Northumbria Club, Dinner

Dunstanburgh Castle. Photograph by Jane Coltman.
Dunstanburgh Castle. Photograph by Jane Coltman.

The Northumbria Club started its autumn meeting in solemn mood as chairman Ian Graham recalled the death of member John Entwisle.

John was an old boy of the Duke’s School and his grandfather had been a teacher at King Edward VI School in Morpeth.

After qualifying as an archivist, John spent most of his career at Reuter’s news agency, a job that gave him enormous satisfaction. He had extensive knowledge of the architecture of Lutyens, social history and Victorian novels.

He was a long-standing and loyal member of the club and the chairman paid tribute.

After dinner the chairman welcomed guest Gavin Doig, barrister and head of New Park Court Chambers in Newcastle.

There was then a talk by member David Boll about the 19th century writer Robert Surtees.

Surtees came from a well-to do County Durham family, of Hamsterley Hall. He was a second son and after a flirtation with a career in the law, he turned to writing.

His books reflected his country interests and he poked gentle fun at country society. His work was said to inspire Charles Dickens’ Pickwick Papers.

He did inherit the family estate and never published under his own name thereafter.

David illustrated his talk with readings from Surtees’ work, demonstrating his light and witty style.

David was thanked by the chairman, who reminded members that the next meeting is the pre-Christmas gathering on December 6.

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