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Summer 2002

From the Master

Contents Welcome


Tax-effective gifts

College and alumni events



1978–81 Reunion Group

From the Master


College Reunions

Points of contact


Nouvelles cuisines

Cornell Club evening


Why Churchill is special Musical makers

Møller Centre Anniversary The architect

Scholarships 5



Development news 5



Boat Race 2002


Missing persons


Editor’s appeal

The fund-raising campaign


Thank you




W elcome to this issue Welcome to the second Churchill College Newsletter. This Newsletter brings you concise and topical news of College and reports of Churchill alumni and their contributions throughout the breadth of society. All articles will continue to complement the Churchill Review, with its more historical and in-depth look at life in and around College. We also welcome Stephen York as the editor of the Newsletter. Our thanks go to Dr Clare Cockcroft, who edited the first issue, and has stepped down due to the demands of a new MPhil course she is involved with. Some of you will already have noticed a different appearance to this issue compared to the last. From your feedback, firstly you all appreciated the extra communication – and that it was radically different as you would expect from true Churchillian style! You appreciated the upbeat coverage of news on alumni, the accompanying pictures and the original design, but you were not so happy with the smaller print size, nor the background pictures where they interfered with the text. We have listened to these and your other comments, and hope you find the style (even) more pleasing now. Of course we will only know that if you take time to tell us, so please do send us your feedback. For this issue, the Master sets a blistering pace by reminding us of our heritage and tradition, whilst not forgetting the recent academic advancements. The setting of his message was the College’s first formal alumni meeting in the United States. As a result of the expressions of welcome from nearly one in ten US-based alumni, he will return and more events are being planned. Wherever you are around the world, let us know you if you would like a Churchill College event near you, and these things may happen. I am aware from our American students currently at Churchill but also from my visit to Ground Zero, that following the Trade Center disaster so many American families have suffered a private loss or have knowledge of someone who has. One cannot but admire the spirit of courage and unity that American people have shown in rebuilding their lives. Finally, may I encourage you to visit College whenever you have the opportunity. Please let me welcome you for a tour, coffee, or nouvelle cuisine. Tony Bannard-Smith Development Director August 2002 2



Churchill Foundation


News from the Archives New housing at Churchill


Challenging Churchill 3


Publisher Churchill College, Cambridge Storey’s Way Cambridge CB3 0DS Tel. 01223 336197 Fax 01223 336177 Designed and produced for Churchill College by York & Timberlake Partnership Editor: Stephen York Production: Ted Timberlake Printed in Spain by Grafo Industrias Gráficas The Editor and the College would like to thank all the alumni, staff, students and other individuals and organisations who gave their time and co-operation generously to the publication of this Newsletter. All texts, and except where noted here, all photographs and illustrative material, are © Churchill College 2002. We thank the following for allowing reproduction of their copyright photography: Harold Epstein (p. 11); Granada Television (p. 10); Philip Gruar (p. 4); Jon Letcher (p. 4); Plowman Brown (p. 9); Simon Tucker (p. 6).

Cover picture Some of the Advanced Students who manned the phones in Churchill’s first ever telephone fund-raising campaign earlier this year (see p. 7): Claire Witham; Olanre (Larry) Akinyegun; Pauline Essah; Rob Sharp

College and alumni events 27–29 September 2002 28 September 2002 4–5 October 2002 30 October 2002 14 February 2003 Spring 2003 June 2003 16 June 2003 5 July 2003 26–28 September 2003 27 September 2003

Alumni weekend Churchill College Association Dinner Møller Centre 10th Anniversary Opening of the Extension, Churchill Archives Centre College Spring Ball Churchill College Association Visit – Imperial War Museum North, Manchester Churchill College Association Sports Day/Cricket match May Bumps Reunion Dinner 1969–1972 Alumni Weekend Churchill Association Dinner

The new Churchill boat at its christening – the boat club is proud to be supported by

firmly believe that Cambridge is about top quality or nothing. Ignore the Boat Race and an occasional statistical challenge from Oxford – ours is the best University in Europe. Much of that depends on the collegiate system, but keeping it healthy takes lots of inputs. Against a background of declining government funding for UK students at Cambridge, the University and the Colleges face a big challenge. Now over forty years old, Churchill is well established on the Cambridge scene, but is still new and different. The College Fellowship ranges from 23 to 86 in age, and remains young in spirit throughout. Fellows come from as far afield as Poland and India and their subjects are equally far-flung – from Pure Mathematics to the Pyramids. The College’s wider links range from Tokyo to the RAND Corporation. The College was founded to promote intellectual excellence and innovation, and is still fully conscious of that. We are rising back up the college league tables and making a major investment in the best possible teaching. Recent surveys show that Churchill students work longer hours than any others. We also play hard: we flourish in music, the Kinsella Poetry Prize is an established institution, and in sport we range from rugby to (occasionally) American football. The Archives Centre is thriving. The Churchill papers are much consulted and have stimulated a continuing flow of important acquisitions, including Margaret Thatcher’s papers, which presented a space challenge but have resulted in a fully-funded expansion of the building.

The Centre, for the first time, has a full-time Director thanks to the generosity of a major US philanthropic organisation. Our forty-something College may be young in spirit, but cannot ignore some of the physical aspects of ageing. All institutions with innovative architecture are fated to double as building sites at some period, and during the past year parts of College have sometimes resembled a battlefield. The materials originally used were excellent but flat roofs were not a brilliant idea. Elsewhere in this Newsletter you will read about the kitchen rebuilding, and we have undertaken ten-year renewals of our electrical and heating systems. You will also see the article on the 30 new flats we are building for postgraduates, architectural brainchild of former Churchill student Simon Tucker. Caring for graduates is a Churchill tradition dating from the very foundation of the College, when it was a key element. In a wider context, we care for all our students. Their energy is the ‘tiger in the tank’ of any college. They will not flourish if we fail to maintain our ‘plant’ – intellectual and physical. If we let things slip, outside pressures will push us in the direction of centralised decisions or cheap solutions. We cannot afford to let this happen – top quality or nothing. Q In May this year the Master attended a meeting of Churchill alumni at the Cornell Club in New York (see below). The above is based on his address to that meeting but is relevant to alumni everywhere. The full text is available from: Development Office,

Points of contact

Cornell Club evening

Alumni Officer/Churchill College Association

01223 336083

Archives Centre:

01223 336087

Archivist – Churchill Papers:

01223 336087

Archivist – Thatcher Papers:

01223 336178

Exhibitions Officer:

01223 336048

Churchill Review Editor:

01223 336190

Conference Manager:

01223 336233

Development Fellow

01223 336197

High Table bookings:

01223 336000


01223 336131

Møller Centre:

01223 465500


Newsletter Editor

01223 336083

Porters’ Lodge:

01223 336000

Senior Tutor and Admissions Tutors:

01223 336208

Tutor for Advanced Students

01223 336199

The evening of 16 May 2002, at the Cornell Club in New York, was the first of a series of Churchill alumni gatherings in the United States. Everyone was invited, and the 42 alumni who attended lost no time in networking and making new friends across all the age-groups present. Sir John Boyd presented a very comprehensive picture of College’s success, and Tony Bannard-Smith, the Development Director, provided images of College today and summarised the challenges currently being faced. The commitment to establishing an annual get-together was so well supported that another event in 2003 is already being planned. The cities of Boston and Washington DC and somewhere on the West Coast are all possible venues for future meetings. If you live or work in any Guests at the US meetof these locations and are willing to lend a ing (L–R): Professor hand organising an event, we would like to Geoffrey and Mrs hear from you – send us an e-mail AnnMarie Heal, Mrs ( today!

Why Churchill is special O Founded by Sir Winston Churchill, and his National Memorial O Charged by him with advancing Science and Technology in partnership with the Arts O Close links with industry and commerce O High ratio of students from state schools O High ratio of postgraduate students from Britain and the world O A special commitment to visiting scholars from all countries O A vital national archive of modern history


Musical makers

News from the Archives

Two craftsmen with Churchill connections tell us about their specialisms in traditional instruments


hilip Gruar (U69), pictured below, read Classics at Churchill, but remembers that he spent much of his time at the University Library researching early music. ‘Performing and studying early music was always one of my chief interests, even then’, he recalls. ‘There was no Music Centre at Churchill at that time, though I did sing with the chapel choir. After graduating, I taught Classics for a while, but the musical side of things soon took over – first it was teaching and performing, and later I became interested in instrument-making. In the early 80s I obtained a Crafts Council Grant and learned to make baroque flutes and recorders at the London College of Furniture.’ It was at this time that Philip first became interested in the Northumbrian smallpipes, and studied the finer points of their construction under Northumberland musician and craftsman Colin Ross. For the uninitiated, these small bagpipes, (shown below), powered by under-arm bellows rather than the player’s lungs, originated in the English Borders in the 17th century. Beginning with the folk revival of the 1960s, interest in them has

extended beyond their native North-East, and now they are played in all kinds of musical idioms by well-known exponents such as Kathryn Tickell. Living on the southern fringe of 4

the Lake District, Philip has become one of the world’s few specialist makers and restorers of this instrument, although he continues also to make baroque flutes, and is still involved in musical performance and teaching, as is his wife Elizabeth Dodd, a leading performer and teacher of the viola da gamba and of renaissance and baroque dance. Philip ‘turned professional’ in 1986, as the number of his commissions increased. ‘All my work comes through word of mouth, and only a minority from the North-East of England; I’ve had customers from the USA, Australia, Hong Kong and Germany. At the moment my waiting list stands at two years and I’ve had to close it temporarily.’ Each instrument requires over a month of craftsmanship in metal and wood, and sometimes silver and antique ivory; not surprisingly, then, the price of a new set can range from £1400 to £3000. ‘You can buy a more production-line model for about £600, but each of my instruments is entirely hand-made by me and therefore unique.’ Philip attended the last Churchill Reunion Dinner for his year and maintains his contacts with Cambridge through his son David, who is reading modern languages at Corpus Christi and continues the musical tradition as a member of the University Ceilidh Band. For more about Philip Gruar and the smallpipes, visit nsp/ww5pgr.htm. Another maker of traditional instruments has a quite different Churchill connection. In 2000 Jon Letcher was the recipient of a

travelling fellowship from the humanity of his hosts and by the Winston Churchill Memorial virtuosity displayed in the making Trust. Jon’s speciality is the and playing of the local variant of dulcimer, which he has been the dulcimer. The last leg of his making for over 25 years. This journey took him to China, where ancient stringed instrument, the yang qin (‘foreign zither’) is a highly regarded classical instruclosely related to the psaltery ment – his host was a professor but struck with hammers rather of the dulcimer. than plucked, has a long tradition What are the lasting benefits in British folk music. A native of of his fellowship travels? ‘I picked Suffolk, a county particularly up a lot of new techniques, and associated with dulcimer-playing, have a much greater appreciation Jon began by rescuing and repairof the range and potential of the ing an ancient example that he dulcimer. On a personal level, found in a junk shop. the exposure to completely The fellowship enabled him to different cultures was both intimspend four months studying the idating and rewarding. I made making and playing of dulcimers many friendships and was relucacross the world. ‘The dulcimer tant to leave each place I visited.’ has a 2000-year history,’ he told Since returning, Jon has lecus. ‘Over that period it has tured on his trip locally and plans spread from its native Kashmir all to write a travel narrative of his over Asia and Europe, in many forms. The earliest British representation of it is in a 15th-century carving in Manchester Cathedral. I am self-taught and as there are only about three other makers in this country I wanted to Jon Letcher demonstrating the Yinguo Yang Qin study in coun(English dulcimer) to students of the Shanghai Music tries where the Conservatory dulcimer is still experiences. ‘I had to submit a in the musical mainstream.’ report for the Trust on my Hungary’s national instrument, return, of course. They have sevthe cimbalom, is one of the eral thousand applications a year, largest of the dulcimer family. Jon from which they award 100 lived and studied for two weeks fellowships, and applicants have in the Budapest home of one of to be able to demonstrate the its foremost makers. ‘He spoke value of the proposed journey no English and I no Hungarian, not only to themselves but also but we communicated through to the public at large. By studying sign language and the practical the Iranian version, which is understanding that exists smaller than ours, I now know between craftsmen. During meal how to make a simpler dulcimer, breaks we would swap jokes by which I hope will attract more pointing to words in an ancient children to take up this fascinatHungarian–English dictionary,’ he ing instrument.’ recalls. After a further week of Details of Churchill travelling study in Transylvania, Jon arrived fellowships can be found at in Iran, where he was Q whelmed by the warmth and

Making the Archives’ resources available to the widest possible audience is a major priority


he Archives Centre now houses about 600 collections in addition to the Churchill papers, and its Director, Allen Packwood (standing on the left in the picture below, with members of his professional staff), described to us some of the initiatives being taken to make this wealth of information more widely available to researchers, schools and the general public. As we spoke, a display of material tracing the life and career of Sir Winston Churchill was being set up for a local school’s visit. ‘It has become more difficult for schools to arrange visits like this one,’ he said, ‘which is why projects such as The Churchill Era are so important.’ This Web-based learning site is aimed at A-Level students and presents extracts from documents in the Churchill Archive around major themes in recent history, along with exercises based on them. The site is still being extended, and the Archive welcomes feedback on it from alumni involved in secondary education. (The website can be accessed at and feedback should be sent to Although anyone can visit the Archives reading room by appointment, free of charge, much is being done to widen access to

the collections. Foremost is the online catalogue of the Churchill papers, which has taken five archivists five years to complete. This enormous resource is now available at ‘It has been a massive task, but we are now able to apply the experience we have gained to similar projects for the other collections.’ A traditional way to increase access is by the loan of material for external exhibition. ‘We have a permanent display of some material in the Cabinet War Rooms, and we have lent documents to the Imperial War Museum at Lambeth and Duxford on other occasions. Sometimes we send facsimile documents, for instance to the forthcoming exhibition in Havana to mark 100 years of diplomatic relations between Great Britain and Cuba – a country which Churchill visited twice, as a young officer in 1895 and as an elder statesman in 1946.’ In bricks and mortar, the big event this year will be the opening in October of the new secure building to hold the fast-expanding additional collections, including the Thatcher papers. ‘As well as official guests attending the ceremony,’ said Allen, ‘any alumni who wish to attend the formal opening will be welcome, and should contact the Alumni Office beforehand.’ Q

Setting up a display of items covering the life of Sir Winston Churchill for a

Møller Centre anniversary


he Møller Centre, the Residential Conference and Training Centre at Churchill College, marks its tenth anniversary this year and will be

hosting a weekend of celebrations on 4 and 5 October. These will be attended by the many people, including the Fellows on the Board, who have contributed to

the Centre since its conception, and also by clients from the corporate, public and academic sectors who have used it over the last ten years to support their conference and training events. The Møller Centre has been recognised in its tenth year of operation by the receipt of two prestigious awards. The first was awarded by Condé Nast Johansens for the Most Excellent Venue (Dedicated) Award. The Centre has also been acknowledged as one of the best Management Training Centres in

the UK. The Meetings Industry Association has presented it with a Best Practice Award for receiving one of the highest scores in the country for its Hospitality Assured Meetings accreditation, HA-M. This represents the ultimate accolade for consistently practising the highest standards, which ensure that each organisation is customer-led in its approach and delivers exactly what it promises to clients. Find out more about the Centre at www.Mø or telephone 01223 465500. Q 5

New housing at Churchill Quality accommodation for tomorrow’s postgraduates raises ‘eyebrows’


third of Churchill’s student population, approximately 220 students (from 45 different countries), are postgraduates. Offering high-quality, purpose-built accommodation within the College grounds is an important means of fostering a sense of community and identification with the College among these ‘Advanced Students’ and ensuring that their time at Churchill is spent in a rewarding social and academic atmosphere.

Faced with a potential shortfall of 40 postgraduate rooms, if student numbers rose as predicted over the next 10 years, the College identified a site within its boundaries for potential new building which would be likely to gain planning permission from Cambridge City Council. It was decided to house 30 new postgraduate rooms on the site, in the north-west corner of the grounds near the Wolfson Flats. The target cost was originally set at £30,000 per room. The Working Party that was set up invited proposals from five firms of architects, of which three were shortlisted. As it was unable to decide between the final two contenders, the Governing Body eventually decided on the scheme put forward by the London practice Cottrell & Vermeulen (CVA).

Among the merits of CVA’s proposals was the awareness that they demonstrated of student needs and preferences. They put forward the concept of three houses of 10 rooms, which was not part of the original brief. During the development of the design it became clear that this approach was preferred by both College and the students themselves. Each house has an open living room and kitchen to serve as a social and recreational centre, and the project incorporates a multi-purpose room large enough for a variety of academic and social activities, from seminars to parties. The outdoor environment has been equally carefully thought through, to provide both privacy and a number of open spaces for outdoor work and recreation. The site itself is located at an overlap of the college grounds and the suburban setting of Storey’s Way. The first idea for the project was to create a new orchard garden. This is both an extension of the domestic back-gardens of Storey’s Way, and a new ‘public’ garden for the postgraduate community. Three houses have then been placed in between the new cherry trees. Throughout the planning the architects instigated a thorough programme of consultation, not only with the Middle Common Room, representing the postgraduate community, but also with other College members and the residents of the neighbouring houses in Storey’s Way. Said CVA’s architect Simon Tucker, ‘Within a conservation area, it is often difficult to build what is considered to be modern architecture. The College in this respect always supported us, however, our main concern in consulting with neighbours and planners was to convey the ideas and aspirations of the project, rather than simply presenting an architectural solution.’ An important consideration of the design was to reflect the architecture of these neighbouring houses, which are mainly in the Arts and Crafts style common in many of the older residential streets of outer Cambridge. One outcome of this can been seen in the tile-hung cladding of the walls; another Arts and Crafts touch is the use of eyebrow windows (a suggestion made to the architect by one of the neighbours during a consultation over tea). The surfaces of the buildings further reflect the overlap of college and suburb. The buildings are grounded on smooth and precise concrete walls (reminiscent of

The architect

For its architect, the project is a return to Churchill


imon Tucker studied architecture at the College between 1986 and 1993 (including an external placement year). Since 1994 he has been an associate with Cottrell & Vermeulen and is also a studio teacher at Cambridge University School of Architecture. ‘It has been an enjoyable experience to return to Churchill as their architect. There is little doubt that my own memories of Churchill have influenced the approach to the design of the new buildings. However, the 6

design has always been a 3-way discussion between Richard Cottrell, Brian Vermeulen and myself. The finished scheme is a combination of insider knowledge and new ideas that challenge given assumptions about the college.’ Simon’s memories of Churchill as a place to live are as much about the outside spaces as the rooms and communal spaces. The open landscape and enclosed courtyards of the college are to him an integral part of the character of the place.

‘I am still a great admirer of the original 1960s college buildings, and working at Churchill has allowed me to study and enjoy them further. I hope that the new buildings reproduce some of the qualities of the existing structures and layout; the craftsmanship and materiality, the clarity and the ease of organising communities of people and the gentle Englishness of the architecture.’ Q

Work began in July 2001 (right) and by June 2002 the project was visibly taking shape as the tile-hung cladding was applied. Completion is scheduled for September 2002. the college buildings), whilst the upper walls are clad in a folding skin of hand-made clay tiles (reminiscent of the roofs of the adjacent residential buildings). The College financed the design and feasibility work from its endowment, and borrowed the £1.6 million needed for construction. To replenish this capital the Development Office undertook a large-scale appeal to all Advanced Student Alumni and other sources of funds, incorporating a large-scale leaflet mail-out and – for the first time in Churchill’s history – a telephone follow-up campaign (see below). Q

The fund-rraising campaign

Tax-eeffective gifts

The decision to appeal to Churchill’s Advanced Student alumni to contribute towards this building project was not taken easily. However, there was a strong belief that alumni would empathise with the current students and that many would want to be part of the solution. The outcome has been that 6 out of every 10 of you that we talked with did want exactly that. Of the 565 alumni with whom we had telephone conversations, 311 decided to give real financial support, many over a period of 3 years or more. These funds will be used for the interior fitting and furnishing of the project. The exercise began in February 2002, when the Master sent letters to all Advanced Student alumni informing them of the predicament and the proposed solution. A few weeks later, after two days of intensive training, 10 current Advanced Students located in the Small Combination Room set about phoning all around the world, calling all continents, day and night, speaking in different languages as appropriate. The results began to materialise and the alumni contribution to this project was becoming reality. ‘The process of talking about the project with former Advanced Students made them realise exactly what a problem College was facing’ said Pauline Essah (2002) ‘Being part of the Master’s telephone follow-up team and making these calls all around the world was a tremendous experience – and, believe it or not, great fun at the same time.’

Gift Aid Churchill College was founded upon the benefactions. We really appreciate all your kind donations, small and large. If a donor is a UK tax payer, signing a Gift Aid form enables College to collect the Basic rate of tax paid by the donor and add it to the gift; a donor who is a higher-rate tax payer, by entering the gift on his/her annual tax return, can receive a refund of the increment to the higher-rate tax band. For example, a cheque written for £100 will become worth £128 to College, with £23 being reclaimable by a donor who pays higher-rate tax. Sharing your shares – do you have a small share holding? Do you realise that giving your shares to College will exempt you from UK income tax and capital gains tax on their transfer to College, who will deal with all the paperwork; forms are available from the Development Office (e-mail Gifts in kind A gift in kind to College is important to us. Such gifts have ranged from materials for construction to works of art of unique or precious value. Purchased equipment, from sports items to IT hardware, is particularly welcome.


1978–81 reunion group The second Reunion Dinner for these years took place on Saturday 6 July


hy do old Churchillians attend reunions? This was the question the Newsletter was seeking answers to at the preDinner reception on 6 July. In the event there was only time to talk to a handful of the 160 guests who attended this year’s Dinner, but even among this small sample there proved to be a wide diversity of careers, achievements and anecdotes. Alan Richardson (U78) took a First in Mathematics, and is now a director of Cambridge Consultants Limited, the company that among other things developed the world’s first GSM Videophone for Orange. ‘We also designed the machine that manufactured the first round teabags – one of the most commercially successful developments ever undertaken. Specialising in multidisciplinary product development, we can execute developments extraordinarily quickly. Many of Cambridge’s best-known hi-tech companies started as spin-outs from CCL.’ A little less expected was his revelation that he was once one of Saddam Hussein’s ‘human shields’. ‘En route to a holiday in Malaysia, we landed in the early hours of the morning for a short refuelling stop at Kuwait airport; after about 15 minutes the Iraqi bombing began and within hours their troops had overrun Kuwait. My wife and I were trapped at the airport. Along with other US, UK, French, German and Japanese citizens we were taken to Baghdad a few days later; as tension continued to grow we were sent out to strategic sites and were held in a variety of locations for four and a half months. It was mainly boring and when it wasn’t boring it was a little more exciting than one would like.’ Anne Morrison (U78, English) is Controller, General Factual, heading a staff of 800 at the BBC. She took on her current job in October 2001, having been head of various BBC departments for the last 7 years. ‘I look after the production of hundreds of hours of factual television programmes, mainly for BBC 1 and 2 but also for the digital channels BBC Choice, BBC 4 and UKTV. I’m in charge of making the programmes, not of deciding what gets made, but we are the ones who come up with the new programme ideas and then have to make sure we deliver what we’ve promised. In the course of every day I have to be part visionary, part diplomat, part disciplinarian and part mother.’ Anne confessed that most of the gardening, cookery and homes programmes come from her department – ‘so if you’ve ever complained there are too many of them it’s probably my fault. However, we are also responsible for more serious programming – recent ones have included Living with Cancer, Welcome to Britain (on immigration), Bitter Inheritance (genetic diseases) and Love is not Enough (adoption)’. Having worked as a journalist on various papers and magazines in her native Belfast, she acquired unpaid work experience with BBC Belfast and in 1981got one of the coveted General Trainee places in the BBC in London. ‘In 1988 I became series producer of Crimewatch UK, a show with which I’ve had an association over most of the 18 years of its life and seen hun8

dreds of convictions come through as a result of calls to the programme. Bizarrely, at one time I also looked after Rough Justice, which examines possible wrongful convictions. I always had a horror that someone convicted through Crimewatch during my time would subsequently be released again through Rough Justice. Thankfully it never happened.’ One guest is in no doubt about the benefits of attending Churchill Reunions – Toby Benzecry (U78) met his wife (Amanda, née Bernstein) at the last one! [Is this unique? Let us know.] ‘We hadn’t actually met whilst at college (though I do remember her as the girl with strangely long black hair with a white streak running through it).’ Toby now owns the Modus Group, which creates business environments. ‘We are a onestop-shop from which our clients can buy everything they need for their offices and technical facilities (like data centres). To do this, the Group contains an architectural practice, a fit-out contractor, a facilities management company, a technology company and a technical facility fit-out business.’ Anna Craft (U80) took her first degree in Social and Political Sciences at Churchill and went on to London University Institute of Education, followed by a teaching post in one the ILEA’s primary schools, before achieving her Master’s Degree at London University. Married with two young children and living in Hertfordshire, she has been Senior Lecturer in Primary Education at The Open University for the last five years and is currently finishing a University of London PhD thesis on ‘Creativity in the early years’. The OU has just opened an inter-disciplinary Centre for Creativity, of which Anna, the author of numerous books and articles on this subject, is Co-Director. ‘Creativity is a subject which has attracted a lot of attention from policy makers, and education is at the heart of it’, she told us. ‘The Open University is uniquely placed to stimulate creativity in its wide range of students. A major focus of the Centre will be on teaching parents, teachers, trainers, counsellors and facilitators how to encourage, nurture and develop skills in creativity, problem solving and innovation in others – throughout their lives, from pre-school to retirement and beyond.’ Adrian Dickens (U81) began his entrepreneurial career while still at Churchill. ‘I wrote two very successful computer books in 1983 whilst I was still an undergraduate: The Spectrum Hardware Manual (remember the Sinclair Spectrum?) and The Advanced User Guide for the BBC Micro, co-authored by Mark Holmes (Fitzwilliam) and Andrew Bray (St Catherine’s). Both books were in the top 10 computer books at the time.’ He set up Adder Publishing Limited on graduating in June

1984, along with several friends (including Mark Plumbley and Leycester Whewell, who both graduated from Churchill at the same time as him). In the 18 years since, the company has moved from publishing to hightech engineering. ‘We design and manufacture a whole range of electronic products for connecting together and controlling computer systems. For example, most radio station output is now “played” from the hard disks of powerful PCs rather than the historic DJ with his turntable. These computers are often outside the studio and controlled remotely, using our extenders.’

Returning to the original purpose of these conversations, we asked the question: why did you come here tonight? Toby: ‘I have a bit of a reputation for being a cynic, but even cynics can be nostalgic. You marvel at how Churchill hasn’t changed a bit in all this time, and you can feel the comfort of settling into bitchy conversations about contemporaries, picking up from where you left off all those years ago.’ Adrian: ‘Since this will be my first reunion I can’t speak from experience, but I am looking forward to meeting friends who I haven’t seen for many years.’ Anna: ‘To revisit fond memories, connect

with old friends and to drink from the well of inspiration! I had a wonderful time at Cambridge and it provided the foundation of many aspects of my adult life both at home and at work.’ Alan: ‘I am interested in catching up with old friends and hearing about how they converted that youthful exuberance and intellectual curiosity into their contribution to society. I also expect to have a good laugh.’ Anne: ‘I suppose a trip down memory lane, which 20 years on it’s probably time to make. I’m hoping to see people here that I’ve fallen out of touch with but wish I hadn’t, and Cambridge-based friends who

College Reunions Every ten years or so you should receive an invitation to come back to College to a Reunion Dinner. If you came up to College between 1969 and 1972 please take note. Dates for the next four years are: 5th July 2003 for years 1969–1972 3rd July 2004 for years 1960–1962 9th July 2005 for years 1991–1994 8th July 2006 for years 1982–1985 The College Association holds an annual dinner which all are welcome to attend. This coincides with the University’s Alumni Weekend, and this year will be held on Saturday September 28th, in College. A booking form is enclosed with this Newsletter.

Nouvelles cuisines How would you like to serve 800 meals a day – from a portakabin?


his was the challenge that faced Catering and Conference Director Giles Shaw and his team, when in spring 2002 Churchill undertook an ambitious replacement of the College kitchens. Frequent equipment breakdowns and concerns about the building fabric led the College Estates Committee to commission a feasibility study last year, which also examined issues such as the ventilation, waste disposal and electricity and gas supplies. The flat roof was found to be in a parlous state, and a radical rethink of the entire structure was needed. The architectural impact of placing a new plant room on the roof was a particular focus of debate in the College, but in the end the College Council decided to go ahead with this aspect of the refit on Health and Safety grounds. Work started in January 2002, to the plans of architect Malcolm Brown of Plowman Brown. Temporary kitchens were estab-

lished in part of the staff car park while the main structure was rebuilt, and during the entire period the catering team toiled heroically to keep the College fed. Just how heroically becomes apparent from the account of Giles Shaw (pictured below with Head Chef Martin Hayden): ‘The Dining Hall is on the first floor, but the lifts were unavailable during the refit. This meant that every meal we cooked had to be placed on a heated trolley and sent up on a builder’s hoist. Bear in mind that on an average day we serve 800 meals to the Dining Hall! To complicate matters, we could only communicate with the Dining Hall staff by walkie-talkie.’ The worst aspect of the refit? ‘Invariably the hoist would break down at key moments, meaning that the food had to be trundled down some 300 yards of corridors.’ The new kitchen, which cost £1.8 million, came on-stream as this Newsletter went to press. Giles is in no doubt that the money has been well spent. ‘The new state of the art equipment and the vastly improved surroundings will give us every opportunity to offer the very best standard of catering that all members and users of Churchill College have a right to expect’. Q

Renovating the kitchens: just beginning and nearing completion


Challenging Churchill

selection – though I seem to remember that in 1987 one university’s team was composed entirely of philosophers who were drinking buddies, and they got onto the programme more on personality than performance.’ What of the College’s recent fortunes on University Challenge? Last year Churchill appeared in the televised finals – Greg Williams (see next article) was one of the team. Simply

University Challenge has recently undertaken an alumni reunion of its own, and a 30-year-old victory earned Churchill a place


BC TV’s student quiz University Challenge is one of its longest-running programmes. Based on the American TV show College Bowl, it was first shown in 1962 and ran in annual series until 1987 under the urbane chairmanship of Bamber Gascoigne. It was then taken off air owing to falling ratings, but popular demand led to its reinstatement in 1994 with the more irascible Jeremy Paxman as compere. To mark the programme’s 40th year, the BBC has created a spin-off series, University Challenge Reunited, which brings together winning teams of the past and pits them against one another for the accolade of Champion of Champions. Churchill has won the annual series just once, in 1970–71 – the first Cambridge college to achieve this (Sidney Sussex and Trinity


have subsequently each won twice, and Fitzwilliam once). For the Reunited series Granada Television, who produce the programme for the BBC, used the help of the College Alumni Office to contact team members and reassemble the 1970 championship side. Of the original four, Meredith Lloyd-Evans, John Armytage, Gareth Aicken and Malcolm Keay, only John was unavailable and his place was taken by Andrew Brown, a reserve member in the original squad. In their heat against Fitzwilliam, televised on 29 July, Churchill only narrowly failed to go through to the second round, losing by just 15 points. Meredith Lloyd-Evans (U67, Veterinary Medicine) captained the team on both occasions. Now running a biotechnology consultancy in Cambridge, he spoke to

us about the recent reunion game and the 1970 championship finals. ‘Reuniting everyone proved to be a challenge in itself for the producers, especially in selecting a date on which all of us could be present. In the end they had to fly me back from a conference in Toronto for the recording. This was reminiscent of the 1970 final, when I had a morning exam, which meant that they had to fly me from Cambridge to Manchester. I arrived with 15 minutes to spare, having eaten nothing. They gave me a double Bloody Mary – ‘for the calories’ – and then dressed me in a gold net shirt from the costumes department. We lost that game heavily, but in those days you played for the best of three games: our second attempt was a resounding win and the third a nail-bitingly narrow victory.’

What did he think were the main differences between the quiz now and that of 30 years ago? ‘The ‘reunited’ aspect led to some interesting interviewing beforehand, with a big emphasis on the political and social context of 30 years ago. The questions seem more obscure and tricky in the modern game. Gascoigne was a more reserved chairman, although both he and Paxman were very approachable after the game’. Meredith takes an active interest in the Alumni Association, and has continued to support the South African Bursary. He was Eastern Region co-ordinator of the recent Japan 2001 festival in Britain, of which the Master of Churchill was a driving force in Cambridge. Another alumnus who has appeared before both quizmasters is Gordon Hunter (U83, pictured above) – uniquely (we think) he has competed for two different institutions on the programme – in the last of the old series, 1987, for Churchill, and again in 2000 on behalf of University College London, where he is studying for a PhD in the field of computer speech recognition. We tracked him down at the annual Churchill College v Churchill Old Boys cricket match to ask him to compare his two experiences. ‘I think Paxman was definitely the more outgoing and chatty of the two, both before and after the quiz itself. The preliminary selection process was quite similar both times. For 2000, the TV “presence” of the teams as well as quiz performance seemed to be more of a factor in the preliminary

appearing is in itself quite an achievement – as David Radford (left), who captained the side in the preliminary selection for 2002/2003, points out, ‘The process is quite tough and the competition intense. Over 200 colleges and universities apply each year, from which only 28 can be chosen to go through to the televised rounds. Granada interviewed several Cambridge colleges together on the same

day, playing taped questions which had to be answered individually. In the event we didn’t make it.’ Churchill remains one of only four winning Cambridge colleges in the competition’s history, and is always one of the smallest academic institutions to take part, but let’s hope that the 2003/2004 series will see the College back on championship form. Q

Churchill Foundation Scholarships As it approaches its fortieth year, the Winston Churchill Foundation remains one of the strongest links between the College and the United States


he Foundation’s Scholarship scheme, which allows a number of American scholars of exceptional ability to come to College each year to pursue studies in science and technology subjects, was initiated in 1963. The Foundation itself was established in 1959 as an expression of American admiration for Sir Winston Churchill, and in addition to the Scholarships it administered a Fellowship Program in its early years to enable visiting Fellows to work at Churchill. It also raised funds towards the building of the Archives Centre and still provides an annual grant for its maintenance. The Scholarships are supported in great part by contributions from American individuals, foundations and corporations. They are available to pre-doctorate students proposed by a range of over 70 US universities and colleges; the rigorous selection procedure includes scoring candidates on a variety of academic and personal factors. The current intake of eleven Churchill Scholars arrived in October 2001 to study for MPhil or Postgraduate Certificate courses. The Foundation is governed by a body of Trustees, who include the Master of Churchill, and Sir Winston’s daughter, Lady Soames, and his grandson, Winston, as representatives of the Churchill family. Day-today administration is the responsibility of Harold Epstein (left), who has been the Foundation’s Executive Director for more than 30 years. On his most recent visit to Churchill College, at the end of May this year, Mr Epstein met the current scholars and College and University members. He gave us his impressions of how the Scholarships are both fulfilling their original purpose and meeting new challenges. ‘Without exception, all Scholars speak appreciatively of their time in Cambridge. They cite various rewards: the research experience and their growing command of their subjects, the chance to live in and learn about Britain, and, very importantly, the experience of seeing their homeland and themselves from a new perspective. ‘They certainly enjoy College life. They find the place very friendly and all comment on its intellectual energy and the stimulation they derive from contact with the students who come from so many lands. They are also active in and enjoy the social and sports activities at the College.

‘Of course, they are challenged to adjust to a range of matters from College food to the Cambridge style of research supervision and British colloquial speech. But they learn to adapt and that learning process is one of the major benefits of the Scholarship experience. ‘The aim of the Churchill Scholarship Program, at its outset, was to encourage the development of American talent in science and technology and to foster the Anglo-American ties that Sir Winston himself epitomised. I think those aims have been richly realised and that Sir Winston, who gave his blessings to the program, would be pleased with its results. ‘I should add that it’s immensely satisfying to me to hear the Master and many Fellows say again what they have said many times in the past – that the Churchill Scholars contribute much to the life of the College and constitute a valuable link to the United States.’ Greg Williams (left), a graduate of the University of Indiana, came to Churchill in October 2000 on a Churchill Scholarship to take his PhD in Theoretical Chemistry. What made him apply? ‘Because Cambridge is internationally recognised as a top-notch university, with the added bonus that being in England also gives you the opportunity for some travel in Europe – not that I have managed to do much so far, aside from a trip to Paris.’ Greg is currently President of the MCR, and was a member of last year’s University Challenge team, which suggests that the US students integrate well into the life of the College; Greg himself feels that this very much depends on the personalities and mix of each year’s intake. Since the Churchill Scholarship is for one year only, Greg obtained funding from the Gates Cambridge Trust for his second year. How do the two schemes compare? ‘The Churchill program is so well-established that the College knows how to look after its annual intake of US students. The Gates program places 180 or so students in many colleges; the program is diligent in keeping in contact with them but inevitably the relationship feels less personal.’ Main likes and dislikes? ‘The College is a compact community – the social side was a pleasant surprise. Dealing with the University’s bureaucracy when applying to continue my PhD was frustrating – it’s not very joined-up. And then there’s the weather – but you get used to it!’ Q 11

Development news


evelopment at Churchill is not a new concept, having always been present in some form since the College’s conception. What is new is that today these matters require full-time attention and greater resources, so enhancing the College’s existing Alumni Relations activities. Development is about advancement and innovation, about making things happen and moving College forward prominently among the leaders and shapers of the educational world. Those that get involved are themselves agents for change – the movers and shakers – people who have the dedication and commitment to make a difference. In the last few years, performance targets and assessment measurements have become allabsorbing. External assessment impinges on the time available for teaching and research.

College performance is measured by many factors, not least the annual Cambridge interCollege rankings. Dr Alan Findlay, our current Senior Tutor, and his team have worked extremely hard to move Churchill above the middle of this table. Their impressive turnaround approach certainly deserves recognition, but what College really needs to sustain this progress is the means for additional College teaching hours and further Teaching Fellows in any subject, but especially Biology, Economics and History. Another process in need of a turn-around is that of improving the College’s connections with each and every one of its alumni. This might sound simple (or perhaps optimistic), but being able to communicate our issues and our successes to the ‘family’ of Churchill alumni leads to a stronger and better response

when alumni involvement is needed. The truth is that we are not in contact with about onefifth of our past students, primarily because they have not kept College informed as they have moved around the world. Staying in touch with everyone is the first step in seeking your suggestions for fulfilling and delivering new teaching staff, new support for students and new facilities. An example of alumnus involvement in shaping a solution is that of Simon Tucker (see p. 6) who guided his architectural partnership through an open competition with designs for the new postgraduate student accommodation. Another example is the 311 Advanced Student Alumni who pledged £86,000 towards the furnishing and fittings of these rooms – a big thank you again to all those who have supported this project.

The target of £165,000 is not quite achieved. Should any wish to take up the Master’s invitation to add their financial support, please ask for the latest details and a donation form from Whether Cambridge will become a private university is a frequently discussed subject. Keeping you informed of this debate is important. We need to think how to focus the College’s response to this developing scene. Churchill will be better prepared to address any such challenge when its alumni get involved and give us the benefit of their advice and support. Commitment by alumni in supporting, strengthening and restructuring are essential, if we are to move Churchill from its status of ‘new’ college to the equivalent of ‘maturing progressively’ – if not radically! Q

Boat Race 2002 Easter Saturday saw a group of alumni assemble on board the motor launch Havengore as guests of College to watch the 143rd Varsity Boat Race. They were not short of excitement, even through the start and finish of the race had to be watched on television. Seeing the two best eights, as well as Isis and Goldie, pressing hard to gain the advantage of the Hammersmith bend made Dove Pier an extraordinary vantage point; cruising the course after the race heightened the understanding of what it means to row 4.25 miles. To experience all this aboard such an historic craft, with its emotive connections to Sir Winston, made for an extremely memorable and enjoyable day. College is delighted that the owners of Havengore have agreed to reserve her for next year’s event (on Saturday 5 April 2003).

Missing - have you seen this person? Over the years, regrettably, the College has lost touch with some of its alumni. We are keen to redress this in the hope that most Members would like to receive news and invitations. The College website ( will soon include a list of the names of alumni for whom College does not have a current mailing address. If this newsletter has been sent to you personally, it is unlikely that you are on this list, but some of your contemporaries may be – and so will not have received this newsletter! Please look at the website soon and if you have any address information for people on the list, would you please contact them, tell them that we have them marked as ‘missing persons’, and ask them to get in touch with us. We shall be very grateful to you. Contact: Annette Tattersall, or 01223 336083.


An appeal from the Editor . . . If you are, or know, an alumnus with a career or story that would make an interesting article for the next issue, please contact the Alumni Office (01223 336083, For instance, we think there are now several families in which two generations have attended Churchill. We’d love to hear from them!

Thank you The College is very grateful to all those who so generously contribute to its present and future, whether by giving financial donations or their time and talent. An encouraging number of alumni serve on various College committees, others organise and contribute to events (we were recently able to include the rare treat of a harpsichord recital at an alumni reunion). Our thanks go to all of you who selflessly support the College in these ways.

Churchill College Newsletter 2002  

Churchill Newsletter 2002

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