Reunion and Christmas Lunch, 6 December 2014

1818BCXMAS14 4.JPGFifty two members and guests attended the British Chapter Christmas lunch at the Thistle Kingsley Hotel, Bloomsbury Way, London. The group included a number of members who had not previously participated in the event and they were warmly welcomed by Alan Roe as Chairman of the Chapter and by old friends.

The function started at 12.00 noon with a drinks reception followed by lunch with a choice of turkey with trimmings or salmon for the main course. Christmas pudding continued the seasonal theme, helped by crackers, party poppers and possibly the odd glass of wine.
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Spring Reunion, Norwich, 16 – 18 May 2014

Eighty five members and guests attended the 2014 reunion in Norwich, including visitors from Australia, Canada, France, The Netherlands, Germany and the USA. The reunion was held in the Maids Head Hotel, which provided four star accommodation in the city centre close to the Cathedral. The hotel is reputed to be the oldest in Britain, dating back to the 13 th Century; fortunately, there has been considerable modernisation since that time.

On Friday afternoon four separate groups were guided by Blue Badge Guides on a walking tour of the city. The tour took in many of the historic buildings, many dating back several hundred years. The Guides also provided insights into the history of Norwich visited and fought over by kings and noblemen. In medieval times, Norwich was second only to London with wealth generated from the wool trade.

On Saturday morning, most participants took the short coach trip to Wroxham where the party boarded the Belle of the Broads, a boat that provided plenty of space for all. Boating on the Broads is not a high speed adventure as all boats are restricted to less than 10 mph, but it did provide a peaceful way of seeing this large wetland area. The skipper of the Belle pointed out some of the most interesting features of the landscape and many birds, including a family of new born cygnets, countless ducks and ducklings and two families of the Great Crested Grebe that carry their chicks on their backs.

After lunch in Wroxham the group visited Blickling Estate, a magnificent National Trust property with the house dating from the 1600s. The gardens were in immaculate condition and the whole day was blessed with fine sunny weather.

There was a drinks reception followed by dinner in the hotel on both Friday and Saturday evenings, providing plenty of opportunity to meet with friends.

After dinner on Saturday, Dr. John Packman, the Chief Executive of the Broads Authority, outlined the strategies needed to combine conservation of this unique wetland with managing the area as one of Britain’s most popular tourist areas: all this in a framework of budgetary constraint.

On Sunday morning the 26 th AGM of the British Chapter was held, followed by lunch.

The reunion ended about 3.00 pm.

Reunion and Christmas Lunch – 7 December 2013

Forty two members and guests attended the reunion and Christmas lunch on 7 December 2013. The event was held at the Kingsley Thistle in Bloomsbury Way, London, a recently refurbished hotel. This was a new venue which provided good facilities and a light and spacious dining area. Members and guests enjoyed a traditional Christmas lunch, a glass or so of wine and excellent service. A number of members chose to stay overnight in the hotel, taking advantage of a special bed and breakfast offer.

2013 Spring Reunion and AGM, 10 -12 May, Plymouth  

Eighty two members and guests attended the 2013 reunion and AGM held in Plymouth from 10-12 May. Accommodation was in the Copthorne Hotel which provided excellent food and service.

The programme was developed with the help and local knowledge of John Russell and started on Friday afternoon with a boat tour of Plymouth Sound and the Dockyards along the estuary of the river Tamar.

Over 60 members and guests boarded the Plymouth Princess and Commander Andy Coles, the Executive Officer of HM Naval Base in Plymouth, joined the group and provided knowledgeable insights about the warships in dock and some of the difficulties of manoeuvring a large submarine in the narrow confines of the Tamar. The weather was typically grey and cold but rain held off until the return trip from under the new Tamar Bridge. After a drinks reception in the evening the hotel provided an excellent dinner after which Ian Martin, for many years a plant curator at the Eden Project, gave an introduction to the origins of the Project and its development.

On Saturday some 60 members and guests visited the Eden Project, about an hour’s journey to the west of Plymouth. The Eden Project is built in an old china clay quarry, where two huge biomes house wonderful collections of rainforest and Mediterranean plants, surrounded by stunning natural gardens and a modern education centre. Ian Martin welcomed the group and provided expert knowledge and a wealth of detail about the plant life as members found their way around the huge displays.

On return to the hotel, members and guests gathered for drinks and another excellent dinner. Commodore Graeme Little, Commanding Officer of HM Naval Base, and Mrs Little were guests and after dinner Commodore Little spoke of some of the strategic concerns and the challenges faced by Britain’s modern Royal Navy. His address was appreciated by all as it dealt with issues that are not familiar to many, if any, World Bank alumni.

The reunion ended on Sunday with the AGM followed by lunch.

Reunion and Christmas Lunch – 8 December, 2012

Date: Saturday, 8 December, 2012

Time: 12:00 Noon

Place: Thistle Euston Hotel, Cardington Street, London, NW1 2L

Fifty four members and guests attended the reunion and Christmas lunch at The Thistle Hotel, Euston. The occasion started at 12 noon with a drinks reception followed by lunch in the Brasserie. The main course was buffet style with starters and desserts served at table, followed by coffee and mince pies. Party hats and crackers abounded. The photos show some of those attending in relaxed mood.

2023 Spring Reunion and Annual General Meeting, Isle of Man

Tim Cullen from the Isle of Man has proposed some excellent ideas for the 2023 reunion in the Isle of Man. There are so many great options that we are looking into offering a longer event than usual; all 1818 members are warmly welcome, so make a note in your diaries for May 2023 and watch this space for details.


1818 Society British Chapter Contact Details

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Continuing Care

We are pleased to have David Potten as ‘Benefits Coordinator’ on the British Chapter’s Board.

The Society does not have the resources to provide in-depth advice to individuals but is willing to provide basic information and sign-posting to the types of support services that may be needed when colleagues face health and bereavement problems.

A much praised Guide on Elderly Care was produced in June 2013 by David’s predecessor, the late Evelyn Watson. It provides useful information on options and choices related to the different stages of elderly care and contains links to a variety of websites related to various aspects of care.

This Information was last updated in January 2022, and will be updated again when appropriate. A copy of the Guide is available to download for reference.

click here to download a copy

See also The 1818 Society’s “Handbook for Advance Planning by Retirees & Families” dated May 2016.

click here to download a copy

Note: Please send any enquiries to David Potten via the email link under ‘Contacts’ on this website.

Spring Reunion and AGM, Llandudno, 11 – 13 May, 2012

The annual Spring Reunion and AGM were held this year in Llandudno, North Wales, established by the Mostyn family as a Victorian seaside resort. Sixty nine members and guests attended, including visitors from the Netherlands, France, Germany and the USA. The reunion was held at the St. George’s Hotel, located on the esplanade and overlooking a wide beach; it was one of the first hotels to be built in the town and boasted of a new invention – a lift. Today, the recently renovated hotel has elegant function rooms and comfortable bedrooms and provided an excellent venue.

Members on the Great Orme Tramway

The programme of activities was developed with the help and local knowledge of John and Monica Peberdy, who live in Anglesey not far from Llandudno. On Friday afternoon, after check in, a group of about 40 took Britain’s only cable tramway to the summit of the Great Orme, a rocky promontory rising to about 500 feet (150 meters) above the town. Blessed with a fine afternoon there were clear 360 degree views from the top. There is a Bronze Age copper mine on the Great Orme and the more energetic stopped to explore the mine before walking to the summit. Members who did not take the tram had a guided walk around the town with a very knowledgeable guide, who not only pointed out buildings of interest but provided a good summary of the development of the town.

On Saturday the sun shone all day so the weather for a visit to Bodnant Gardens, a nearby National Trust garden, could not have been better. Rhododendrons and azaleas were a blaze of colour providing a stunning contrast to mature trees that opened vistas to the background of mountains.

Members at Bodnant Gardens

The Llanberis pass with Snowdon in the background

There was a brief stop for lunch in Betws y Coed, a town famous as a base for climbers preparing for the high peaks in the Himalayas. Most members took the opportunity to view a short film of a flight over Snowdonia as seen by a peregrine falcon. The coach then took us over the Llanberis Pass, a narrow route through the northern part of Snowdonia.The next stop was at the National Slate Museum. Slate was an important industry in the 19 th century, with Welsh slate exported all over the world. The museum sets out some of this history but the highlight of the visit was a demonstration of slate splitting, done by hand in the traditional way. The demonstrator was not only remarkably skilful, but had an entertaining sense of humour.

Receptions and dinners on both Friday and Saturday nights provided plenty of opportunity to catch up with news of old friends. On Saturday night Dr. Robert Jones provided a programme of magic, illusions and mind-reading that kept us all amazed. His expertise as a magician has been recognized by the British Magic Circle, all the more amazing because Dr. Jones’ day job is as a dentist.

The more formal business of the weekend was discussed at the AGM, held on Sunday morning. Mick Nightingale stood down as Chairman of the British Chapter and the meeting applauded his many years of service to the Society. For the next year his place is taken by Alan Roe. Two new Board members were elected: Evelyn Watson and George Faillace.

Reforming Foreign Aid: Reinvent the World Bank

16th November 2017 1:30 – 3:30pmWorld Bank Group Office – Millbank Tower, 21-24 Millbank, Westminster, London SW1P 4QP

Dr. Inder Sud is currently president of the 1818 Society. He started his career at the World Bank where he held a variety of management positions in operations, finance, and policy. He pioneered the use of the World Bank’s partial-risk guaranty for public-private partnerships in infrastructure, and was also involved in the Bank’s early work providing the basis for re-establishing its relationship with China. Since retiring, he has taught international development at graduate level at Duke and George Washington universities and consulted for a number of organizations.

In his book by the same title, Inder argues that aid has been successful in promoting development only in those few countries in which the leaders are committed to development. Successful countries are those which could utilize foreign aid to support their own, home-grown, national development.

He believes that the World Bank can take a lead in setting a new path for delivering foreign aid, if it undertakes serious reforms. Among his recommendations are: strengthening governance; transparent, qualification-driven process for selection of president with proven leadership as the key criterion; increased autonomy for the Independent Evaluation Group; performance-based budget support instead of project lending; and a leaner Bank as the true knowledge bank.

Inder’s thoughtful presentation prompted a lively discussion.

This was the eleventh of the special Alumni Seminars arranged by the British Chapter of the 1818 Society, and the fourth in partnership with DFID. It was kindly hosted at the World Bank Group office at Millbank