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Happy New Year 2022

Apologies to all of our members for the ongoing problems with this website. Hopefully things will be fixed as soon as possible.

We hope our members had an enjoyable Christmas and, in spite of COVID-19 that we all have a better year than last.

More news will follow shortly.

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Oscar anyone?

Our very own Prof. Chris Stephens is appearing in a soon to be released film (rated PG).

Read all about it here

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In memoriam: Reg Andlaw

It is much sadness I have to report the death of Reg Andlaw who passed away on Saturday 27th March 2021

Reg was born in Gibraltar in 1933 and was a 4th generation Gibraltarian. During World War II he was evacuated; first to Casablanca, then to Madeira and later the family moved to Tangier. From there he was sent to Oundle Boarding School to complete his secondary education and then enrolled as a dental student at Guy’s Dental Hospital where he qualified with a BDS in 1957. He then worked for a year as a children’s dentistry intern at the Eastman Dental Center in Rochester NY and was about to return to the UK when Basil Bibby (Director at the Eastman) offered him the opportunity to enrol in a 2-year Postgraduate Course in Paedodontics at the University of Rochester, which resulted in his attainment of an M.Sc. in Paedodontics in 1960.  Whilst in the USA he played a lot of tennis and squash, even represented the City of Rochester in the National Squash Championships in 1959. Before leaving the United States, however, he set out on an 8000-mile round-USA camping trip with two friends, returning home to Gibraltar just in time for Christmas, and then came back to the UK in January 1961 to join a dental practice in Clifton, Bristol.

Reg married Christina in 1963 and had considered returning to Rochester, but the birth of the first of two daughters in the following year put this on hold. By chance, he then met an old dental friend who was, at the time, working in Arthur Darling’s newly-established MRC Dental Research Unit at the Bristol Dental School, who encouraged him to apply for a position in the Unit. This chance meeting changed the course of his life and ended any further thoughts of returning to America. Professor Darling was impressed that Reg had worked under Bibby in Rochester and offered him a place, which led to a PhD in 1965 and a Lectureship in Dental Surgery 

At that time in Bristol, as was the custom in a number of UK Dental Schools, Children’s Dentistry was seen as part of  Adult Conservative Dentistry. Thus Reg was now working under Professor Bradford where he was  soon joined by Martin Curzon (later Professor Curzon of Leeds University Dental School) who had returned from his specialty training, also undertaken at the Eastman Dental Center in Rochester.  The two then established close links with their local colleagues in what was then the Schools’ Dental Service and set up the first effective undergraduate course in Paediatric Dentistry at Bristol. 

In 1971, when the British Paedodontic Society established its Journal, Reg became its first editor continuing in this role when it merged with the International of Journal of Paediatric Dentistry in1991, a job he enjoyed until 1997.

 In 1982 Reg and his colleague Peter Rock of Birmingham University Dental School had published their hugely influential  “Manual of Paedodontics” which, with its successor  “A Manual of Paediatric Dentistry”, would run for 5 editions as the standard UK undergraduate text on the subject. In the same year the new Department of Child Dental Health was created at Bristol, merging Paediatric Dentistry with the Department of Orthodontics. and Reg became the Clinical Dental Dean, a role for which he was ideally suited and in which he excelled. Reg retired from the Dental School in 1988, but continued as an unpaid “Special Lecturer” for many months afterwards.

Prior to his retirement, and while he was Clinical Dean, a group of senior dental students formed an ad hoc group to keep the Dental School in touch with its alumni and this led to   him being asked, in 1989, to become the first Chairman of the Bristol Dental Alumni Association. Reg soon decided the BDAA needed a Newsletter and he was elected as its editor. During the 24 years of his editorship, and until it was replaced by the current electronic version, this publication increased from 14 to 37 pages and was printed in full colour for its final edition. (see https://www.bristoldentalalumni.co.uk/archive/past-newsletters/)  Reg was the Association Chairman until 2019, regularly attending the majority of graduates’ reunions taking place each autumn.

In his retirement Reg continued to play the trumpet in the Muskrats jazz group he had set up with colleagues and friends. Throughout his life he excelled in racket sports. He played league tennis and squash (tennis for Clifton Lawn Tennis Club and squash for Bristol Hospitals) qualifying as a coach in both sports. He continued to play tennis in his retirement until well into his 70s. He also found time to publish an account of the  historic cycle ride he made across Spain from Santander to Gibraltar in 1991 with his  former Guy’s student colleague Roger James, though neither had sat on a bicycle for more than 50 years! ‘A Trans-Iberian Challenge – Cycling Through Spain’.  

In 2016 Reg was visited by Robin Mills, one of the six BSPD Presidents who had come under his tutelage at either the undergraduate or postgraduate level. Robin in his valedictory address recounted how his former teacher had generously donated his unique archive of the BSPD to the Society and that this is now safely housed in the Royal College of Surgeons.

He is survived by his wife and two daughters.

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Bristol Dentists Honoured by BDA

Bristol graduates, Martin Fulford and Pam Norman have both been honoured for their outstanding achievements, their commitment to the BDA, and their work for the dental profession.

Martin has been awarded Fellowship of the BDA. Martin was a renowned lecturer on cross-infection control in dental practice and gave over 100 lectures across the UK, helping to support dentists provide the highest levels of health and safety in their practices. He published over 30 articles on the subject including the guidance Infection Control in Primary Dental Care, published this year. He contributed to the Department of Health’s working Group on HTM-01-05. A long-time supporter of the BDA, Martin was actively involved as a representative, including serving as Treasurer of the Western Counties Branch. He was a member of the BDA’s former Representative Body and a valued member of the Health & Science Committee. Martin sadly passed away in 2020, and we hope this award will help to recognise his achievements and keep his memory alive.

Pam has been awarded life membership of the BDA. She has worked as a GDP since qualifying in 1979 has given many years of support to the South Wales Branch, holding many roles on the committee and currently is acting chair, even though she has now retired. Her personable, approachable manner and genuine love of people has enabled her to encourage younger members to get involved. She has long been involved with the BDA’s Benevolent Fund and has represented and fundraised for the charity and is also active in her local community. She is also a Company Secretary of Lifeflight, a charity set up to start an air ambulance service in Swansea.

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Bristol graduate honoured:

Professor Helen Rodd (BDS Hons. 1988) has been awarded an MBE for services to NHS dentistry. She currently holds the post of Consultant in Paediatric Dentistry at Sheffield University.

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In memoriam

It is with much regret that I have to pass on the sad news of the death of Robin Matthews.

Robin died on August 16th after a short illness. His funeral was a held near Durham, where he had lived for the last several years with a limited number of guests due to COVID-19 restrictions.

You may read his obituary by clicking here.

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Bristol Graduate New Dean at Faculty of Dental Surgery

Mr Matthew Garrett qualified from the University of Bristol in 2001, attained his FDSRCS Rest Dent (England) in 2010 after following the specialist training programme in Bristol. He was appointed Consultant in Restorative Dentistry (Prosthodontics) at the Eastman Dental Hospital in 2013, having previously been a Consultant at King’s College London. In June of this year he was elected Dean of the Faculty of Dental Surgery of the Royal College of Surgeons of England for a three year term.

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Call me Doctor!

It has just been brought to my attention by Edward Shaw, one of our alumni, that a member of his graduating year of 1962 was centrally involved in campaigning for dentists to be allowed to use the courtesy title of ‘Doctor’. After twenty years of active effort by Dr Douglas Pike the General Dental Council agreed to this in November 1995.

One significance of this has been that many dentists, particularly the more recent graduates, automatically assume this title without being aware of when and why it came into use in the United Kingdom. In addition, many will not have been aware that the prime mover in achieving this is a Bristol Dental School graduate and that November 2019 was the 25th anniversary of the ‘Call Me Doctor’ movement.

Bristol dental ‘Doctors’ therefore, can if inclined, raise a retrospective 25th Anniversary glass to Dr Douglas Pike!

Ken Marshall,

Chairman,

Bristol Dental Alumni Association.

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Graham Charlton: Obituary

Graham Charlton  BDS (Dunelm) 1958, MDS (Bristol) 1970 
1928-2020


Graham, was born on October 15th 1928 in Newbiggin by the Sea, Northumberland into a mining family. At first, due to financial constraints, Graham trained as a school teacher at St John’s College, York. He was then called up to National Service in the Royal Ulster Rifles, and was made a Sergeant in the Education Corps in Hanover, Germany. 

After a couple of years teaching art, woodwork and games in Morpeth, Graham got a place in 1952 at the Dental School, King’s College, Durham University, situated in Newcastle upon Tyne, then thriving under the Deanship of Sir Robert Bradlaw. 

In his first (pre-dental) year Graham needed to fund himself and worked at a bakery in the early mornings before lectures and played semi-professional football in the Northern Alliance League at weekends. He won a state scholarship to fund studies from his second year onwards. 

Undergraduate dentistry went well, with Graham taking an active role in student sports and politics and collecting several medals for academic achievement. He married Stella in 1956.

In 1958 Graham graduated BDS and became partner in a general dental practice in Torquay, Devon, where he began to specialise in crown and bridge work. From 1964 Graham returned to academic life at Bristol University to teach Conservative Dentistry, graduating MDS in 1970. The University of Bristol MDS, in addition to being a higher research degree, included a clinical component which was accepted by the Royal Colleges as an acceptable equivalent to the FDSRCS for the award of consultant status. Graham then became the Consultant Senior Lecturer in charge of Conservative Dentistry, and later Clinical Dean. During this time, Graham did the research into the design of post-retained porcelain crowns that led to his MDS dissertation and the invention of the successful Charlton Post – made of stainless steel and with an integrated core. The post itself was cylindrical rather than the customary tapered cast post alternative, and this not only avoided the wedge effect that could lead to longitudinal root fracture, but gave better retention.

In the late 1960’s air-driven handpieces were just becoming available and, whilst other clinical staff thought that they were too dangerous for students to use in their early years, Graham was firmly of the opinion that they should be used from the beginning of operative techniques teaching as they would be the instruments used on patients in the clinic. This was put into practice both in the Op.Techs. Lab and the Cons.Clinic from 1968 onwards, and was a Charlton principle carried forward well after Graham had left Bristol.

Much later, the same principle was used when Bristol became the first Dental School in the UK to teach undergraduates in custom-designed full dental surgeries which could be instantly transfigured to left-handed use if required rather than in the previous tiny cubicles working from instrument cabinets,with materials only available from a central store and no facility for teaching four-handed dentistry. 

In the early 1970’s staff accommodation in the Dental School was at a premium and this particularly related to research facilities. The solution was seen to be the renting of accommodation in an adjacent office building (Priory House later to become Manulife House). None of the departments other than Conservative Dentistry wanted to be decanted into a building that necessitated an outdoor walk in all weathers. Graham, however, saw it as the ideal opportunity to establish a proper research facility, and to achieve this end, the putative staff rooms were designed to be minimal in size to leave enough space for the desired research laboratory. Also, Graham had it in mind that if there were to be a future extension on the original Dental School site, the plans would have to include this laboratory and its equipment. This eventually came about with the building of the 1985 extension on Upper Maudlin Street where a whole floor was devoted to staff rooms, a well-equipped laboratory for materials testing, an engineering workshop, a drawing office and a photographic studio/darkroom.

Graham continued his research in the Manulife House laboratory and successfully marketed the resultant Charlton Post and Core. Its success locally was reasonably good, but the requirement for strict instrumentation use plus care and attention to the step-by-step procedure was, in the end, too much for many dentists not blessed with his degree of patience or manual dexterity. He did not suffer fools gladly but was universally liked and admired  within the Bristol Dental School.

He often referred to his days at Bristol as the happiest in his life. He lived just outside the city in the beautiful countryside of Backwell with his wife Stella and his three children, and could pursue his precision woodworking, painting and gardening talents to his heart’s content. 

Later, when he took up the chair at Edinburgh University in 1978, and also became Dean of Dentistry, he once again raised the standards of dentistry from basic, to above average, and inspired students to pursue excellence in their work. As ever, he encouraged his staff to question all aspects of the accepted wisdom in their researches, as he did himself, and was always happy to contest his thoughts in the national arena. He was never afraid to stand up for his principles when he felt he was justifiably in the right. 

Graham continued actively to research dental materials, to teach, and was heavily involved with national professional administration, as well as wasting a great deal of time in planning a new Dental School and Hospital for Edinburgh that, in the end, never became a reality due to last-minute ‘cuts’! 

He stood out in that he was not just a brilliant clinician, but could draw on his teaching education to put his expertise across to students in an inspiring and lucid manner. Having ‘come up through the ranks’ as it were, he brought with him an unique individuality of thought and action which set him apart from most of his academic colleagues. He distinguished himself in having all the right qualities for the job and consequently scaled the heights of academic and practical dentistry. He espoused the concepts of Prof Veldkamp of the Netherlands in the design of full gold crowns with reduced occlusal surface width and the ideal hygienic bridge concept, and is also remembered for his whistle-stop tours of the UK to give postgraduate lectures on advanced restorative dentistry. Apart from lecturing, Graham could speak ‘off the cuff’ to great effect, and was often approached to give an after-dinner speech during the meal even without prior notice.

In 1992 Graham retired and moved to Bearsden near Glasgow to help out with his daughter’s newly arrived children and then, as these grew up, moved to York after a gap of fifty years to resume old friendships, and make some new ones. 

In 2005 Stella died, and a few years later Graham began to show signs of dementia secondary to cerebrovascular disease. From 2013 he lived in residential care in Newcastle upon Tyne near to his two sons. Graham Charlton died on February 1st 2020 after a series of strokes. 

The above illustrates the lasting impression that Graham left on the Bristol and Edinburgh Dental Schools, the staff and the students who benefited from his tutelage, but also how the generations that followed also benefited in the years after he retired.

Geoffrey van Beek

Bruce Charlton 

Ken Marshall.

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In memoriam

It is with great sadness I have to report the death of Graham Charlton who passed away on the evening of Friday 31st January 2020.

The funeral will be held on Wednesday 19th February at 2pm
St. Bartholomew’s Parish Church, 3 Station Road, Benton, Newcastle upon Tyne NE12 9NQ