We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

St Cuthbert's Society

The 1888 Society

Following our 125th Anniversary in 2013-14, we have now established the 1888 Society, an exclusive club for our alumni generous enough to donate £1,888 or more over a period of five years. Members become honorary members of the SCR; receive a postal copy of our biannual magazine, Cuthbert’s Chronicle; and will be honoured on our website as valued supporters.

To talk about a donation or our campaigns, contact the Development Officer at or 0191 334 3380.

Our 1888 Society Members

Dr William (Bill) Block,

Emeritus Fellow, British Antarctic Survey, Cambridge; Distinguished Fellow, St Cuthbert’s Society, University of Durham

Trained as a zoologist at Durham University in the early 1960s; his first appointment was at the then Makerere University College, Kampala, Uganda as Lecturer in Zoology. On returning to the UK in 1966, he held a University Demonstratorship in Entomology at Cambridge University, followed by a Lectureship in Zoology at Leicester University. He was awarded the Polar Medal for his contribution to Antarctic science in 1989. Retired in 1997, he continued his research as an Emeritus Fellow at BAS and held Honorary Professorships at the Universities of Birmingham, East Anglia and Abertay Dundee. Bill was at St Cuthbert’s from 1956-60 as an undergraduate during which time he was zoologist on a Durham University expedition to Arctic Norway and led an overland expedition to the Wadi-el-Agial, Libya in 1959. He undertook his doctoral research at Durham on the ecology of soil mites in the northern Pennines. He graduated BSc (Honours Zoology) in 1960, PhD in 1963 and was awarded DSc in 1986. As an undergraduate he played hockey for St Cuthbert’s, represented the then Durham Colleges in hockey and served as President of the Durham University Exploration Society 1959-60. In retirement his hobbies have been kayaking, walking, watercolours and beekeeping.

Antony L. Smith

"I had four very happy years at St Cuthberts. I did Maths and Physics with Geology at the time of the eminent Professor Kingsley Dunham who went on to become Director of the Britsh Geological Survey. I enjoyed a 30 year career as a seismologist with the wonderful Iraq Petroleum co (16)and Shell (14) in the Arabian Gulf, North Sea and Venezuela, followed by 5 years in a local School library. Until a couple of years ago I was playing a reasonably good game of tennis/golf, enjoying almost annual Refounders reunions in lovely Durham, and now am concentrating on watching my two sons develop and the four grandchildren who are constantly impressing me. One of my prouder achievements is to have initiated three series of pub lunches, for my former IPC fellow geologists in a Covent Garden pub, quarterly (23 years), for two couples in the library (22 years) and for my eight first cousins and partners annually (22years)."

Christopher Sumner

"I was an undergraduate at Cuthbert's from 1962-5, when I graduated with a BA. I then retained my membership both of the University and Cuthbert's to research and submit a thesis for an MA, entitled "Third Parties in Twentieth Century American Politics". I gained the degree in 1970. I originally taught for five years, but decided eventually that a career in education was not really what I wanted. I chose to become a solicitor and was admitted as such in 1974. I specialised mainly in criminal law and whilst I worked in private practise, I also worked for many years as an agent for the Crown Prosecution Service. I left private practise in 1998 when taking up judicial office. From 1984 to 2006 I was a part-time Chairman with the Independent Tribunals Service. In 1998 I was appointed a Coroner, now referred to as a Senior Coroner, for Sefton, Knowsley & St Helens, a position I still currently hold. For relaxation I play golf with more enthusiasm than skill and watch Rugby Union and Football. I am a shareholder of Everton Football Club."

Professor Frank Webster

"I was at Cuths from 1969-73, in which time I took a BA and Masters. After that I did a PhD at the LSE. I have occupied Chairs in Sociology at various universities (Oxford Brookes, the University of Birmingham and latterly City University London) over the past 25 years and have recently retired. I live in London with my wife of over 40 years (Liz Chapman, St Hild's 1969-72, who has also recently retired from Director of Library Services at the LSE). We are planning to move to Sussex late in 2015. We share many happy memories of Durham, of our own time there and of that of our son (who attended 1999-2002, though he was at Hatfield)."