Brookes Society newsletter

December 2018

Once again a year has rushed by but it is good time to stop and reflect on what has happened during 2018. The Society has had a successful year which began with 85 members and finished with nearly we are going in the right direction. The different events we ran were fully supported and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.....and the two parties held in the university were cheery affairs, with the Vice-Chancellor joining us on both occasions, and staying for about an hour each time. All are written up on the website.

We are in the process of finalising the programme for 2019 and will be advertising them as soon as we can, via email, and on the website. These will be available to all paid-up members (and their guests). The booking system will remain the contact each individual organiser apart from the two parties for which we will give you a university contact to book with. Here is a taster of what is coming up so that you can put the dates in 2019 diaries:

4.00 pm, Thursday, 14th March, Headington Hill Hall: Spring Party and AGM – book here

11.00-12.00 noon, Monday 8th April: Tour of Christchurch Gallery, followed by lunch (if wanted) at Quad, The Old Bank. Tour costs £3ppn (£5 for non members) 15 people max. To book contact Laura Bartholomew on

11.00-12.00 noon, Tuesday, 14th May Visit to Oxford Arboretum, Nuneham Courtney, with horticultural guided tour - £6.50 ppn (or £8.50 for non members). 15 people max. To book contact Laura Bartholomew on

See our full events listing

Hilary Churchley, our university link person, left Brookes in September and since then we have been managing the Society from within the committee, as well as with help from Mollie Ashley, in the alumni office. We are assured that there is support for the Society in a job description, but as yet no-one has been appointed, although we hope this will be resolved in the next few months.

Sue Watson, who was our events coordinator, has had to resign from the committee due to ill health and we want to thank her for all her hard work and commitment to the Society. Laura Spira is also stepping down at the AGM as her priorities move towards supporting a new grandchild....we thank her for her wisdom and advice. This means we could do with some more help on the committee.......we have pared down meetings so only meet every 3 months or so, and communicate via email in-between. Last year we welcomed 3 new members – it would be wonderful to do the same in 2019.

If you are interested could you contact me on or our Secretary, Laura Bartholomew, on This is quite urgent as 3 officers and 2 ordinary committee members are too few to keep the Society going, particularly with reduced support from the university.

I will end on a positive note and say the Society is in a very healthy position with nearly 100 members and we have been delighted with the support of the various events we have held during 2018. I very much looking forward to seeing many of you next year and all those involved in the running of the Society join me in wishing you a very Happy Christmas and a peaceful 2019.


Chair, Brookes Society

December 2018