbert Cockton and approved by the meeting.

3. Matters Arising.
There were no matters arising that were not to be dealt with under subsequent Agenda items.

4. President’s Report.
The President’s report had been circulated to members and there was a paper copy for members
available in the hall. He went on to summarise the main events of the past year, as follows:
As you can, or will have seen from the report, we have had an action-packed year since we last
held our AGM, with the ‘The Blues Band’ Concert at the Sage last October, our Christmas Lunch
at the County Hotel and Festive Afternoon Tea & Film at the Tyneside in December, our tour of
the North of England Institute of Mining and Mechanical Engineers, followed by a visit to the
nearby Robert Stephenson's Engine Works, in February, our Annual Dinner at the Northern
Counties Club in March, our Stockton & Darlington Railway Day, held at the National Railway
Museum, Shildon, in April (courtesy of NCA member, Alan Townsend), our tour of the Formal
Gardens at Cragside and our short and long walks thereafter, in May, and our visit to Togston Hall
East Lodge (courtesy of Roger Stonehouse, another of our NCA members) and then to Amble, in
June, and our Freshers’ Welcome Party at Mincoffs (courtesy of Tim Gray), in September.
This regular pattern of annual lecture, musical concert, festive events, winter outing, annual
dinner, spring outing, spring walk, and summer outing offers something for everyone, and seems
to suit our members and their guests for numbers to these events have been gradually climbing.
In addition, we’ve been looking to the next generation of NCA members by holding two
freshers’ events, a welcome party in September for local students going up to Cambridge and a
reunion for them in December. Our outreach to these freshers is continuing to bear fruit, for 16
students attended our Freshers’ Welcome party this year.

Thanks to the Cambridge University Development & Alumni Relations Office (CUDAR),
with whom we have now signed a Memorandum of Agreement, and who manage one of our two
websites, we now have contact details for the regional students who went up to Cambridge in
2016, 2017 and 2018, and we have been keeping in contact with them, have offered them free
associate membership of the NCA, are sending them our biannual newsletter, all in the hope that,
should they return to the North East to take up their professional life, they will become full
members of the Association.

Our main website is currently being upgraded by Gilbert Cockton, to whom we are very

This year, we have also responded to the General Data Protection Regulation that was
implemented in May, have drawn up our own Privacy and Data Protection policy, and have issued
this to all members, inviting them to give us permission to handle their data. To date, a third of the
membership have sent back their completed returns.

In conclusion the President reported that it had been a good year, but he also noted with regret the
passing of one of our longtime members: Barbara Kay (Newnham, 1941-44), who died on July 10,
2018. An ‘In Memoriam’ for her was included in the July newsletter.

5. Hon. Secretary’s Report.
The Hon. Secretary’s report had been circulated in advance, and there were also copies in the
auditorium. The Secretary then highlighted forthcoming events until the end of the year (2018), as

  1. Autumn Concert at the Sage, Gateshead (Sixties Gold Final Tour, Tuesday, November 6,
    2018; organiser, Heather Cordell).
    The concert is at 7.30 and tickets are still available at a discounted rate of £34.00. A booking has been
    made for 5.30 at the Sage Brasserie for those who would like a meal beforehand. Book by October 23
    with the Secretary (flyers available in the auditorium).
  2.  Christmas Lunch, County Hotel, Newcastle (Friday, December 7, 2018; organisers, Bill &
    Andrena Telford).
    Quite a lot of bookings have come in already, so it was advisable to book soon (and by Nov. 21 at the
    latest) to be sure of a place. (The room holds 30 diners.)
  3. Festive Afternoon Tea & Film, Tyneside Cinema, Newcastle (Saturday, December 15, 2018;
    organisers, Bill & Andrena Telford).
    The cost has risen substantially since last year but once again, because we have been regular patrons,
    we have been given a special rate of £30.00 per person. This year’s film is “The Man Who Invented
    Christmas” and is the story of Charles Dickens and Christmas. Bookings are coming in, so it would be
    advisable to book as soon as possible, and by December 5 at the latest.
  4. Pre-Christmas Freshers’ Reunion, Revolution (Wednesday, December 12, 2018; 17.00-18.45,
    co-organisers: Bill & Andrena Telford).
    The Secretary noted that NCA members are welcome to join us on the occasion, but should notify the
    Secretary beforehand so that we can give numbers to the restaurant.

The next meeting of the Executive Committee would take place on Wednesday, November 14, at 6 pm,
during which further planning will take place for the following events/dates being organised for 2019:

  1. Tour of the Lit. & Phil. and the Stephenson Quarter, Newcastle (Saturday, February 9, 2019;
    10-2; organizers, Bill & Andrena Telford).
  2. Annual Dinner, Northern Counties Club, Newcastle (Wednesday, March 13, 2019; organisers,
    Bill & Andrena Telford).
  3. Spring Outing, Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle (Saturday, April 27, 2019; organiser, Gilbert
  4. Spring Walk, Chillingham Castle (Saturday, May 18, 2019; organisers/leaders, Peter & Liz
    Atkins; Bill & Andrena Telford; Heather Cordell).
  5. Summer Outing, River Tyne Cruise (Sunday, June 16, 2019; organisers: Peter & Liz Atkins).

The Secretary also reported on the following:
To date we have received GDPR forms from just a third of our membership. These have been kept on
file and the President has responded to each one personally, some of them having come from members
who have not been in touch for some time and who have not been attending events. It is a requirement
for our society that we obtain permission from each of our members to keep some personal details
purely for the purpose of managing their membership and communicating with them. An information
sheet was sent out with the July newsletter, with a tear off slip at the bottom for members’ signatures.
Anyone who had not yet completed a form was requested to do so (copies were available in the
auditorium) and to return it to the Secretary.

The next NCA newsletter is due out in January 2019. Contributions are especially welcome from
members and should be directed to the Hon. Secretary by mid-December. 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).

Electronic Mailing
Members were requested, if they have an email address and are willing to receive their NCA mail this
way, to make sure their address was included in the attendance form or to email the Secretary at:

The website [] was being updated by committee member Gilbert
Cockton, and was already showing an exciting new look. Members were encouraged to make it a
regular source for information, along with our group page on the Cambridge Alumni site

The President thanked the Hon. Secretary on behalf of the Association.

6. Membership Secretary’s Report.
The Membership Secretary’s report had been circulated in advance, and there were copies in the
auditorium. However, she presented the following summary:

  • Membership currently stands at approx. 205.
  • We were sad to hear, this summer, of the death of one of our oldest members, Barbara Kay.
    We had also lost touch with another member, Matthew Dolan, who had moved.
  • The Membership Secretary had attended an Alumni Groups Leadership Conference on July 14
    at the Moeller Centre, Churchill College. The opening address at this event was given by
    Bruce Mortimer of CUDAR who summarised the results of a survey of 420 alumni groups,
    with a view to improving its services. He then introduced the new Pro Vice Chancellor,
    Graham Virgo, who raised the important theme of widening participation. John Pritchard,
    chair of the Alumni Advisory Board, gave the statistic that there are 4.76 applications for
    every place at the university, which raises the question of how to get more people to apply.
    New information leaflets about the university were handed out. After a number of breakout
    sessions in the afternoon the day ended with a drinks reception at the newly refurbished
    Museum of Zoology. Copies of the Membership Secretary’s full report were available in the

The President thanked the Membership Secretary for her work over the year and in particular for
representing us at the Cambridge event.

7. Hon. Treasurer’s Report.
The Hon. Treasurer, Ray Brown, was unable to come to the AGM to give his Treasurer’s report, but
this had already been circulated, along with the Audited Financial Statement for August 1, 2017-July
31, 2018, that for August 1-September 16, 2018 and the Auditor’s Report.

Among the points made by the Treasurer were that there had been a significant rise in income
for the year, largely due to the increase in the annual membership fee from £5.00 to £10.00. Total
income had risen from £465.00 to £1,000. More than half of the members, 57%, were now using
Standing Order Mandates to pay for membership and 14% were using internet banking. Most members,
but not all, had increased their annual payments. Those who had not had been contacted and replies
were awaited. Administration expenses had remained fairly constant.
The current bank balance as of September 16 was £2,675.13.

There were no questions arising from the Treasurer’s report, and the President thanked him for his
work on the finances during his temporary assumption of the Treasurership.

8. Auditor’s Report
The Hon. Auditor was unable to at the meeting, but the President read out his report, which had also
been circulated beforehand (copies were also available in the hall).

The Treasurer’s Report, the Financial Statement of Accounts and the Auditor’s Report were
accepted with a show of hands (nem. con). The Hon. Auditor was also thanked for his work on the

9. Election of Officers and Executive Committee.
The following officers were elected with a show of hands, nem. con.:

President: Dr William Telford
Hon. Secretary: Dr Andrena Telford
Hon. Auditor: Vinny Holden

Susan Austin was elected as Hon. Treasurer (proposed Margaret Wilkinson; seconded Wendy Bond).
The President welcomed Susan to the committee and expressed his appreciation of her willingness to
take on the role.

The following members of the Executive Committee were confirmed by a show of hands (nem. con.:
Prof. Peter Atkins
Mrs Liz Atkins
Prof. Heather Cordell
Mrs Judy Vigurs (co-opted Membership Secretary)
Colin Dunnighan
Prof. Gilbert Cockton

The President thanked the Executive Committee for their hard work over the year.

10. Any other business.
There was no other business.

In conclusion, the President reminded members of the attendance list, the Data Protection
Policy forms, the flyers for forthcoming events and the copies of the July 2018 Newsletter, which were
all available in the hall.

The meeting was declared closed at 18.33.