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St Aidan’s Alumni

St Aidan’s College, Windmill Hill
Durham, DH1 3LI
St Aidan’s
(0191) 334 5769
help@aidans-alumni.org.uk
www.aidans-alumni.org.uk
Alumni Magazine & Newsletter
December 2013
Welcome
Issue 4, May 2014
We start this issue with an apol-
ogy for the prolonged absence
of newsletters. We are sorry to
report that Nick Boalch is unable
to continue his work as news-
letter editor and ‘webmaster’
due to the demands of work. We
pay tribute to Nick’s excellent
contribution to the Association
later in this issue. Meanwhile we
hope you enjoy this double issue
and we look forward to resuming
our annual publication schedule
in future.
In this issue you will
fnd happy recollections of the
2012 reunion which included
matriculates from the start of St.
Aidan’s Society to the move up
Windmill Hill. We were bless-
ed with glorious early autumn
weather, gentle sunshine and
glowing turning leaves, all of
which were replaced 36 hours af-
ter we lef with foods. Durham’s
Old Elvet Bridge even featured
on the national news.
We have also included
reports from students awarded
small grants to enable them to at-
tend conferences and their words
make interesting reading. Some
inspire a longing for the intellec-
tual stimulation of such events.
For those so inclined you may
fnd the ‘Durham Events’ page of
interest. It shows a small sample
of the lectures and events open to
the public so do make the most
of this development if you can.
2013 – 2014 sees a re-
newed focus on our archive and I
look forward to reporting in our
next newsletter on the progress
made. Meanwhile I hope you
enjoy reading this issue and wish
you all the very best for the com-
ing year.
Jan Collinge
Editor
editor@aidans-alumni.org.uk
News From College
St Aidan’s College in 2011 - 2013 1
Te Principal’s review of the year in college
From the JCR Presidents 3
Te JCR Presidents’ review of the year in college
Features
Life After Durham 9
Stories from John Ashworth, Barbara Carter and Jacquetta Gomes
Travel Reports 11
Write ups from students in receipt of a travel grant
Conference Reports 24
Students who received small grants to visit conferences report back
News From Members
News In Brief 26
News and updates from St Aidan’s Alumni members
Obituaries 31
Fitting tributes to past St Aidan’s Alumni members
News from St Aidan’s Alumni
And Then There Was One 34
Jan Collinge reports on the St Aidan’s Alumni team
Events 35
What’s going on in Durham
St Aidan’s Alumni Reunion 2012 36
A thoroughly enjoyable weekend for matriculates 1945 - 1662
Results and Prizes
Degree Results 39
College Awards and Prizes 39
St Aidan’s College in 2011 - 13
Susan Frenk, our Principal, on the year in College
Te past two years have been punctuated as ever by intense
activity across all areas, further increases in our Postgradu-
ate population and some special events which mark the frst
steps in the journey towards our 75th Anniversary. To mark
the occasion, we aim to produce a new History of the Col-
lege, to follow up the one commissioned by Irene Hindmarsh
which runs from the foundation of the College up to the late
1980s. We were delighted to celebrate Irene and her legacy in
September 2011 when we enjoyed our best attended Alumni
Reunion since the year in which the University’s 175th happily
coincided with our 60th. Irene gave a magnifcent speech and
our alumni association ofcers then presented a gif to John
Ashworth for his years of service and honoured the memo-
ry of Dame Enid Russell-Smith and Miss Ethleen Scott. Te
Reunion also provided a sympathetic platform to launch our
Bursary Appeal and I would like to extend my thanks once
again to all those who have responded. Te task is on-going
of course, and the need for bursaries grows apace, but we will
award the frst of them in 2014-15, following careful discussion
of how they should be targeted, and will report back on the
recipients in future newsletters.
Our collaboration with the Dialogue Society pro-
duced a memorable series running throughout 2011-12,
exploring intercultural relationships and confict resolution,
with the participation of students, staf, community workers,
politicians, senior police ofcers and the general public. A
follow-up project with Andrew Orton, SASS (School of Applied
Social Sciences) will be inaugurated with a workshop in 2014.
Bridge and Tunnel, our Newcastle based NGO part-
ner, launched its latest flm I am Nasrine in the UK and the
USA, and we joined St. Chad’s in exploring closer collabora-
tion with the Durham Book Festival.
A similar collective efort, with NEPACS and St.
Cuthbert’s Society, brought the Scottish Commissioner for
Children and Young Persons to Durham. Personal testimo-
nies punctuated the policy issues during question time at the
well-attended talk and discussion continued over dinner in the
Lindisfarne Centre, amongst researchers, students, staf and
volunteers from NEPACS, other community organisations,
probation and prison ofcers, social workers and reformers.
We hope to establish a project encompassing the key strands
that emerged, in collaboration with Lena Dominelli and her
team, SASS and IHRR (Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resil-
ience).
Te Politics café teased out topics from the Arab
Spring, Conspiracy Teories (and their recent incarnations
in social media), to Identity and Diaspora – but the highlight
was sculptor Lilian Nabulime’s account of how she developed
small soap sculptures as a tool in HIV/AIDS education in her
homeland of Uganda. Lilian lived in Aidan’s for six months
as a Visiting Commonwealth Scholar working with Cheryl Mc-
Ewan in Geography, a vibrant and inspiring presence. Te link
will continue as our students wish to fundraise for a project to
produce soap sculptures in villages in Uganda.
We were sad to say farewell to our Jewish Studies
Fellow, Dr. Nidhani Paba de Andrado who has been a key
member of our community, an inspiring Mentor to many stu-
dents and a warmly supportive presence, but we wish her every
success and happiness in her postdoctoral work at Cambridge
University.
A lone hot and dusty day in June provided a template
for future career development strategies, Mr. Justice Openshaw,
kindly loaned to us by his wife, Aidan’s alumna Mrs. Justice
Swif, toured the almost completed new Law School, gave a talk
to students and circulated round the table with his clerk at a
dinner for a smaller group, following an exhausting stint on the
circuit….then generously ofered a number of students the op-
portunity to sit in on his cases in Newcastle during the summer.
Finally, in July we sponsored a fascinating research
workshop on Diaspora Jewish Identity and a pathbreaking
Postgraduate Workshop run by the Centre for Sex, Gender and
Sexualities, both in the Lindisfarne Centre.
Te academic year opened in October 2012 with a new
addition to our existing cultural cafes in Science and Politics
cafés: Café Boheme (Arts Café). Vying for attention with the
Dialogue Forum, Language evenings and Book Club, they
launched in spectacular fashion with a Jane Austen evening to
celebrate the Pride and Prejudice anniversary. Aidan’s Teatre
Company followed the annual postmodern take on the pan-
tomime tradition with a very well received production of Te
Portrait of Dorian Gray and Life Drawing took of under the
auspices of the revamped Arts Committee. Te Choir per-
formed at our frst ever 3 Cultures Channukah-Eid-Christmas
event, with classical Persian Music in the Suf tradition provid-
ed by one of our College Mentors and his daughter, while the
Hill Orchestra continued to sweeten our Wednesday evenings
with their harmonies. Our enduringly popular termly Jazz,
Rock & Cocktails and the new weekly open mike sessions in the
Bar continued to bring together undergrads and postgrads, as
did our broad and lively Sports scene. Our on-going Alumni
Photography bursary holder set up and ran a photography club
and handed over its further development to the two incoming
bursary recipients before leaving for her Year Abroad.
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Te SCR-MCR instituted a Lecture Series, inaugurated by David Varley’s Handbags and Gladrags: Cross-Dressing for Pow-
er and Proft in Old Norse Myth and Legend and entered into a vibrant collaborative Postgraduate Research Forum with
Van Mildert, Trevelyan and Mary’s. Hosting the Inner Temple was a careers highlight for all students but may be eclipsed by the
BBC speaker coming soon…Te Centre for Sex, Gender and Sexuality (CSGS) seminar series has drawn in exactly the cross-sec-
tion we hoped for, staf, students and members of regional communities engaging with riveting work on gendered bodies, violence
and performance, the unforeseen and unintended consequences of well- intentioned criminal policy and practice, punk feminism,
subtle re-workings of historic racisms…and more.
Our Creative Writing course had an extraordinary year, producing genuinely exciting work, particularly from its Art
Into Writing collaboration with the Baltic Museum, while the online Journal Inkapture attracted contributions from a number
of established writers alongside our emergent authors. Despite her work with the group and on our other writing projects, our
Creative Writing Fellow, Dr. Fadia Faqir, managed to deliver a new novel to the publisher and our resident Jewish Studies fellow,
Rabbi Danny Rich, embraced our community while working feverishly on his own book. Regional community partner, Bridge
and Tunnel, celebrated a BAFTA nomination for I am Nasrine and our students extended their volunteering even further with
the establishment of a local school project. Having opened the Year with an Olympics/ParaOlym pics themed Freshers’ Week, the
creativity of student led social events was sustained with a Cluedo Formal Evening inter-spersed by a series of expertly performed
and fendishly scripted scenes; a magnifcent Chinese New Year celebration; an inclusively romantic Valentine’s enlivened by our
(weather) postponed Burns ceilidh and the Africa themed Informal Ball. Welfare campaigns have been similarly imaginative, most
matching even the dazzle and historical resonance of Pride week.
So two absorbing years have passed at lightning speed, scattering two more cohorts of Aidan’s alumni into a complex but,
we hope, welcoming world.
SFF October 2013
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News from College
Aidan’s Summer Ball 2012
Carving of Monks carrying St Cuthbert’s Body to Safety by Fenwick Lawson
From the JCR President
David Morris reviews the JCR year 2011 - 2012
Aidan’s Open Day, March 2013
Tere are surely few expe-
riences quite like a year as a
JCR President. Te level of
immersion required to sus-
tain oneself in the job leaves
one with a sense of commit-
ment and attachment quite
like anything else, and to sud-
denly be free of that will take
some getting used to upon
my return. I look forward to
seeing the JCR continue to
come on leaps and bounds,
as in recent years, and it’s a
particular blessing that I’ve
not seen my last fancy-dress
formal just yet.
Anyone who has
experienced a summer in
Durham will recall what a
drag it can be. In spite of
being increasingly excited and
anxious about the coming
term, those few months spent
more-or-less alone in college
last year could ofen seem a
little drab without the usual
buzz that one associates with
the place. However, advances
in social media provided a
silver-lining of light-hearted
amusement and joviality
(characteristically Aidanite
qualities I might say) as the
soon-to-be freshers joined
our Facebook group, and
promptly began to shed light
on their numerous hopes
and fears about the modern
University experience. Choice
questions included:
“Are there any bins in col-
lege?”
“How many fancy dress cos-
tumes is it socially acceptable
to bring?”
“Any Bruce Springsteen
fans?”
Nonetheless,
Facebook in recent years has
proved a great tool for bring-
ing together new and existing
members of our ever-ex-
panding community. 2011’s
Freshers proved to be a very
cohesive bunch, and many
threw themselves straight into
the smorgasbord of activities
ofered by the college envi-
ronment.
Freshers’ Week was a smash
hit, for which our fantastic
team of Freshers’ Reps, lead
by Carla Glass, received a
great many deserved plati-
tudes.
Aptly themed “Around the
World in 8 Days”, fancy dress
themes ranged from Rio
Carnival to Aussie BBQ, with
some particularly impressive
eforts made by numerous
new students. One of the
most rewarding aspects of the
year has been seeing so many
freshers evolving across the
year in a similar manner to
how I found myself grow sev-
eral years back. Te welcoming and relaxed attitude of Aidan’s
once again allowed most Freshers to very quickly shake of the
early nerves and really come into themselves, and it’s been a
great pleasure to get to know so many of them across the year.
Many departed students’ best memories of Aidan’s
are from our spectacular social calendar, and the past year’s
events will be fondly recalled for many years to come by those
fortunate enough to have attended them. Te Halloween Mega-
formal, now a staple of every spooky season at Aidan’s, sold out
in record time, and was based on a revived and ever-popular
Harry Potter theme. Te night saw some spectacular costumed
reminiscences of our generation’s defning young-persons
serial, ranging from quidditch squads to a fying Ford Anglia.
Tis was followed by ‘I’m an Aidanite, Get Me Out of Here’
on Aidan’s Day, which included one of the most impressive
editions of the endurance challenge that I’ve had the (mis-?)
fortune of witnessing in my time here.
Epiphany Term then concluded with a wonderful
‘Night at the Movies’ themed Informal Ball. Here, commitment
to costume was best embodied by one second year student’s
decision to completely shave of his hair in order to become
Gollum on the ‘Lord of the Rings’ themed table. I’d like to
extend my thanks to Vice-President Ben Richardson and his
Livers Out Committee for a sterling efort, and in particular for
transforming the Shinclife Room into an authentically spooky
‘Horror Walk’ for one of the most popular ents of the evening.
Te icing on the proverbial social cake was the sea-
sonal spectacular, vintage circus themed Summer Ball. Guests
got to experience a full circus troupe on show in the main hall,
transformed into a big tent, complete with a spectacular light-
ing set-up and topped of by headlining dancing act Stavros
Flatley (of ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ fame).
Topped up with a spectacular array of fairground
rides, sideshows, wandering entertainers, Silent Disco, cham-
pagne breakfast and a wonderful meal provided by our staf,
this event was the biggest and best event Durham has likely
seen or will see for many years. Many thanks must go to Lotty
Ellicott, organiser-in-chief supreme, ably assisted by Maddie
Daniels and the rest of Social Committee, for putting on what
was truly ‘Te Greatest Show on Earth’.
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Filtered throughout the year was an array of more understated
activity, ranging from the spontaneous to the pre-designed.
Society activity saw the continuation of regular Film Society
nights, complete with compulsory pyjamas and beanbags, the
foundation of the Picnic Society and Book Society, and the
continued laid-back musicality of Aidan’s Voices and the Bar-
bershop Badgers. Te music room itself was revitalised thanks
to a re-stocking and clearing efort by Chris Mueller, and is
now better used than ever before. Teatre in Aidan’s was also
revived thanks to the re-founded Aidan’s College Teatre, who
produced a scaled down pantomime ft for the JCR, as well as
an exceptionally professional and successful multi-night stint in
the Assembly Rooms of Oscar Wilde’s ‘Te Picture of Dorian
Gray’.
Aidan’s Open Day, March 2013
Aidan’s Panto Rehersal, December 2011
Other regular social events throughout the year included some
fantastic Newcastle Nights, Aidan’s Sport Socials (A.S.S.) and
bar parties, including a belated ‘New Year Party’ to celebrate
the opening of the now renovated(-ish) Klute.
DUCK activity in college reached new heights this year under
the aegis of David Murphy, with Aidan’s achieving the third
highest fundraising total in the college league table. Notable
fundraising eforts included the Dare Night, featuring some
futile attempts by Freshers to eat a toastie in less than a minute;
David’s own efort of wearing a DUCK suit for a whole week
non-stop; and the mysterious (and temporary) appearance
in Aidan’s bar of a piece of antique furniture belonging to
Hatfeld.
Formals continue to be a staple of college life, though
the JCR has had to continue its adjustment to the University’s
doubling of prices in the previous year. Tis culminated in the
beginning of a small subsidy by the JCR on the cost of formals,
but also more dramatically in a motion calling for the reintro-
duction of gowns to Aidan’s formals. In a lively and heated de-
bate at a JCR Meeting, both sides made their cases passionately,
and we all learnt a lot about how together we might contin-
ue to evolve our college’s sense of self. Te fnal vote, taken
online, opted to narrowly reject gowns by 57% to 43%. In spite
of the challenges of costs and debates over style, formals have
continued to be well attended, with Iain Smith deserving great
thanks for stepping in mid-year as Formals Ofcer.
Te core JCR services, both shop and bar, had strong years,
with the bar in particular fnding renewed stability and some
interesting new lines under the direction of Matt Turking-
ton. Takings have been up, in no small part thanks to another
fantastic annual summertime, ‘Best of British’ themed Beer
Festival, at which it was great to see so many recent alumni.
Matt must be thanked for the added professionalism he has
brought to the bar’s management, as well as for his advice and
counsel over the year as a fellow sabbatical ofcer. Discussions
between the JCR and college are still ongoing as we continue
to investigate a sustainable management structure for the bar,
which hopefully the new JCR President will be able to report on
in the next edition of this magazine.
Te shop, fresh with a new paint job and menu,
continues to keep stocked up on sweets and savouries required
to see students through long late-night library sessions, as well
as running the continually successful Jazz Rock and Cocktails
evenings once a term. We wait in great anticipation for plans
for a full refurbishment of the shop and JCR area, which would
breathe new life into the space and enhance future students’
experience greatly.
Te year was a seminal one in terms of the JCR’s legal
position and governance structure. Last year, the JCR voted to
come under the umbrella of the University’s legal status, and
become a ‘Durham Student Organisation’, quasi-independent
bodies within the University, as opposed to registering as a
fully independent charity, a new requirement by law. Tis was
akin to the decision taken by the majority of other colleges’
JCRs. Fears about the University running roughshod over our
independence and activities have proven to be unfounded in
the frst full year of being a DSO. Te now closer cooperation
between JCRs and the University has proven to be benefcial for
both parties and has led to the University gaining a greater un-
derstanding and appreciation of what we do. Te JCR now has
access to support from the various professional departments
of the University, including legal, governance, fnance and in-
surance, which has resulted in monetary savings injected right
back into the student experience. Tese changes to governance
allowed the JCR to fully revise its governing documents, and we
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News from College
have taken this opportunity to expand the range of opportuniti-
es on ofer and introduce new ways of encouraging students to
get involved in what we do, particularly through introducing
interviews as a selection process for numerous committees.
At the fnal JCR Meeting of the year I had the great
pleasure and honour of awarding Honorary Life Memberships
to Becky Smethurst, Ben Richardson, Jonny Johnson, Rich Hall,
Lotty Ellicott and Ben Conti for outstanding and superlative
commitment to theJCR. Particular thanks go to Ben Conti for
two years in the most demanding of jobs as JCR Treasurer,
which he performed with exceptional dedication and poise, and
also Rich Hall, whose knowledge of all things tech and IT has
been invaluable to the whole college over his four years.
I would like to extend extra thanks to all members
of the Executive Committee this year for their hard work and
support, and whose friendship and guidance I will continue
to cherish, and I wish them all the best in the future. Special
thanks must also go to Susan Frenk, who continues to be an
inspirational role-model and guide for Aidan’s students, and
Stefan Klidzia, who is a much welcomed addition to the college
community as Senior Tutor and was a great source of support
for me.
JCRs are quite unique educative and civic organi-
sations that can teach students as much or even more than a de-
gree course. I can only hope that our own brand at Aidan’s goes
from strength to strength in the future and continues to give
students the kind of experience that I and so many of us have
been fortunate enough to enjoy. I look forward to keeping in
touch with goings on even afer I (eventually...) depart Durham.
JCR EXEC LIST Services Ofcer
2011/12 Nabila Prata Dos Santos
President Sports Ofcer
David Morris William Rudd
Vice-President Social Chair
Ben Richardson Lotty Ellicott

Treasurer JCR Chair
Benjamin Conti Alexander Cartwright

Welfare Ofcer Formals Ofcer
Zoe Round Iain Smith
Bar Steward Shop Chair
Matthew Turkington Jonathon Johnson
Secretary Senior DSU Rep
Rebecca Smethurst Andrew Dwyer
Jazz, Rock and Cocktails, June 2012
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News from College
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News from College
From the JCR President
Johnathan Johnson reviews the JCR year 2012 - 2013
Fancy Dress Formal
It is always difcult to think
back and refect on my year as
JCR President when I’m sat in
the big
smoke that is London. As
I look back I remember
2012/2013 as some of the
fondest moments of my
college career despite there
occasionally being some ‘end
of the world situations’ to
resolve.
Te year really start-
ed in late August 2012 with
me having to sort through a
mountain of paperwork that
is the known as the ‘student
room allocation process’.
Overall, I felt this year’s room
allocations were once again
successful with the majority
of students happy with their
placing despite the usually
anxieties over roommates
and whether there are bins in
the rooms... At the same time
Sam Foster, the JCS Secre-
tary, was also working on her
own Everest of paperwork
as she meticulously edited
and redesigned the Fresher’s
Handbook to bring a more
professional format to the
welcoming
document.
Freshers’ Week was
appropriately themed as the
2012 Olympic Games and was
kicked of by a satire Aidan’s
Olympic Torch relay done
by the Freps. Freshers’ week
itself was without doubt one
of the best I have ever seen
in Aidan’s as it successfully
brought in new events whilst
adding a much needed kick
to the traditional Karaoke
and Toga Nights. Te freshers
themselves were some of the
most spontaneous but also
committed bunch of freshers
for a long time and their en-
thusiasm towards the JCR is
in no small part down to the
eforts of a fantastic freshers
team led by Olivia Hall-Smith.
Afer Freshers’ week the JCR
saw the frst real roll out of
the interview system for JCR
positions under the new
JCR standing orders written
by David Morris. Overall, I
consider this move brought
new life into the JCR with as
many as 80 students for as few
as 10 positions. Troughout
the year we continued to roll
out this across a multitude of
JCR positions including Freps
to allow a more diverse set of
students opportunities to get
the coveted positions.
Social events continued to
be at the heart of Aidan’s life
thanks to the tireless eforts
of Social Committee un-
der the leadership of Emily
McDonald. Tis year we
had an unusually classy and
elegant Halloween Ball which
was themed as Masquerade
as opposed to the traditional
scary fancy dress. Formals
Committee, underneath Liz
Trend, also had a good year
too afer a change in the
formals’ operating procedure
to reduce the number of
students we had to chase over
non-payment.
Overall, I feel this move was
a roaring success – resulting
in fewer non-payments, and
the formals actually starting
on time - even early some-
times. Troughout the year,
the Formals Committee were
helped out by the hard work
of Team Art, a group of voluntary Aidan’s artists led by Katy
Gooding the Arts Coordinator, who made the formal banners.
Some of the more memorable formal fancy-dress themes this
year included “back to Skool”, “Disney” and the “Chinese New
Year” formal which replaced the traditional Burns formal.
adding a much needed kick to the traditional Karaoke and Toga
Nights. Te freshers themselves were some of the most sponta-
neous but also committed bunch of freshers for a long time and
their enthusiasm towards the JCR is in no small part down to
the eforts of a fantastic freshers team led by Olivia Hall-Smith.
Afer Freshers’ week the JCR saw the frst real roll out of the
interview system for JCR positions under the new JCR standing
orders written by David Morris. Overall, I consider this move
brought new life into the JCR with as many as 80 students for
as few as 10 positions. Troughout the year we continued to
roll out this across a multitude of JCR positions including Freps
to allow a more diverse set of students opportunities to get the
coveted positions.
Social events continued to be at the heart of Aidan’s
life thanks to the tireless eforts of Social Committee under the
leadership of Emily McDonald. Tis year we had an unusu-
ally classy and elegant Halloween Ball which was themed as
Masquerade as opposed to the traditional scary fancy dress.
Formals Committee, underneath Liz Trend, also had a good
year too afer a change in the formals’ operating procedure to
reduce the number of students we had to chase over non-pay-
ment. Overall, I feel this move was a roaring success – resulting
in fewer non-payments, and the formals actually starting on
time - even early sometimes. Troughout the year, the Formals
Committee were helped out by the hard work of Team Art, a
group of voluntary Aidan’s artists led by Katy Gooding the Arts
Coordinator, who made the formal banners. Some of the more
memorable formal fancy-dress themes this year included “back
to Skool”, “Disney” and the “Chinese New Year” formal which
replaced the traditional Burns formal.
Te Shop had a tough year in putting into practice
some of the changes brought about by the move to a new gover-
nance structure over the past couple of years but the committee
pulled together to produce a rather sterling year end result and
is in a much stronger position for it.
Open Days, Summer 2013
Performing Arts Throughout The Year

Meanwhile, the bar went from strength to strength this year,
largely thanks to the energy and dedication of Carla Glass
in its management. Tis year, the bar (with the help of our
Music Coordinator; Emma Holloway) launched a rather suc-
cessful bi-weekly Open Mic and Cocktail which saw Aidan’s
students fock in their hundreds to both showcase and watch
each other’s talent. Te bar also managed to make a healthy
proft despite years of dwindling returns. Other committees
have also had a strong year; DUCK underneath Rowan Adams’
leadership continued to think of new innovative ways to raise
money for charity putting on an “Aidan’s got talent”, DUCK
Auction, Dare Night and Mr & Mrs Aidan’s event. Meanwhile,
Aidan’s College Teatre continued to put on a series of plays in
the Assembly Rooms such as the portrait of Dorian Grey and
Butterfy Lion. Te newly formed Media Committee also began
the painstaking process of digitally documenting and adding to
Aidan’s online collection of photos and videos.
2013 was kicked of by the annual Durham University
Ski Trip which saw about 150 of our students alongside about
1000 other Durham students hit the slopes of Alpe D’heuz for
a week in the snow. Unfortunately, the start of 2013 also saw
Aidan’s Ski Rep, Richard Longstreet, fnally pass on the baton
to the next Aidan’s generation of skiers afer 3 years of ser-
vice. Te start of the actual Durham term was kicked of by a
free Traditional Scotish Ceilidh held on Burns Night. Aidan’s
Day was beach themed and despite being held in the bleak
mid-winters snow and turned out to be another huge success.
Second-terms Informal Ball was Africa themed which appro-
priately refected the upbringing of our Vice-President William
Rudd. A traditional meal of babote and jerk chicken with a
starter of chocolate insects was served in a hall decorated to an
African sunset with the lion king projected onto a large screen
on the balcony. Te entertainments were also some of the
strangest and quirkiest we’ve had in Aidan’s with an ice-cream
cart and petting zoo with meerkats, porcupines and snakes!
Te arrival of Summer Term meant the start of the Post-ap-
plication Open Days, which were also joined by another set of
pre-application open days, as well as the beginning of exam
season. Welfare Committee came into their own with a set of
events aimed at de-stressing students by ofering free cofees
and teas as pick-me-ups for students.
Te JCR fnally made the move into the twenty-frst
century and by using online banking instead of writing endless
cheques. Tis move should ease the workload of future treasur-
ers. Te JCR also turned its eye towards a little strategic plan-
ning at this time hoping to give the JCR direction for the next
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News from College
few years and outline a set
of principles for students to
engage with college over and
broaden student participation
in all aspects of college life.
Tird term also saw
the launch of Aidan’s brand
new website (www.st-aidans.
com) afer about 3 years of
turbulence, which has both
a professional exterior for
prospective students and a
fully-functional interior for
existing students. One of the
key achievements for me this
year was planning how to
kick start relations between
current students and alumni.
Tis culminated in discus-
sions with college ofcers
about potential career events
and Alumni development/
event ofcers.
Although work is
ongoing, the college commis-
sioned a plaque with a list of
the JCR Presidents from the
college’s founding in 1947
and has since held a formal
unveiling in which the past
JCR presidents were invited to
engage with current students
and reminisce about their
time at Aidan’s. Some inter-
esting photos and videos of
student life at St Aidan’s from
1960/70’s were added to the St
Aidan’s archives as a result of
this evening.
My attention
towards the activities of the
JCR’s committees and soci-
eties at this time, third term
proved to be another busy pe-
riod in the life of the JCR. We
continued to be inundated
with new society requests as a
new wave of freshers brought
new ideas and excitement to
the JCR. A particular men-
tion should go to the group
of freshers who decided that
the beer garden would be the
perfect venue for a Croquet
Lawn in summer and there-
fore, formed St Aidan’s cro-
quet society. Summer Term
also saw the birth of a new
event for Aidan’s in the form
of a Spring/Summer Fashion
Show (the brain child of Kate
Hutchinson) in an attempt to
raise money for DUCK with
dresses designed by our own
students.
We were blessed
by an actual sunny Summer
Beer festival which showcased
some of the best ales/beers the
world has to ofer and some
of the best musicians Durham
has too - a suitable end to a
successful year for the bar.
Tis all culminated with the
jewel in Aidan’s crown the
Summer Ball. Te theme this
year was “Alice in Wonder-
land” and had a Mad Hat-
ters tea Party dinner, teapot
and all, under a big oak tree
with the Cheshire Cat and a
selection of interesting rides
and smaller entertainments in
the red queens courtyard. We
even had a C-list celebrity,
Basshunter (for those born in
the 90’s), perform in Aidan’s
dining hall. Afer all the friv-
olous events of summer term,
the fnal JCR meeting saw me
give my end of year speech
and award this 2012-13 set of
Honorary Life Memberships
(HLMs). Tis year’s HLMs
went to George Tomas for
his work in welfare of the JCR
for the past three years, Wil-
liam Rudd for serving on the
Executive twice as both Sports
Captain and Vice-President,
Andrew Carl Dwyer for his
service to the DSU inside and
outside of college and Carla
Glass for her work as Senior
Frep and management of the bar. As a fnal note, I would like
to thank everyone who supported me in this role inside and
outside college and look back fondly on my time as JCR Presi-
dent knowing that without these experiences I would not be sat
where I am today.
Tank you.
Beer Festival,
Summer 2013
JCR EXEC LIST
2012/13

President Sports Ofcer
Jonathan Johnson Elgan Alderman
Vice-President Social Chair
William Rudd Emily McDonald

Treasurer JCR Chair
Ollie Davis (Terms 1-2) Antoine De-Mazieres
William Macleod (Terms 2-3)

Welfare Ofcer Formals Ofcer
George Tomas Liz Trend
Bar Steward Shop Chair
Carla Glass Jake Clayton
Secretary Senior DSU Rep
Sam Foster Steph Aritone
JCR EXEC LIST
2013/14

President Sports Ofcer
George Tomas Harrison Sands
Vice-President Social Chair
Olivia Ryan Abi Holmes

Treasurer JCR Chair
William Macleod Elgan Alderman

Welfare Ofcer Formals Ofcer
Josh Stocco Kate Palmer
Bar Steward Shop Chair
Anthony Speight Edward Smith
Secretary Senior DSU Rep
Katy Gooding Ollie Davies
Life after Durham
“Our Colleges are more alike than they are diferent.” Many
Durham students would begin to argue with that statement, as
would may alumni. Yet, not only is the quote not original – it
is from the University of Cambridge with all the additional
quirks with respect to teaching that they ofer - but also un-
derlies our initial treatment of students entering the university
where we ofer choice in application but many do not get that
choice. Indeed, over my time at St Aidan’s never more than 30
per-cent chose the college but over 80 per cent when surveyed
at the end of the third year would choose their college again.
Or put another way, when ofered a change of College or not
coming to Durham, students come and no matter what they
wrote on their application form, within a week of coming to
Durham, the vast majority of students are members of that
college for life.
Having been Dean of Colleges and been part of nu-
merous “College Reviews” and being in a “select group” of be-
ing a College Ofcer in three colleges and within that of being
Principal in two colleges on diferent campi, I naturally have
views on this conundrum. My life afer Aidan’s, where I seem
to reinforce the view that college ofcers are only temporary
guardians as opposed to “lifers”, (unless I have two life sentenc-
es) is indeed more of the same, yet diferent.
My life afer Aidan’s is at Stephenson College. My
new college is clearly diferent as it is a self-catering college and
is young as it is only entering its “difcult” teenage year
and close to no undergraduate students who live in afer year
one but in many others ways it is identical; there are three for-
mals a term, they have fancy dress one - it follows me around!
Te students want to tell you that they are more informal than
the other college at Queen’s and that their experience is unique.
Indeed, being a self-catered college but with the ability to dine
together two nights a week as part of their College package is
a novel idea in use only at Queen’s with Stephenson unique in
adding events – formals – to this on Fridays. Indeed, if self-ca-
tering is the future, I would argue that the package that we ofer
is the future as self-catering tends to appeal to more (self-reli-
ant) students but acts to break up communities; the fellowship
of the table (and the sports-feld and societies) acts to reverse
this and gives the college the best of both worlds.
If Aidan’s has always been a forward-looking friend-
ly college who enjoy their informality, so is Stephenson only
travelling some years behind with the size of our post-graduate
numbers and in having a history to help and hinder us in their
various ways. Even with the banned words in Stephenson,
“when I was in Aidan’s”, I would say that our colleges are more
alike than they are diferent though for every student of every
college, their experience and their college is special.
In the eyes of you reading this, the greatest compliment that
I can pay Stephenson is that it is Aidan’s on the Tees though
the real truth from my present perspective is that Aidan’s is
Stephenson in Durham, though Stephenson students would
struggle with twenty one meals a week at set times !
John Ashworth
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Little did I know when I went up to Durham to read Botany in
1960 that over ffy years later I would be living in Notting Hill
and working on portrait commissions at the Great Western Stu-
dios nearby!
I loved Durham and St Aidan’s, which was then a women’s col-
lege situated in North Bailey, taking in thirty women a year. I was
one of Professor David Bellamy’s frst students, and represented
St Aidan’s in the women’s union, which merged with the men’s
whilst I was still at Durham.
I went to Indiana University for a year, then with the Interna-
tional Voluntary Service for two years to a school near Mamfe
in the high equatorial forest of West Cameroon, where I taught
biology and started a school farm. Later I taught biology for ten
years at an inner London comprehensive, where I was a senior
teacher. I was very active in the NUT, becoming president of the
Westminster branch. I then went into FE college teaching and
was a schools/industry co-ordinator, before leaving education to
work part-time for UNISON and to go to art school. I then stud-
ied traditional painting methods with David Cranswick, who is
still my mentor. If you are interested in having a portrait painted,
do contact me on barbaracarterart@gmail.com!
Travel has played an important part of my life. I’ve travelled to all
the seven continents, highlights being the Antarctic, Australia,
crossing the Andes, travelling through the Panama canal, camp-
ing in Syria and Iraq, Libya, India, China, Brazil and South Afri-
ca: and among the numerous, interesting islands visited are the
Galapagos, Easter Island, Tahiti, South Georgia, the Falklands,
Cuba, Greenland, Japan, the Philippines, Indonesia and Borneo.
I’ve now hit seventy, and I live and love life to the full. I’m branch-
ing out into painting landscapes and still life as well as portraits,
and continuing on my path of self-discovery. I still meet friends
from St Aidan’s every few months.
Barbara Carter
St Aidan’s 1960 - 1963
Jacquetta Gomes (Alumna of St Aidan’s College
University of Durham)
Father Des McGivern of St Aidans RC Church in
Seahouses Northumberland and Sister Tessa Fisk of
St Aidans RC Church Lindisfarne have given per-
mission for this article and the photographs to be
published.
St Aidan was an Irish Monk from the community founded by St
Columba on Iona. He became a Bishop. King Oswald (a Chris-
tian convert) invited him to Northumbria and he established
a monastery and a wooden Church on Lindisfarne in 635.
Lindisfarne became one of the most important centres of learn-
ing in Europe. St Aidan was respected for his learning, preach-
The Icon Of St Aidan at St
Aidan’s Roman Catholic
Church, Lindisfarne
ing, miracles, kindness to the poor, education of children, lack
of interest in possessions and status, and dislike of pomp. He
supported women and ensured that St Hilda was given land for
a convent in Northumbria. He died in 651 and was buried on
Lindisfarne.
Te Venerable Bede says of him:
“He gave his clergy an inspiring example of self-dis-
cipline and continence, and the highest recommendation of
his teaching to all was that he and his followers lived as they
taught. He never sought or cared for any worldly possessions,
and loved to give away to the poor whatever he received from
kings or wealthy folk. Whether in town or country, he always
travelled on foot, unless compelled by necessity to ride, and
whenever he met anyone, high or low he stopped and spoke to
them. If they were not Christians, he urged them to be bap-
tised; and if they were Christians, he strengthened their faith,
and inspired the by word and deed to live a good life and to be
generous to others …. He cultivated peace and love, purity and
humility; he was above anger and greed, despised pride and
conceit; he set himself to keep and teach the laws of God, and
was diligent in study and in prayer. He used his priestly author-
ity to check the proud and powerful: he tenderly comforted the
sick; he relieved and protected the poor …. I greatly admire
and love all these things about Aidan, because I have not doubt
that they are pleasing to God.” (Te Venerable Bede, Te Histo-
ry of Te English Church and People, Penguin, 1955.)
Te plaque underneath the Icon states “Te Icon
was presented to St Aidan’s Church on the Holy island of
Lindisfarne by Father Michael Masterson and the generous
parishioners of Te Church of Our Lady and St Peter, Leath-
erhead, Surrey. Blessed and Dedicated by Bishop John Arnold
Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster Titular Bishop of Lindisfarne.
Tursday 26th March 2009”
I am an Alumna of St Aidan’s College University
of Durham. In my day we were know as “Aidan’s maidens”.
In 2009 Muriel Wilkinson from the URC United Reformed
Church in Kendal bought the frst copy of the Icon sold for me.
Tis is now framed in our house.
I presented a copy of the Icon to Bishop James New-
combe at his enthronement as Bishop of Carlisle at Carlisle Ca-
thedral on 10th October 2009. (Bishop John Arnold is a close
personal friend of Bishop James.) I have also sent a copy to the
former Roman Catholic Bishop of Lancaster Patrick O’Dono-
ghue (for whom I organized a meeting in Kendal in 2004) and
to Monsignor Francis Slattery of St Herbert’s Roman Catholic
Church Windermere (whose meditation group I attend).
Copies of the Icon can be purchased for £1 + postage from Sis-
ter Tessa Fisk, St Aidan’s Roman Catholic Church, Marygate,
Holy Island, Lindisfarne, Northumbria, TD15 2SJ telephone
01289-389323.
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Travel Reports
A Titi Tale: My Story of a Small South American Monkey
By Chantelle Kerr
Te Adventure Begins...
In September 2011 I stepped of a plane in the little known
South American city of Santa Cruz, Bolivia, a place destined to
be called home for the next three months. Excited, tired and
admittedly a little apprehensive, this was to be the beginning of
a great adventure that would have me conquering mountains,
battling through tropical jungles and cooling of under roaring
waterfalls. Although hard to ignore, I wasn’t just here to admire
the scenery. As a newly appointed jungle research assistant I
was on a mission to track down and follow a furry family of
monkeys residing in a small pocket of forest still persisting at
the edge of this sprawling city.
My Mission...
Tis wasn’t the frst time I had journeyed overseas to tropical
climes in search of our furry cousins; in 2008 I ventured to
Borneo in search of old world monkeys and the greatest of the
great apes (in my slightly biased view), the orang-utan. Tis
time I was on the trail of the new world monkeys, with one
monkey in particular destined to steal my heart; the Boliv-
ian grey titi monkey. Tis little known species has been the
subject of an ongoing research project aiming to catalogue and
understand the ecology of this small monkey which, now fnds
itself living on the edge of an ever-expanding metropolis. My
mission was to work alongside a team of equally enthusiastic
graduates from around the world, as well as local Bolivian stu-
dents and scientists, to observe and record the movements and
behaviours of this fascinating species.
La Quinta Totaises: An Ecologists Dream Home
Many might imagine that studying monkeys in their natural
environment would inevitably require camping out in hot and
humid jungle with countless mosquitoes for company, washing
in rivers and eating rice and vegetables over a camp fre. Whilst
I’m certainly not a stranger to this kind of living, (and in fact
quite enjoy it) my time spent in Santa Cruz was to be quite
a diferent, but equally unique living experience. La Quinta
Totaises, located on the edge of Santa Cruz, was to be my new
home. Tis beautiful house was set in a generous plot and char-
acterised by beautiful sun drenched courtyards, 9 bedrooms,
welcoming family areas and stocked with countless books and
flms. It was home to a dynamic family of ecologists, zoologists,
botanists and wildlife photographers from around the world,
and made for truly fascinating and stimulating living. If that
wasn’t enough the house was also equipped with a gorgeous
pool, countless fruiting trees and three resident tortoises!
Monkey Introductions...
Just a day afer arriving and still a little jet lagged I was in-
troduced to my new place of work, I was not disappointed.
Yvaga Guazu is a rich ecological park composed of landscaped
gardens and wild lowland dry forest, and is home to an array
of fora and fauna. I would be working here along with three
other feld researchers (all of whom were to become close
friends), 5 days a week for up to 10 hours a day. Upon arrival
at the park each of us was allocated a titi monkey family that
we would come to know inside out by the end of our time with
the project. My family, known as G2 (group 2 that is) was the
smallest of the titi monkey families residing at Yvaga Guazu.
G2 consisted of Vanessito, my dark, handsome male, Isabel
my feisty female and mother to Luna, my juvenille, who never
failed to make me smile with a curious tilt of her head.
Family Matters...
I came to know my monkeys better than my fellow feld
assistants, I would regularly spend whole days not seeing or
speaking to anyone but my monkeys. It was important that
my monkey family got to know me too, so I would ofen talk
to them to let them know that I was there and reassure them
that it was only me, the crazy woman who insisted on following
them relentlessly through the forest.
I quickly came to realise and recognise the unique personality
traits of each of the family members. Vanessito, the male, is the
brave protector of the group, who boldly patrolled the borders
of his territory in a periodic fashion each day, ofen vocalising
in all four corners of his territory with or without the input
of his loving (if not a little bossy) female, Isabel. Tis species
is highly territorial, a necessity if a family is to have access
to fruiting trees year round. My family, headed by the male,
would pay particular attention to the safeguarding their be-
loved mango patch. Tis prime monkey real-estate was where
G2 liked to spend the majority of their time, relaxing on the
shaded branches (ofen for more than three hours at a time!)
in the knowledge that they are surrounded by more mangos
than they could possibly know what to do with. Such a bounty
comes at a price, whilst this small species rarely comes to blows
Yvaga Guazu is home to a rich array of animal and plant species
with groups, I was to witness a rare turf battle for control over
the mango patch. Vanesitto stood up to the test and success-
fully fended of a neighbouring, much larger group, to retain
control over this valuable resource.
Isabel is the feisty young female who, more ofen than
not, got her own way, a prime example being the grooming
hierachy within the family. Several times I watched at Vanessito
lay down across her ‘lap’ angling for a little attention from his
partner. Sometimes Isabel would oblige, half-heartedly pulling
at his fur a minute or so before quickly tiring of such things and
switching places to receive a much more thorough grooming
from Vanessito. Isabel also showed similar discourtesies to her
daughter; I would watched as Luna enjoyed being groomed by
Vanessito (always the doting Dad) while Isabel rested, seem-
ingly content, nearby. However, when the situation came to
Isabel’s attention she was quick to swoop in and take up Luna’s
spot in front of Vanessito. Despite these tendencies, Isabel ofen
exhibited a sofer side, ofen resting tail-twined (the titi monkey
characteristic that I found most endearing) with both Luna and
Vanessito.
Luna, the youngest of the group, is thought to have
been adopted by Vanessito (along with her departed sister
Sol) when he paired up with Isabel, afer presumably seeing
of a rival male. With no other juvenilles or sub-adults in the
group, Luna had grown into an independent and courageous
little monkey, ofen staying behind to feed a little longer while
Vanessito and Isabel continued on through their territory. I
even witnessed her solo vocalising (a way of maintaining terii-
tory boundaries) to a neighbouring group, such was her young
nerve. Te noisiest of the group, it was typically Luna that
alerted me to the family’s presence; without her I would have
inevitably spent hours searching the forests for an otherwise
conspicuous family of titi monkeys. It was this courage that I
began to recognise as a recurring trait in the G2 family, who,
unlike many of the other groups, have never retreated at my
presence. I soon realised how lucky I was to have a family that
seemed to feel quite comfortable in my presence very early on
in the monitoring process, ofen coming to rest or feed only
metres from me.
Unexpected Arrival...
Just over a month into the monitoring period and to the delight
of my fellow research assistants all of the followed monkey
families had successfully delivered a baby, all except my family
that was. I was beginning to give up hope; many of the oth-
er newborns were nearing a month old and my female was
showing no signs of pregnancy (to my untrained eye that is). I
had accepted that perhaps this was not going to be a successful
breeding year for G2, Vanessito was afer all a young male, with
no previous young. Tus, you can imagine my delight, when
sitting comfortably on the forest foor, watching my family ca-
sually grooming one another (typical late morning behaviour),
I saw a tiny tail hanging down from Dads chest. Quick as a fash
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I took out my camera and zoomed into the tiny fgure hoping,
but not quite believing, I was right in my observation. Photo
evidence in hand, it was confrmed, G2 were the proud parents
of a tiny baby boy. Such was my attachment to this group that
to my surprise the occasion brought a tear to my eye. It was a
moment that I will never forget, and reminded me of my love
of the natural world. I went on to spend 6 weeks observing how
the family interacted with the new addition and watching as
newly named Stevie (named as a birthday present to my young-
er brother whose birthday I missed whilst I was away) grew in
size and confdence.
It’s the weekend...
Whilst my weeks were flled with furry faces, my weekends
were a time for adventure. Beyond the sprawling city of Santa
Cruz lay vast and varied landscapes ready to be explored. One
of the frst landscapes I visited was quite unexpected in land-
locked Bolivia. Las Lomas de Arena (Hills of Sand), is a sprawl-
ing sand dune, situated just a 15 minute bus ride from the
house on the outskirts of the city. Faced with a sof sandy dunes
stretching as far as the eye could see there was only one thing to
do; run, jump and fall! Hours later covered in sand we watched
as the sun set on this unexpected Bolivian gem. Tis would
be hard to beat but, beat it was. Te coming weekends would
continue to deliver some of the most beautiful scenery I have
been privileged to witness. From roaring waterfalls to sleepy
mountain villages and rich cloud forest high in the Andes, there
was never a dull moment.
Mum, Dad and 6 week old Stevie
Goodbyes...
Inevitably my journey had to end. Living in such close prox-
imity to my work mates and monkeys meant that in just three
months I had become more attached to them than I ever real-
ised. Saying goodbye was a tearful but happy afair. My last day
with the G2 family turned out to be quite a memorable one. To
solidify just how confdent and comfortable the fa mily were in
my presence they treated me to the best photo opportunity of
the season. Always careful to keep my distance so not to unduly
stress the family, I was sitting a little way away under a tree
observing them feeding. Mum and Dad with baby in tow, then
proceeded to approach the tree that I was leaning against and
settled on the branch directly above my head. I slowing crept
out from under them, took out my camera and snapped my
favourite family photo, and probably the best photo of a whole
family group taken in the history of the project.
For more information about the Titi Monkey Project please
visit our blog http://tititales.blogspot.co.uk/
Chantelle Kerr
Little Luna
Discovering Leonardo da Vinci, September 2012
By Harriet Newhouse and Timothy Haughton
Te St. Aidan’s College travel scholarship encourages students
to extend their education beyond the
parameters of ‘Te Durham Bubble’. It helps them experience
the history and culture of other countries, something that isn’t
always easy on such tight student budgets.
We gratefully received a grant from the fund for our
scholarship application to study the works of
Renaissance man Leonardo da Vinci in the Italian cities that
were most infuential to him. As well as
studying his work we took the opportunity to extend our
knowledge and appreciation for Italian culture
and European travel.
We began our two week adventure in Milan, a city
where Leonardo spent several years of his life working for
the ruling Sforza family as an engineer, sculptor, painter and
architect. Milan is famously home to Leonardo’s world re-
nowned masterpiece, Te Last Supper. However many of his
other works also continue to be celebrated in this city, with an
impressive collection displayed at the Museo Nazionale Della
Scienza e della Techologia Leonardo da Vinci. Te Museum
was a highlight of our stay in Milan, opening our eyes to the
breadth and depth of Leonardo’s work.
As well as being an infuential city in Leonardo’s life,
Milan is now one of the main fashion capitals of the world.
Its most prestigious shopping streets can be found in the
fashion district ‘quadrilatero della moda’, with many other
famous streets and squares spread throughout the city. Te
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is a popular and architecturally
breath-taking double shopping arcade in the centre of Milan.
By far the majority of the crowds were like us and had simply
come to marvel at the vast collections of Gucci watches, Prada
bags and Dolce heels, (it quickly became clear that if the shop
items had no price tags on, then they are probably worth more
than we could ever aford), whilst others had fown in from far
and wide to pick up the seasons ‘latest and greatest’. Suprisingly
the four stores that held central stage in this magnifcent arcade
were Prada, Louis Vuitton, Massimo Dutti and the fast food
restaurant McDonalds!
Alongside Milan’s shopping opportunities the city is
home to one of the most spectacular cathedrals in the
world, the Duomo di Milano.On our day of arrival the uomo
was hosting the funeral of Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, an
Italian Jesuit and cardinal of the Catholic Church, with crowds
gathering to watch he funeral on large screens installed in the
Piazza del Duomo. We paid our respects and then returned
the next day to look around the Duomo for ourselves. We also
took the opportunity to climb up to the top, an experience that
proved to be worth every penny. Not only did it provide stun-
ning panoramic views of the bustling city beneath, but it also
allowed us to admire the intricacy of the gothic architecture to
an even greater degree.
From the bustling city of Milan, our travels took us
east to the small town of Verona, the setting for to
Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Te beauty and character of
the cobbled streets immediately reminded us of our much loved
home back in Durham.
Te host of our B and B welcomed us in with open
arms before sitting us down with a map so that she could guide
us through the must see parts of Verona. Equipped with our
annotated map we made our way to the ‘Casa di Juliet’ where
we joined the crowds of tourists taking
photographs of Juliet’s balcony before rubbing the right breast
of Juliet’s statue – an act that supposedly brings good luck. We
then spent some time strolling around the streets of Verona,
weaving our way through the bustling markets before indulging
ourselves in more of Verona’s fnest pizza and pasta dishes.
Although keen to make the most of what the restau-
rants had to ofer, we quickly learnt that there were many ad-
vantages to cooking for ourselves. Buying ingredients was not
only cheaper but also enabled us to experiment with some of
the wonderful, fresh Italian ingredients. In addition it created
great opportunities
to meet and share with other travellers. In fact one of the high-
lights of our stay in Verona was the evening we spent cooking
and eating with a German couple, back at the B&B.
From Verona we headed on to Venice, a city that
shares much of Verona’s charm and beauty, with the added bo-
nus of the famous canals. We found the best way to see this city
was to just lose ourselves in the playful maze of winding alleys
and bridges. Although picturesque, Venice is now somewhat
blemished by the overwhelming number of tourists and tourist
shops that congest the streets.
Like Milan, Venice was highly infuential in Leonar-
do’s life and Venice’s Gallerie dell’Accademia is now
home to Leonardo’s ‘Te Vitruvian Man’, an iconic pen and ink
drawing of a man in two superimposed
positions, illustrating the classical ideal of human proportions.
Te drawing has since been transformed
into a staggering range of tourist items that are sold from the
many market stalls that line the streets.
Te most famous church in Venice is the Basilica
Cattedrale Patriarcale di San Marco. Afer marvelling at its
marble foors and extraordinary gold ceiling mosaics we decid-
ed to fnd a spot along the South bank of the Grand Canal, just
down from the Gallerie dell’Accademia, to sit and watch the
sun set. Constant threads of gondalas passed us throughout the
evening, each with its own stereotypical, middle-aged Italian,
treating his passengers to a personal rendition of Pavarotti’s
signature piece ‘Nessun Dorma’!
Having whistled our way through Milan, Verona and Venice
we were pleased to pause for slightly longer in Florence. Before
setting out on our trip to Italy we had heard great reports about
the city, and Florence most certainly did not let us down, its
wide range of museums, markets, churches and galleries, lef
us spoilt for choice. One of the most famous of these galleries
is the world renowned Ufzi Gallery which contains a wealth
of artwork, including works by Da Vinci, Michelangelo and
Botticelli. It was incredible to look around the gallery however
in retrospect we felt it would have been worth paying for a tour
guide to help us contextualise the artwork.
Te owner of our hostel in Florence recommended
that we head to a specifc view point and this quickly became
our favourite spot to watch the sun set over the beautiful city.
Although we were not the only tourists that had been given
this piece of advice, the crowds didn’t deter us as the view was
simply breath taking and the quality of the busking on the hill
was also exceptional. We tried taking photographs of the view
however our cameras could not do it justice. Tey could not
capture the changing colour of the Duomo, or the twinkling of
lights as they began to illuminate the city.
Whilst staying in Florence we took a day trip to Pisa.
As we sat, eating our lunch on the grassy area beside
the tower, we watched with amusement as groups of tourists
from around the world came to take the same photo of them-
selves trying to prop up the tower with their hands. On our
way back to the station we snaked our way through the street
markets, where we came across two outstanding violinists and
picked up a few presents for friends back home.
Before venturing on to Italy’s capital, we headed
further into the Tuscan hills for a few days of walking, read-
ing, cooking and card playing. Harriet was able to get out her
pencils and paper for a few hours of sketching in the shade of
an olive tree whilst Tim tested out some of the villa’s bikes as
he hurtled them along dirt tracks, weaving his way through the
surrounding vine yards.
Rome, our fnal destination, far exceeded even our
highest expectations. It is an extraordinary city with a
staggeringly wide and diverse range of things to do and see. As
in Verona, we were warmly welcomed into our hostel by the
owner, an Italian man overfowing with love for his home city.
He was delighted to tell us about what Rome had to ofer and
guided us on how best to spend our time and money. Following
his instructions we wound our way through the streets, from
monument to monument, admiring some of the
spectacular churches as we went. We enjoyed sitting in front of
Te Trevi Fountain and then later on the Spanish Steps – two
great spots for people watching, before browsing some of the
various markets, taking advantage of the various ‘free taste-test-
ing’ opportunities.
Te Gardens of Borghese ofered yet more entertainment.
We followed the sounds of clapping towards a large group of
Italians on rollerblades efortlessly weaving their way through a
maze of plastic cones, throwing in all sorts of tricks and ficks as
they went. Te participants ranged in age from around 5 years
old to 75 years old and created such a fun, friendly, inclusive
atmosphere. Te following day, outside the Colosseum we
joined crowds of supporters on the side lines of a football feld,
cheering on the teams of portly, Italian men as they battled it
out on the pitch.
Kids were playing basketball on an adjacent court
whilst friends and family tucked into impressive picnic spreads
that put our lunch of budget sandwiches to
shame.
As well as just enjoying the life of the city, we spent
time at the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Vatican City. In the
Vatican City we began by climbing up the dome of the Basilica
Papale di San Pietro, which provided stunning views of the
city. Te Basilica was breath-taking and well worth a visit. We
then headed on to the Vatican Museums, where we admired
the stunning collection of artwork, leading to the magnifcent
Sistine Chapel. Michael Angelo’s ceiling and Te Last Supper
Judgement are truly astonishing, perhaps some of the fnest
works we have ever seen.
As well as top class sight-seeing, Rome provided us
with the most excellent Italian cuisine. We learnt that the way
to fnd the best food was simply to ask the locals. One recom-
mendation was Palazzo del Freddo, one of the oldest and sup-
posedly the best “gelateria” in the city. It ofers a staggeringly
wide range of delicious gelato favours (our personal favourites
being the dark chocolate, banana and pistachio), huge portions
sizes and all for surprisingly low prices. We made friends with
one of the Italian waiters and as we tucked into our gelato
mountains we asked him where we could fnd the best pizzas.
His immediate response was “Naples, of course”. However afer
refning the question to ‘where can be fnd the best pizzas in
Rome?’ he confdently assured us that ‘I Fratteli’s’ was the place
to go. Teir open kitchen meant that we could watch as our piz-
zas were skilfully crafed, before being placed in the wood-fred
oven. Te whole process took just seconds and before we knew
it we were presented with undoubtedly the two best
tasting pizzas that we’ve ever eaten.
Troughout our travels we came across a wide range
of museums dedicated to the works of Leonardo da Vinci, and
Rome was no exception. His artistic, engineering, architectur-
al and scientifc prowess was being celebrated all across the
city, with market stalls selling of Leonardo merchandise and
numerous galleries displaying wide collections of his drawings,
scientifc sketches and models.
From this trip we came to recognise why Leonardo is
ofen described as the ‘archetype of Renaissance Man’, as one of
the greatest painters of all time and perhaps the most ‘diverse-
ly talented person to have ever lived’. We have grown in our
knowledge of Italian culture, leaving with a far greater under-
standing of their food, language and general way of life, as well
as heighted appreciation and excitement for European
travel.
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Exploring East To West
By Jonathon Ellaby and Kevin De Michelis
Last Easter, Kevin and I embarked upon
a journey through Europe, from west to
east, to discover more about the part of
the world we have always lived in and
never known much about. Te previous
year we had travelled from north to
south; beginning in Calais in the north
of France we had taken two weeks of our
holiday to hitchhike through France and
Spain, eventually arriving in Morocco
(almost) for free. Appetites whetted we
were eager to venture out of normality
once again and so, earlier this year, we
decided upon a journey from Milan to
Istanbul. We set of with the aim of see-
ing how the continent changes; from the
undoubtedly westernised Italy to Turkey,
one of the only countries in the world
that lies upon two continents, we were
fascinated to see how the landscapes
would change, how the cultures would
change and most importantly how the
people would change.
Kevin has family in Milan so
this seemed appropriate as a starting
point for our journey. We arrived on
consecutive days on the Friday and
Saturday of Easter weekend and on
Easter Sunday we ate lunch at his grand-
mother’s house and saw the city in the
afernoon. As a student of Italian myself,
it was interesting to see how Easter is
celebrated outside of England; from what
I gathered, it is much the same! Tis start
to the journey was still very much in the
comfort zone; it was not until Easter
Monday when Kevin’s uncle dropped us
at a service station on the Italian motor-
way that the madness began.
Our frst lif came from Tahar,
a Tunisian man who had moved to Italy
many years ago with his wife to start a
family. Te joy of hitchhiking is the op-
portunity to meet and get to know a wide
variety of people from many diferent
backgrounds.
Moreover, you fnd out afer a while that
everyone that picks you up is either nice
or crazy, both of which lead to engaging
conversation and exciting experiences.
Tahar was certainly of the nice variety,
as were the two guys who picked us up
from the next service station, two young
Italians on their way to complete a week
of voluntary work in Sarajevo. With the
peaks of hitchhiking also come the inevi-
table troughs and that frst afernoon was
certainly one of those. Afer spending six
or seven hours with our thumb out we
consigned ourselves to a couple bottles
of cheap red wine and a tent position
behind a disused chapel out the back of
the service station.
Te next day brought equal
amounts of disappointment, ending with
a great high. Having decided to backtrack
to the previous Autogrill, the brand of
Italian service station that shall remain
forever imprinted in our minds, we
then met a French couple and their dog
Clic-Clac who were on their way back to
France afer a yearlong trup to Russia,
Mongolia, Iran and most of Europe in
their self-furnished camper truck. We
were disappointed to have their company
for just a twenty minute ride down the
autostrada; had they been going the other
way I think we both probably would have
found ourselves heading back to Durham
to restart our second year in October af
ter several more months of adventuring.
Tat afernoon brought more disappoint-
ment and we eventually decided to
just hop on a train to Venice and start
again from there. However, trundling
into Venice station, Kevin asked a young
man on the train which was the correct
stop to alight at.
One hour later we were sat at
this man’s friend’s house with a glorious
selection of aperitivi and vino rosso in
front of us and had been ofered a bed to
sleep in for the night. We enjoyed their
company so much that we ended up
staying for another night. Max, the guy
we had originally met on the train, had
a contact in Pula, a town on the coast on
the other side of the Italy-Croatia border.
We hopped on a bus on a sunny afer-
noon on the fourth day of our adventure
and crossed the border, eager to discover
pastures new. We both agreed that Italy
had been a lot of fun, but it was the still
the West; Croatia represented some-
where new.
From our frst walk with Tabo,
Max’s Croatian friend, to his brother’s
house where we would be spending the
night, we immediately saw a diference.
Te town was dilapidated and flled with
unattractive, high-rise fat buildings.
Tabo spoke openly of his dissatisfaction
with his surroundings, his dreams of
leaving and entering the music indus-
try and the ties and obstacles that were
preventing him from doing so. He
mournfully discussed the town in which
he lived in the light of acquaintances
of his shooting dogs as a means of fun.
Tabo was our frst glimpse into the Cro-
atian people’s disillusionment with their
government. Despite the problems that
obviously clouded his life, we did have a
very amusing time in Pula.
He took us to his friend’s house
where he proudly nodded along to his
friend’s extensive anecdotes about his
time playing Dota, an Internet fantasy
game of which my knowledge is zero and
Kevin’s is minimal.
Tabo later took us back to
his brother’s house where we sat and
listened to his story; a metalhead who,
living alone with his six cats and unable
to survive in the Croatian job market,
had resorted to dealing cannabis as his
sole means of income. What intrigued us
most, however, was the paradox between
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these people’s complaints of apparent
poverty, and yet their penchant for state
of the art electronic equipment. Ricar-
do, the gamer, had a television in his
bedroom that most Durham students
could only dream of, and Tabo’s brother,
whose name now eludes me, listened
to his music through state of the art
speakers. Tis was clearly a place stuck
between the development of the west and
the political troubles of the east
At this stage we had decided
fairly obstinately that hitchhiking was
going to prove more difcult than we
had frst hoped, and once again we were
behind schedule. Tereforewe set of
on a bus out of Pula to Rijeka and then
another to Karlovatz. Here we discovered
the frustration of the language barrier,
coming to the decision that Croatians
understand English but oh boy they
cannot speak it! Afer much efort of
everyone’s part we found a bus stop (side
of a busy road), and headed up into the
mountains on our way to the Plitvice
National Park. We had spent many hours
discussing and dreaming of arriving at
Plitvice to glorious blue skies and poten-
tially staying for a couple of days, bathing
in the crystal blue waters and catching
some rays before continuing east. What
we encountered was three metres of
snow.
It was very beautiful but afer
months of snow in Durham it was not
what we had our agenda. We quickly saw
one of the lakes, spent the night at a guest
house and hurriedly departed back to-
wards the coast in search of the sun.
We were helped in our journey
by Tony, a veritable friendly giant who
was on his way to Zadar to buy a boat.
What we learnt about Tony in the several
hours we spent with him was, in essence,
that he loved fshing and he hated the
Croatian government. He was in no way
as one-dimensional as that makes him
seem, but it was interesting to hear how
his passion could extend in two ways.
Much as the brother in Pula, Tony was
disillusioned by the Croatian government
and had had to resort to illegal activity,
in his case selling fshing equipment on
the black market, in order to provide
for him and his family. Not only did he
take us to Zadar, but he also picked us up
three hours later afer our failed attempts
to fnd another ride, and took us further
south to Siberik. From our hitching po-
sition there we were beckoned by a man
whose Croatian name sounded some-
thing like Ieri who took us down the road
to Split.
He spoke no English, and by
this point our Croatian still only extend-
ed to ‘Tank you’ and a tentative ‘Hello’,
so when he was pulled over by the police
and asked to leave the car ten minutes
down the road, we sat there bewildered.
He walked back over to the car fve min-
utes later, hopped in, and drove away. He
did not appear to be doing anything
wrong but his face told us that he was
most defnitely guilty of something. For
evermore we shall never know what hap-
pened to Ieri that day.
Tat evening we spent the night
in a beautiful little town called Trogir,
where we dined for the third night in
a row on ham and cheese sandwiches;
hitchhiking rarely provides the oppor-
tunity to taste the culinary delights of
a country. Te following day was spent
dismayed in buses heading up and down
the Croatian coast in search of a hitch-
hiking spot; we found no rides and ended
up camping in a dirty park in Dubrovnik.
We do not like to talk about that day.
Te next day however saw us reach
Montenegro over what is possibly the
smallest border crossing in Europe. We
would here like to thank the nice man
who took us of the nice straight road
that would have lead us into the border
town in ten minutes for taking us to a
place where, afer several hours and a
six kilometre trek we arrived drastically
behind schedule.
We spent a strange day in Mon-
tenegro. It began with Ivan whose tooth-
less grin, lack of English and pride of his
two litre bottle of Raki (the invention of
the most malicious of Eastern European
alcoholics) both delighted and bafed
us. Te bottle was full, but I am sure he
enjoyed a hefy portion later that night.
We then spent our frst night camping
on the beach, a practice that we were
assured was indeed legal, much like most
other things in Montenegro it seemed. In
the morning we went to the bus station
and were accosted by a big group of taxi
drivers assuring us that they had ‘good
price for you my friend’.
It turned out that their price was
in fact quite good and we were trans-
ported into Albania through the pouring
rain. Albania proved to be a lot of fun
and was reminiscent of the hustle and
bustle that we had seen the previous year
on entering Morocco. Buses were flled
to the rafers and people were seen taking
their sheep for walks along the side of
the ‘motorway’; we had thought Albania
would be an emphatic move away from
the west and indeed it was.
We only spent an afernoon in
the country, in the capital city of Tirana,
and then decided to take a bus down to
Greece as we had gone wildly of sched-
ule by this point. Our zigzag of a bus
journey landed us at one point walking
through the outskirts of the freezing
Macedonian capital at 4am trying to fnd
the bus station, but afer several border
crossings and many hours of on and
of sleep, we arrived in Tessaloniki in
Greece.
We were not sure what to
expect from Greece. Since Italy, all the
countries that we had passed through
had been countries that very much quali-
fy as Eastern European. However, Greece
is better represented by its Mediterra-
nean culture than its Eastern European
location. Mediterranean people are
known for their warmth and helpfulness
and this is what we experienced. Law
graduate and quadralingual Paul was our
driver for most of the country; he took us
from Tessaloniki to Alexandroupouli,
a drive that took him at least forty-fve
minutes in the wrong direction, but he
insisted that he was happy to help. In
Alexandroupouli, afer an amusing series
of events with the slowest, most
incompetent restaurant owner we had
ever experienced and a pleasant sunset,
we set up camp on the beach again. We
had looked it up, this was perfectly legal.
However we doubted ourselves when,
whilst we were learning some Greek from
some girls who had planted themselves
near our tent on an evening stroll, two
police motorbikes stormed up to us and
the girls ran away. Whilst one demanded
to search the tent, another checked Kev-
in’s documentation as the third frisked
me. I think they were fairly disappointed
to fnd that we were not in fact hardcore
drug mules, setting up camp on the
beach to attract local addicts to our lair.
On realising that we were just harmless
traveller types they let us be and went on
their way.
Te following day we attempt-
ed to hitch into Turkey. Whilst trying
we were ofered a Euro by a crazy man
who evidently felt sorry for us, a cup of
cofee by a crazy woman who thought
we looked like ‘nice boys’ and no lif by
any of the myriad drivers that passed.
Terefore we took a bus and crossed
the border to Turkey. Te truck driver
seemed reluctant to take us over, but we
were adamant that it was necessary as the
immigration ofcer had kindly warned
us, at least seven times, that if we were
to walk across, we would be shot.Upon
reaching the other side and getting to the
border town with the extremely reluctant
help of two elderly Greek gentlemen, we
found that the path to Istanbul was one
straight road through the middle of the
country: a hitchhiker’s dream.
With the help of two separate
Turks we made it to Tekirdağ for the
night where we met some German trav-
ellers who suggested we go with them to
a bar to watch local Turkish side Fener-
bahçeplay Lazio in the Europa League to
which we agreed; an excellent decision!
First the friendly barkeeper refused to
let us pay for any of our drinks, then
as we were leaving he insisted that we
stay at his friends’ house. Tey took us
out onto the street to join a procession
to celebrate the victory of the Turkish
side (few of them supported that team,
but national pride had taken over) and
bought us beer and fed us Raki until the
early hours which was only brought to
a close by a power cut which lef us in
total darkness. It was one of the fastest
escalating evenings I have ever spent and
truly one of the most incredible displays
of warmth and generosity I have ever
witnessed. Turkey really had proved itself
as a worthy destination for our trip.
Te following day we went
into the town to taste the local fsh and
then headed out onto the main road
again to complete the fnal stretch into
Istanbul. Within ten minutes we were
on our way with Riza, a friendly Turkish
businessman who insisted on ringing his
sister several times to translate what he
was trying to say; it turned out that the
Turkish we had been taught so enthusi-
astically the night before was not quite
as comprehensive as we had hoped. He
took us to the outskirts of Istanbul from
where we took a bus, and then a metro,
and then a tram into the centre. In fact,
the travelling time to the centre of the
city was longer than it had been from
the Greek border. However, with the
sun descended and our bodies weary, we
emerged from the metro in the middle of
Taksim Square eleven days afer that frst
lif from Milan.
At the beginning of the trip I
had imagined that from Italy to Turkey
we would see a progression, that moving
west to east we would see cars and towns
degrade in quality, that the people would
change with every hundred miles we
moved. What we discovered, however,
is that it is never quite that simple. Each country is diferent and within each country
there are huge disparities, although we may not have seen them to that greater extent
on our short trip. It is impossible to impose one simple pattern or progression from
one side of the continent to the other – if anything the nicest car we travelled in was
that of the gentleman that delivered us to our fnal destination. What we did discover,
or rather ‘refnd’ from our experience the previous year is, despite some frustrating
incidences along the way, there are a lot of very warm and interesting people out there
in Europe and though hitchhiking may not be for everyone, for us it proved itself
once again as a terrifc way to throw yourself of the beaten track.

Arctic Adventure With The British
Exploring Society
By Miranda Nixon
Tis summer I spent an amazing fve weeks in Arctic Finnmark, Northern Norway
with the British Exploring Society. Tis expedition entailed camping rough, explor-
ing the area and carrying out experiments, the results of which would be sent back to
universities in Britain. Here follows a set of personal highlights which hopefully get
across just how much I’ve learned and gained from the trip.
In the second week when my fre (small group of explorers) was out explor-
ing the peninsula near to base camp we headed up into a valley to look at potential
ice remnants. Afer doing this, we decided to climb up the dauntingly high side of the
valley. I really had to push myself to do it- it was very hot that day and the ridge was
incredibly steep, but it was defnitely worth it. Te feeling of completion on reaching
the top, alongside the best view of the trip so far, was amazing. On the top my fre
(tried) to spell out our fre name: Eagle.
Afer being out on the peninsula for about a week, it was time to head back
to base and focus on the science aspect of the expedition a bit more. As part of this,
each fre spent the same 24 hour period monitoring a diferent section of the river
running through base camp valley. Every hour we measured things such as the sur-
face speed and depth of the river, as well as the ambient temperature, wind speed and
cloud cover. We could then combine all of the measurements and see how down. As
a Physics student who normally works in a lab, it was great to get to do some hands
on science out in the real world. I learned some skills applicable to my work back at
Durham, for example better teamwork in data gathering. We had to get up every four
hours to take our measurements, so you really had to work hard to get the measure-
ments taken efciently when it was 2am!
Being so far North (well above the Arctic circle), it never really got dark as
the sun was never far enough below the horizon. So later on when camping up near
the glacier, we decided to stay up and watch the sun set and then rise again just a few
hours later.
We picked a spot up a small ridge which looked out over the valley along
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which we had come. Just sitting out there and watching the
view change as the light did was incredibly peaceful. It also
meant there was time to refect on the expedition so far, and to
realise how far we had come in terms of bonding as a group and
in our own individual development. We then bivied out there
(sleeping in a bivi bag, so without tents) which was the frst
time I’d done that. It was a very new experience for me to wake
up and already be outside in such a stunning spot.
Te next day we spent a day climbing up the glacier in
rope teams. We split into groups of four and then tied ourselves
together with a long rope on which we were about ten metres
apart. Climbing the glacier was one of the toughest challenges
of the trip as the ice was pretty steep, and it took a while to get
used to having to kick in your crampons to make sure they
took. It was also a test of our teamwork, as due to being literally
tied together, we had to set a pace which was good for all of us,
and be able to communicate easily at points when we needed to
clip in and out of fxed ropes. On the way up, most of our time
was spent either concentrating on the climbing or on admiring
the glacier itself, complete with small streams fowing down
it which had carved paths into it. When we reached the top
we could see for miles. Because we were at an altitude of over
1000m, it was possible to see down the glacier, back along the
valley and all the way across the ford to the peaks on the other
side. Looking out at that view made me remember why I had
wanted to ome in the frst place and made all the hard times
absolutely worth it.
Te day afer that, we had the opportunity to go down
a crevasse. I was really excited about this, as we’d heard so
much about them, and seen a lot on our climb up the glacier.
Te descent itself was like abseiling, with the addition of cram-
pons. You had to lean back and walk down the ice face, and
trust that you wouldn’t slip. Being inside a crevasse has tobe
one of the best moments of the trip for me. You could see the
layers in the ice and how deep the cracks really go down. Te
further down you went, the more blue it seemed to get. I was
blown away by the experience. I never knew that a hole in some
ice could be so beautiful.
In the fourth week we visited an island named Sørøya.
While there we split of into smaller groups and spent a few
days without our leaders, walking routes which we ourselves
had planned. It was a great opportunity to see how we func-
tioned when in charge of oourselves.Te terrain on Sørøya was
completely diferent to what we had encountered before. It var-
ied dramatically between very green areas with densely packed
dwarf birch trees, and barren boulder felds. Tis tough terrain
meant that we really had to work together to get through it, I
defnitely had some difcult moments which the others helped
me to get through. However the positive side of the Sørøyan
terrain was that it led to some spectacular sights, for example
the autumn coloured hills or when a herd of reindeer passed
right in front of us, complete with their young.
On one of our fnal days in Norway, my fre went for
a walk in a valley the locals call Sacred Valley, and having been
there I think I understand why. We stopped at a bench next to
an incredibly calm lake from which the mountains on the other
side of the ford seemed to appear. It was the perfect place for
refection, and I had time to really feel at peace with how the
trip had gone and to come to terms with the fact that it was
very nearly time to head back to real life.
I feel like the trip has broadened me as a person- I
had time to refect on what’s important to me and also pushed
myself to the limit, so really know where my boundaries are.
I now know that I’m mentally stronger than I thought I was.
I’m obviously also much ftter now, but more importantly the
expedition has meant that I know how much I can be pushed
and still cope. I have so many new skills, both scientifc and
mountaineering, and know myself so much better. My ex-
perience this summer really is summed up by the BE motto:
explore the world, discover yourself.Being granted the Rus-
sell Smith Award made a big diference to my fundraising.
Tank you for helping me to explore such an amazing place.
DanceIndia
A jewel that I have inherited, but does not belong to me
By Elena Catalano
A guru, in Indian tradition, is much
more than a common teacher. It is said
that the word guru stands for ‘the one
who is able to disperse the darkness of
ignorance’. A guru is thus a guide whose
responsibility is that of facilitating the
student’s learning process. In fact, in In-
dian tradition, it is assumed that knowl-
edge does not belong to the individual.
Yet, it is the individual who makes it
possible for knowledge to pass from
generation to generation. It is believed
that the guru embodies this knowledge,
without possessing it, and that the devo-
tion a student, or shishya, shows toward
her own teacher is proof of the desire to
learn all that the master is able to teach.
In the transmission of Indian performing
arts, the guru-shishya parampara, that
is the tradition of passing knowledge
from the master to the disciple, plays still
nowadays a very important role. Students
do not necessarily live in their teacher’s
household, as they used to do in the past.
Neither they are expected to carry out all
the chores, as it was customary in India
until a few decades ago. However, the
relationship between the guru and the
shishya is still surrounded by a halo of
inviolability. For the student to be able
to stay close to her guru is a looked-af-
ter privilege, as it is through this close
relationship that the shishya learns all the
secrets and subtleties of the art, which
are disclosed in the simple acts of her
guru’s daily life. In this sense a guru also
becomes a model for the student, who
sees in her master the fulflment of her
aspirations.
It is certainly difcult to
understand this relationship from a
Western perspective, because we are
used to thinking that the expertise we
may achieve in a certain feld is only the
result of our individual eforts, and we
tend to forget the inspiration, support
and role that some people have played
in the achievements of our ambitions.
Instead in India, it is believed that what
a student is able to accomplish depends
not only on her own talent and devotion
to the art, but also on the teacher’s ability
to transfer the skills and to become a role
model for the shishya.When my dance
guru sent me an email, towards the mid-
dle of August, asking me
to meet her at the airport and to go to
Liverpool together, I did not fnd hard at
all to say ‘yes’. I knew that with my help
it would have been much easier for her
to reach the destination. Besides, we were
going in the same direction, as she was
supposed to run a dance workshop and I
was supposed to attend it. It was the 16th
of August, early in the morning, when I
met her at Heathrow. I am used to seeing
her wearing sari, the traditional attire
of Indian women, and walking barefoot
from her room to her dance studio, in
India, where I have trained for several
months. So it was quite surprising at frst
to see her equally comfortable in sneak-
ers, western clothes and a pair of glasses.
Together, we rushed for the train,
pushing each other’s trolley and drag-
ging each other’s suitcases, as we were
friends, rather than master and student.
Te journey was quiet. For the frst time,
I talked to her about things that I never
thought she would have been interested
in listening to, busy as she is all the time
with her life as a dancer.
Soon, we approached Liver-
pool where a guy with a purple shirt was
waiting to pick us up from the station
and drop us of at the Creative Campus
of the Hope University. It was there that,
during the seven following days, our
dance workshop was going to take place.
DanceIndia, a summer school organized
by the Milap Trust, is one of the most
prestigious gatherings of Indian classical
dancers in the UK, if not in the whole
of Europe. Every year, the fnest Indian
dance gurus in the world are invited to
teach and perform within this unique
programme, allowing the students to
experience the best of their selected style.
In fact, there are several forms of Indian
classical dance, and although they share
common aesthetics, the skills each of
these styles requires, are very distinctive.
Te style that I practice is
called Odissi. It has a very graceful and
yet extremely powerful dance vocabu-
lary. When my guru teaches, she ofen
reminds us to be like stone and, at the
same time, like water. In fact, while our
legs vigorously stamp against the foor,
producing intricate rhythmic patterns,
our torso has to foat with resilience,
following the lyricism of the music. I feel
that my guru is the epitome of this ideal
combination, not only when she is on
stage, but also in her daily life. In whatev-
er she does, strength, determination and
precision are combined with an astonish-
ing versatility that makes everything look
much easier and more spontaneous than
it actually is. Tis is one of the things that
I clearly came to understand during my
time with her in Liverpool.
Although I have lived in India
for more than two years, and I have
already had the opportunity to be close
to my guru in her daily life, I always have
been juggling myself between countless
commitments that had ofen kept me
away from the dance foor, which is
where I enjoy being, more than anywhere
else. Terefore, I was very excited about
taking part for the frst time in the pres-
tigious DanceIndia programme. In fact,
for the whole summer school, I decided
to completely forget my academic and
life worries, and to concentrate only on
learning the choreography the guru was
teaching us and on practicing it from
dawn to dusk together with my fellows. I
remember us with our colourful prac-
tice saris, having our breakfast and then
quickly going to warm up. Our studio did
not have mirrors, as one would normally
expect in a dance class. Indeed, in Indian
classical dance, the guru guides the
students to gradually discover the perfect
embodiment of the dance vocabulary.
She does so, not only demonstrating, but
also giving feedback on the shishya’s per-
formance, so that the student learns to
adjust her movement from within, rather
than simply attempting to cope with an
external image refected in the mirror.
In fact, Odissi dance is a lot about inner
feeling and about learning to understand
what is the external appearance of a
certain inner feeling. As for Odissi music,
it is very lyrical. Sometimes you feel it is
rocking you like a lullaby, whereas some-
times it becomes so profound that you
are lef with the impression of sinking
into it, with your whole dancing being.
Te choreography we learned
during the summer school was a quite
old one in the Odissi classical repertoire.
My guru has learned it from her guru
and she has taught it to us. We start by
slowly moving our neck, our torso and
21
Features
22
Features
our eyes, coordinating them according
to very precise, yet quite odd rules. Our
steps become more and more intricate as
the music develops. Te speed increases.
And the atmosphere becomes flled with
the primordial enjoyment of being able
to perfectly synchronize our movements
with the beat. Te guru teaches chunk
by chunk, giving us the time to practice
before going to the next bit. We use our
free time, before and afer lunch, to go
over what we have learned in the class.
We sing to accompany our movements.
In the corridor, as well as in the kitchen
of our shared accommodation, or in the
main hall, when no-one else is there.
Tired. Extremely tired. And yet unable to
stop the pleasure that dancing is giving to
us.
In the afernoon, we attend
the lecture demonstrations and the
seminars about choreography, aesthetic
theory and abhinaya, the narrative part
of Indian classical dance, where hand
gestures and facial expressions are used
to portray Indian mythological charac-
ters and to convey their incredible deeds.
We experiment. We explore. We share.
We are absorbed in the gurus’ words
and gestures, with the same wonder of
a child who listens to the grandfather
telling about the marvellous adventures
of fabulous characters. Te smell of the
dinner reminds me of India, of its curries
and its spices, its delicious sweets and its
luscious food, so exotic, but somehow
familiar to me, that I belong to a culture
where cuisine is an art and a sensual
delight, too. We sit around the table with
our overwhelmed plates, hungry like
home-builders afer a long working day,
chatting as erudite bourgeoisie in front
of a cup of tea. My guru ofen calls me to
help her with small chores. In return, I
enjoy the privilege of spending with her
most of the time, beyond the dance class.
She tells me ‘stay with me, and you will
learn everything about dance’. I watch
her rehearsing her choreographies, even
late in the night when everyone else is
sleeping. I assist her in getting ready for
her performance. I observe the way she
makes up. Te way she wears her dance
costume. Te way she organizes her stuf.
And I learn. I learn that discipline and
passion are the keys for the success in the
arts. I remember having read somewhere
that ‘habit, in an intelligent man, is a sign
of ambition’, and watching at my guru in
her daily activities, as well as in her dedi-
cation to the dance practice, I understand
what that actually means. In the evening,
DanceIndia showcases the dance faculty, and we have the chance to see the superb
performances of all the gurus. A few outstanding students from the previous editions
of the programme are also invited to dance on stage, and looking at them I clearly see
the goal of what I am doing.
In a few days, we learn and practice countless times our choreography, as we
are expected to show the results of our work at the conclusion of the programme. Te
week is intense, and the time runs fast, so that suddenly we also have to come on stage
and proves what we have done.
Te morning of the last day, the 23rd of August, we all wake up very early.
One afer the other, we iron and wear our saris. We borrow each other’s jewellery,
trying to fnd the one that best matches our attire. Our eyes become bigger and deeper
with the help of the eye-liner, and our facial expressions are enhanced by the make
up and the bindi, the red dot we place on our forehead, as it is customary in India.
On stage, we feel honoured but at the same time tiny in front of all the gurus, sitting
in the frst row and watching at us. In fact, the opposite is rather the norm. Dancing
all together, we try to merge in each other’s movement, forgetting that we are distinct
individuals. At the conclusion of the programme, we receive our attendance certif-
cates directly from our gurus. It cannot be true that suddenly, afer an intense week of
uninterrupted and undisturbed dance, we have to go back to our daily lives and daily
worries.
However, I clearly feel that those days at DanceIndia have lef a profound
wake behind. I feel that now I am in charge of a precious thing, a jewel that my guru
has passed on to me, through her teaching and her example. I know that this jewel
that I embody does not belong to me, but that it is my responsibility to pass it on to
the next generation of dancers, as it has been given to me.
My Trip Across The Pond
By Edward Stroud
With my Aidan’s travel grant I was able to travel to the USA.On my horizon were in-
ternships at three political thinks. I was set to leave in mid-July.Te day I lef I was ex-
cited about my 7 week journey which would take me across ten states, two time zones,
and one birthday. I was confdent that this was going to be a special trip. Tis was only
confrmed when I found I’d been upgraded from economy to business class- I took
my complimentary glass of champagne, refecting on the hardship of my summer!
I arrived into Washington Dulles incredibly Jetlagged at roughly 3:00am
British time, having waited for 2 hours to get through customs including an encoun-
ter with one security guard who could hardly be said to epitomise the American
service culture. I caught a taxi into downtown D.C. and fnding my way through a lab-
yrinth of backstreets arrived at the place I was staying in time to get a couple of hours’
sleep before my frst day at Heritage.
My frst day was a real privilege, having a number of meetings with policy
experts who I was able to grill to get an understanding of the status quo. I was of to
Indiana and then Georgia aferwards, but starting beside Capitol Hill was a fantas-
tic education in American politics. Interspersed with policy, it was fascinating how
quickly things turned to political philosophy, partly because the
American right (the position Heritage occupy) think of things
in terms of natural rights grounded in universal truth. Where
politics and philosophy meet.
I spent until the end of the week in D.C. a fying visit,
but there were more states to see and so I few to Indiana to
start the next leg of my trip. In Indiana I spent an incredible
two weeks working for the Indiana State house and governor
Mike Pence, and the Sagamore Institute, another think tank. At
the State house I was researching data on key state statistics in
education, economics and health. Te state system in America
lends itself to competition. My research gave the state house a
base line of how efective policies were and which areas needed
attention.
At the Sagamore institute I was mainly proof-reading
President Jay Hein’s book. Jay had been director of the White
House Ofce of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives from
August 2006 to August 2008, and was writing a defence of
Bush’s presidency from this perspective. One line from Bush’s
inaugural speech sticks out – that Americans are ‘citizens not
subjects’. Trough stressing the economic impact of the vol-
untary sector Jay sought to show how a citizen based approach
to some policy areas was vital if communities and ultimately
countries were to fourish.
Having managed to go on a business trip to Texas,
where I met a professional bull rider who had a rodeo scholar-
ship to college, and then a tourism trip to Chicago, it was time
for me to say goodbye to the Mid-west, afer two weeks of quite
literally fying all over the place. I touched down in Atlanta, tru-
ly in the deep south. Quite how south became apparent a week
into my stay when I took the MARTA, the subway system, for
the frst time.
With the rest of this article I’m going to talk about the
MARTA. In Atlanta everyone drives apart from those who can’t
aford to. Te MARTA was how the most vulnerable mem-
bers of society travelled. In Atlanta they were nearly all black.
I remember feelings of persecution and discrimination being
openly vented as people spoke about how they felt targeted by
the police because of their race. I remember the pain as people
talked about a friend who had recently been killed in a shoot-
ing. Both of these gleaned from one simple subway journey. As
I continued to take the MARTA over the next month, I contin-
ued to be confronted with the pain of the people I was living
with. How could Americans be so blind to this social injustice?
Atlanta is where Martin Luther King’s grave is,
something which speaks loudly through the hustle and bustle
of central Atlanta. Surrounding MLK’s tomb is a pool of water.
Standing there you realise that as incredible as the civil rights
movement was, its ripples are still being felt throughout Ameri-
ca, resonating from that life laid down for another.
My time in America was an incredible experience, but
nothing will stay with me more than my time in Atlanta. It was
here that I felt the deep impact of blindness. When I exclaimed
‘How could Americans be so blind to this social injustice?’ I
realised later that it was not only in America that our cultural
cataracts could have such a profound impact.
Brokenness had been surrounding me my entire life.
But at home, amidst the familiarity, it doesn’t penetrate in the
same way because I’ve learnt how not to look. Tis is not a nec-
essary mechanism to preserve emotional energy, but a deliber-
ate choice of avoiding our own brokenness shown in the guise
of another.
Tis article could be read as another shallow tale of a student’s
travels, perhaps no more than my version of ‘fnding myself’.
Tough I hope it seems more than that; indeed I hope that it’s
read as the start of another small ripple.
When I graduate from Durham this year I plan to
pursue postgraduate study in Teology, following on from my
undergrad. Pressing deeper into these ideas in my studies I
hope to bring healing to those who I once met on the MARTA,
and one day to follow in the footsteps of the men and women
in places like the Sagamore Institute who work to battle this
injustice.
Volunteering in Kathmandu,
Nepal: Orchard Garden
By Josephine Chaudry
With help from the St Aidan’s Travel Bursary Scheme I trav-
elled to Kathmandu in Nepal to be a volunteer for one month
in a school called Orchid Garden. Te photo below shows a
group of students on a school trip to Bhaktapur, one of the
three historic cities in the Kathmandu valleys. In Nepal this city
is considered a cultural gem, with its fascinating history and
culture, the winding streets, the magical craf stores, the beauti-
ful temples and the lack of trafc and motor vehicles (very rare
for Nepal!) Tis trip was organised by me and a couple of other
volunteers working at Orchid Garden. Tese children had nev-
er been on a school trip before with everything that it entails- a
bus ride, a packed lunch, a visit to a historic world heritage site
and of course, the day of school! Te happiness and excitement
of the children was indescribably disproportionate to the small
expense we paid for the bus fare- I had never seen so many
happy and enthusiastic children at such a simple thing; it was
amazing.
I came across this volunteer scheme through a charity
called Mountain Fund; a recent start-up, it was only founded in
2005 but has an admirable vision to create healthy communities
in Nepal where people have access to healthcare, education and
economic opportunities. As a result, Mountain Orchid Garden
was founded by Bina Basnet, or ‘Didi’ as we all called her, she is
a local philanthropist with an inspiring vision: ‘Nepal needs me,
I need our kids. So before I die, I want to do something memo-
rable. I want to make my Orchid Garden BIG! ’Te self-sustain-
ing environment in Orchid Garden is so special. Each child is
given the love and support which they have been denied
outside of the garden. As a volunteer I would go into the school and help give lessons to the older children who were learning
English and do reading sessions with them, with the younger children I would sit in on their lessons and help the teachers mark
the work and set their homework. I would play with the children in their break-time and on Fridays join in with their sports day.
With the youngest children, toddlers and babies, I helped when they were potty training, comforted them during nap time and
played with them, but most importantly made sure they ate their foods because we did not know if they gained enough essential
food outside of Orchid Garden.
Nepal is such a special country, but what makes it so special are the Nepalese people- the majority of whom have noth-
ing and are living in the hardest conditions among absolute poverty, many cannot even feed their families and do not have a real
home. Tose that do have money emigrate for opportunities abroad which means that the most vulnerable Nepali children are
lef with little hope for the future. Tis is why Bina’s project is so important in taking a step towards tackling the major issues
facing the country. Te message is clear, all children no matter what their circumstances should be given the basic opportunities
in life- food, water, safety, security, health, education and above all love. Orchid Garden is a place where the vulnerable children
of Nepal can gain that place. I met some amazing Nepali people during my volunteer stay, with incredible but heart breaking
stories, I found out about lots of the children’s backgrounds and family difculties and I only hope that I gave some hope, smiles
and happiness to Orchid Garden’s children for the time I was there. I would love to return to Orchid Garden and see Bina’s project
extending and helping more and more children.
23
Features
24
Features
Conference Awards
St Aidan’s College awards some small grants to help students attend conferences. We are delighted to be able
to publish their reports in our newsletter for the frst time.
It has been a professionally rewarding
experience attending the Financial Re-
porting and Business Communications
(FRBC) Seventeenth Annual Conference
as one of the main stream presenters in
Bristol this July where I met many inter-
national colleagues, renowned professors
in accounting, and editors of world’s
top-ranked journals in the feld.
In general, and through attend-
ing a mix of doctoral sessions and main
conference sessions, the conference pro-
vided me with the opportunity to know
new research ideas in my area, converse
with other researchers and build my own
research thoughts. Te conference was
a two-day event with interesting pre-
sentations and discussions on various
accounting topics.
On the frst day of the confer-
ence, I enjoyed being a discussant for
one of the presented papers where it
was a new and interesting part of my
conference experience. Afer being asked
by the conference organizers to act as a
discussant for a paper that they had sent
to me two weeks before the day of the
conference, I presented four PowerPoint
slides through which I provided my
suggestions and thoughts on the paper.
Given that I have read the paper before,
I was able to provide to the audience a
road map for the discussion, at the same
time that I had provided to the author a
constructive and meaningful feedback.
As a PhD student who hopes to
advance in his research area and build
his professional research profle, the “Ed-
itors Panel” was of great beneft to me in
understanding the publication process.
In addition to answering the questions of
the audience, each panel member shared
his personal and professional experience
with reviewing papers, and clarifed
specifc publication procedures for his
journal. It was great getting to hear the
editor’s advice on how to improve a pa-
per’s prospects of publication, and how
to increase the chance of a paper getting
published given the high rejection rates
of prestigious journals.
I did my paper presentation
at the second day of the conference.
Te discussion of my paper was led by
Professor Pauline Weetman, the former
editor of the Accounting and Business
Research Journal, where she provided
me with her valuable comments, and was
impressed by my work given that I am
still a second year PhD student and I had
a full paper presented in the main stream
of the conference.
Overall, the experience was quite amaz-
ing and fruitful. I would like to express
my gratitude to St Aidan’s College for
the £250 Small Grant they ofered to me
to attend the conference. Tis generous
contribution which the college has made
to the development of my research and
academic career is highly appreciated.
- Jihad Alokaily
In early June, I attended the 3rd Interna-
tional Conference of the Financial En-
gineering and Banking Society in Paris,
France, under the fnancial support of St.
Aidan’s College and Durham University
Business School, Durham University.
Te conference is co-organised with the
Laboratory of Excellence on Financial
Regulation (LabEx-RiFi), and held in the
ESCP Europe Business School, which is
the oldest Business School in Europe.
Te main theme of the con-
ference was “Financial Regulation and
Systemic Risk”, and the Journal of
Banking and Finance (JBF) will publish a
special issue from the papers presented at
this conference. A mere 220 articles with
high quality were chosen out of more
than 370 submitted to be presented at the
conference, and these presentations were
separated into 69 sessions in three days.
Professor Darrell Dufe, Dean
Witter Distinguished Professor of Fi-
nance at the Graduate School of Busi-
ness, Stanford University and Professor
Ike Mathur, Professor of Finance at
Southern Illinois University and Editor
in chief of the JBF were invited to give
speeches about central
clearing parties and the interface between
fnance and other disciplines at the con-
ference. For the night of the frst day of
the conference, a dinner cruise on river
Seine was also arranged for us to discover
the beauties of Paris.
I did my presentation on the
third day of the conference. My paper
presented was “Te Greek Efect? Trans-
fer of Default Risk between Eurozone
Sovereign and Financial Sectors”, which
is a joint research with my PhD su-
pervisors Dr Anurag Banerjee and Dr
Chi-Hsiou Hung. Te main analysis is
focused on the risk transfer between the
government and the domestic fnancial
institutions before and afer bailouts is-
sued by the European Financial Stability
Facility (EFSF). Te presentation went
through very well, and some audience
said that this research is quite inter-
esting that implies whether the bailout
policies are necessary. Te discussant of
my paper, Dr Andreas Kraus, from the
University of Bath, provided some good
suggestions as well, such as some control
variables that might be considered in the
analysis.
Te conference provided a
good chance to me to meet professional
researchers who also work in the area
of bank governance and systemic risk
during fnancial crises, to share and to
receive ideas and comments on my cur-
rent work. I do hope in the future I can
have more opportunities to attend such
conferences of such high quality.
- Kai Lisa Lo
Te Postclassical Narratology Confer-
ence at University of Wuppertal was
an international forum for graduate
researchers and academics, that ran
from 23 to 25 June 2013. Te confer-
ence brought together a wide range of
scholars and research interests, from
Holocaust narratives to video-games and
the principle aim of the conference was
to investigate the theoretical and cultural
dimensions of narrative and narratology
today. Te conference was bilingual and
presentations were given in German as
well as in English. Te keynote lecture by
Dr Roy Sommers on 23 June aimed at a
lucid defnition of narrative and how that
may be applied to the broader cultural
dimensions such as flms and television.
Daniel Hostert’s paper on nar-
ration and focalization in early modern
fction investigated the anxiety of cultural
and political location that was infected
via narrative ability. Dilek Posse’s paper
on Gautam Malkanis’ Londonstani elu-
cidated the politics of deceptive narra-
tive (one that the speaker defned as the
‘garden-path narrative’) in the construction of cultural and personal identities. Daniel Becker’s paper on the location of the lyric in
an age of transgeneric narratology investigated the liminal and cognitive quality performed by the lyric and how that connects to
the complex narrative dimensions taken up by lyric-poets. Te fnal paper of the conference was presented by Stefan Schubert who
ofered a fascinating presentation of the role of narratives in video-gamed and popular cinema and analysed how narratology is all
the more relevant in an age of digital reproduction and virtual presence. Te conference ended with a rich round-table discussion
that brought together the topics covered in its three-day frame. Te conference organisers thanked the presenters for an immense-
ly interesting and engaging academic forum and declared that they will contact the delegates with a proposal for publishing the
proceedings of the conference in due course.
- Avishek Parui
Between the 1st - 5th of September I attended the XIII International Workshop on Modeling of Mantle and Lithosphere Dynamics
held in Hønefoss Norway. Te workshop had a number of invited speakers that over the 5 days addressed a number of developing
research themes in numerical modeling of earth processes. Some highlights included hearing about ASPECT: Advanced Solver for
Problems in Earth’s Convection a new European developed code and a number of speakers talking about the comparison of mod-
els to seismic tomography results. Te workshop even included a short feld trip to the Oslo rif system to see the rhomb porphyry
lava fows created when the rif system was active in the late Carboniferous.
- Andrew Bottrill
Features
26
News From Members
News in Brief
Snippets and updates from fellow members of St Aidan’s Alumni. Why not send us your news via
news@aidans-alumni.org.uk
1940

Bridget Harper
Retired and living very quietly.
1949

Joan Daphne Darley (Watson)
I fnally got my MPhil from Lampeter University in 2008 and
have now gone back to gardening as my main activity.

Shirley Scrivener (Hazelhurst)
Just retiring from voluntarily managing the local nature reserve
afer 16 years. Still in touch with Enid Evans (Parker), Daphne
Holbrook (Bowen) and Margaret Asquith (Wake).
1955

(Selina) Angela Crossfeld
I continue to enjoy my retirement and remember my Durham
days with great afection.
1956

Janet Vickers (Croasdale)
We are still living in Lancaster and enjoying our retirement.
My husband still helps out in the Blackburn diocese and I am a
school governor.
Our three daughters and fve grandchildren live in Surrey.
We still enjoy traveling the world when we can!
Margaret Wightman (Robinson)

Harold and I have this year celebrated our golden wedding.
In April we attended our widowed daughter’s wedding in New
Zealand to a well-known blind musician. Tey now live in
Queenstown, where our son and his family were already settled.
1957

Ann Severn (Hinks)
Continue to tutor for WEA and to lecture for U3A.
Enjoying travel -- to Cambodia, Vietnam and Tailand this
year -- and theatre visits.
1958

Marion M’Chintock
I expect the publication of Shaping the Future: A History of the
University of Lancaster 1961 - 2011 to be published in Novem-
ber. Tis is the volume I have been working on since 2006.
1959

Patricia MacQueen (Robertson)
I emigrated to the USA in 1963 and presently live in the Boston
area near my son and two young grand daughters.
I taught, worked in international education and as a reference
librarian.
I love being retired and have taken up art, Buddhism and na-
ture watching avidly.
My sister and I alternate crossing the pond and I shall be in
England in August to avoid the extreme heat of Massachusetts
but regret I cannot stay to take in the 2012 reunion.
Alison Pearson (Jones)
I now divide my time between my fve children and 8 grand-
children (aged 0 to 10). Holidays this year range from Center
Parcs to Turks and Caicos, but we also enjoy get-togethers for
sports days, trips to the Wetland Centre, cheering my younger
son on in the London Marathon, and so on.
I also have a rambling house and overgrown garden to care for.
1963

Kathleen Court (Chapman)
We had more opportunity to travel last year, not only abroad
but even a U3A holiday to Northumberland, which introduced
us to Alnwick Castle and Cragside among others.
We are very involved with U3A in Canterbury (over 1100
members).
I still enjoy working as a Cathedral guide, especially with school
parties.
Otherwise there is village life -- church, book group, etc. -- and
25
most months of the year plenty of work in the garden!
1965

Alison Bolt (previously Forsyth) (Saunders)
Still living in rural Cumbria and enjoying retirement from
teaching.
Our travels to Germany, Austria and Eastern Europe over
the last 15 years or so have come to an end, however, as my
husband, Alan, was taken into hospital last November with
heart failure. Over Christmas 2011 it was really touch and go
whether he would survive, but he has gradually pulled himself
back and is now almost completely recovered and our social life
is beginning to get back to something approaching normality as
well!
Getting out on the fells is a great pleasure, as is music - singing
in the Furness Bach Choir and playing viols and other early
instruments with the Dorian Players, a local early music group.
Vivian Fairbank (Jolly)
I have completely retired now, afer 7 years of helping out with
GTP students on apart time basis.
Our lives are flled with two allotments, sequence dancing and
two beautiful grandaughters who live in Brecon, enabling us to
make a second home there.
1966

Rosemary Rust D’Eye
Afer 32 years in Italy, I came back to England in 2003 and
returned to teaching French.
Afer 8 years, I decided to become a freelance translator of
Italian to English.
1968

Margaret Keltie
I entered a civil partnership with Eleanor Muir on 1st October
2011.
Faith Sinclair (Cooper)
I was delighted and honoured to recieve a Durham University
Honorary Palatinate for my years of coaching and playing squash
in June of 2012.
I have been playing masters squash for Scotland for the last three
years and recently got to the fnal of the world masters ladies over
60s event held in Birmingham.
My two daughters play squash and my husband, Clive, happily
runs an estate here in South West Scotland.
Hello to my friends from St. Aidan’s whom I have not seen in
many years!
1971
Jackie Hopson

I am currently studying part-time at the University of Shefeld
for a PhD in the Department of English.
1972

Sarah Clarke

I am still busy teaching guitar for the Buckinghamshire County
Music Service.
My son Ben has just graduated from Warwick University with a
Computer Science degree.
Sue Sandham (Kennedy)

2012 was a hectic year.
My youngest son was married in June and I retired from full
time teaching in July. We celebrated the event with a Mediter-
ranean cruise on the Queen Elizabeth to coincide with the time
throughout my working life when I would normally have been
returning to school in September.
It was a great delight to see Chris Inoue (nee Tompson)
recently when she brought her youngest son up to begin his
degree at Hatfeld College. We had met 40 years ago - to the
weekend - when we came up to Durham ourselves.
Jane Alexander

I manage education development programs for a USAID con-
tractor (Creative Associates Int.) in Morocco and Tanzania and
travel extensively in the Middle East.
1976
Karen McAulay (Manley)

Mid-October, being seconded to be part-time postdoctoral
research assistant on AHRC-funded project at University of
Glasgow Music Dept. - 3 year project, 2 days a week.
Te remainder of the time I’ll continue my Music and Aca-
demic Services Librarian duties at the Royal Conservatoire of
Scotland. (I’m in with the bricks - arrived to a new building in
1988 and still chugging on.)
My thesis (with an extra chapter) is due to be published in
March 2013 by Ashgate. ‘Our Ancient National Airs: Scottish
Song Collecting from the Enlightenment to the Romantic Era’
1977

Margaret and Christine Cadman

Still living together in Lincoln.
Enjoy visits to the theatre, visiting historic houses and watching
wildlife.
Since 2001 we have enjoyed three holidays in Canada, the last
one (to mark our 50th birthdays) included three days’ grizzly
bear watching.
Afer a period of unemployment, Christine started her current
job with a local frm of accountants in 2008. Very handy for car
sharing as only a short walk from where Margaret works. Mar-
garet has been working for the same semiconductor company
for 31 years, although it has had a few changes of name and
ownership in that time!
Denise M. Bontof
Stephen Murphy, known as Spud, my husband of 29
years, passed away suddenly at home on 13th February 2012.
He was a Folk Singer and member of Boston Folk Orchestra for
more than 35 years. Along with Trudy Brunskill(Collingwood
College (77-80)and others, Spud would have sung in folk club
venues in and around Durham in the late 70’s.
If anyone wishes to contact me, my email is
dbontof@googlemail.com
Fi Pethick
As our daughter sets of to university this autumn I have re-
called my many happy memories of Aidans and Durham. I do
recall the nervousness - would i like my room mate?
Well my room mate Wendy Garvey (nee Hayes) and I are still in
regular contact so that went well. I made many other friends too
and Jan Collinge (as was - now O’Brien) and Ros Durden (now
Marshall Smith) were in the room next door.
Te kit list for a student in 2012 does not include some of the
essentials from 1977 - notepaper, envelopes and stamps, shoe
cleaning kit! But as a mother I will perhaps hear more news via
email, facebook, text and phone. Unlike my mother I will not
have to ring the public phone in the JCR bar and hope someone
would fnd my daughter.
Parental duties aside I enjoy my job as Director of Regulation at
Ofqual, the qualifcations regulator. Tis is both challenging and
rewarding.
In my spare time I lead a group of Ranger Guides at our local
church.
In Durham days I was a keen Methsocer and now the Methodist
Church in Kenilworth is both my place of worship and a source
of great fellowship.
1978

Val Jones (Dawson)

Tis year we celebrated our Silver Wedding with a family holi-
day in Tobago -- a wonderful island.
Afer 20 years part-time I took the plunge and returned to work
full-time which has been fulflling but a bit of a shock! I’m now
global PR Manager for GE Healthcare life sciences.
James is in his second year at Lancaster doing Engineering and
loving it. Rob hopes to study Geology at university.
Life is busy -- too busy sometimes! I enjoyed the picture in the
last magazine of the car suspended from Kingsgate Bridge -- I
wondered if it had been an urban myth. Can anyone explain
how it was done?
Marisa Talbot
I am working for Novartis in the UK as the Compliance Man-
ager for Oncology. I am now a liveryman of the Worshipful
Company of the Makers of Playing Cards in the city of London
which means I have the right to vote for the Mayor of the City
of London.
1979

Fiona Macdonald

Working in scientifc publishing at CRC Press in Boca Raton,
Florida. Recently married to James Yanchak, 2 cats.
1980

Rosemary Lyon (Hughes)

Still teaching French and Spanish across both the primary and
secondary sectors.
My elder son is now in year 13 and looking into higher educa-
tion. Where have the years gone?!
In October 2010 I was elected a Lay Member of the Church of
England representing Blackburn diocese.
Looking forward to the 2013 Reunion.
1981
Angela Tompson (Homer)
Living in Tursley, Surrey with husband Paul and 4 sons- 12, 10,
8 and 4 years old.
Running an online business www.englishrelics.co.uk as well as
keeping up with the boys’ competitive sailing schedule!
News From Members
28
News From Members
27
Ihsan Shafq
Live in Spain since 1989; now between Marbella and Salamanca.
1986
Angela Cutbill (Wood)

I was a foreign student member of the SCR in the 1986-87. I
would love to know about other members from that time.
I am living in Los Angeles with my husband, David (Hatfeld),
whom I met during my time at Durham.
Jonathan Ellis

Head of policy, research and advocacy at the British Red Cross,
visiting lecturer at City University on the MA in political com-
munication and Chairman of the Bishop Simeon Trust.
1987
Rebecca Watts

Afer Durham I went to Imperial College to study Water Engi-
neering.
I worked as a Hydrogeologist for several companies before
working for 10 years for South East Water. I lef to raise two
children, William and Callum.
I did some part-time research at Bristol University on the im-
pact of borehole abstractions on Wetlands.
Sean, who I met at Durham (Hatfeld College), studied for
a PhD at Sussex University on the Behavioural Ecology of
Badgers and then worked for the BBC Natural History Unit in
Bristol.
Recently, Sean and I moved to South Wales where he now
works as the Head of Conservation for the RSPB, in Cardif. I
re-trained as a Mathematics Teacher and I work in a FE Col-
lege. We live in a huge house by the sea and it is very beautiful.
1988
Nik Sargent

Still working in IT consulting, but passionately ursuing a sec-
ondary career in fne art photography ( www.inpictur.es ) and
contemplating a move somewhere back to Scotland.
I also have a frst baby (boy) on the way, due February 2013.
Lef it late, but unbelievably thrilled.
Marc Blake-Will

I am a professional comedy writer (I write for TV and radio)
and have published my frst book, “Wanksy: Interpreting A
Grafti Virtuoso”. It is a satirical look at puerile grafti and
pretentious art criticism. It has recently been featured in Te
Guardian, Time Out and El Pais.
From 1989 – 1991 I was one of the editors of the St Aidan’s
Magazine – AIDS Magazine – and also edited a spoof version
of Palatinate called Purplish in 1991, which sold hundreds of
copies throughout the university. Tere is no doubt that I got
my taste for comedy writing from my Durham days.
1989

Leslie Robinson

Hi! Don’t know if you remember me--I spent my Junior-Year
Abroad residing at St. Aidan’s College. Wonderful, amazing
memories.
I have been living in Los Angeles for over 20 years and work at
the Museum of Tolerance--a non-proft human rights organiza-
tion.
I’d love to hear from anyone who remembers me and that
time... what are you up to these days?
Anne Charles (Diss)

Afer a wonderful BSc in Biology I did a PGCE in Cambridge,
then worked as a Naturalist Guide in the Galapagos Islands for
3 years and returned to Cambridge for an MPhil in education,
convinced that the gap between science and the public can only
be bridged by education.
I agree with one recent alumnus about meeting many Durham
students in London, where I worked for three years as a Science
teacher at Highbury Grove School, a lively inner city compre-
hensive- my former roomate Nicky Hawkins (‘92, now living
in Devon with her husband Neville from a hill college I seem
to recall, and their three children and I believe training new
teachers) as well as Yula Cawdell (also ‘92, RE teacher, in Devon
as well, with her husband Declan and their two sons), to name
only them, were also Londoners at the time.
Meeting my husband prompted a move to Paris where I now
teach science at the American School of Paris, where my two
little boys are pupils. Our third child is due in October and until
this July I would have said my progeny were my greatest source
of pride, but this is now closely rivalled with a new event: one
of my former students will study in Durham as of this October!
She will attend Van Mildert and I have threatened to visit her
regularly.
I’d love for my family to see what a wonderful place I was so
very fortunate to study at, and who knows, perhaps they’ll go on
to do the same?
I’d also love to hear from former students around the early
nineties to catch up and reminisce about our lovely carefree
university days!
1990
Mike Gregory

I have been living in Australia for three years with my wife and
two sons (4 and 6).
Although time zone was poor loved the Olympics and seeing
us thrash the Aussies - and looking forward to the Lions tour.
Came out here 12 years ago to watch last one so hoping second
time lucky.
I am in Sydney so would be great to catch up with anybody
heading out this way.
1996
Duncan Brooks

Samuel Brooks was born on 9 April 2012, a brother for Holly.
1997

Timothy Edwards

I was ordained in the summer of 2012 as a minister in the
Church of England and am working as curate in northern
Cumbria.
1998
Daisy McLachlan (Hodgson)

In May 2011 I had my frst child, James, who is now a boister-
ous toddler.
My husband Robert and I live in West Sussex and I have recent-
ly returned to work at the National Audit Ofce.
2000
Iain Chadwick

I was awarded my D.Phil in History from Oxford University in
2011, completing a thesis entitled ‘Revolutionary Neighbour-
hoods and Networks during the Paris Commune of 1871’.
2003

Riannon Pugh

Working as an associate solicitor in the Competition group at
Slaughter and May.
James and Amy Mee (Marlowe)

We would like to announce the birth of our daughter Molly
Elizabeth Mee born on 23rd June 2012.
Martin Miller

I married Kathryn Wilkins (St Aidan’s 2003-2010) on 30 July
2011. Te wedding and reception were at St Aidan’s College
and the whole event was fantastic. It was brilliant to be back at
Aidan’s with all of our Durham friends.
Natasha Wallis

Gemma Brown is now engaged to Brent Tobin. Holly Willies is
now engaged to James Gamble.
2004

Tom Levi

Engaged to be married to Faye Tompson (2003-7) in 2012.
2007
Hugo Brent

Currently in Australia (since 2010).

News From Members
30
News From Members
29
Obituaries
Margaret Bell (1957 - 1960)
Margaret Bell (née Storr) was an undergraduate at St. Aidan’s
from 1957 to 1960. As Freshers, she, Margo Robson and I
shared the only ground foor room accommodation at our col-
lege base in the Bailey, well within sound of the cathedral clock
which struck every 15 minutes.
Te three of us later roomed together in Gilesgate,
and, in our Finals Year, we had the luxury of single rooms at
Shinclife Hall. From conversations with the college boilerman
in the Bailey, Margaret discovered that he was also the ringer
of the cathedral bell at the 9pm curfew each evening. He kindly
gave us a conducted tour of the triforium and, to our great
excitement, invited us to share the ringing of the historic bell.
Margaret was adept at so much and more bold than
I was coming from the Midlands; to me, she possessed all the
certainties of the South. In our frst year, she and I collected
for Rag Day charities in Chester-le-Street, Margaret march-
ing me into impressive banks and ofces where I would have
shaken my can only towards shoppers and shop assistants. She
was always hungry, using both the Bailey electric wall fre and
our Gilesgate coal fre to make toast to eat with ham [from
Carrick’s] at about 4 o’ clock: ‘just a snack before dinner’. We
invited our young and lively Anglo-Saxon lecturer, Rosemary
Cramp, to join us in this one day.
Te college chapel was St. Mary-le-Bow, where we
both sang in the college choir, Margaret with a rich contralto
voice. She introduced me to a range of classical music and
Greek folk songs from an enormous collection of L.Ps. which
she transported regularly from Surrey to Durham along with a
trunk full of books recently lef to her by an uncle. At the end of
each summer term, a group of us would go to stay at the family
home in Sutton and she would conduct us to the Wimbledon
queue, the British Museum, the National Gallery – all seeming-
ly home from home to her but a whole new world to me.
Afer graduation, she went to live in Greece. When
married, she and Ian worked in Cyprus before coming back to
England as their family grew to 6 children. As long as we car-
ried a picnic, Margaret was never happier than when out in the
countryside, whether by the Wear around Durham and Shin-
clife or on Lindisfarne. Afer retirement, she and Ian moved to
the Orkneys where she at last found real contentment and her
natural home. From Weyland Bay she continued to write to me,
as she had since 1960, absorbingly long and lively letters – a real
joy to receive and to keep.
We last met with Sian and
Margo at the delightful alumni
reunion in the autumn of 2012.
Margaret was always a true friend in
so many ways but especially so
during those three never to be
forgotten years when we studied
English and so much more together
at St. Aidan’s.
Ann Severn [née Hinks]
1957-1960
Anna Davies (1977 - 1980)
It is with great sadness that we report the untimely death of
Anna Davies in February 2013.
Anna read law from 1977-1980. She was President of
the Union Society in the Epiphany term of her third year (frst
term of 1980). A highlight of her term was a visit from the
American Ambassador, Kingman Brewster (appointed by Jim-
my Carter). Other speakers who spoke at her debates included
Richard Du Cann QC, Robert Kilroy Silk, Hilary Benn, Anne
Taylor MP, Charles Kennedy, Edward Leigh MP and Rear
Admiral Edward Gueritz.
Afer graduating in law she did her pupillage in Lon-
don including 6 months in a criminal chambers and qualifed
as a barrister. She married John Davies, who predeceased her,
and they had a daughter Louise; she was brought up in London
and, inspired by her mother’s anecdotes of her time at Durham,
chose to study there also and to Louise’s great credit, she com-
pleted her degree in Maths and Computer Science in June 2013,
gaining a 1st Class Honours despite having to cope with her
mother’s sudden death.
Anna went on to teach law and latterly became a local
Liberal Democrat Councillor. About eighteen months ago she
made the decision to leave London and move to Herefordshire.
Afer a short illness, completely unexpectedly, she died of a
stroke.
We send our condolences and best wishes to Louise.
Anna’s friend, Jane Middleton, paid her own tribute:
No one who met Anna at Durham could forget her. While
the rest of us were walking around in jeans and sloppy tops
and wearing barely a scrap of make-up, Anna – who had never
worn jeans in her life – was immaculate in twin-sets and pearls,
good, sensibly-heeled shoes, sensible handbag, her hair set in
rigid Tatcherite of-the-face waves and her face covered in
foundation. She was a year younger than me and looked years
older – Pamela (Mosey) and I were thought to be her daughters
whenever we went out in the town. Tat confusion had started
her very frst day at Aidan’s – she strode up to the reception
table, loudly announced “Anna Davies” and the girl ticking of
the names looked at her, then around her, and said “Where is
she?” searching for a shy 18 year old and clearly thinking Anna
was her own mother.
Tat Tatcherite similarity applied to her character
as much as her appearance. She was intelligent, strong-willed,
forthright (”Tat girl needs better foundation garments” she
said of one over-endowed maiden) and she didn’t sufer fools
gladly – and she let them know it. She could be acerbic, but
also kind and generous – she was particularly charming to my
father when he appeared at the end of each year to collect me
and all my baggage.
What do I recall of Anna afer over 30 years? Little
things, mainly. Her clutching at my arm as she teetered along
in the ice and snow – she would never stoop to wear welling-
tons as I did. Singing Danny Boy with her as she played the
piano. Inviting Miss Hindmarsh for tea (and Anna hushing
me when I was expounding on the Roman lavatorial habits I’d
learned about that week). Watching Rebecca with her in the
JCR and both of us swooning over Jeremy Brett. Laughing with
her over nothing, for she had a strong, vibrant laugh. Help-
ing with the Union dinners, in awe of her special dessert – a
spirits-enhanced ginger-biscuit confection smothered in cream
which looked like a cross between a hedgehog and Dougal from
the Magic Roundabout.
Te Union. She’d made it clear she wanted that prize,
and she got it. She was ambitious and hard-working, and we
were convinced she would be the frst female PM (the then Mrs
Tatcher was still only leader of the opposition at the time.)
We lost touch not long afer Durham – I visited her
once, we wrote a few times, exchanged Christmas cards, but I
was careless of friendships in those days. I’m sorry about that,
too. She was a good friend. I’m a better person for having
known her.
- Jane Middleton, Anna’s Friend
Lef to right: Jane Middleton, Pam Moses, Anna Davies
Isobel Manning (nee Horton)
(1947 - 1950)
Isobel Horton Senior Woman and subsequently a member
of Governing Body as well as being involved with St Aidan’s
Alumni over a long period of time, including roles as editor of
the Newsletter and Secretary of the Association. Dr Rodmell, in
his history of the college, described Isobel as “the Senior Wom-
an Isobel Horton, later to become, as Mrs Manning, a stalwart
of the St Aidan’s Association and indeed of the St Aidan’s
Governing Body”.
Isobel served as secretary of the Association for many
years and spanned the tenure of ofce for the frst three princi-
pals: Miss Ethleen Scott, Dame Enid Russell Smith and myself.
By her faithful attendance at reunions, together with her service
on the College Governing Body, she became a repository of
knowledge about S.A.C. from the Bailey base to its present site,
its evolution from a society to a college, from a women’s to a
mixed establishment.
She was a loyal and conscientious student as well as a
great supported of Durham University as a whole at reunions
in Durham and London. She enjoyed her many friendships
forged by her study as an undergraduate and her subsequent
links. Isobel has a particular afection for Miss Scott and attend-
ed the founder Principal’s funeral at Westbere, Canterbury and
the Tanksgiving Service in her memory at Durham Cathedral
in April 1986. Tose of us who knew Isobel and appreciated her
qualities send our sincere condolences to her family and friends
and our gratitude for her devoted service.

- Irene Hindmarsh - Principal 1970 – 1988

I knew her just through St Aidan’s reunions and the committee
… She was the ideal committee person, and extremely good at
running things …the sort of person of whom you think “Oh
good, Isobel’s here” and know that things will go smoothly. I
visited once or twice in Winchester: she was a most gracious
hostess in her immaculate bungalow, a great contributor to
the life of the village- a beautiful garden! In so many ways she
was typical of the frst St Aidan’s students; highly competent
women joining the university when women were very much
in the minority and the (then) society in its infancy, laying the
foundations of the real college that is today.

- Shirely Dex (1947 -1950)

Isobel was my best friend at Durham. She and Bruce travelled
extensively around the world both on business and pleasure.
Troughout her retirement and afer her husband Bruce’s death
Isobel was very much occupied in village afairs and church
afairs, and with her garden. Village life was very important to
both Isobel and Bruce and took Isobel back to her childhood
memories of Kirkby Malzeard in Yorkshire. Afer Bruce’s death
in 1995 Isobel carried on putting her energies into voluntary
work and village life, especially the village hall. She did a great
deal of voluntary work, particularly for the National Adoption
Society and later became a founding trustee of its successor, the
Athlone Trust. She will be fondly remembered by all who knew
her.
- Dorothy E. Lawes nee Bennison (1947 – 1951)
News From Members
32
News From Members
31
Alistair Keir (1995 - 1998)
Alastair started his rowing career in his home town of Lyming-
ton and then continued at Durham stroking the novice eight
but also found time to gain a degree in physics.
Te University gave Alastair the taste for travelling,
which he would later do on a grand scale. On his frst major
travelling trip he covered America, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, New
Zealand and Australia and was gone for almost a year. In 2006
he travelled to China by train and passing through many chal-
lenging countries such as Mongolia and Russia. Once in China
he spent six weeks there teaching English and being paid in
local beers. Whilst there he visited Nepal and even Everest base
camp.
Returning home he took over as rowing club secretary,
and in this position he came into contact with many people
and made many friends. He had last worked as a solar panel
installation engineer.
Audrey F Wainwright (nee Roots)
(1948 - 1951)
Sadly my wife Audrey died peacefully on the 15th March 2013
in Sovereign House Nursing Home, Coventry where she had
been resident since January last year.
Afer leaving college Audrey did secretarial work for
nearly twenty years before becoming an early commercial com-
puter programmer and analyst for a similar span of time.
She is survived by two daughters by her frst husband
the late Hugh Sharp and fve grandchildren and was delighted
to hear just three weeks before she died that her elder grand-
daughter was expecting.
- Alan Wainwright
Rosemary Wilson (nee Norris)
(1946 - 1950)
Rosemary and I both went to Durham from Gravesend County
Grammar School, where Rosemary was Head Girl.
Neither of us had been so far north before but both
fell in love with Durham when we went for our interviews and
were delighted to be ofered places together.
She was a very strong character and I was grateful for
her friendship and support.
- Pat Kemp nee Teesdale (1946 – 1950)
I was sorry to hear of the death of Rosemary Norris. We both
arrived at Durham just afer the war as “Home Students”, the
very frst members of St Aidan’s Society. Rosemary was far
more elegant and sophisticated than me but we became good
friends. During one vacation, I stayed with her at her home in
Gravesend.
Years later, Rosemary was PA to the Principal of the
Royal College of Art and I remember joining her for lunch
there in the very grand dining room for Senior Staf. Equal-
ly vivid is the memory of a dinner party at her London fat.
Beautifully framed small sketches done by the students were
displayed on her walls. She had acquired them for a few pounds
at end of term exhibitions. David Hockney was one of the
students there. How Rosemary would have loved his Bigger
Picture Exhibition at the RA last year!
Rosemary will be sorely missed. She had a great sense
of humour and was always good company.
- Doreen Pooler nee Penswick (1946 – 1950)
Valerie Sayles (formerly Keyworth)
(1948)
I shared a room with Valerie for two years at 210 Gilesgate – a
lovely old house – with no bathroom! Tere were six of us all
together and each weekend we walked across Bath Bridge to
the public baths where we had a lovely hot bath in very brown
peaty water. We had lunch at the Carricks Café (now Greggs?)-
one fsh cake and chips (or two if we could aford it) – three
flling iced buns in the afernoon and “high tea” in the evening.
I can’t believe we lived like that but at the time we were so glad
to just have survived the war and were having four glorious
years in Durham.
- Muriel East nee Hall
I took over the Treasurership of St Aidan’s Alumni from
Valerie in 1989. Although I only met her a couple of times, I
was most impressed by the meticulous nature of the paper-
work relating to St Aidan’s Alumni which she passed on to me
and the way in which she gave me extremely clear and precise
instructions as to what I had to do – which I dutifully followed!
At the time I was aware she had played a very key role in the life
of St Aidan’s Alumni but hadn’t appreciated quite how long she
had served. She met her husband at Durham- he was at Cuths
and her daughter Phillippa was at St Aidan’s at the same time as
me (1977-1980).
- Ros Marshall Smith (nee Durden)
Valerie was actively involved with St Aidan’s Alumni over
many years, acting as treasurer from 1967 – 1989.
Victoria died in January 2013 having lost a brave battle against
the extremely rare cancer ACC (Adrenal Cortical Carcinoma).
Victoria and her husband, Fynn, launched a social
organisation ‘Imagine It’ to raise funds and awareness in a bid
to overcome the disease.
Fynn wrote: ‘She went peacefully, surrounded by her
family. She was strong right up to the end and is now fnally
free. She was a beloved wife, daughter, sister and friend and will
be greatly missed. She was an inspiration to us all by embracing
the ‘ Imagine it ‘ ethos, of living for every moment. May she
forever rest peacefully among the poppy felds.’
Victoria Cornish (nee Johnston)
(2003 - 2006)
Mary Salter (Marianne Kelemen)
(1951 - 1954)
Mary passed away June 2013.
Barbara P Davies (1954 - 1958)
Barbara passed away May 2009.
Audrey Rűmmeli (nee Cook)
(1955 - 1958)
Audrey passed away in 2011.
33
News From Members
34
News From St Aidan’s Alumni
St Aidan’s Alumni Association
And Ten Tere Was One
We are sorry to report that Nick Boalch is unable to continue his work as newsletter editor and ‘webmaster’ due to the demands of
work. Nick succeeded in realising an ambition we had long held to revamp and revitalise the newsletter producing a striking for-
mat and encouraging greater readership in one fell swoop. We would like to thank him for his hard work, his creative excellence
and invaluable technical knowledge all of which we will greatly miss.
We also say thank you to Ros Marshall Smith (nee Durden) who has resigned her post as treasurer afer no less than 25
years in the post. Ros has safeguarded the Association’s fnances and also faithfully supported all our meetings, events and work
on developing the Association over those many years and we would like to pay tribute to her long service and unfailing support.
We would like to thank Jo Rowley (nee Hulse) who has had to give up her role as secretary to the Association due to the
demands of work. She has carried out this role since 1992 and her support, clarity and organisational skills will be much missed.
Finally we thank Fiona Pethick (nee Sheppard) who has been our hon. Auditor for 25 years. Fiona has fnally handed on
the baton and we thank her for all her eforts for the Association.
So readers do not have to be mathematicians to realise that such a turnover leaves a very depleted Association, in fact just
one alumna. Te priority for me to start with has been to get a newsletter to alumni and so I have resumed the post I once held
of newsletter editor. We have been able to secure some technical help at a modest fee as a stop gap measure. Finally, as I write in
November 2013 we have had a volunteer to replace Ros as treasurer. Matt Spencer, JCR President from 2007 to 2008, comes with
a strong knowledge of fnancial matters and has very kindly stepped into this breach. We welcome him aboard and thank him for
volunteering so promptly when much needed. He has co-opted his former JCR Treasurer Charlie Liles to audit our accounts and
we welcome her aboard.
Te old model of ‘one person, one role’ seems to belong to a less demanding era long ago when perhaps the calls on our
time were fewer (email inboxes for one) and stay-at-home mothers could be the backbone of a volunteering society. Nowadays it
seems unrealistic to expect people to take on a whole role except in unusual circumstances. To encourage more alumni to support
the Association we are asking for volunteers either ‘without portfolio’ so that they can help on an ad hoc basis when they can spare
the time or to join a ‘team’ that collectively look afer an area such as the website, reunions, the archive and so on. While the post
of treasurer requires one key person, at least one ‘deputy’ would be most welcome to avoid the risk of one person being the only
signatory on the accounts. Please do consider adding your name to our list as only with a team of supporters can the Association
continue to thrive.
Jan Collinge
editor@aidans-alumni.org.uk
Nick Boalch, Ros Marshall Smith nee Durden, Jo Rowley nee Hulse and Jan Collinge (married name O’Brien)
Events
Many interest groups now hold regular events that are open to all.
Here is a small sample.
News From St Aidan’s Alumni
36 35
News From St Aidan’s Alumni
Durham Early Modern Group Seminar
2014
All seminars will take place on Wednesdays in SR1, History, 43 North Bailey from 5.15pm, unless otherwise stated, and are open
to the public.
Easter Term
7 May, Ulinka Rublack (Cambridge), ‘Dress in the Age of the Renaissance and Reformation’.
Te full programme can be seen at:
https://www.dur.ac.uk/history/events/earlymod/
Te Institute of Advanced Study
Te Institute of Advanced Study is the umbrella for a wide range of activities and events located in and around Durham Univer-
sity. Each year the core work of the IAS revolves round the activities of an annual cohort of 20 Fellows drawn from academic and
related institutions across the globe. Whilst here, the Fellows participate in a wide range of events including seminars, workshops,
conferences, exhibitions, and public lectures, the majority of which are addressing cutting-edge topics under the umbrella of the
Institute’s annual theme.
Te range of events that are organised at the IAS are all intended to either advance the research of the individual Fellows and that
of researchers at Durham or, in the case of the outreach events such as the art exhibitions, public debates and public lectures that
we organise, to inform an interested public who want to learn more about the cutting-edge research that is carried out at Durham
and elsewhere in the world. Scholars from Durham University are the driving force behind all the Institute’s afairs: there is a roll-
ing programme of research feeding into and building on Institute activity.
You can fnd their schedule of events under ‘Activities and Events’ on their website.
https://www.dur.ac.uk/ias/
Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies
Te Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies is one of the most diverse and dynamic centres of medieval and early modern
studies in the world. Te IMEMS aims to inform the shape of medieval and early modern studies through its researchers and their
collaborative, interdisciplinary projects, through its engagement with funding councils and public policy, through its frst-rate
postgraduate community, and through its national and international impact. Te unique resources of Durham - collections of
manuscripts and early printed books unparalleled outside Oxford, Cambridge and London, unsurpassed history and architecture,
and frst class students and staf form the intellectual hub for the IMEMS. Te Institute includes forty-fve scholars across thirteen
Departments and three Faculties, as well as a vibrant community of postgraduates.
Above all, the IMEMS provides a forum and network for contact and the exchange of information. Always lively, the Durham
medieval and early modern scene is now set for still more activity and excitement.
See the listing of many and various IMEMS events at https://www.dur.ac.uk/imems/events/.
Te reunion for this year put the emphasis on alumni who were up from 1947 to 1963 i.e. when St Aidan’s was a Society rather
than a college. In my time there (1949-53) students lived in Shinclife (for one year) or in digs around the city. Later premises were
acquired in the Bailey but for the weekend we were able to enjoy the delights of the college. Miss Scott had striven long and hard to
make the Society into a College and from the start knew who she wanted as the architect of the building - Sir Basil Spence famed
for his design of the new Coventry Cathedral.
During this well organised weekend we were able to meet some of our contemporaries and renew our acquaintance with
the beautiful aspects of the city. I was able to catch up with some of my former colleagues namely Eileen Polding nee Knowles,
Daphne Darley nee Watson, Margaret Sexton nee Jackman, Muriel East nee Hall, Daisy Temple nee Sharpe among others.

Te highlights of the weekend included a guided tour of Palace Green which enabled us to appreciate the splendour of Durham’s
architecture, a visit to the Science Labs (much extended since our day) where we were treated to a talk by Professor Carlos Frenk
on advances in astronomy, a very entertaining talk by Sir Arnold Wolfendale (the former Astronomer Royal) a boat trip up and
down the Wear when our pilot, guide and commentator gave us a hilarious and informative running commentary – including the
story of treasure trove which was recovered from under Prebend’s bridge (two days later the rains had made the river unnavigable)
and fnally the formal dinner at which we were able to be better acquainted with the Principal and her team and to enjoy a very
funny afer dinner talk by Sir Arnold .
Altogether a very memorable weekend for which I must thank Jan and her helpers who worked so hard to make it so.


Shirley Scrivener nee Hazelhurst (1949-53)
Reunion Weekend 2012
Matriculates of 1945 - 1962
Professor Sir Arnold Wolfendale and Alumni Principal Dr Susan Frenk
Impromptu Entertainment by Professor Sir Arnold Wolfendale
Professor Sir Arnold Wolfendale kindly ofered to give a talk
at the reunion and we accepted gratefully, unaware of the treat
we were to experience. Professor Wolfendale, who arrived
at Durham’s department of Physics in 1952, held the post of
Professor from 1965 to 1992 and is still Emeritus Professor of
Physics, hard at work each day in the physics lab. However it
was his life as an astronomer of international repute that pro-
vided the focus for his talk. Professor Wolfendale was elected
a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1973, a Fellow of
the Royal Society in 1977 and he served as the 14th Astronomer
Royal from 1991 to 1995.
Local astronomers shaped the talk, starting with Te
Venerable Bede, who few knew to be Britain’s frst great as-
tronomer, then in the 1700s Tomas Wright from nearby Byers
Green and Jeremiah Dixon from Bishop Auckland. We moved
on to Temple Chevallier who became Professor of Astrono-
my in 1835 at the newly founded University of Durham and
who was instrumental in establishing the Durham University
Observatory in 1839. Richard C. Carrington held the post of
Observer at Te University of Durham for nearly three years.
R.A. Sampson took us into the 20th century; in 1893 he was
made Professor of Mathematics at Durham College of Science
in Newcastle-on-Tyne and in 1895 was elected Professor of
Mathematics at Durham University. In December 1910 he
became Astronomer Royal for Scotland , a post he held until
1937.
Professor Sir Arnold Wolfendale,
14th Astronomer Royal and Star of
the Reunion
Professor Carlos Frenk is well known now not only as Ogden
Professor of Fundamental Physics and Director for the Institute
for Computational Cosmology, Durham’s world-renowned
theoretical cosmology research group, but also as a media per-
sonality, ofen appearing on television to give authoritative and
informative comment in his chosen feld.
So we knew we would have an interesting lecture but
had no idea how entertaining and indeed exciting the visit
would be. Once seated in the lecture theatre (now that brought
back fond memories) we were issued with 3D dark glasses to
watch a flm of the creation of the universe. Stunning images
greeted us and suddenly we were galaxy-fying with myriads of
stars whizzing past us.
For a moment we could have believed ourselves in a
future space ship sprinting through the universe. Informative,
exciting, entertaining and a glimpse of the future – a blueprint
for the perfect lecture?
Galaxy Flying
With Professor Carlos Frenk
Beautiful north-eastern blue skies, balmy temperatures and
the frst hint of autumnal colours ofen grace the St. Aidan’s
September reunion and this year was no diferent.
We took the opportunity to have our own private river
cruise on the Prince Bishop, a stately boat that takes passengers
on a very serene tour from Old Elvet Bridge frst out along Elvet
Riverside, past the old baths and the sports ground, complete
with bandstand and a larger than life sculpture of a cow by
Andrew Burton, a Newcastle-upon-Tyne artist echoing the dun
cow legend, and then back and around the peninsular as far as
the weir.
Tis year the weather was exceptionally calm and the
gentle sunshine was a real end-of-summer treat. Everyone re-
laxed on the open air upper deck and soaked up the scenery, so
familiar and yet with hidden gems unknown to us. Only three
days later afer all had departed did we realise how fortunate we
had been; unprecedented foods hit the north east and the Wear
rose every higher and swept along giant hay bales as if mere
toys. Our weekend had been timed to perfection!
Serenely Floating Along Te River
Wear
Martin Roberts was for many years the Historic Buildings In-
spector for English Heritage and his knowledge of the Unesco
World Heritage Site of Durham is nothing short of encyclo-
paedic. We started our guided tour in the Castle and standing
in the Inner Bailey we learned of the castle’s origins, additions
Durham’s Hidden Architectural
Secrets
26, North Bailey is currently the home of the Durham Union
Society so we were able to hold a sherry party there and for
a couple of hours alumnae who were former residents could
reminisce and recall events that had been hidden in the recesses
of their memories for many years.
Anecdotes poured forth and some were captured on
video as alumnae stood in the gardens and recalled tales of
Miss Scott, her dog, her strictures and her very great care of her
‘charges’.
Te life all the undergraduates were privileged to lead
in the heart of the old city was vividly recalled and we hope to
place those video clips and stories, and more, in our memora-
bilia archive which will be accessible to all in the near future.
A Brief Return to 26 North Bailey
Troughout the fascinating insight into astronomical devel-
opments and discoveries Professor Wolfendale kept us on our
toes intellectually while entertaining us with his inimitable
style of wit, verve and repartee. We were lef in no doubt that
those who had worked with and for him at the department of
Physics and also elsewhere in his many capacities, not least as
14th Astronomer Royal, would have been similarly required to
keep up with relentless incisive questioning while relishing his
‘no prisoners taken’ humour. All together the event was a great
success and was even deemed by some to have been worth the
trip all the way to Durham just for that one
hour.
Saturday evening St Aidan’s Principal, Dr Susan
Frenk, hosted a dinner and ceilidh for all the reunion attend-
ees. We were joined by Dr Carlos Frenk and also by the new
Vice-Principal and Senior Tutor Stefan Klidzia and we were
Sir Arnold Wolfendale and Barbara Carter
delighted that Professor Wolfendale also accepted an invita-
tion. Afer being very well fed and watered, Dr Frenk gave a
short speech and we were on the verge of starting the ceilidh
when Sir Arnold decided to regale the diners with some of his
most entertaining anecdotes. We certainly will never forget his
George Brown joke and many will never be able to look at an
archbishop in quite the same way. Having reduced the audience
to a state of collapse with laughter, Sir Arnold then leaped onto
the dance foor and adeptly whisked around various alumnae
before modestly disappearing home. His contribution to our
reunion will remain frmly and very happily in our memories.
News From St Aidan’s Alumni
38 37
News From St Aidan’s Alumni
Ros Marshall Smith and Professor Carlos Frenk
through the centuries and of the personalities behind its histo-
ry.
We then moved onto Palace Green and learned of
buildings long gone, cleared for ‘more modern’ incarnations.
Te cathedral itself provided a series of fascinating revelations,
from the information revealed by the stonework to the devel-
opment through the centuries of evolving designs, illustrated
in a treasure trove of sketches we were delighted to be able to
keep.
Passing through the cathedral we stood in Te College
while Martin guided us through highlights of its architectural
history and the people who had lived there.
Finally we walked up the Bailey, pausing at note-
worthy features that we had passed countless times without
noticing the mark of history there and we fnished at 26, North
Bailey, just in time for sherry.
Results and Prizes
39
Degree Results
Due to the requirements of data protection, we now have to
seek the express permission of each graduate to publish their
degree result.
Consequently we have had to withdraw this issue’s results
but hope to address this in future issues.
College Ofcers 2011 - 2012
Dr Susan Frenk, Principal
Mr Stefan Klidzia, Vice-Principal and Senior Tutor
Mrs Catherine Paine, Assistant Senior Tutor
Mrs Sukanya Miles-Watson, Assistant Senior Tutor
Mrs Paula Dawson, Bursar
College Ofcers 2012 - 2013
Dr Susan Frenk, Acting Principal and Senior Tutor
Mr Rob Lowe, Assistant Senior Tutor
Mrs Paula Dawson, Bursar




College Council Membership
2011 - 2012
Mrs Susan Johnson Chair
Mrs Tricia Jackson Secretary

Dr Susan Frenk Principal

Mr Stefan Klidzia Vice-Principal & Senior
Tutor
Mrs Paula Dawson Bursar
Professor Christopher Higgins Vice-Chancellor
Professor Graham Towl Deputy Warden
Mr Paul Leake Council Appointee

Mr David Morris JCR President
Mr Ollie Davies JCR Treasurer
To be advised JCR Livers-out Rep

Mr Matt Turkington Bar Steward
Mr Joel Carle SCR President
Mr Cameron Clegg Postgraduate
Representative(s)
Ms Sarah Dommel Acting for SCR President
Mrs Kathryn Larkin-Bramley Mentor Representative

Professor Martin Ward Council Appointee
Mr Nicholas Boalch Alumni Representative

Mr John Smith Co-opted Member of
Regional Community



College Council Membership
2012 - 2013
Mrs Susan Johnson Chair
Mrs Tricia Jackson Secretary

Dr Susan Frenk Principal

Mr Stefan Klidzia Vice-Principal & Senior
Tutor
Mrs Paula Dawson Bursar
Professor Christopher Higgins Vice-Chancellor
Professor Graham Towl Deputy Warden
Mr Paul Leake Council Appointee

Mr Jonathan Johnson JCR President
Mr William Macleod JCR Treasurer
Mr Harry Cross JCR Livers-out Rep
Mr Cameron Clegg SCR President
To be advised Postgraduate
Representative(s)
Mrs Kathryn Larkin-Bramley Mentor Representative

Professor Martin Ward Council Appointee
Mr Nicholas Boalch Alumni Representative

Mr John Smith Co-opted Member of
Regional Community







College Awards and Prizes
2011 - 2012
Leslie Clark Award - not awarded for 2011/2012

Irene Hindmarsh Award - Richard Hall

Fergus Dalzell Prize in Law - Alexander Cartwright and Me-
gan Bennett

Derek Wilson Prize in Mathematics - Katie Gittins

Te Beatrice Hollingworth Award and Ethleen Scott Award
- Not awarded due to lack of eligible candidates. It has been
agreed to accumulate interest for the years not awarded, and
thus award a greater sum less ofen, rather than the annual
£1000 as previously.

St Aidan’s College Graduate Studentship - Afshin Shahi and
Paul Stratford
College Awards and Prizes
2012 - 2013
Irene Hindmarsh Award - Olivia Hall-Smith

Fergus Dalzell Prize in Law - Kerry Wagner and Lauren
Mawhinney

Derek Wilson Prize in Mathematics - Joshua Yaxley