1980s Class notes

Tsuguhiro Kumagae (incomplete English, 1980s)

I retired from Hiroshima Shudo University on 31 March and was conferred the title of Professor Emeritus. I still have a right to teach at Hiroshima Shudo University for more four years part-time and to keep using the University's present email address for life as Professor Emeritus.

In August and September 2006 I did research on Shakespeare's tragedies and comedies at the Shakespeare Institute, Stratford-upon-Avon, and based on this study published a book entitled Love and Life in Shakespeare's Tragedies and Comedies (in Japanese, 487 pages).

Presently I am a part-time lecturer at Hiroshima Shudo University, and also a lecturer at NHK (Japanese Broadcast Corporation) Hiroshima Cultural Centre, with a course 'Shakespeare' in which I give a lecture twice every month.

Ujagar Jolly (Short Course Urban Renewal, 1980; Short Course Urban & Regional Studies, 1988)

It is always a great pleasure in recalling the sweet memories of Birmingham. As it is difficult to forget the memories of early schooling and college stage, so is the association with the University. As my wife and my daughter, who was three years old at the time, were also with me for about three weeks, we regularly recall and share those moments spent in Birmingham.

When I came to Birmingham in January 1980, I was working as Dy. Director. Thereafter, I had elevation as Direction and Commissioner of Land and Housing Department in Delhi Development Authority. I also went to Singapore and Bangkok as a member of Expert Housing Group. Finally, I took over as Principal Commissioner, which is the top position in the organization.

Thereafter, I had Judicial Assignment for five years. On completion of the Judicial Assignment in early 2009 I was appointed as Principal Advisor (Capacity Building) with Association of Municipalities and Development Authorities. At present I am working as the Inquiring Authority with Delhi Development Authority.  I also visit the Faculty in the Indian Institute of Public Administration, New Delhi. I keep participating in National and International Seminars and conferences. My paper on values in administration in a conference at Sofia, Bulgaria, and participation in a World Peace Conference at Washington were very much appreciated. I visited the USA five times and also visited Stanford, Berkeley and San Francisco Universities. 

I am Chairman of the Virsa Foundation and Managing Director of Amar Jeevan Charitable Trust. These two organizations are working in the field of Education, Health and upliftment of deprived families in New Delhi and areas of National Capital Region.

In my recent book on Challenges for a Mega City (Delhi Experience), I referred to the development of Milton Keynes. At present, I am working on another book – Delhi through Century.

Any news about Birmingham takes me back to the 1980s. I still remember the city centre, Five Ways on way to the University, University Tower and the University atmosphere, which was close to my heart.

Birmingham is a well-planned city. It is a mix of traditional architecture and modern physical infrastructure. I always remember Birmingham as a friendly, comfortable, receptive and warm city. I still remember the warmth of the faculty and staff members of the University.

Richard Callicott (BPhil [Ed], 1981)

 I was honoured to receive an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2012. I received it on 4 December 2012.

William Franklin (BSc Physics, 1981)

I was a 1981 Physics graduate who became a chartered accountant and founded the niche law firm, Pett Franklin.

Mike Moss (BSc Chemistry,1981; PhD, 1988)

I joined the School of Chemistry at Birmingham in 1981 attracted by the self-contained campus university. After a first class honours in 1984, I stayed in Birmingham to work with Dr Chris Jones, Prof Jon McCleverty and Dr Tony Edwards on coordination chemistry of the lanthanide elements with two spells at the University of California Irvine with Prof Bill Evans.

 After a viva with Sir Jack Lewis in Cambridge I took a NATO post-doctoral research fellowship in Caltech for two years. After six years and ten publications in academic research I decided to go into industrial research & development. I joined Procter & Gamble in 1990 in Newcastle upon Tyne and in 1998 we moved to Rome where my four daughters became musicians. In 2003 we moved to Brussels but spent a lot of time in London and Oxford in recording studios, concert venues and delivering children to and from college. Over 22 years in Procter & Gamble I published 54 patents on detergents and fragrance delivery and still have many products in the market. In 2013, as our youngest daughter completes her A levels and joins her three sisters in London I decided to leave industry and go back into the education sector.

 I am currently the Alumni Careers Programme Manager at the University of Oxford but continue to lecture on innovation, sustainability and coaching to confidence and work as an innovation adviser at the Happen consultancy in London. I still have a farmer's cottage in Italy and if retirement ever happens I will spend the summers in Italy using my chemical skills to make wine and olive oil and spend a few months each year in Oxford to enjoy the music and hospitality of an English winter

Sylvia Gill (B.Soc Sci, 1981; MA English Local History, 1998; PhD, 2010)

I completed my PhD at the Centre for Reformation and Early Modern Studies, School of History. In January 2013, I was appointed Honorary Research Fellow  in the School of History.

In between degrees – from 1984-2003 – I worked in various managerial positions in information technology and self-employed consultant. During my time as a PhD student, I was for two years the Administrator of the Heritage Collaborative Research Network.  I am now retired and focusing on research.  In December 2012, I had two essays included in The Guild and Guild Buildings of Shakespeare's Stratford, a multi-disciplinary volume edited by J R Mulrynne and published by Ashgate.  I am also current Treasurer of the European Reformation Research Group, a long-established group which holds an annual postgraduate conference.

James Haire (PhD Theology, 1981)

Reverend Professor James Haire was awarded Australia’s highest honour, the Companion of the Order of Australia (AC), by the Australian Government in the 2013 Australia Day Honours for 'eminent service to the community through international leadership in ecumenical and interfaith dialogue, the promotion of religious reconciliation, inclusion and peace, and as a theologian'.

Joan Kightley (MA Shakespeare Studies, 1982; MA, 2012)

I'm back at Bham! After retiring from teaching, I completed another taught MA at the Shakespeare Institute; and I'm now engaged in PhD research.

Wendy Dixon [nee Greer] (BA German, 1982)

In the summer of 1983, I married the man I met at University but we divorced three years later. I worked for a year in your University library in the Language and Literature Reading Room and went on to complete a postgraduate diploma in Librarianship at Birmingham Polytechnic. My first job as a qualified Librarian was at Walsall Central Lending Library. I progressed on to running Chelmsley Wood Branch Library, then Hobs Moat Library and I also did some work for Solihull Schools Library Service. I left them in 1991 to have my son Michael, having re-married in 1990. I did not return to work but decided to commit my time to raising a family, which was just as well because following the birth of my son and arguably my greatest claim to fame was the birth of my four identical quadruplet daughters in 1993 – sorry I can’t claim any great academic achievement.

Since 1998 I have worked part time as a Teaching Assistant in various schools in Coventry, my home town, and to which I returned following the break-up of my first marriage. I have been at Grange Farm Primary School in Coventry since 2002 where I work as a Teaching Assistant but also manage and run the school library. I am also the school’s Coordinator for their virtual learning platform and edit the school’s website.

I haven’t enjoyed an entirely clean bill of health, being diagnosed with breast cancer in 1999 and enduring a heavy year of treatment, which has fortunately paid off. I am not in touch with anyone from my university days but have found my German to be of some use when some of my children took it for GCSE and A level. One daughter is now studying German at Hull University, so I like to think that I have passed it on. I’ve had a few trips over to Germany, to Berlin and Munich and have found that I still have some degree of fluency. It looked at one point as though one daughter might study at Birmingham but this was not to be.

John (BSc Engineering Production, 1982) and Helen Tomlinson [nee Greenwood] (BA French, 1983)

I graduated in 1982 and my wife to be Helen (nee Greenwood) graduated in 1983, so I had an extra year involved with University life, which was really important as moving away from such a 'full-on' life on a campus was a bit traumatic.

Without doubt, University changed my life from the very first day on campus and, after Birmingham, I never lived in my home town again as my career took me around the UK. Apart from Helen I’ve only kept in touch with a few friends from all those years ago, notably one of my housemates from Birmingham now lives about 200 yards away and we remain very close friends.

For the last 10 years I have been a Director at John West Foods in Liverpool and Helen works at our local golf club and, as you can imagine, we are keen advocates of university life, especially in Birmingham.

Our story came full circle when our daughter Alexa began studying Psychology as an undergraduate in 2010, so we could return to the campus and do some of the things I didn’t do as an undergraduate, such as finally spend time in the Barber Institute and repeat some of the things I did do, such as having curry in the Dilshad. Hopefully our next visit will be for a graduation ceremony in July.

Susan Wright (LLB Law with French, 1982)

I recently became a Director in the Translation Service of the Court of Justice of the European Union.

Rodger Charlton (MBChB Medicine, 1983; MD, 1998)

After graduation and vocational training in general practice I became a GP in Derby and a lecturer part time at Nottingham University. During this time I spent a year’s sabbatical in New Zealand at the University of Otago, Dunedin. In 1995, I moved to be a GP in Hampton-in-Arden and have also held a number of senior academic posts as a senior lecturer at Keele and Warwick.

In 2011, I became a Professor of Medical Education at Swansea University. I moved then to Nottingham University as an Associate Professor in August 2012 and I have been promoted to a Personal Chair in primary care education from 1 August 2013. I continue in GP partnership in Hampton-in-Arden with my friend and colleague, also a Birmingham graduate, Dr Ryan Prince.

Steve Grout (BA Ancient & Medieval History, 1983)

Just heard that I’ve qualified for the 2013 Horst ETU Powerman Sprint Distance Duathlon European Championships to represent the GBR 50-54 age group. It will be a shock to people who remember me lounging around the bars and curry houses of Selly Oak but I’ve always wanted to represent my country at something – and finally got the chance to do it in April.

I’ve worked all my career in advertising and marketing agencies, much of my time Internationally and for the Omnicom Group. I’ve been CEO at TBCH for four years and previously MD Europe of Rapp Collins at DDB Group.

Neil Talbot (MSc Biochemistry, 1983)

After I left the University I returned to my company, which had sponsored me, and held various brewing positions. Eventually, I became General Manager of Tennent Caledonian Breweries in Glasgow.

I married my wife Moira, whom I met at a disco at the Teacher Training College at Westbourne Road. We have a girl Laura, 29, who is a registrar in Manchester, specialising in anaesthetics and a boy Andrew, 24, who graduated in the summer from Bournemouth and works locally in Paisley.

Moira taught primary children in Helensburgh, our adopted home town and retired in the summer. Unfortunately, I suffered a ruptured brain aneurism eight years ago and the company gave me early retirement due to ill health. As a result of the aneurism, I have developed Bipolar Disorder. I now play an active part in the local mental health groups.

Solomon Antoniou (PhD Mathematical Physics, 1984)

I run a private educational organisation under the name 'Educational Systems' in my native city Corinthos, Greece. I also own another Institute named SKEMSYS in Corinthos too.

Simon Lowe (BEd Education, 1984)

My previous role, which I held from 2002-11, was Playing for Success Project Manager for Somerset. Here I established and managed learning centres for young people in the two professional sporting clubs in the county at Somerset County Cricket Club and Yeovil Town Football Club.

I am now working as an AST in the Mathematics department at The Taunton Academy.

Martin Day (1985, Metallurgy & Materials Science) and Alison Brosgall (1985, Mathematics & Psychology)

Married in 1988 and celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary this year. 

They have two daughters: one is studying English and Theatre Studies at the University of Leeds and the University of Alberta, Canada; the other is at high school and is hoping to study Music.

Martin is the Director of European Sales and Marketing at Carclo Technical Plastics Ltd and has formed a new company within Carclo plc – Carclo Diagnostic Solutions Ltd – to exploit the company’s IP in microfluidics for point-of-care medical diagnostics. 

Alison is the Headteacher of a primary school in the London borough of Sutton.

Michel Doortmont (MA West African Studies, 1985)

As an alumnus of the Centre of West African Studies (MA 1985), I have recently renewed my relationship with that institute, and will be an Honorary Research Fellow at CWAS throughout May 2013.

Paul Hutchens (LLB, 1985)

Paul was named Midlands Entrepreneur of the year at the 2013 Midlands business awards.

The award recognised Paul’s achievements to date since setting up his own successful renewable energy firm, Eco2Solar, in 2007.

Sixtus Mwea (MSc Foundation Engineering, 1985)

I am at the University of Nairobi in Kenya. I am an Associate Professor of Civil Engineering and Head of the Civil and Construction Engineering Department at the University. I graduated in 1985 in Foundation Engineering from Birmingham.

Pamela Mykytowych (née Reid) (BSocSc Social Policy & Social Work, 1985)

After spending two and a half years living in Singapore, during which time, my husband and I took the opportunity to explore South East Asia (e.g. Malaysia, Hong Kong and Vietnam), we have now moved on to live in Taiwan for a while.

John Delaney (LLB Law, 1986)

I studied for the Bar (admitted a Barrister of Lincoln's Inn '87) and a LLM (1988) at LSE and then returned to my home in Nassau, The Bahamas, where I have practiced law continually, specialising in commercial litigation and financial services law and regulation. In 2000 I was specially engaged by the financial services sector for a six-month project as an Advisor to the Government in connection with legislative reform of the financial industry responsive to initiatives of the OECD, FATF and other supranational agencies. By 2007, I had become the Managing Partner of a major law firm.  In late 2009 I left the private sector for a stint of public service as Attorney-General and Minister of Legal Affairs of The Bahamas. During my Attorney-Generalship, I was privileged to have led substantial legislative reform and improvements to the justice system.

I returned to private practice in May 2012 and, since then, have led a commercial group of lawyers called Delaney Partners. I am Senior Partner at the firm. I am also a Non-Executive Director of RBC Financial (Caribbean) Limited, the regional parent entity for the Royal Bank of Canada's retail, commercial banking and financial intermediation interests in the Caribbean.

I thoroughly enjoyed my Law degree studies at UoB. I credit UoB with giving me a solid foundation in the discipline of law upon which I have drawn throughout my training and the more that two decades of practice. There were outstanding professors/lecturers such as Mike McConville, Frank Woolridge and Jeremy McBride amongst others. I made great friendships, some of which continue to this day.

The UoB has played an important part in the legal education of others from my part of the world who have gone on to make significant public contributions. As a boy, I first heard of UoB for studying law from family friend, Perry Christie, a UoB alumnus and now the Rt Hon Perry Christie, Prime Minister of The Bahamas. I met Kenny Anthony while we were both at UoB, he was reading for a law PhD. Kenny is now Rt Hon Kenny Anthony, Prime Minister of St. Lucia.

Rosemary Kind (LLB Law, 1986)

I set up my own publishing company Alfie Dog Fiction. We publish short stories in multiple download formats through our Alfie Dog website and already carry over 850 stories from 240 authors across the globe. Many of our authors are widely published in magazines and all our stories are thoroughly edited, only those of the highest standard are published. The site is, as far as I am aware, unique in what it offers and is growing rapidly.

Bambang Priyohandoko (PG Dip Development Finance, 1986)

I have already retired from my office at the Ministry of Finance. I run my new business in my family's clove plantation in the suburb area of East Java. So I have to go back and forth between Jakarta and Surabaya to do my new job. I wish I could visit the UK in the middle of 2013 summertime together with my daughter.

Gerry MacManus (LLB [L/P] Law, 1986)

I studied Law and Politics and graduated in 1986. Look me up on LinkedIn. Does anyone know what happened to Julian Dlamini? 

Elizabeth Printer (LLB Law, 1986)

After leaving Birmingham and qualifying as a barrister, I spent 25 years working on the South Coast with a successful practice as well as being a mum to two girls. In 2005 I was appointed a District Judge and worked in Portsmouth until September 2011, when I had a major subarachnoid haemorrhage and stroke. I am left partially sighted and paralysed but working towards my recovery.

Solomon Raj (PhD Theology, 1986)

After I got my PhD from the University in 1986 I taught in Selly Oak Colleges, which is now part of the University, then in some international and interdenominational Christian duties for a few years. I then I started an Ashram in the name of St Luke for graphic arts, and communications research and Bible study. I have published a few books on intercultural Christian communications after my PhD thesis to the University on the subject of Indigenous Christian mission in India. Much of my artwork is known in the west in several countries and my artwork was on display on cities like Washington DC, Geneva and Canada and it appeared as title pages on several books.

I myself have published some books in English, with art and poetry books such as St John hieratic art, Liberation in Luke's Gospel with art and poetry, which has become well known and published in five languages and very much used professionally in a few churches. 

Now I am 62 years old and do not do much artwork but read and write for various publications. I live with my wife and two sons and their families in Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh. 

David Eccleston (MBChB Medicine, 1987)

Since graduating from Med School in 1987, I have become the Senior Partner in General Practice at the Vitality Partnership in Birmingham, which is responsible for the care of nearly 40,000 patients across Handsworth Wood and the surrounding areas.

I also have a specialist interest in Botulinum Toxin, using it for management of migraine, hyperhidrosis, neuropathic pain and cosmetic indications. I have lectured on facial revolumising and sculpting in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, and am currently Clinical Director at MediZen, a leading medical aesthetic clinic in Sutton Coldfield. I live with my wife and teenage children in Staffordshire.

Enitan Oke (UG Diploma Special Education 1987; MEd Special Education, 1989)

I am currently a Deputy Director with the Federal Ministry of Education, deployed as Co-ordinating Inspector, Federal Inspectorate Service, Ekiti State, South West Nigeria.

This means I lead the team of federal evaluators and support staff responsible for quality assurance in education below tertiary level in the state. My brief covers 818 state-owned primary schools,183 state-owned secondary schools and three Federal Unity Colleges.

My job is to plan and implement advisory and/or whole school evaluation of the schools to ensure that, among other things, the teaching-learning process, the learning environment and learners' care, guidance and support in the schools meet prescribed national standards.

My team also supports the staff and management of the schools by conducting Capacity Building Programmes for them when required. This means I am always on the road, but the job is fulfilling and I am enjoying myself!

Stephen Peaker (LLB Law, 1987)

My details remain as before namely I am a Partner and Head of Family Law at Oldham, Li & Nie Solicitors, Hong Kong.

I would very much like to hear from any of my old friends from my days in the Athletics (Track & Field) Team from 1983-1987, as I lost touch with them after I moved to Hong Kong in the mid-1990s.

Tony Butler (MA Shakespearean Studies, 1988)

I completed my MA in Shakespearean Studies at Birmingham in 1988 after a year of some of the most wonderful experiences I have ever had. Among the great memories were 28 productions of 24 different plays of Shakespeare, mostly in London, and at Stratford and Birmingham, including the two English history tetralogies (the three Henry VI plays wisely condensed into two).

I returned in 1989 to Sydney, Australia, to continue teaching English until what I intended to be the day I retired from the classroom. Sadly, in some ways, I gave up regular classroom at the end of 1993, largely because of the expectations in teaching English changed dramatically – the onset of assessment tasks took away a real commitment to learning for its own sake, and the dumbing down of the syllabus distressed me. My long-term love affair with Shakespeare in the classroom came to a sudden halt.

I did, however, stay in education, specifically Catholic education, in pastoral work with the students, providing quiet reflection time for adolescent boys who, by and large, have appreciated the opportunity to be silent and calm for all too short an hour. In the 20 years I have been engaged in that work, my role has grown and extends to teacher support as well as turning me into a grandfather figure. At the age of 72, I intend to stay in this role for as long as my legs last, assuming they will go before my mind.

My Master's degree was not wasted. I have done a lot of writing, including two centenary and one Golden Jubilee school histories. The whole experience in Birmingham was so very memorable, not least of all because two lots of my ancestors had lived in or around Birmingham before travelling to Australia in the 1830s and 1840s (one of them, albeit, unwillingly.)

I look back on my time with great fondness, and am very grateful for all it gave me.

Panos Pavlidis (MBA Business Administration, 1988)

I am an MBA postgraduate from BBS in 1988-1989. I would like to inform you that I have founded an info blog-library about innovation. It is a new effort in helping students, researchers and professionals: www.innovisio.blogspot.gr

Richard Akromah (MSc Plant Genetic Resources, 1989)

I am in Ghana as an Associate Professor (Genetics and Plant Breeding) and Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana.

I am married with three children (a medical doctor, a lady pharmacist and a boy aged 13 at junior high school). We are doing fine by the Grace of God.

James Dormer (BA Medieval and Modern History, 1989)

At the moment, I'm working as Lead Writer and co-Executive Producer on the SKY/HBO Cinemax TV show Strike Back, which should broadcast in September.

I have also written an episode of the BBC's The Musketeers this year and currently have Nicolas Cage attached to star in an action/adventure feature film set in medieval China, which is due to shoot (all being well, which is rarely the case) in August/September – to be directed by Nicholas Powell.

On the back of a not-very-impressive History degree; anything is possible.