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St Aidans Alumni

St Aidans College, Windmill Hill

Durham DH1 3LJ
(0191) 334 5769

Alumni Magazine & Newsletter

No. 3 December 2011


St Aidans College in 2010-11

Issue 3, December 2011

Susan Frenk, our new Principal, on the year in College

a most receptive ear from me:

just get in touch via email to
the address below or by post at
the address on the back cover.
Finally, I would like to take
this opportunity to welcome
Dr Susan Frenk to her now
permanent appointment as
Principal, and to record our
hope that we continue to read
her stimulating contributions
to this magazine for many
years to come.
I hope you enjoy reading
the news from College and your
fellow members, and wish you
all the best for 2012.

News from St Aidans Alumni

Nicholas Boalch

St Aidans College in 2010-11

The Principals review of the year in College

From the JCR President

The JCR Presidents review of the year in College

From Home Students to Greek Goddesses

Lindsey Usher on the founding of St Aidans Society

Faith in the Future


Helen Hunt on World Youth Day 2011 in Madrid

Band on the Run


David Dyson on a musical trip to Frankfurt

A Future for Nepal


Peter Kellaway on a challenging trek across Nepal

A Job to Do... Flying to Cambodia


Ben Conti on a charity expedition to Cambodia

News from Members

News in Brief


News and updates from St Aidans Alumni members

St Aidans Alumni Reunion 2011


Julia Clibxy, Kathy Chetwynd, Elizabeth Ibbotson and others on our

Reunion event for matriculates of 1963-1970

Events Diary


St Aidans Alumni Reunion 2012


News of next years Reunion event, targeted at matriculates of 1945-1962

Future Reunions


From the St Aidans Archive


Results & Prizes

Exam Results


College Awards & Prizes


helpfulness of our staff.

Sadly we once again said
farewell to longstanding staff
members who moved to new
posts. Special thanks go to
Michelle Harrison from Van
Mildert, who, on top of her
existing workload, helped us
survive the departure of Sharon
Turnbull through the interim
period while the Universitys
in Colleges was put in place.
In April we bade farewell to
Beverley Smith, Sharons right
hand woman who also rose
to the occasion after Sharons
departure. The loss of so many
valued colleagues in recent

King of the Hill

A banner understatedly welcomes prospective students to an Aidans Open Day.

News from College

(St Aidans College JCR)

Hello, and welcome to the

third edition of the St Aidans
Alumni magazine.
In previous newsletters we
brought the unfortunate news
that urgent repair works in
College had forced us to cancel
our planned 2010 Reunion. Im
delighted to say that the 2011
Reunion went on in September
to a superb reception from a
large number of alumnae and
their partners. Our plans for
Reunions roll onwards: if you
came up to College in 1962 or
earlier, or between 1980 and
1985, check the details of our
Reunion events for you and
your contemporaries in 2012
and 2013 on p. 29 and 30.
As ever it is my pleasure
to thank all those who have
contributed articles and
photographs for the magazine.
In this issue I am particularly
pleased to include numerous
contributions from alumni on
matters both historical and
current. Any alumni who wish

The academic year opened

with another bumper intake
of both undergraduates and
postgraduates, with larger
numbers of Aidans graduates
staying on for further study
helping the pleasingly diverse
group of new starters to settle
in. Those dreaming of a white
Christmas found the reality
was not always so romantic, as
Michaelmas term ended, and
Easter term opened, with heavy
snow, which brought much of
the region (and the country) to
a standstill. The College staff
displayed a spirit worthy of
the Arctic expeditions to keep
the community going, some
trekking in over long distances,
others sampling the variable
dcor and comfort of guest
rooms, and our gratitude is
deeply felt. Aidans was also
the host College for students
across the Division (other than
Ustinov), who needed to stay
during the Christmas closure.
Numerous students and
College Principals have written
to express how impressed
they were with not just the

community and we hope that

next year will be a period of
consolidation and review.
The JCR President, Exec
and wider body of active
students provided exemplary
cooperation and support
during these upheavals and
we enjoyed another well run
and highly successful round
of post-Application Days
in March, in which warm
enthusiasm combined with
impeccable organisation and
staff-student liaison.
Our postgraduate (PG)
representatives in the SCR
and on College bodies have
worked hard to develop the
postgraduate experience and
the Senior Common Room
(SCR) website is now vastly
superior to the College one,
which is still to be re-vamped.
Issues of PG representation
within the University under
the new governance structures
need to be addressed by our
uniquely inclusive SCR/MCR,
so we may need to review how

we operate and elect some

additional positions for 201112, but once concrete proposals
are available, discussion can
take place with the current SCR
Exec. As I write, I can report
that the current academic
years PG Welcome and
Induction programme has been
much more comprehensive
and run much more smoothly,
not just because this year we
had access to College social
but also thanks to the efforts
of the current SCR Exec, their
liaison with the JCR and the
centralising of some of key
administrative processes on the
Howlands site, run by Ustinov
College and the Colleges
The growing collaboration
between JCR and SCR and
the commitment of individual
members of the PG community
who have contributed
extraordinary amounts of their
time and energy is impressive,
but we feel very keenly the lack
of an adequate dedicated PG/

News from College

SCR space. This has made some

progress in the Planning Round and
Colleges Division is seeking funds
for feasibility studies for projects
of this nature, but there is still no
concrete timeline as I write.
The other very urgent
accommodation issue - the
condition of D & E Houses, owing
to their delayed refurbishment, and
the remaining light refurbishment
of F & G Houses was partially
redressed over the summer, but due
kitchens and bathrooms were not
tackled. This will now be submitted
as an urgent priority in the new
planning round. However, we are
pleased to report that bed boxes
have been installed across most of
College now, enhancing the use of
personal space and easing the task
of cleaning staff as they navigate
around the study bedrooms!
Sadly, there is no sense from
the planning meetings that a
Performing Arts Centre (even a
shared one with our neighbouring
Hill Colleges) is under serious
consideration. This project would
have been a fundraising priority
for us over the next two years.
Experience Durham, the University
department which addresses the
student experience, is putting in
a bid for a central, pan-University
facility, for which they would

other ways of supporting and

enthusing our musicians, theatre
fans and budding comedians
to develop activities in College,
rather than losing many of them
immediately to activity in other
parts of the University. We will
therefore pursue the conversion of
existing space, such as the laundry
currently used for conference
activity, into a supplementary
practice space for our very small
Music Room and encourage
theatre groups to consider smaller
productions in College, such as
one-act plays and improvisational
theatre, using the Shincliffe Room
for small audiences.

News from College

Happily, our cultural forums

and Language Evenings are now
has founded a network which
has expanded this activity. Never
Say No to Badger, the in-house
magazine, is thriving and an online
magazine has been established
by graduates of our Creative
Writing Programme, mentored
by our Writing Fellow, Dr Fadia
Faqir. Check it out online at www. and let us
know what you think.
The Hill Orchestra still rehearse
here weekly and perform termly
concerts, and the Ballroom Dancing
Society has transformed the Dining
Hall on several occasions this
year. The Jewish Society continue
to hold a range of events outside
the weekly Shabbat meals and the
booking system for Muslim staff
and students to use the Interfaith
Room for prayers adjusts smoothly
around the year. Finally, both
Disabilities Week and Q Week
(run by the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual
and Transgender Association)
deserve special mentions for the
quality and diversity of their events
and some really innovative and
visually striking elements. We
hope to build on that energy next
year and continue the creative and
explorative approach.
The wider University scene has
been equally energised by a series of
working groups focused on student
experience, governance structures
and staff-student relationships.
Higher Education policy and
but the University plans to increase
its own spending on widening
participation. This is very welcome
news, although the question of
how best to target it needs careful
We launched our own Bursary
Appeal in June and I am delighted
to report that to date we have raised
20,000. This has come mostly in
the form of one-off donations, but
there are also numbers of monthly
direct debits which we will add
to the small amounts of endowed

bursary money that we already hold,

so that we can offer at least one
Bursary annually. We intend to keep
this as our fundraising focus.
PG bursaries offered by the
University have also increased,
but the need far outweighs their
number, especially in the Arts and
Humanities, so this is another
issue we need to consider for
fundraising. Each year, I am
approached by Aidans graduates
with excellent academic records,
who simply cannot afford to go
on to postgraduate study, due to
a combination of debt accrued as
undergraduates and the scarcity of
funding support.
On a happier note, we are
developing a link with the Institute
for Hazard, Risk and Resilience
which promises to be very fruitful
for our community, both in terms
of the intellectual life of the
College and our relations with
the wider local and international
Workshop was a great success and
we are planning more of them for
next summer. Four members of the
regional refugee community were
able to take up free places on it and
our Fellow for Entrepreneurship,
Dr Dinah Bennett, has worked with
two of them in follow up activity. A
recent government delegation from
Bangladesh which is interested in
developing opportunities for women
in small business and leadership
voted their visit to Aidans, for a
seminar and lunch, by far the best
on their tour of the UK.
Our Charity partner, Bridge
& Tunnel, who are offering two
internships to our students next
(I am Nasrine, www.iamnasrine.
com) which premiered in July.
The Intercultural Educational
Charity with whom we have been
building links, Dialogue (www., hosted
discussions and other events in the
Lindisfarne Conference Centre on
July 1st, and we have agreed a plan
of further activities with them. The

Dreaming of a White Christmas

Students sledge on tea-trays on Aidans hill in winter 2010
(St Aidans Archive, courtesy of Jan Collinge)

From the JCR President

Institute for Hazard, Risk and

Resilience, held a truly exciting
Tipping Points conference on
the global Financial system,
in the Lindisfarne Centre,
also in July. We have enjoyed
a number of very interesting

addressing some very pressing

challenges. He obtained
major refurbishment (Curves
and Straights) and with the
unstinting support of his wife
Rowena, set about reinforcing
the SCR community. He has
been a wonderful colleague
and we are all delighted that
he and Rowena have accepted
Honorary Life Membership
of the SCR and will join us in
many more happy events.
The Alumni Association
honoured John and Rowena at
the very well attended Reunion
in September, closing our
year in style. They joined us
for dinner and John was very
moved by his gift, which had
been arranged in clandestine
conversations between the
SAA exec and Rowena. Irene

News from College

Hindmarsh gave a dazzling

speech which wittily recalled
her College history and
reminisced personally, too,
with her former students. We
also had a cohort from Dame
Enid Russell-Smiths era as
Principal, who led a toast to
her memory and privately
shared a plethora of anecdotes.
Former Principals have
clearly had an extraordinary
impact and are regarded with
great warmth and respect,
while College is fortunate
to have such a talented,
thoughtful and motivated
alumnae/i community, with an
enviable richness of experience
that offers a diverse range
of role models for our new
I wish you all a very happy
year, despite the troubled
times, and look forward to
working with you.
Dr Susan Frenk

responses included:

When asked about their

interests, responses included:

It was fascinating to see how

Risy Sunset
The sun sets over St Aidans.

up the role of Principal after

a period of some instability
and dedicated himself to
the task of rebuilding it on a

back highlights a slightly

surreal contrast to the
halcyon days I was enjoying
last summer waiting for the
year to kick off in earnest.
As ever at Aidans, 2010-11
was a year of spontaneity
and creativity, where the
talents of our increasingly
diverse community thrived
in a melting pot of social and
intellectual interaction. Despite
all of this some people still
found time to go to lectures
and let their degree get in the
way of their education.
Some of the responses on
the questionnaire we used
to allocate rooms to our new
students may go some way to
conveying the eclectic range
of personalities, interests, and
appetite for engagement from
this years cohort. When asked

activity, both spontaneous

and meticulously prepared
and always successful.
Outdoor activities ranged from
large games of quidditch in
November to regular rounders
games in the summer. There
was a successful Film Club,
born of one George Thomass
dream to watch Disney on
a projector. These were
beautifully countered by
regular Language Evenings,
organised by Niall Peach
aimed at Aidans polyglots.
Aidans Barbershop Badgers
(St Aidans College JCR)

Aidans and more recently in

his joint role at Van Mildert
have scaled great heights
of professionalism and wry
humour that make us the envy
of other Colleges.
Finally, John Ashworth
recently completed four years
as Dean of Colleges (following
one as Deputy Dean) and
decided that following a richly
deserved year of Research
Leave, rather than return
to St Aidans - despite his
continuing affection for the
College - he wishes to take
a new direction. John took

My second offering for

the Alumni Magazine comes

Five Principals
Miss Irene Hindmrash, Prof. John Ashworth and Dr Susan Frenk with paintings of
Dame Enid Russell-Smith and Miss Ethleen Scott.
(Jan Collinge)

discussions in the Politics

Caf, a Beliefs, Values and
Cultures Forum based on the
textuality of different faiths
and a very stimulating seminar
with Ari Neman, founder and
President of a self-advocacy
NGO in the USA and a member
of President Barack Obamas
Special Advisory Council on
Disability Rights.
Sadly, the summer saw us
once again bidding farewell to
a number of people. Bernhard
Nausner had been with us
for three years, convening
the Beliefs, Values, Cultures
Forum and we would like to
thank him for his efforts and
wish him well in the future.
Dennis Sharp, our long-serving
Facilities Manager, needs
no introduction and there
will be a period of prolonged
mourning amongst generations
of students and staff following
his forthcoming retirement.
His expertise is always
imparted tactfully and he is
the epitome of grace under
pressure. Under his leadership,

Tom Filipinski reviews the JCRs year

may of these descriptions

turned out to be predictions!
The year really started
at the end of July 2010.
The Freshers Handbook,
meticulously crafted by Gin
Lowles, JCR Secretary, was
readied to give the new cohort
Ben Richardson, the Senior
Freshers Rep, and I were
busy putting together what
we hoped would be the best
Freshers Week yet, themed
around decades of the 20th

2000 Space Rave. As tradition

dictates, there was a lot of
fancy dress. The Bar also
underwent a complete overhaul
under the stewardship of
Callum Rowlinson. A 10,000
makeover was completed
with stylish new paint job,
carpet and furniture to boot
Aidans premier social space.
The big social events are,
of course what most people
remember when they have
left Durham and I will get
on to those shortly, but I will
remember a lot of this year
for the range of lower-key

corridors with music. Regular

salsa and creative writing
classes gave students a creative
outlet, and Issy Boltt as our
DUCK Rep came up with
some brilliant fundraising
ideas including leading from
the front in Movember, a
month in Autumn where
people are encouraged to
grow moustaches for the
month to raise awareness of
prostate cancer: no mean feat
for a female! I cant think of
a year where there has been
so much going on with so
many different sections of the
community involved.
The JCR, supported as ever
by the backbone of committees
giving up their time and
energy, put on a host of special
events. Social Committees
Halloween Megaformal,
themed around Your Worst
Nightmare, was a terrifying
prospect, followed up by
the classy Jingle Ball at the
Ramside Hotel. An innovation
to Aidans Day made the
day free for everyone. Based
around Space Invaidans, the
of activity, the highlight of
which was a 100-person game

News from College

of Space Invaders that loosely

resembled dodgeball.
As ever Social Committee
stole the show with the
Summer Ball. Bigger and
better than ever, Aidans was
taken back to the Roaring
Twenties with casino
decorations and dancers,
performers, a late night Silent
Disco and a champagne
breakfast with the sunrise,

to her winning Best College

Awards Dinner.
As far as sport goes, I think
a great year in terms of results.
However, that has never been
what Aidans sport is about.
The attitude of getting involved
and having fun was beautifully
embraced by the Womens
Basketball Team who lost every
match of the season, but were
one of the closest knit teams I
have seen in four years.

News from College

position than this time last

handling of the accounts

has left the JCR in a very
sustainable situation and after
rerunning for the position
the JCR is in safe hands for
another year.
This year Honourary Life
Memberships of the JCR were
awarded to Jack Caswell, David
Howe, Gin Lowles, Doug Long,
David Morris, Helen Jones and
Chris Waddell for going above
and beyond what is expected
in supporting JCR. Particular
thanks go to Doug Long and
Chris Waddell for two years on
the Executive Committee.

Beer Festival
Eager tasters at the College Beer Festival.

with her approachability and

helpfulness were a model for

pre-application Open Days in

June/July. I think it is a great
testament to the spirit of the
College that when I emailed
to ask for twelve volunteers to
give up a week of their summer
to help out, I received over
forty responses, all of whom
felt strongly enough about their
experience at Aidans that they
were moved to share it with
hundreds of visitors!
In terms of the JCR itself,
after a somewhat turbulent
year I am please to say it has
been steered towards calmer
waters. A strong Executive
Committee, backed up by their
respective committees, held
the JCR structure together. A
restructuring of a number of
committees and positions has
led to a more effective body.
Arts Committee in particular
has been overhauled and
replaced with Music, Art and
Drama Coordinators who
have a far looser remit around
encouraging and organising
any and all artistic activities.
The JCR now has a much
more stable legal position
after negotiations with the
Universitys Governance
Support Unit were successfully
concluded. The JCR is also

year thanks to JCR Treasurer,

(St Aidans College JCR)

prices were doubled due to

increased costs passed on by
the University. The continued
high level of attendance is a
testament to standard of event
organised by Doug.
Other committees also had
a strong year. Shop Committee
lead the way with a number
of innovations, including
changes in product range. They
also took a substantial risk
by moving away from Aidans
well established night of
relaxed music, Jazz, Rock and
Cocktails, and hosting instead
a DUCK fundraising event
consisting of an inter-collegiate
battle of the bands. The event
was a great success and I know
the new Shop Chair has plenty
of further innovations in mind.
Vice Presidents Committee
hosted the Informal Ball,

themed around childhood.

The last event before the
Easter holidays, it gave people
a chance to unwind and get
nostalgic before the looming
dissertation deadlines and
exams took hold.
Welfare Committee had an
ever increasing presence within
college and ran a number of
interactive evenings to raise
awareness of mental health,
LGBT issues and a Pamper
Night to help people unwind
during exams. Helen Jones was
a hugely hard working Welfare

Summer Ball survivors toast the sunrise.

committee, publicising formals

application Open Days were,

as ever, over Easter with
students arriving in October
being given a taster of College
life. Ably organised by Carla
Glass these days were as ever
a huge success. These were

(St Aidans College JCR)

congratulations go to Becky
Smethurst and her team for
putting on such a show.
Other committees also
organised some superb events.
Services Committee continued
Aidans tradition of gloriously
informal formals with themes
including Heroes and Villains,
Seven Deadly Sins and a
very elegant Valentines
Formal complete with string
quartet. Costume of the year
was a cardboard and foil
Transformer robot that actually
transformed. Doug/Scott

Aidans also took part in the

inaugural Palatialps University
Ski Trip to Val DIsere. With
over 150 people signed up,
Aidans had by far the largest
College contingent. A week in
the Alps was the perfect way
to prepare for the hard work
ahead after Christmas.
This year also saw another

Honorable mentions
go to Ian Wenkenbach and
Richard Hall for applying their
technical genius to managing
staging equipment at nearly
every Aidans event, Karina
Dar Juan for having a hand
in anything that required a
paintbrush and designing most
event marketing material, Issy
Boltt and James Miller for their
commitment to fundraising by
any means necessary, and Mike
Crawforth for organising and
supporting 20 sports teams
throughout the year.
Writing this report as an
alumnus has given me an

whole time at Aidans, and

really appreciate what a unique
and wonderful experience it
was. The chances at Durham
in general, and Aidans in
particular, to grow as a person,
to meet new people, to try
things you never knew you
could do are second to none.
I would like to close
by thanking my Executive
Committee, whose support
throughout the year is
something I will treasure, and
the Freshers for being a great
bunch who didnt cause me
too much trouble. I would also
like to thank Dr Susan Frenk
who has been a great source
of inspiration and advice
throughout the year, and I wish
drops the Acting from her
title and becomes Principal
outright. The college couldnt
wish for a more committed and
caring individual in the driving
seat and I look forward to
reading about futures successes
in this magazine.
Tom Filipinski
JCR President 2010-11

JCR Executive


Tom Filipinski

Jack Caswell

David Morris

Ben Richardson

JCR Treasurer
Ben Conti

JCR Secretary
Gin Lowles

JCR Treasurer
Ben Conti

JCR Secretary
Becky Smethurst

Becky Smethurst
Bar Steward
Callum Rowlinson

Helen Jones
Sports Captain
Mike Crawforth

Doug/Scott Long
Senior DSU Rep
David Morris

Chris Waddell
JCR Chair
Greg Chambers

Lotty Ellicott

Nabila Dos Santos

Bar Steward
Matthew Turkington

Zoe Round
Sports Captain
Will Rudd

Senior DSU Rep

Andrew Dwyer

Jonathan Johnson
JCR Chair
Alexander Cartwright

News from College

Did you come up to Durham

before 1963?

21st - 23rd September 2012

In October 1946, the year

after the First World War
ended, there were 31 Home
Students at the University
of Durham: 28 freshers and
3 second years. We lived in
digs in the city found by the
Censor of Home Students,
Miss Ethleen Scott. There had
been Home Students at the
University since the 1890s.
The following January
or February, Miss Scott told
us that we were to become
a Society, and we could
choose the name. We met in
Street, where she used to
play the piano to us. There
were several suggestions
for a name. Someone urged

struggling after Artemis.

Turn to p. 29 for full details

bright spark: much mirth!

Eventually it was agreed
that we should like a northern
saint. We did not care for St

bbe (who could imagine

anyone called Abba?). After
much discussion, it was
unanimously decided that we
should like to be St Aidans
Some time later, Miss
Scott came to a JCR meeting
in Chancery Court and told
us that Senate had said we
could not be St Aidans as
he was a male saint and we

was seen and in spring 1947 we

became St Aidans Society.
The Home Students
colours were blue and yellow
but no badges or scarves
were available because of the
shortage of material during
the war. Most us us had worn
blue at school and we wanted
a change. It was decided that
the colours of the new St
Aidans Society should be dark
green with thin red and white
stripes. Great glee was felt

Aidans Maidens

Matriculates of 1945-1963

Lindsey Usher recalls the founding of St Aidans Society in 1947

(St Aidans Archive, courtesy of Elisabeth Page)

St Aidans

From Home Students to Greek Godesses

when Grays, the University

robe maker in Saddler Street,
had a small delivery of the new
material enough for six blazers,
all of St Aidans to have the
scarves. We became known as
Aidans Maidens, or the Holly
and the Ivy from our colours.
Miss Scott went on to found
the new College on Windmill
Hill. She wrote to me in the
1960s, when I was living in
Coventry, telling me that the
architect had been been found
for the new College but she
couldnt reveal his name before
went on to ask after the new
Coventry Cathedral, which had
been opened in 1962. It was
some months before I realised
that this was a gigantic hint as
Sir Basil Spence, the architect
for St Aidans, had also
designed the new cathedral.
Lindsey Usher (McNeil)


Faith in the Future

Helen Hunt was supported by a Duerden Award to attend World
Youth Day in Madrid in August 2011

On the 21st of August this year

I joined 2.2 million young people
Benedict XVI, head of the Catholic
Church. The event was World
Pope Benedicts predecessor Pope
John Paul II in 1985. This was the
12th international World Youth
Day, the third to be held by Pope
Benedict. Previously World Youth
Days have been held in Europe,
South America, North America,
Canada, Asia and Australia. I spent
two weeks in Spain for this event
and experienced the Church, my
faith and other cultures in new and
dynamic ways.
My trip began with a week of
Days in the Diocese in Santiago
de Compostela in the North of
Spain. Santiago has been a popular
pilgrimage destination since the
ninth century, and every year
thousands of people walk the
Camino and come to the city to visit
the relics of St James in Santiago
Cathedral. For this reason the
historic city of Santiago is constantly
buzzing with tourists and pilgrims
from all over Europe and beyond.
Thousands of pilgrims were also in
Santiago intending to make their
way to Madrid the following week.
The Catholics from the local diocese
hosted an international festival
for those going to Madrid. This
consisted of music and songs from
different countries and a talk from
the local Bishop. We then joined the
the Camino to the Cathedral.
After a 10-hour coach journey
my trip continued in Madrid. The
atmosphere here was indescribable.
The city was alive and buzzing with
groups of young people from every
corner of the world, the streets were

and chanted in their own languages.

Public transport was packed with

young people singing and dancing.
Each pilgrim was adorned with a
World Youth Day t-shirt and bag
and brightly coloured sun hat. Even
traditionally dressed nuns and
monks were donning World Youth
Day logos and hats over their habits.
Across the city there were events,
exhibitions, programmes and
festivals to be attended. Cardinals
and Archbishops gave catechetical
talks each morning in halls and
arenas, speaking about the Catholic
Church and the Christian faith.
Each evening parks and stadiums
hosted bands, singers and speakers.
Prayer services and Masses were
held almost constantly throughout
the week, in every language and
The main event of the week
was an overnight prayer vigil
culminating in Mass the following
morning. This was held at Cuatro
when all the young people came
together in one place. The crowds
were huge, there were people in
every direction as far as the eye
could see. Screens and speakers
projected the event to those to
whom the stage was a speck in
the distance. The Pope spoke and
encouraged us all in our faith
and our lives, he asked us to be
witnesses to our Christian faith by
living out the good news in our lives.
assured us that true happiness is to
be found following Christ.
As well as having a deep impact
on my faith and spiritual life this
trip was also an experience of
cultural diversity and of the positive
message young people can share
with the world.
One of the most impressive
sights in Madrid this August was
to see the number of countries,
nationalities and cultures

represented. Young people came to

Madrid from every continent in the
world: I personally met Europeans,
Puerto Ricans, Americans, Filipinos,
Canadians, Brazilians and Koreans.
A World Youth Day tradition is to
trade something with the people you
meet to keep as a souvenir. People
shirts, bandanas, crosses and any
other national objects. It was an
amazing experience to speak to so
many people from so many different
parts of the world.
A particularly moving moment
the end of the week: as they passed
other groups were applauding

the Israeli and the Palestinian.

The crowds who saw them were
giving spontaneous applause and in
response the group were cheering
and clapping. It was incredible to
realise that despite war and political
unrest in their countries, a group of
young people could come together
from Israel and Palestine to such
an event as World Youth Day. They
were free to be together and to
celebrate their faith with each other
and with the rest of the world. And
the world was appreciating that by
applauding them.
My lasting image of the World
Youth Day experience is both the
diversity of those who were there,
the sounds of different voices
singing national songs, but also
of the overarching unity that was
apparent between all of us. The
Church was being catholic in its
truest sense: universal. The unity
of the Church and of the young
people gathered together was not
uniformity but a celebration of a
shared faith and appreciation of
cultural diversities.

The city was alive and buzzing with groups of young people
from every corner of the world, and the streets were filled with
colour ... it was an amazing experience

Celebrating World Youth Day in Madrids Va Crucis
(Luis Magn)




Band on the Run

David Dyson travelled to Frankfurt with the University Big Band,
supported by the Russell-Smith Award
Durham University Big
handpicked musicians and
was crowned Great North Big
Band of the Year last March.
I have held the Drum Chair
for the past two years, and it
is improved my musicianship
The bursary enabled me to
go on tour to Frankfurt with
the band, where we played in
the prestigious Mampf Jazz
Club. We were also lucky
enough to get a gig in our
Youth Hostel in exchange for
some complimentary drinks,
which of course went down
very well! We played from
about 9:30pm-1am and had
a rolling crowd throughout.

faith but my appreciation of

life and given me a strong
commitment to continue
celebrating such rich diversity.
Helen Hunt

and the hub of cosmopolitan

life. In fact, I visitited the
European Central Bank, only a
short walk from our hostel.
Frankfurt is apparently
the home of techno music: I
had high hopes to go to the
originating club. However,
after conversing with a local
he said that it closed 10 years
ago for various reasons. On
the whole, the Germans
ethos towards socialising is

Old and New

Architecture mixes in Frankfurt.

hearts we desire the good of

others and of the world.
It was a privilege to be part
of this event. I met people who
have changed my life, some
who will be lifelong friends
and some whom I may never
meet again. I have been deeply
affected by the passionate
joy and love for life that each
young person at World Youth
Day radiated. This experience

(ND Strupler)


negativity. But my experience

of being one of the 2.2 million
young people in Madrid with
the Pope this summer tells
a very different story: young
people have an incredible
amount of joy and enthusiasm
for life to bring to the world, we
have an exuberance which does
not need to be retrained but
encouraged. We are capable
of immense good and in our

World Youth Day


water cannons spraying the

cheering crowds to keep them
cool. In recent years the media
has barely had a good word
to say about youth, and the

(Helen Hunt)

Another amazing aspect

of World Youth Day was the
attitude and the joy of the
young people gathered. This
was perhaps highlighted by the
situation in the UK when I left
to go to Spain: David Cameron
had just come home early from
his summer holiday to deal
with the London riots.
The two scenarios could
not have been more different.
Young people from all over the
world sang and danced through
the streets of Madrid putting
smiles on everyones faces.
David Cameron threatened the
use of water cannons to contain
the rioters in the UK and
less than two weeks later the

band into the bar area we

compromised and rotated
performers, providing small
band entertainment.
To give an essence of the
city itself, it is divided into old
and new. The reason for this is
because it was heavily bombed
in the Second World War and
many buildings were severely
damaged. The Old Town
was what I had expected the
majority of the city to be like.
However, Frankfurth is now

admirable; they especially

make the effort to see live
music, whereas in Britain it
seems to be easier to switch
on a CD player. I was also
able to taste proper lager and
to a jazz festival in which we
met and spoke to the highly
acclaimed tenor saxophonist
Julian Argelles with his
sextet. It turns out that he is
the musical director of the
Frankfurt Radio Big Band.
He offered us a support slot
at another gig he had that
weekend, but it was that
evening we had to leave and
get back to Calais for the ferry
crossing. However, I have still
maintained contact with him

and we I have organized for

him to do a two-day workshop
in February with the Band.
Without the support from
the Russell-Smith Award I
simply wouldnt have been
able to afford this trip. As
I am an aspiring musician
hoping to play in orchestras
and West End Shows, all such
experiences are invaluable. I
have since applied to study for
a postgraduate degree at Music
College. The competition for
these courses is immense, but
such study would have been
almost impossible without my
active involvement in the Big
Band over the past three years.
David Dyson



Supported by the St Aidans Alumni Award, Peter Kellaway made

a challenging trek to teach in a remote Nepalese village
Having successfully completed
my trip to Nepal I can easily say
that the six week project has been
the most eye-opening experience
of my life. Luckily the whole group
part of the project with no major
illnesses or injuries, and this
experience gave me the chance to
meet some very interesting people.
We started our trek just outside
the city of Pokhara. We were
trekking in monsoon season, so for
most of the days we walked through
torrential rain, however morale
was kept high which made it all
very enjoyable. We also got hit by
leeches, which would get everywhere
from your boots to your trousers.
I found the trek to be manageable
though other members of the team
did struggle. It was also quite tiring
as we would set off early, around
until around six at night.
Along the trek we had to walk
along landslides, which were very
common due to the monsoon and
occasionally meant that we had to
take a different path because the
path had been completely blocked.
We also often had to cross very
strong rivers on very rocky handmade bridges. Owing to monsoon
season, for most of the trek we
only saw fog. However, we were
very lucky as only two days in a
month are clear and we had one
at our highest point, 4200m. We
experienced some amazing views of
snow-peaked mountains, some of
which were the tallest in the world.
However, at this altitude I could
even a short quick movement would
leave you out of breath.
After the trek we split up into
small groups of around four to go
into remote communities to live
with a host family and to teach in a



local school. I went to a community

called Lamataar, near Lubhu. This
community mainly relied on rice
farming, and most families grow
everything they ate. I stayed with
the Chang family with a Nepalese
brother (15) and sister (13).
I, along with my friend Chris,
taught in Shree Lubu School, where
ages ranged from 5 to 16. In order
to get to school we had to walk an

We were trekking in monsoon season, so most

of our days we walked through torrential rain ... we
also got hit by leeches. However morale was kept
high which made it all very enjoyable


A Future for Nepal


we decided to leave a mural to

brighten things up. For this we got
the children to make a rainbow with
handprints. This was very much
appreciated by the teachers and we
left the excess paint for the school
hopefully to use in the future.
The most shocking experiences
on the trip was the days where we
went to see where the majority of
our charity donation went. The

classes a day. Shree Lubu was one

to our group because of the poverty
from which the children came, the
lack of resources available and the
fact that it was a government school.
The problem with state schools in
Nepal is that there is a law where no
teacher can be sacked, which has led
to many teachers becoming lazy.
On the bright side, we met
a few young volunteer teachers
who were very enthusiastic and
interested in the differences
between England and Nepal. For
me the main difference was that
they were very textbook orientated,
and the children found it very hard
to use their imagination as they
were so used to just copying from
the blackboard. Therefore we tried
hard in our classes to make them as
interactive and different to normal
lessons as possible. This was very
successful and we found that the
children always looked forward to
our lessons.
We taught mostly maths and
conversational English, but also
geography and music. The language
barrier was quite stark, especially
with the younger classes (and some
of the teachers!). We managed
to overcome this by using simple
English and language games.
The school was also very plain
with no posters or paintings, so

to nearby India. Here we saw the

centre which tries to rehabilitate
the victims back into society. The
organisation deals with sexually
abused girls, abandoned children,
destitute women, prisoners
children, returnees from Indian
brothels, girls and children infected
with HIV and Hepatitis B. We
were also able to see the numerous
actions which Maiti Nepal takes to
The next place we saw was a
Future for Nepal drop-in centre in
Kathmandu. This centre was for
homeless children, some as young
as 8, who live on the streets alone.
This centre provides somewhere for
them to sleep and a meal. Without
on the streets, or beg. This centre
used workers who had had similar
experiences as a child in the hope
that the children would listen to
them more and understand the
dangers of using solvents.
poverty in Nepal and meeting the
people to whom the donations have
has been greatly appreciated and is
much needed.
Peter Kellaway

Features(Luis Magn)

A job to do... flying to Cambodia

Supported by the McGowan
Award, Ben Conti travelled
to Cambodia as leader of a
charity expedition

Anyone who has visited

Cambodia will know how friendly
and welcoming the Khmer people
are. This is why I chose to return to
the country last summer as leader
of the DUCK (Durham University
Charities Kommittee) expedition.
The country is still recovering from
the reckless rule of the Khmer
Rouge, which was responsible for
the deaths of nearly two million
Khmers during their period of
government in the late 1970s.
The planning began last October
with the frighteningly near deadline
of the DUCK Expeditions Fair
looming over me. Trying to scrape
together a budget for a group of
16 people is no easy task. Luckily
it was all ready for the Fair, which
was a big success. The following
month was spent whittling down
the 50 applicants to 15 participants
who would accompany me on the
six-week expedition the following
summer. During the interviews I
met a variety of characters from
across the University, including
someone who spent the whole
interview shivering away as it had
taken him three hours to get from
Stockton in the snow!
The intervening months were
Raids (street collections), and yet
more planning. The trip this year
supported two charities; the Burma
Education Partnership (www.
and Futuresense Foundation (www. Between them
the participants raised 16,000 for
the two charities. It felt like no time
had passed at all when it was time to
head to the airport.
in Cambodia was no easy task; it
two nights in hotels and one bus
journey! After leaving Heathrow

arrived at Siem Reap, in the north

of Cambodia, on the following
Tuesday. We had taken a six-hour
bus up to Siem Reap to spend some
time exploring the ancient capital
at Angkor Wat. These awe-inspiring
temples were built around 900
AD and are in a remarkable state
of preservation. For the moment,
at least, you can wander around
anywhere you wish and explore
some of the quieter temples in
solitude. However, with the number
of tourists visiting Cambodia only
set to increase, it wont be long
before essential conservation will
need to take place and access
to these secluded monuments
restricted in order to preserve them
for future generations.
The following Saturday morning,
almost a week after we left London,
four cars arrived at the hotel to
transport us further north to the
town of Samraong, where we
would be based for the next three
weeks. The only problem was that
they already had a few passengers
in them, plus some supplies to
support us whilst we were there!
Nevertheless we all managed to
squeeze in for the two-hour drive
through the remote Cambodian
countryside, past countless temples,
The journey went smoothly and, no
thanks to the condition of the roads,
we arrived safely at the hotel. We all
stayed the night here before some
members of the group transferred
to a traditional Cambodian home
to stay the next day. That night the
of traditional Khmer home cooking
when we visited the homestay for
dinner. The homestay was in the
family home of our coordinator, Mr
Ya. He lives there with his wife, son,
newborn daughter and in-laws. It
was a very welcoming house, and we
instantly felt at home.

The next morning we met with

the four translators who would
accompany us to school each day.
They turned out to be younger than
us, but their grasp of English was
astonishing given the amount of
formal education they had received.
Mr Ya gave us a short introduction
to the Khmer language and culture,
as well as a little history of the
country and province, during which
it transpired that one of the schools
we would be teaching in had been
used by the Khmer Rouge as base
and prison for the surrounding
region. The translators then took
us on a tour of the main market in
the town. Perhaps this is the time to
explain the size of Samraong: it is
known as a town by virtue of being
the capital of Oddar Meanchey
province, but it is no bigger than the
average English village. The market
was right in the centre of the town
and upon entering you had to step
in between the various stalls. The
stalls themselves sold anything
and everything; skin whitening
lotion, police badges and Italian
designed shirts to name but a few
of the items. The sweltering heat
nothing compared to the smell
lingering around the food section.
It truly was a sight to behold with
scuttling away from their pots, and
meat lying on wooden blocks in
food sellers were women, who were
busy either waving a stick with a

On Monday morning, after

an early rise with breakfast at
7am, it was straight into teaching.
Mr Ya had placed us into three
schools: Samraong Primary, Kuok
Kor Primary and Donken Pheant
Primary. Samraong was double the

The market stalls sold anything & everything: police badges,

skin whitening lotion and Italian designed shirts to name but a
few of the items on display

Angkor Wat
(Trey Ratcliff)




The games we played with

them were much loved by the
students and any opportunities
to make their fellow classmates
embarrass themselves were
especially enjoyed; seeing how

many items of clothing they

could put on in 30 seconds was
a constant favourite.
There was always a plan
for the whole group to visit
Kuok Kor School to do some
construction work. The school
had requested some soil to
level out their playground
so that it wouldnt get as

(Ben Conti)

ball around the class to make

the students speak proved an
effective teaching tool and

helped them get over their

initial nerves!
Throughout the next three
weeks we had a great time
teaching the children. Most of
the lessons focused on spoken
English, particularly phrases
and words that they would

Sports day, Anglo-Cambodian style

An activity day concluded the teams trip.

size of the others and had a

massive playground for the
children; this was where I was
based. The day was slightly
daunting as we had no idea
how much English they knew
already. The quality varied
amongst the six classes we
taught that day, two from each
of grades 4, 5 and 6. All of the
classes were just as nervous

As we were already in rainy

season, however, this task was
delayed numerous times due
to all the soil trucks getting

relented enough for the trucks

to deliver the soil, we set to
work one Saturday to recover
the playground. It was an
enjoyable day of hard labour in
35 degree heat that brought the
team together. It was pleasing
for me to revisit the school in
which I had spent most of my
time the year before, to see
how our previous work had



Dressing up
The team found games to be a great way of teaching.

children and teachers!

The afternoon following the
competitions was full of sad
goodbyes as we said farewell
to the children, teachers and
translators. The translators
were sad to see us go as they
had befriended us right from
the start. I got the impression
that we had helped them

(Ben Conti)

to see some familiar faces of

both students and staff.
The penultimate afternoon
in Samraong was spent
preparing for our activity
morning the next day. All the
students we had taught over
the past three weeks would
descend upon Samraong
Primary School for interschool competitions. There
were going to be three events:
a mini sports day, a singing
competition and an English
quiz to test how much the
children had learnt from us.
Throughout the competitions
the students were rewarded
for their participation with
exercise books and pens, which
we hoped would encourage
them to work harder at school.
During the singing competition
the students showed incredible
support for their classmates as
they sang Cambodian karaoke!
The Principals of the three
schools acted as judges and
awarded the girl who sang the
latest Khmer hit the top prize.
The day was a great success
and the English-style sports

English speakers over the two

weeks. It wasnt long before
we were whisked away from
Samraong in taxis down to
Siem Reap. From there we
would take the night bus down
to the beach, to spend a few
days snorkeling, scuba diving
and visiting the national park.
After visiting the coast we
headed back up north to the
capital city, Phnom Penh.
Here we spent time learning
about some of the atrocities
committed by the Khmer
Rouge. We visited the S21
Genocide Museum and the
Killing Fields of Choeung Ek.
We found that the Museum

was particularly poignant, as

the Khmer Rouge had taken
over a school in the heart of the
city, very similar to the schools
that we had taught in.
All in all, the time I spent
in Cambodia was a truly
experience for me, my team,
and the community in which
we worked. I would highly
recommend that everyone
visits this country, learns
about the turbulent history
the people have endured, and,
most importantly, immerses
themselves in the culture.
Ben Conti



News in Brief
Snippets and updates from fellow members of St Aidans Alumni:
send us your news via

Howard, my husband, died in

February 2009 from pneumonia. He
was 82. We had been married 49

I am still in touch with Barbara

Wallington (ne Appleby) and Chris
Kelly (Adderley).Happy memories
of the last time I attended a Durham
Reunion, for the 175th Anniversary
in 2007, when there were four of us
from my year.

Looking forward to the

Reunion in 2012 and seeing my
contemporaries again!

enjoying my work as a Suzuki piano

teacher, in addition to attending
many operas and concerts.
Occasional lunch meetings mean
that I keep in touch with friends
from St Aidans. I am looking
forward to returning to Durham for
the 2012 Reunion, especially as this
time there may well be many of our
friends from other Colleges.


Peter and I are delighted to

announce the arrival of Mabel
Pearl, our fourth grandchild. We all
enjoyed an adventure on Limone on
Lake Garda (including baby Mabel
in a safe place!) to celebrate Jamess
40th birthday. My plant work is now
at a serious study point which will
see me being a hermit next year!


News from Members

Four children later and then aged

40 years my husbands company
moved us to Cape Town and later
Paris, where we still live.
I stopped work for 10 years
whilst we were travelling and
settling the kids into a bilingual
education and then was fortunate
school where I head the Department
of Learning Support.

I attended the Reunion at the

College in September 2011. We had
a wonderful time and there were
17 from our year. I can recommend
these reunions to you all and if
anyone who was at St Aidans 196467 gets in touch I have some photos
of the event.

sector, working on regeneration

issues and latterly contracting to
improve literacy and numeracy
levels. Since I have retired I
have had time to spend with my
family, especially my daughters in
Singapore and also to meet up with
old friends.
A group of us decided to attend
the Reunion in September and
really enjoyed ourselves. It was an
added bonus to meet many of our
contemporaries and catch up on
over 40 years.

Evelyn Shire
I was glad to meet up with
friends - especially Ann & husband
Bill, Barbara, Veronica (Ronnie),
Tess, and Sue & John - at the
enjoyable College Reunion in
September 2011, and visit old
haunts in Durham with my husband
Ken. Sorry Alison (Ali) and Lorna
couldnt make it but good to hear
from you both.
Have just completed an MA
in Peace Studies at Bradford
university, part time over two
years since retirement. Very much
enjoyed it.

Retirement very hectic. Try

to balance home life in Chester
(golf, Church, WI, husband, etc.),
with demands of elderly parents
in Hampshire and children and
grandchildren in Newcastle and

I very much enjoyed the

Reunion. It was very nice meeting
people again after so many years.


in North Lancashire and then in

Co. Durham, visiting the places
associated with my medieval

Ive been living in Japan for the

last 25 years but am considering
retiring in 2012 and returning to

Jay Melrose-Woodman

and were celebrating our 25th

Wedding Anniversary this year.
Bev (Williams) and our families
still holiday together and I feel very
fortunate to have made such a great
friend at Durham.
Jacqueline Cheltenham
Got married to Brian in 2007
and have since had two sons
Joseph aged 2 and Abraham
aged 4 months. Am currently on
maternity leave.

third year.)

Riannon Pugh
Now Trainee Solicitor at
Slaughter and May.

I am enjoying the privilege of my

year as Mayoress of Cambridge, as
my husband Ian (Van Mildert, 19669) is Mayor until May 2012. Ian has
been keeping a blog which may be
found at www.mayor.cambridge.

William Maddocks
Happily married since 2009!

requires the same methods!


Im still living in London and

my second year - so had many

with Social Services and then the

School Psychological Service in the
same area.
Meanwhile my husband was



It is great to have retired! I spent

I am looking forward to the 2012

Reunion and welcome a letter or call
from any of my peers who wish to
get in touch regarding it.

Washington ancestors. I also

saw the Bowes Museum, Jarrow,
Alnwick Castle and Gardens.
At the moment, I am involved
with Friends of the Boar, to try and
save the species from excessive
culling in the Forest of Dean. They
have returned after centuries to the
Forest and deserve our protection.
This is rather a change from my
local history research, though

I got drawn back to Durham
through the quite active group of
alumni in Tokyo: so many Japanese
also seem to have done courses
there, and the Head of the British
Council in Tokyo at one point was
an alumnus. Another Durham
alumnus here introduced me to
kyudo (Japanese archery) - now a
However, I never seem to read
any news from my generation! Is
anyone out there? (I lived in Aidans

I wasnt sure that the Reunion

weekend would work out for me
but actually it was lovely to see St
Aidans and Durham again, and very
good to see my friends again. Full
marks to Jan Collinge for organising
the event, which enabled us to make
contact again with Pamela from the
USA after 39 years: a very happy
occasion. I was sorry not to make
the most of the activities arranged,
which all sounded interesting,
but found that my time was fully
occupied catching up with my
friends - we enjoyed ourselves
looking round Durham and seeing
where things had changed, and also
where they were happily the same.
It was also very good to meet
some of the other very interesting
women of the years around our
generation who helped make St
Aidans into what it is. I hope it will
for todays women and men.

After St Aidans I went to

Cambridge to take a PGCE, on to
ILEA to teach primary in Camden
and then to the Tavistock Clinic to
train as an educational psychologist.
That was quite a shake up! I then
worked at an Adolescent Psychiatric
Day Unit in Hounslow before going


Maxim Zaraisky
Working in central London, like
99% of all other Durham graduates
I know!

Returned to UK from an
international teaching career in
Africa and the Middle East at the
end of 2006. Married to Peter,
a South African. Living near
Lancaster to support my widowed
Mum. Teaching a bit part time and
retraining for the healing ministry.

Family and work take most

of my time but Ive decided to
now Im 50! Still enjoying work
in communications for General
Electric. James, our eldest son,
hopes to study Engineering at
university. Robert is going to the
International Scout Jamboree
in Sweden, 2011. Adam has a
of Carbon Capture and Storage,

Professor Jenny Britnell

Professor Britnell (Department
of French) died in July 2011,
of complications arising from
leukaemia. She was a member of
the resident academic staff of the
College in the late 1960s, and a
popular tutor.

Prof. Sally Macintyre (1967)
Appointed Dame Commander of
the Order of the British Empire, for
services to Science.
Let us know any items of news
you wish to share with other St
Aidans alumni!
You can send any News in Brief
for the magazine to us by post at
the address on the back cover, via
email or through our website.

News from Members


St Aidans Reunion Weekend 2011

If anyone out there is wondering whether

to attend such an event in future, dont hesitate
any longer: we can heartily recommend it.

September 2011 saw a group of over 100 St Aidans alumnae from the 1960s and their partners
welcomed to College for our annual Reunion Weekend. Here we are pleased to include some of their
photographs and reactions to the weekends events: more are on our website.

University astronomers. An eye opener to an old linguist! I

recommend a reunion - all of us who went really enjoyed it.
Ruth McNeil (Humphreys, 1964-8)
Having never attended a reunion before, and both having
vowed never to have anything to do with such occasions, both my
husband (a Johnsman) and I were very apprehensive beforehand,
but we both enjoyed every minute of the weekend. It was so
well organised and every person we met said how much she had
enjoyed it. Jan had thought of every little detail and looked after
us all so well. The weekend reawakened our interest in Aidans and
Durham, and we have made contact with three alumni with whom

I was persuaded to sign up for the reunion at the last minute.

Arrived feeling very apprehensive and came away from it with a
huge smile! Everyone was incredibly friendly and I cant be the
only one who went home feeling very hoarse from all the talking.
Forty years seemed like no time at all: College felt remarkably
familiar (thought bathrooms have shrunk!) and beyond the College,
the City and Cathedral are as timeless and magical as ever.
Veronica Bull (Bell, 1965-8)
The decision to attend the 2011 Reunion wasnt an easy one
since I live in the USA, but it turned out to be one of the best
decisions Ive ever made. It was delightful to be back in Durham
again and the event was marvelous (many thanks to Jan) but
connecting with my friends from St Aidans was a joy that Im so
grateful not to have missed! We hope to stay in touch between
reunions but the next one cant come soon enough. I highly
recommend this event to anyone who is considering attending.
Pamela Kenyon (Aznavoorian, 1968-71)

wondering whether to attend such an event in future, then dont

hesitate any longer: we can heartily recommend it.
Kathleen Heald (Sleath, 1963-6)
Aidans Reunion, which gave us the impetus to reestablish contact
after so long. We had a really great time: picking up where we
left off 40 years ago! It was so nice to be back in Durham the city
again too, and reminded us all how lucky we were to have been to
university there.
Patricia Herbert (Sykes, 1967-70)

Before: Never done this before; will it be embarrassing, lonely,

boring, stiff and formal, will I know a soul? will anyone recognise
me? a ceilidh! worth the money? a mistake?
After: So glad I made the effort; good organisation and choices
(thank you Jan), though some last minute changes meant I
missed one event by arriving late; comfortable accommodation
with my favourite college garden view; good food; everyone so
friendly, whether previously acquainted or no; our shared Durham
experience was bonding; did recognise and enjoy catching up with
some contemporaries; grey hairs not a disadvantage; brilliant stateof-the art/science presentation by cosmology professor; have St

bolstered by the knowledge that my friend was going too - but it

really wouldnt have mattered if she hadnt, as it was an amazing
weekend! A marvellous programme of events, the chance to chat
plentiful food and drink: what was not to like? The steps were a
bit more of a challenge to the somewhat older legs, but the view as
tremendous as ever. I can certainly recommend a revisit to anyone!
Jo Barton (Mount, 1966-70)
Some gentle arm-twisting was required to get me to the reunion
weekend but Im so glad I did. To meet again with so many of our
fellow students was a recipe for great joy, and to do so in Aidans
made it very special. Thank you to everyone who made it happen.
Valerie Dutton (Borkett, 1964-7)

the ceilidh?- no problem, great band, company and caller, fun.

Ann Finlay (Sissons, 1966-9)
It was so good to be in the beautiful city of Durham again, and to
get reacquainted with old friends, with whom I had lost contact.
Lesley Nisbet had found me on the internet. The activities you had
laid on were diverse and most enjoyable.
Beth Hendley (Hetherington, 1964-7)
The Aidans Reunion this September was great fun. After
45 years of not having visited the college, would I recognise the
faces? Remember anyone at all? Well, of course I did, and it was
immediately like being with old friends, very comfortable and
just like old times. The weekend was action-packed with visits to
exhibitions and a boat trip on the river, with a highlight being a


News from St Aidans Alumni



Matriculates of 1963-70

very reluctant to sign but now so glad that I did. Not only did I
meet my close friends by arrangement but several others I knew
less well, and I relished renewing acquaintances with others and
Clockwise from top left: The
Reunion Dinner; Dancers at the
Ceilidh; Tour of the Institute for
Computational Cosmology; Ceilidh;
Architectural Tour of Durham;
Principals Irene Hindmarsh, John
Ashworth and Susan Frenk. Thanks
to Jan Collinge and Julia Clixby.

We all had a wonderful time and really enjoyed staying at the

College and all the activities laid on; the program was very carefully
thought out and well planned. We were also looked after very well
by the college catering staff. We are now in touch with many fellow
students we have not seen for 44 years, and will look forward to
another Reunion at some stage.
Alynne Dunt (Wood, 1964-7)

News from St Aidans Alumni


The Prince Bishop River

Cruise never existed in our
day, and the river seemed to
have shrunk, owing to the huge
growth of the overhanging
trees since our student days.
Norman Wades prints would
look a bit different now, and
we couldnt help but notice

(Julia Clixby)

travelled from Switzerland to

be here but I noted that others
had come from as far as Hong
Kong and Australia! Not so
many names were familiar,
even allowing for the fact that
many of us had changed ours,
and it was rather disappointing
that none of our other cronies
were here. However, with a full
program of events to keep us

waterway and remembered the

time we punted all the way up
to Shincliffe for a drink.
After a quick look around
the covered market, a
fascinating treasure trove, and
the shock of seeing that the
horsemans statue had been
relocated to a more agreeable
position (yes, really), we
headed back up to College
for lunch. I was glad that
both my friends had cars,
something lacking in our day,
so we didnt have to negotiate
Aidans famous steps, at least
not on that occasion. Lunch
allowed another chance for
new contacts to be made, and
everyone was ready to discuss
life, the state of Britain, their

and years of study. The buffet

dinner was substantial and
delicious, and together with
our other fellow Aidans girl,
Penny Andrews (ne Davison),
we chatted about the weekend.
Jan Collinge, the lovely lady
responsible for coordinating
this memorable event, invited
us all to the bar, a typical
studenty room in the corner
of the dining room, where she
called out all the names and
handed out badges. I had


the change to the bridges:

Prebends was covered in
scaffolding, Elvet Bridge is now
pedestrianised and Kingsgate
Bridge was closed for building
work. As a member of St
Aidans rowing crew in 1968-9,
I noted that the Elvet Bridge
arches were as tricky as ever
to navigate, and there are
sadly no longer any punts at
Browns Boathouse. However
the guide gave us an amusing
commentary as we explored
the extent of navigable

News from St Aidans Alumni

travels and career choices. It

was also reassuring to note
that there were no scarily
glamorous career-women,
apart from one very chic
and charming lady who it
later emerged was the new
Principal, Dr Susan Frenk.
The afternoon was
earmarked for a tour of the
Cosmology Centre on the
Science Site, where my two
friends and I studied or whiled
away the time between lectures
in the caf. We declined the

Sadly the Castle was being

repaired so we had to visualise
its interior, but we were

River Cruise
Alumni enjoy the sights from the Prince Bishop River Cruiser.

novelty since our day, and met

up with several friendly women

was an expert and came

prepared with handouts to
help us identify the structure
of the medieval town and

(Jan Collinge)

The view of the cathedral

from the northbound train
brought a lump to the throat
just as it did on the day I
attended my interview at the
College early in 1967. The
anticipation was also nervetingling, although this time
I wasnt being academically
tested: rather that after forty
years of lifes ups and downs,
one still feels apprehensive
at meeting a roomful of
contemporaries. Would they
all be youthful and glamorous?
Would they all have had
brilliant careers? Or would
they all be the same as me: a
few years older and quite a
bit fatter, but still with a zest
for life and curiosity for the
weekend program ahead.
I need not have worried.
My friend Carole Keeley
(ne Chalmers) met me at
the station to drive up to the
College together. The roads
around the city have certainly
changed, but the College
building was very familiar
even the view was the same.
My guest room had an en-suite
bathroom and everything
was provided for my comfort.

A Night to Remember
Julia and her compatriots at the Reunion Dinner.

Alumna Julia Clixby reports on the 2011 Reunion

opportunity to take a tour of

Palace Green library, as it did
not feature on the radar of us
science students. Instead, we
met Professor Carlos Frenk,
renowned physicist and
husband of the new Principal,
outside his glass tower. He
remarked that UK universities
were not as well resourced as
elsewhere in the world, but
he mentioned a contact with
architect Daniel Liebeskind
that he hoped would lead to a
new, bold design for a future
building. First, though, we
followed him and his colleague
to another building to see a 3D
movie of the creation of the
universe, to be viewed through
3D glasses. The professor joked
that he had conceived of the
idea ten years before Avatar
was released. It was certainly
an eye-opening experience.
Then there was a bit of a
rush back to college, noting
en route the tasteful extension
of St Marys College, in time
to dress for the Reunion
Dinner and Ceilidh. Jan had
stipulated suits for the chaps,
smart frocks for the ladies.
Yes, a few brave husbands had
accepted the invitation too.
Marks and Spencer Per Una
was notable by its presence
in the ladies attire that
weekend whoever created
that brand was a genius in
my book. In our day it was all
miniskirts and PVC macs. After
a refreshing glass of Bucks
Fizz or two, and a chance to
eye the competition in smart
attire, we took our seats in the
Dining Hall, a room which
hadnt changed much in 40
years, apart from the addition
of some eye-catching artwork.
Alumnae from the different
years present, from 1963 to
1970, were seated with their

contemporaries along with one

of the guest Principals, Irene
Hindmarsh, John Ashworth
and Susan Frenk. Food, as
ever at Aidans, was delicious
but there were no second
helpings: we enjoyed carrot
and coriander soup, lamb
with rosemary potatoes and
redcurrant sauce, and some
rather gooey chocolate cake.
Wine was enjoyed at ones own
discretion and pocket. After
the meal, we enjoyed hearing
speeches from the three
principal guests before clearing
the room for the ceilidh, which
was as amusing to watch as it
was to take part in.
Next day, those with the
strength to rise early were
able to take the footpath via
Prebends Bridge to Palace
Green to meet for a 9.30
architectural tour of the city.
Our guide, Martin Roberts,

leading to the bastion which

led to an escape route for
inmates. We saw the traces
of the original North Gate
in Saddler Street, and were
intrigued by the different ages
visible in the cathedral walls.
After scooting through the
building during a service, we
emerged into the area known
as the College where 12 canons
shared the wealth after the
Reformation in 1539. Then we
were just in time to get to 24
North Bailey for a sherry party
before lunch.
Thanks to Jan and the team
of volunteer coordinators,
who I felt should receive a
medal and even a stipend for
the amount of work they put
in, the whole weekend was a
back, acquaintances were
renewed, new friends were
made, history took its place
side by side with the very latest
felt that the city of Durham
had grown considerably in
the past 40 years. The new
Principal had already made
changes to the rather jaded
college buildings but her heart
was fully engaged with the
challenges of the new student
intake and their wellbeing. So
best wishes to Aidans, and
the next exciting phase in its
Julia Newton (Clixby)


Memories flooded back, acquaintances were renewed, new

friends were made ... the whole weekend was a big success


Happy Memories

News from St Aidans Alumni


An action-packed weekend
Alumna Kathy Chetwynd gives her verdict on the 2011 Reunion
Attending reunions is not
something I do regularly, and
Ive never previously been to any
Durham reunion. So why this time?
my year group, sounded promising.
What clinched it was receiving a
phonecall, followed by an email,
from the hardworking organiser
Jan Collinge, which showed me
the efforts being made to trace
as many of us as possible who
had matriculated between 1963
and 1970, and to encourage us to
attend. It all sounded so promising,
I even persuaded my husband to
accompany me.
We all have our hang-ups and
trepidations before this sort of
event. Will I know anyone? Will
everyone have had a more (or less)
glamorous career than me? Is
everyone much better (or worse)
preserved than me? All of that was
instantly forgotten on arrival. How
lovely to be back in the familiar
College buildings again, surrounded
by so many interesting people to
talk to! What a powerful pull the
of Durham have. Long dormant
memories stirred!

The programme of events was

superbly well thought out and
organised, and allowed for an
action-packed weekend, punctuated
with delightful conversations and
reminiscences with fellow old gals.
Saturday morning started with a
and was followed by a tour of the
Wolfson Library at Palace Green.
Later in the afternoon, there was
something mysteriously called a
Cosmology Tour, which turned out
to be a privileged encounter with a
Carlos Frenk, who impressed with
his infectious enthusiasm and
willingess to convey the latest in

husband by now was very pleased

he had signed up for what to him
had initially seemed the prospect
of a daunting weekend with large
numbers of intimidating ladies: he
was thrilled to bits!
On Saturday evening the
Reunion dinner was a great
success. The guests were three St
Aidans Principals representing
past, present and future: Irene
Hindmarsh, John Ashworth and Dr

Susan Frenk. It was most interesting

hearing them speak. The good
food and wine were followed by a
splendid opportunity to work them
off with an energetic Ceilidh.
Then on Sunday we attended
the Architectural Tour of Durham,
which was also outstanding: a
wonderful stroll with a real expert,
Martin Roberts, who had worked
for English Heritage for 11 years.
The tour revealed so many things
I had had no clue about 45 years
previously, like the remains of the
old North Gate to the city. The tour
was followed by a sherry party in 24
many of us as the former home of
St Aidans. Irene Hindmarsh, whom
many of us remembered well, was
the principal guest.
I felt extremely grateful to the
organisers - all volunteers - who
put in so much work to make this
reunion a success; and great success
it was. I look forward to the next
one - and would encourage anyone
hesitating, to sign up and go!
Kathy Chetwynd (Villiers)
Geography and Anthropology

Elizabeth Ibbotson encourages other alumni to take the plunge

When the invitation to the St
Aidans Alumni Reunion arrived it
was the easiest thing in the world
to make the commitment, send off
the cheque, and tentatively look
forward in the knowledge that it was
still some months distant. However,
as the time grew closer I must
admit to a growing apprehension.
They say you should never go back,
especially to a place where you were
particularly happy in your youth,
as it will appear smaller and your
memories will somehow become
Models of the Universe
A tour of Durhams Institute for Computational Cosmology was a high-point of the Reunion weekend
(Department of Physics, Durham)

However, fortunately this was far

from the case at the alumni reunion.
True, the college has changed and
there are many new facilities and
buildings, but for me the changes
immediately felt at home, both at St
Aidans and in Durham generally.
developments, with our visit to
the Institute of Computational
Cosmology showing that Durham
still leads the way in some
all I felt very comfortable and it was

delightful to meet other St Aidans

former girls which, of course, we all
were in those distant days!
So for anyone wondering if they
should take the plunge and revisit
St Aidans, I would say go for it.
organised and I put on a couple
of pounds, which goes to prove
that St Aidans food is a good (and
generous) as it always was!
Elizabeth Ibbotson (McCluskie)

News from St Aidans Alumni


Events Diary
Whats on at Aidans and in Durham. Alumni are always welcome!
Exhibition: Historic Views
of Durham City
Until 24th Dec.
Wolfson Gallery, Palace Green
Celebrate a quarter of a
century of Durhams World
Heritage Site in this exhibition
of historic paintings, prints and
photographs of the city.

identity in Aotearoa/New
Zealand. The exhibition tells a
from 3000 years ago to the
present day.
Workshop: Inkapturing
Creative Writing
Wednesdays until 7th Mar.
St Aidans College
A creative writing course
taught by Durham-based
author Fadia Faqir.
Have you ever wanted to
write? Come and have a go
in a friendly and supportive
envionment. The workshops
are intended for people who
have an active interest in
contemporary writing and
are keen on developing their
writing skills.

Exhibition: Exchange
Until 4th Dec.
Oriental Museum, Elvet Hill
An exhibition of
contemporary art from South
Korea organised by the East
Durham Artists Network.

of Engineering and Computing

Sciences, Human-Computer
Interaction (1st Dec.);
for Criminal Law and Criminal
Justice, Rioting Youth: Youth
Justice and Consumer Society
(8th Dec.).
Exhibition: Michael Steele
Until 17th Dec.
Van Mildert College
An exhibition of oils
and acrylics by local artist
Michael Steele. This exciting
and exhilirating exhibition at


Exhibition: Kingsgate
Bridge & Dunelm House
Until 20th Dec.
Dunelm House
This exhibition centres on
the famous works of Ove Arup
and Architects Co-Partnership;
Kingsgate Bridge and Dunelm
House, both landmarks
that are often overlooked as
pieces of local 20th Century

Pathways of Leadership
Until 15th Jan.
Oriental Museum, Elvet Hill
An exhibition by renowned
photographer Krzysztof
Pfeiffer, with narratives

News from St Aidans Alumni

The famous car, suspended from Kingsgate Bridge in a 1960s Rag Week stunt
An exhibition on the Bridges architecture is being held in Dunelm House.

of Georgraphy, Pathways to
Poverty and Progress in South
East Asia (24th Nov.);

Van Mildert features some of

Michaels most recent work,
notably landscapes, which
mirror his search for the
undiscovered and the breaking
of many boundaries.

(Mike Hall)

Lecture Series: The Best

of Durham
Thursdays from 20th Oct.
Fonteyn Ballroom, DSU
DSU has put together a
series of lectures giving the
local community a chance
to sample some of the great
teaching and thoughts of
lecturers within the University
of Durham. Forthcoming
lectures include:

Durham Drama Festival

22nd - 25th Feb.
Assembly Rooms Theatre
For 36 years the Durham
Drama Festival has brought
together students from across
the UK to celebrate some of
the best new student writing
that the country has to offer.
It comprises four days of
workshops, performances
and social events, making the
festival one of the highlights of
the student theatre calendar.
If you are planning any events
either in Durham or further
Aidans are welcome, please let
us know so that we can include
them in this Events Diary. You
can write to the Editor c/o the
College, email or complete
the Members News form at

Reunion Weekend 2012

Fri 21st - Sun 23rd September
Matriculates of 1962 and earlier
We invite matriculates of 1962 and earlier to join us for the 2011 St Aidans Reunion Weekend.
Events will be held from Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd September, but you are most welcome to arrive
earlier and/or stay longer, if you prefer (subject to the availability of accommodation).
The Reunion, which includes a full programme of events, is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate

Programme of Events
Friday 21st September:

Saturday 22nd September:

All events are optional, and you are welcome to
stay in College for as many nights as you wish
(subject to the availability of accommodation).

Per person, per night

Emeritus Professor of Physics at Durham

and Astronomer Royal, 1991-5

Single standard room

Single en-suite room
Twin standard room


Per person

Computational Cosmology

Sunday 25th September:

Events are free with the exception of:

Afternoon tea, Friday
Buffet dinner, Friday
Buffet lunch, Saturday
Carvery lunch, Sunday
Reunion Dinner & Ceilidh
Prince Bishop river cruise


Photos and Memorabilia Exhibition

We plan an exhibition of St Aidans photos and memorabilia during the Reunion weekend, including
items from the St Aidans Archive. We would like to encourage everyone attending the Reunion to
bring photos or mementos with you so that we can display them as part of the exhibition.

Missing your invitation?

If you didnt receive an invitation and booking form, just get in touch with College to request one, or
download from our website at

News from St Aidans Alumni


Future Reunions

From the St Aidans Archive

Did you come up to Durham between 1980 and 1985? Read on for
news of our 2013 Alumni Reunion, 20th-22nd September 2013

Our Archive of the history of life at St Aidans continues to grow

followed by welcome drinks

party and dinner.
tour of Durhams old centre
and boat trip on the Wear.
by University staff or at leisure.
Dinner followed by 80s disco
(just to take us all back!).

News from St Aidans Alumni

Do you recognise your younger self?

If you were one of the 1980 freshers, this Reunion is for you!


Alumni Associations to help

their matriculates from the
same years meet on the same
weekend. To help her make
this case, if you have friends
from other colleges, ask
them to contact their alumni
association to support the
case for a parallel reunion.
Some colleges are already
onboard, some need some
So far we have scheduled
the following programme:

(Thanks to Sue Gallacher)

My name is Aggie Slater

(formerly Muirhead) and I
represent an increasing band
of 1983 Aidans graduates who
are very keen to organise a
reunion in 2013 to celebrate
30 years since our graduation.
This would be a wonderful
opportunity to meet up with
old friends and revisit our
much-loved Durham haunts.
In cooperation with Jan
Collinge, we have put together
a reunion for September 2013
and all matriculates from 1980
- 1985 are invited (we use year
of matriculation rather than
graduation so all you 4-yearers
know where you belong).
The more people who
attend, the merrier, so its
up to all of us to encourage
as many people as possible
to come along to what, I am
sure, will be a tremendous
weekend. Jan Collinge is
working with the other college

If anyone has any particular

requests for activities, please
do let me know as the format is
not set in stone.
I have happily volunteered
to act as the co-ordinator
for Aidans graduates who
matriculated in 1980. Angus
Rhodes (angusj.rhodes@ has a similar
band of 1982 matriculates and
Susanna Emsley (ne Girling,
has volunteered to be the 1983
contact. It would be really very
helpful to have a co-ordinator
for each of the other year
groups (1981, 1984 and 1985).
If you feel you could assist, do
please get in touch with Jan
Collinge at
I very much look forward to
meeting up with you in 2013!

Readers of our magazine

and newsletter will already be
familiar with the St Aidans
College Archive, our project to
build a collection documenting
the history of student life at St
Thanks to the generosity of
our contributors we have been
able to collect photographs,
documents, posters, College
clothing, events programmes
and other such records of
student life through the years.
We are working on a digital
catalogue of the Archive that
will allow search and browsing
of all our holdings. The system
should go online within the
next few months, but for now
I hope you enjoy this teaser
of some of the new items we
collected at the recent Reunion
for 1960s matriculates.
As ever, we are very keen
to continue adding to our
collection to produce a full,
well-rounded picture of
life at St Aidans, and any
contributions from across the
years will be most gratefully
received. Donations of original
materials to the Archive are
treated with the utmost care;
alternatively, if you would like
to contribute to the Archive but
wish to retain your originals,
we will be pleased to copy
items and return originals by
registered post to ensure their
safe return.
If you have any questions
about the Archive or would
like to discuss contributing
to our holdings, please dont
hesitate to write to me c/o the
College, email at archivist@, or call
on 07884 345566.

Aggie Slater (Muirhead)

Nicholas Boalch

Relaxing with the Clem Millard Dance Orchestra

Programme for a Formal at St Aidans in Feburary 1966
(St Aidans Archive, courtesy of Diana Hill

Mud and Sand

The gardens at Windmill Hill, still very much incomplete in 1965
(St Aidans Archive, courtesy of Alynne Dunt)

News from St Aidans Alumni


Plus a change, plus cest la mme chose

Students march in protest against fees increases on North Road in summer 1968
(St Aidans Archive, courtesy of Evelyn Shire)

Degree Results
Graduating Class of 2010
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 issues results but hope to address this in future issues.


Results and Prizes

Results and Prizes


Jonathan Dickinson
Physics & Astronomy
Adam Gray
David Hodgkinson
Amelia Chapman
Liam Blacklock

Class III
Matthew Turkington
Jonathan Gough
Sarah McBride
Samuel Jepson

Ordinary Degree
Harriet Sadler
Ann Daly
Zengru Zhong
Joseph Steffan Hansen

Philip Dickens
St Aidans Alumni extend warmest
congratulations to all these new
graduates. We wish you success
and happiness in your lives away
from College.
Dont forget to keep in touch and
let us know your news!

College Awards & Prizes

Officers of St Aidans Alumni

Academic Year 2010-11

Academic Year 2010-11

Dame Enid Russell-Smith Award

James King
Rosie Jacot
David Dyson
Chantelle Kerr

Professor John Ashworth
Principal, St Aidans College

Joanne Rowley (Hulse, 1989-92)

Acting President
Dr Susan Frenk
Acting Principal, St Aidans College

Reunions Coordinator
Jan Collinge (1977-81)

Bruce & Pat McGowan Award

Ben Conti
St Aidans Alumni Award
Peter Kellaway

Officers of St Aidans College

Senior Common Room Award

Not awarded in 2010-11.

Academic Year 2010-11

Duerden Award
Not awarded in 2010-11.
Leslie Clark Award
Not awarded in 2010-11.
Small Bursaries
Not awarded in 2010-11.
Irene Hindmarsh Award
Not awarded in 2010-11.
Fergus Dalzell Prize in Law
Not awarded in 2010-11.
Derek Wilson Prize in Mathematics
Fiona Reid
Beatrice Hollingworth Award
Not awarded in 2010-11.
Ethleen Scott Award
Not awarded in 2010-11.
St Aidans College Graduate Studentship
Not awarded in 2010-11.

Results and Prizes

Nicholas Boalch (1999-2003)

Professor John S. Ashworth, BA (Econ), MA (Econ) (on secondment as Deputy Warden)
Acting Principal and Senior Tutor
Dr Susan F. Frenk, BA, MPhil, PhD
Bursar and Operations Manager
Paula Dawson
Bernhard Nausner
College Librarian
Ann Caddel, BA

College Council
Academic Year 2010-11
The Principal
The Deputy Warden
The Vice-Principal and Senior Tutor
The Bursar
The Chaplain
The President of the Senior Common Room
The President of the Junior Common Room
The College Librarian
Representatives of the Council of the University
John A. Cuthbert, BSc, MBA, ACA, DL (2012) (Chair)
Paul J. Leake, BA (2011)
Martin J. Ward, BSc, MA, MSc, DPhil (2012)


Ros Marshall-Smith (Durden)

Tutor members
Douglas P. Halliday, BSc, PhD (2011)
Kathryn Larkin-Bramley, BA, FCA (2011)
Carole Scott, BA (2011)
Representing the St Aidans Association
Nicholas Boalch, BA, MA, MA
Co-opted member
John R. Ritchie, MPhil