Friday, September 29, 2017, at 6.00 p.m.

Royal Grammar School, Eskdale Terrace, Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 4DX


Documentation circulated in Advance: Agenda; Minutes for September 30, 2017; President’s Report; Hon. Secretary’s Report; Membership Secretary’s Report; Hon. Treasurer’s Report; Audited Financial Statement 2016-17; Auditor’s Report.

Copies of these were also available in the hall.

Attendance List.

An attendance list was circulated. 15 members and 6 guests were present at the meeting.

1.              Apologies for Absence.

Apologies for absence were received from Peter Allatt, George Astbury, Jay Bosanquet, Heather Cordell, Ian Fells, Michael Gaunt, Tim Gray, Bea Handley, Rosamund Holden, Vinny Holden (Hon. Auditor), Chris & Ann Petrie, John Saunders, John Tait, Judy Vigurs (Membership Secretary).

 2.              Minutes of previous AGM, September 30, 2016.

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 and seconded by Ray Brown.

 3.              Matters Arising.

There were no matters arising that were not be dealt with under subsequent Agenda items.

 4.              President’s Report.

The President’s report had been circulated to members in advance. He pointed out, however, that we had had a very full and rich programme of events over the year. He also noted that a regular pattern had now developed, in which we offer our members, our associate members and our guests: an annual lecture, a musical concert, two festive events (a Christmas lunch and a festive afternoon tea and film), a winter outing, an annual dinner, a spring outing, a spring walk, and a summer outing. There was, he hoped, something here for everyone. In addition, the society now holds two freshers’ events, a welcome party in September and a reunion in December. Our outreach to freshers was bearing fruit, with some 28 students attendeding our Freshers’ Welcome party this year, held at Mincoffs Solicitors in Jesmond. Thanks were extended once again to Tim Gray for organising the venue and to Mincoffs for their welcome to us. The intention is to keep contact with the students throughout their undergraduate years, in the hope that, should they return to the North East to take up their professional life, they will become supportive members of the Association.

            In his report, the President had noted with regret the passing of some longtime members: John Bryan Clinton (Downing, 1951-54), Harry C. Cockerill (Magdalene, 1945-48), F. J. M. (Jack) Lindsay (Trinity Hall, 1952-55) and most recently, Hazel Fells (Hughes Hall, 1956-57), who served the Association so well for so many years, not least in her role as Membership Secretary.

            There were no questions in relation to the report, but general appreciation was expressed.

5.              Hon. Secretary’s Report.

The Hon. Secretary’s report had been circulated to members in advance. She reported on the forthcoming events until the end of the year (2017), as follows:

a)    Autumn Concert, Sage, Gateshead (The Blues Band, Saturday, October 28, 2017); 8 tickets were still available.

b)    Festive Lunch, County Hotel, Newcastle (Friday, December 1, 2017); places were still available (maximum number is 30).

c)    Festive Afternoon Tea & Film, Tyneside Cinema, Newcastle (Saturday, December 9, 2017); places were still available.

The next meeting of the Executive Committee would take place on Wednesday, November 15, at 6.00 pm, during which further planning will take place for the following events/dates being organised for 2018:

a)      Winter Outing, North of England Institute of Mining and Mechanical Engineers, Newcastle upon Tyne/Robert Stephenson's Engine Works (tbc) (Saturday, February 10, 2018; organisers, Bill & Andrena Telford).

b)     Annual Dinner, Northern Counties Club, Newcastle (Wednesday, March 14, 2018; organisers, Bill & Andrena Telford).

c)      Spring Outing, Stockton & Darlington Railway Day, Shildon (Saturday, April 14, 2018; organisers, Alan Townsend in conjunction with Bill & Andrena Telford).

d)     Spring Walk, Cragside (Saturday, May 19, 2018; organisers, Bill & Andrena Telford, Ray Brown, Heather Cordell).

e)      Summer Outing, Amble (Togston Hall, East Lodge, near Amble; lunch at Old Boat House, visit to Northumberland Seafood Centre (tbc) (Saturday, June 9, 2018; organisers: Bill & Andrena Telford).

f)      Freshers’ Welcome, Mincoffs, Newcastle (Monday, September 17, 2018, tbc; organisers, Tim Gray, Bill & Andrena Telford).

g)     AGM & Annual Lecture, Royal Grammar School, Newcastle (Friday, September 28, 2018, tbc; organisers, Bill & Andrena Telford).

h)     Autumn Concert, Sage, Gateshead (October/November, 2018; organiser, Heather Cordell).

i)      Festive Lunch, County Hotel, Newcastle (Friday, December 7, 2018, tbc; organisers, Bill & Andrena Telford).

j)      Festive Afternoon Tea & Film, Tyneside Cinema, Newcastle (Saturday, December 15, 2018, tbc; organisers, Bill & Andrena Telford).


The Hon. Secretary reminded members that our next newsletters would be 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. 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).

The Secretary pointed out that an increasing number of members were happy to receive emails, flyers and other communications electronically and urged any who had not yet indicated willingness to do so to contact the Secretary with their email address (to: The Northumbrian Cambridge Association website [] was being updated as often as possible, and so 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, Judy Vigurs, was unable to be at the meeting, but her report had been circulated. In addition, the President reported that the current membership stood at 184 (147 of whom received communications by email and a further 37 by post), with 6 additional associate members (spouses of current or deceased members who have been regular attenders), not counting the freshers from last year and this. Two members had resigned this year: Raymond Lawrence (Clare, 1969-72) and W. J. F. Rawling (St. John's, 1958-61) but we have one new member (Dr Betty Schofield) and have expressions of interest from five potential new members.

In the following discussion it was suggested that further links should be cultivated with the North Yorkshire and neighbouring Scottish associations. The President reported that there were already links with North Yorkshire (for example, an exchange of newsletters and notice of events), and some joint events would be desirable.

The President would convey the thanks of the society to Judy Vigurs for her work as Membership Secretary.

7.              Hon. Treasurer’s Report.

The Hon. Treasurer’s report had already been circulated, along with the Audited Financial Statement for 2016-17 and the Auditor’s Report. The Treasurer noted that it had been an uneventuful year in terms of finance, with most of the events being cost neutral. The one exception had been last year’s AGM and annual lecture, where additional expenses, necessarily incurred by the guest speaker, standing in at short notice, resulted in a deficit. On the basis of this, to ensure no further loss in 2017, it had been decided to increase the price of this year’s AGM, buffet and lecture to £20.00. Although the society’s finances are generally sound, concern remains about the proportion of members not paying their subscription. The past year’s total of subscriptions paid was the lowest since 2013-14. A proposal was put forward that the subscription should be raised from £5.00 to £10.00, and it was agreed that this would be discussed at the next meeting of the executive committee.

8.              Auditor’s Report,

The Hon. Auditor, Vinny Holden, was unable to be present evening but his report had already been circulated. The President read out the Auditor’s statement. The Hon. Treasurer’s Report, the Financial Statement for 2016-17 and the Hon. Auditor’s Report were accepted with a show of hands (nem.con.).

On behalf of the Association, the President thanked the Hon. Treasurer, Colin Dunnighan, for his work during the year. He will also convey the thanks of the Society to Vinny Holden.

9.              Election of Officers and Executive Committee.

Since the constitution states that the Officers of the Association (President, Hon. Secretary, Hon. Treasurer, Hon. Auditor) take office for one year, elections for these posts therefore take place annually at this time.

The current President, Dr William Telford, Dr Andrena Telford as the current Hon. Secretary, and Mr Vinny Holden as the current Auditor, have all expressed their willingness to carry on for another year.

These appointments were confirmed with a show of hands (nem.con.)

Where the role of Hon Treasurer was concerned, Colin Dunnighan had expressed his wish, for personal and health reasons, to retire from the post, although he is willing to continue as a member of the committee. Dr Ray Brown had agreed to be nominated for the post (proposer: Jane McKnight; seconder: Margaret Wilkinson). Since there were no other nominations, Ray Brown was duly appointed by a show of hands.

The constitution states that the Executive Committee should likewise be elected every year, and should consist of not more than seven and not less than five members of the Association.

Five of the current Committee, Professor Peter Atkins, Liz Atkins, Professor Heather Cordell, Colin Dunnighan and Judy Vigurs, who has been co-opted as our Membership Secretary, were all willing to stand again.  Their appointments were confirmed with a show of hands.

Two other members of the current Committee, Ros & Vinny Holden, had decided to step down, due to work and family commitments, after many years of faithful service, for which the President thanked them most warmly.

The Committee had approached one new member to serve in their stead, Professor Gilbert Cockton, who had indicated his willingness to serve. His nomination was proposed by Peter Atkins and seconded by Alan Townsend. It was accepted with a show of hands.

The President thanked the members of the executive committee for all their hard work for the association in the course of the year. In turn Peter Atkins proposed a vote of thanks to the President, which was warmly applauded.

10.            Any other business.

There being no other business, the President declared the meeting closed at 18.35 pm.




Dr Andrena Telford

Hon. Secretary

October 13, 2017