APS Regional Reunion in Liverpool

Saturday 8th October 2022

Holiday Inn Hotel

Circumstances over the past few years have threatened to disrupt our reunions in a variety of ways. This year was no different. The RMT announced that the railway workers would strike on Sunday 9th October. Travelling by train on Friday and Saturday was fraught with delays and some people, who had booked trains to return home on Sunday, were forced to abandon rail plans altogether and travel by car instead. However, as is always the case, I M Marsh past students are well trained in overcoming adversity and 56 of them gathered at the Holiday Inn either on Friday evening or Saturday morning to take part in our annual reunion.

 There was an air of excitement and anticipation as we made our way into the Conference Room to begin the 2022 APS Day. As we searched for our names on the group lists pinned to the walls, some were feeling anxious in case we would be asked to perform the name of our group – all groups were named after dances, e.g., waltz, quickstep, rhumba, foxtrot etc. Thankfully, this was not the case but there were moments when some members were seen quickstepping through discussions and waltzing into lunch! As usual, Linda Bond had organised the welcome session meticulously and we were soon seated in random groups of 6-8 around the room, ready to start the day!

 Our President, Barbara Graham, welcomed us all and outlined the programme for the first part of the day. Linda then introduced the topic for discussion. We were to reflect on our first teaching post and recount an incident that would be interesting to everyone and if possible, amusing. Linda set the scene by describing one of her own dance teaching situations which had us all in stitches

Then the discussions began. Everyone was engaged and interested. Storytelling and laughter emanated, followed by individual group members explaining their experiences to the whole group. Once again, Linda had ensured that we all enjoyed the session of reminiscences, found new friends, and continued our conversations over coffee. No doubt you will read of some of these stories in our Journal next year.

 After coffee, we returned to the conference room where Barbara introduced our guest speaker, Katie Dodd MBE. Katie won 26 hockey caps playing for England in the 1980’s and captained the nation to a bronze medal at the European Indoor Championships. She was the first Chair of the Board of Trustees of The Hockey Museum (THM), retiring in 2019. She remains a Trustee and active volunteer.

Katie gave a brief history of the world’s first Museum of Hockey which is now located at 13, High Street, Woking, Surrey and is largely run by volunteers. These premises provide space for exhibitions to be mounted. THM aims to celebrate, preserve and research hockey’s rich history. Its collections span the development of the ‘modern’ game in Britain (1871) but also around the world. It covers every aspect of the game from grassroots to international level.

The collections it holds include playing kit, books & magazines (the largest hockey library in the world), photos, national, regional & club records, full England and GB International match results, hockey memorabilia (programmes, posters, pin badges, ties etc), press cuttings, scrapbooks, postcards, stamps, photographs, medals, trophies, oral history records, paintings, engravings and more.

At the end of her presentation, Katie handed over proceedings to Sheila Morrow OBE President of GB Hockey and a past student of I M Marsh (1968). Sheila made a presentation to Emily Parsons, (Archivist at Liverpool John Moores University) on behalf of The Hockey Museum, of the (GB) honours cap awarded to Maureen Short. Maureen was a member of the very first team to represent Great Britain and represented England and GB many times in the 1960s. She was also a member of the teaching staff at I M Marsh CPE. Maureen died in 2004. The cap will join her stick, international blazer and photo albums in the college archives, housed at the university.

Maureen’s cap, Photo courtesy of The Hockey Museum

Pictured left to right. Sheila Morrow, Jean Taylor, Emily Parsons, Phil Vickerman

Sheila and Emily were joined on the stage for the presentation by Pro Vice Chancellor, Phil Vickerman LJMU and Jean Taylor (nee Sutton 1967)) past student of I M Marsh. Phil Vickerman is now APS Liaison Officer replacing Prof Pat Shenton who passed away in 2021. Jean Taylor was taught by Maureen Short both as a schoolgirl and a student at I M Marsh. Maureen had no relatives that could ever be identified, and her students became her extended family. Jean and her family remained in very close contact with Maureen after her retirement from College and provided support and comfort at the end of her life.

At the end of the morning proceedings, everyone enjoyed a buffet lunch in the restaurant before returning to the meeting room to conduct the AGM


Barbara Graham, our President opened the meeting.

“I would now like to officially welcome you all and thank you for attending this year’s annual reunion here in Liverpool, the newly appointed hosts of the Eurovision Song Contest.

I know there has been plenty of chatting and reminiscing and I hope you enjoyed the presentations this morning.

As usual at this point of the year, I would like to publicly thank all of the Committee and our Set Reps for all the work they do behind the scenes throughout the year. Without their continued support the Association would struggle to thrive.

I am in regular contact with the APS of Bedford and following in our footsteps they have just had their Cert. Eds. upgraded to Honorary B. Eds. They had a lovely day and thanked us for the help we gave them. I passed on our congratulations to them, which was appreciated, and this has been recorded in their celebration brochure.

On another pleasant note I had a lovely phone call from Alma A’Court (1958). She has just won a silver medal in the 85+ category for doubles tennis in Palm Springs.

There are 56 past students present today, including one who has travelled from Switzerland, ranging from 1954 – 1978. It would have been more, but several have cancelled due to rail disruption.

Sadly, I have to inform you of the following deaths: Margaret Jamieson (age 101) former Principal. I attended her funeral in Montrose accompanied by Kath Dowthwaite and Sheila Bruce. The family thanked us all for our attendance. Also, Derek Skepper former Education lecturer in the 1970s; Bridget Jepson and Ann Wakefield 1960 former committee member. Please stand in remembrance.”

The various officers gave their reports.

Kath Simpson (Fahey) our Membership Secretary told us that we have 345 members and 6 Honorary members. 204 members have already paid for next year and beyond. 38 members have not paid since 2020 and will not receive any further communications from us unless they pay subs by Nov 2022

Kath Dowthwaite, our Treasurer informed us that this year’s surplus was £734. The subs will not cover the cost of the Journal but they will not be increased this year.

We are unlikely to have a surplus from the reunion this year due to reduced numbers and the cost (£200) of hiring a meeting room. It was suggested that we ask if L.J.M.U. can provide a room for us at no cost.

Sequal Trust thanked us for the donation of £155 from the raffle.

Linda Bond (Ward) our Journal Editor, gave a reminder that any Journal articles written by members should be typed as a Word Document, attached to an email and sent to their Set Reps.

Ann Walker (Hodkin), our Website Coordinator was absent due to illness, but her report was read to the meeting. She said it had been a quieter year with fewer requests for forms. The Facebook page had remained active and there were very many warm comments following the death of Miss Jamieson. There was also a massive response from members when the university announced it was retaining the I M Marsh site.

She reminded the meeting of the need to appoint a new Website Coordinator as this would be her last year in post.

Election of Officers

Claire Kennedy (1977) was proposed by Di Watkins (1977) and seconded by Liz Shea (1977) as the new Facebook Organisor.

Linda Bond, Kath Dowthwaite, Jean Taylor and Julie Spratt agreed to stand for a further term of office. Their re election was proposed by Ann Hooper and seconded by Julie Bright

2023 Reunion

This will be held at the Holiday Inn, Liverpool on the 6th and 7th October 2023.

After the AGM was officially closed, Barbara invited Pro Vice Chancellor Phil Vickerman to address the meeting with regard to the future plans for the I M Marsh campus. His report follows:



As you are aware the Campus was closed in the summer of 2021 and all training was moved to the city centre following 10 to12 years of discussion. Then, this year we received the news that Liverpool John Moores University were retaining the Campus. It was noted that 2023 will be the bicentennial of the original institution and in 2025 it will be the 125thanniversary of I M Marsh.

Although the University continues to look for an alternative green space in the city centre, it was recognised that the Barkhill Road site was a big asset that could have an exciting future. The new Vice Chancellor decided to keep it and develop it.

Another important factor was that, after investigations by the Liverpool Black History Research Group, the Barkhill building received Grade 2 listing as it had direct links to the transatlantic slave trade. Holmfield House is also Grade 2 listed.

The University have earmarked £50M to develop the site into an exceptional sport centre for the students, staff and community but there will be no teacher training on site. The plans include:

  • 2 Rugby Union pitches
  • 2 multi use games areas (MUGAS)
  • hockey pitch
  • small running track
  • parking
  • data centre
  • 16 changing rooms
  • refurbished sport centre
  • greening up – more trees.

The swimming pool however will not be re-opened and as yet, there are no definite plans for the interior of the Barkhill building. It is hoped that the works will be completed in 18-24 months.

He concluded by outlining all the P.E. teacher training courses that are available at the University and that new sport and sport science and exercise buildings has been built in the city centre.

It is reassuring to know that the I M Marsh Campus will continue to provide sporting opportunities for many people.

Following Pro Vice Chancellor Vickerman’s address there was time for an afternoon cup of tea and more chatter amongst those present.

Later in the evening a silver service dinner was enjoyed all those who were able to stay. The food was good, and we were well looked after by friendly and attentive staff. Although there was no singing this year, the chatting and camaraderie continued well into the evening. An excellent finale to a great weekend.

The Committee were delighted that everyone seemed to have an enjoyable day and they hope that members will join us next year when we return to Liverpool for our next reunion on 7th October 2023. Put the date in your diaries!! Details and booking forms will be in next year’s Journal, normally published late March/early April and will be on our website www.immarshpaststudents.org.uk shortly thereafter.