General News

Sister Davison’s Centenary Celebrations

The sun shone and the venue was the Hilton Bristol Hotel where exactly one hundred people gathered for a very special occasion. The guests had come from far and wide to celebrate the 100th birthday of a very special lady; namely, Sybil Moores BEM. Many of those reading this may not instantly recognize the name, but when you realize that we are talking about Sister Davison, later to be Matron of the Dental Hospital, most dental staff and graduates from the 1970s and before should now have a very clear picture of the lady in question.

Sybil’s birthday was on the 26th of August 2015 and the immediate event was celebrated with her family in Bristol where she still lives independently in her flat in Clifton. Such, however, is the respect and affection shown to her, particularly by her ‘girls’, that throughout her years of retirement a small but dedicated group of them have ensured that all of the significant milestones in her life so far have been appropriately celebrated. Following this tradition, the same small group under the leadership of Vicki Townsend could not let such a significant birthday pass without an equally significant party to celebrate it and this was duly done on Sunday, September 6th.

Along with a small group of Sybil’s family and non-dental friends the guest list of one hundred was made up mainly of the nurses who had trained at Bristol Dental Hospital during her reign from 1952 to 1976. Many of these had married and were accompanied by former Bristol dental students who had also experienced her eagle-eyed supervision. The remainder comprised retired dental and medical consultants and staff who had worked with her. A sign of the respect and affection shown for Sybil was the distance travelled by some of the guests to attend the event, not only from the far reaches of the UK, including Scotland and Guernsey, but one who had come all the way from Canada.

Lunch was preceded by a short reception and the excited hubbub that accompanies the renewing of old acquaintanceships; the noise level only dropping when everyone sat to enjoy the excellent food. Towards the end of the meal Sybil was invited to cut a giant birthday cake embellished by three large candles showing the number 100. Lunch was then concluded with a few words from Ken Marshall to celebrate the occasion and pay tribute to a “one in a million” lady. Matron was then presented with flowers and a specially engraved crystal vase.

There then followed what was probably one of the highlights of the occasion. Vicki asked anyone who had any special anecdotes concerning their experiences as trainee nurses or students during Sister/Matron’s time at the Dental Hospital to share them. The microphone was then passed around and what emerged was a highly amusing and revealing half hour or so.

Sybil was then able to meet up with many of those present, who also had the opportunity to renew old friendships and exchange memories of sometimes best-forgotten exploits. The final tribute to the success of the event was the general realisation that, having gone into lunch at 1.15 pm, the next time most people looked at their watches it was almost five o’clock.

We look forward to the 105th!

Ken Marshall & Vicki Townsend

The guests included, in no particular order:

Reg Andlaw, Ken Marshall, Peter Easton, Reg Bleakman, David Baker, Geoffrey Burton, Trevor and Yvonne Thomas, Chris Stephenson, Maureen Erskine (Mahood), Clive Jenkins, Catherine Gunnery, Hugh Willis and Rod Young.

Here is a picture of how some, of a certain age, may remember Sister. Click on the image for the full-size version.


More photographs of the event may be viewed by clicking here.



General News

New Appointments…

NHS England has announced the appointment of Sara Hurley (nee Skinner) BDS(U. Brist.) MFGDP(UK) MSc(UCL) MA(KCL) as Chief Dental Officer. Sara qualified from the University of Bristol Dental School in 1988.  Commissioned into the Royal Army Dental Corps, she has continued to broaden her clinical dentistry portfolio gaining Membership of General Dental Practitioners (UK) in 2003, a Masters in Dental Public Health at University College London 2004, and a King’s College MA in Defence Studies 2007. Her career has flexed across the domains of dental public health, wider healthcare policy and healthcare commissioning as well as undertaking operational healthcare management and strategic leadership assignments in a range of UK and overseas locationsIn fact she is the third Chief Dental Officer from qualify from Bristol; she follows Prof Raman Bedi (BDS 1976) who also holds the unique distinction of being the first and only Bristol dental graduate to  be awarded an honorary degree from his alma mater ( DSc 2003). In the meanwhile Kosmas Tolidis MSc (1993)  has been appointed Chief Dental Officer of the Helenic Republic.

Alasdair Miller BDS (U. Brist. 1977) has been appointed President of the British Dental Association and took up the post in April 2014.

Alasdair MillerFor over 20 years Alasdair was a partner in a mainly NHS dental practice in Taunton and he brings extensive experience in the clinical and education sectors to the role of President. From 1997 to 2013 he held the position of Regional Postgraduate Dental Dean at the University of Bristol where he was also Programme Director for the University’s Open Learning for Dentists Diploma programme. In 2009 he was the first dentist to become Fellow of the Academy of Medical Educators. From 2007 to 2010 he was consultant to the Peninsula Dental School. He currently sits on the Council of the MDU and is the interim Chair of the Bristol, North Somerset, Somerset and South Gloucestershire Dental Local Professional Network.This is an enormous recognition of his interest and energy in dentistry for many years and his role as Post Graduate Dental Dean for the South West over the last 16 years.

General News

From the Chairman

A significant event this year will be the 100th birthday of Sister Davison (or Sybil as she is now happy to be called). Details of a special lunch organised by one of her ‘girls’, Vicky Townsend, are given in this newsletter. Sybil is keeping well, living alone and coping well in her Clifton apartment. She attended a reunion of the 66Society (graduates of 1966 and thereabouts) in February this year, where Bob Binnersley paid glowing tribute and she was presented with an impressive bouquet. She looks forward to receiving very special congratulations from the Queen on 24th August.

It’s always been extremely gratifying to see how many year-group reunions are held each year. Last year was no exception: eight reunions involving the classes of 1964, 1966, 1968/69, 1969/70, 1974, 1989, 1999 and 2004 (reports of some of these reunions can be found on our website). Can there be any other department of this or any other university that can boast of alumni who so enthusiastically maintain contact with their old colleagues and school?

Membership of our BDAA continues to grow as we recruit many of each year’s graduating students. We now number in excess of 1000 members. Finances are in a healthy state and we will continue to use the income from your subscriptions wisely to support worthy causes in the School as well as student activities and events.




General News

From the Secretary

I hope you are all enjoying the new website. Its success depends wholly upon the content and I should like to remind you to please send in anything, including photographs of anything you may think of interest to our members. If you think someone is not receiving this email that should be then it is probably because they are either not a member or else we do not have their current email

address. If they are not currently a member then please encourage them to join…it’s only £10 annually and tax allowable! If you have updated your email address recently then please let us know. Both membership and contact forms can be found on the website

Gary Mendham

General News

New! Autumn / Winter 2014, Spring 2015 Reunion Reports

We have received reunion reports from The ’66 Soc., The ’69’ers, the 50th reunion of those starting in 1964, the Year of ’74 and the Year of ’89

Click here to read them.