APS Reunion 2013.

Friday 4th October & Saturday 5th October.

Radcliffe House, Warwick.

The Radcliffe Conference Centre situated on the campus of Warwick University is a venue we were using for the first time. It is a purpose built facility and once the network of roads through the Campus had been negotiated it quickly became apparent that this was a venue which we were going to greatly enjoy. The individual bedrooms are beautifully designed right down to the wifi connection, so much an essential in today’s technological world. There are spacious bar and lounge facilities with a constant supply of fresh coffee, tea, juice and fresh fruit. Informal meals can be taken in the bar and there is a spacious more formal dining area. These facilities were buzzing with the noise and chatter of past students and staff as they gathered together on Friday evening.

On Saturday morning our President Barbara Graham welcomed the 54 past students and staff at the opening of the day’s activities and hoped that they would enjoy the new venue. She spoke first of the difficulties which had been experienced over the past year as the result of the sad loss of our devoted and long serving Membership Secretary, Margaret May (Baines)(1961) and she thanked the members of the Committee who had stepped in to ensure that Margaret’s duties were managed as efficiently as Margaret would have hoped.

At this point the assembled group is normally subjected to interesting and amusing ways of being divided into smaller mixed groups so that a good spread of eras can be represented in each group. This is a task which is normally efficiently undertaken by Linda Bond. However, Linda was unable to attend this year because of a family bereavement and her place was ably filled by Sue Plant. The resulting smaller groups of 8 people were asked to share their experiences of their early days in teaching and recall any amusing and interesting events. They were also asked to consider how their training at I M Marsh had helped them to cope with the various situations in which they found themselves. Following a lively discussion, each group elected one person to recall to the whole room one story which they had found particularly interesting or amusing. Many of these stories sparked a great deal of laughter perhaps none more so than Kath Dowthwaite’s recollection of taking a school party on a visit to London and being accidentally locked out of her room wearing only a short nightdress. All in all there was a general consensus that IMM had prepared us well to deal with all that was thrown at us in those first years of teaching.

Following this entertaining session people were given the opportunity to gather in their respective year groups to catch up on news and have photographs taken.

After a superb lunch served in the dining room people returned to the meeting room for the AGM chaired by President Barbara Graham. Several members of the Committee were due for re-election. Kath Dowthwaite briefly took over the chair in order for Barbara to be re-elected as President for another 5yrs. Kath Dowthwaite and Prof Sheila Wigmore were re-elected for a further 3 years. Meg Maunder, Kath Simpson, Trish Wootton and Jackie Wright were re-elected as co-opted members for a further year. Barbara informed the meeting that, after discussion in Committee about the tenure of co-opted members, it was felt that their period of office should be extended to 2yrs. This would require a constitutional change which would be proposed at the AGM in 2014.

The venue for our next Reunion will be the Holiday Inn, Liverpool on the 3rd/4th October 2014. Details and booking forms will be in next year’s Journal normally published late March/early April and will be on this website shortly thereafter. The hotel is conveniently situated immediately across the road from Lime Street station and it was hoped that this will be useful for those members who wish to travel by train.

Barbara presented everyone at the Reunion with a ball point pen displaying the College name as a memento of the occasion before bringing the day to a close at 4.30pm. Many people stayed on at Radcliffe House to enjoy the Reunion dinner on Saturday evening.

After the close of the AGM Prof Sheila Wigmore presented a tribute to Margaret May (Baines) (1961) who died on 4th May 2013.

Margaret was a student at I M Marsh College from 1959 – 1961. She took up the post of Assistant PE teacher at High Storrs Grammar school in Sheffield in 1961 and in 1968 became the Head of PE. In 1972 she joined the advisory service of Sheffield LEA and shortly afterwards she joined BAALPE (the British Association of Advisers and Lecturers of Physical Education). She rose over time to the Central Council of BAALPE and served as its Vice President, President and Past President. She also took over the role of editor of BAALPE’s magazine ‘The Bulletin’. For her commitment and dedication to BAALPE she was awarded Honorary Membership of the Association in 1998.

Margaret was a stalwart member of APS. She joined as soon as she left College and she was her year’s Set Rep continuously up until her death. She was elected to the Committee as Secretary and Membership Secretary and she also arranged reunions and was responsible for setting up the website. She worked relentlessly to gain and maintain members. As Julie Webb (Turton) (1954) who was President of APS for much of Margaret’s time on the Committee said “There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that without the efforts of Margaret the Association would have folded in the year 2000”.

Margaret married Brian in December 1974. They both enjoyed a love of horses and Margaret became an accomplished horsewoman. She was always fond of animals and there was a time when their house and garden in Rotherham was home to horses, geese, cats, pigeons and even the odd ferret. Margaret adopted many a stray animal and administered to its needs.

Margaret suffered a stroke in November 2012 and seemed to be making a good recovery when she suffered a further stroke at the beginning of May this year from which she never recovered consciousness. She died peacefully with Brian at her side on 4th May.

She will be sadly missed by all who knew her.

You can view a gallery of photographs from Margaret’s life by clicking here

Members of the Committee were delighted that everyone seemed to have an enjoyable day and they hope that members will join us next year in Liverpool. If you would like to become a member of the Association you can apply through the ‘How to Join’ section of the website.

You can view photographs of the reunion by clicking on the ‘Gallery’.