Northumbria Club, Meeting

The Northumbria Club held its Christmas dinner at the National Liberal Club on December 6.

Sunday, 31st December 2017, 5:00 am
View of Cheviot. Picture by Jane Coltman

After welcoming members and guests, chairman Ian Graham reported on the memorial service for recently deceased member John Entwisle.

The service was at St Bride’s, Fleet Street, and had been an excellent tribute to John’s memory, with rousing hymns, two of them associated with the Duke’s School, lovely music from the choir, and eulogies from his nephew Joseph and a work colleague from Reuters. The chairman was pleased that the club was so well represented at the service.

After dinner there was entertainment in the form of carols and Christmas songs, led by the chairman.

David Boll read Christina Rossetti’s In The Bleak Midwinter. Although better known in its musical settings, the poem was originally published without music in 1872. It was not until 1906 that Gustav Holst composed the setting for congregational singing, and it was five years later that Harold Darke wrote his beautiful choral setting, recently voted by musicians and critics the greatest Christmas carol of all.

The chairman read The Bethlehem Charabanc Trip by Gary Hogg. This humorous poem imagines what the first Christmas might have been like if Mary and Joseph had been Geordies.

The evening ended with the chairman reminding members that the next meeting will be a guest night on Wednesday, March 7, at the Army and Navy Club, courtesy of member Alex Hira. The speaker will be Professor Peter Styles, old boy of the Duke’s School and Professor Emeritus of Keele University.

Full details of this and other events can be found at