BDAA Sports Kit Sponsorship

UBDSS Netball

BDAA are pleased to be able to continue our support of dental students by sponsoring both league fees and sporting kit. Below is a photo of some of the netball team modelling their new tops!
We wish them all luck in their forthcoming matches!

General News

Out with the old…

Out with the old..

Bristol Dental Hospital, the place at which all Bristol Dental Alumni trained, finally closed its doors last Friday and the brand new Bristol Dental School opened to welcome staff on Monday 31st July 2023. As you can imagine, moving to a new site is not without its logistical challenges and the first three days of the week hosted a festival of dentistry where staff were familiarised with use of all of the new equipment, patient management systems, radiology procedures etc. without the added distraction of patients or dental students. The first dental students will begin work in the new School at the start of the coming academic year in early September and the official opening ceremony will take place on Wednesday 6th September.

In with the new…

Compared to the old site, the brand new facilities really have to be seen to be believed. A few photos are shown at the bottom of this post to give the reader an idea of what is on offer.

A major difference between the new building and the old is that the new is funded and run exclusively by Bristol University. The new building  is very definitely “Bristol Dental School” and not “Hospital” with the BRI and NHS having no involvement in either the running or finances of, thus giving a degree of autonomy freedom previously unknown.

Largely due to lack of access brought on by Covid restrictions, interaction between the old School and BDAA has been limited to say the least but Head of School, Barry Main and School Manager, James Tubman have remained enthusiastic supporters of BDAA and we have still managed to support students in a limited manner through recent difficult times and with the opening of the new School, we hope for a resurgence and a return to normal, albeit in a new location!  

Further reports to follow once the School is properly up and running.

General News

Bristol Dental School; Moving On…

After several years of background planning the Bristol Dental School is finally due to close its doors to dental students and move to a new site for the start of the academic term in September 2023. The new location is 1 Trinity Quay, which is situated in  Bristol’s Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone, near the University’s proposed new Enterprise Campus. It is a stand-alone office block which formerly housed the RBS arm of NatWest Bank and is currently being converted into a state of the art dental teaching facility spread over 5 floors by a team of just under 200 contractors. The building conversion is progressing well and is almost halfway completed. The total area of the new school is 7,300 sq.metres and there will be approximately 130 dental chairs.

Building when occupied by RBS

The current Dental School was opened officially on 10th April 1940 at a total cost of £83,000 and a planned intake of 25 dental students per annum. The new school has a budget of some £35m and the first year’s intake will be just over 100!

Most members I speak to all seem to have exactly the same question: “What’s happening to the original site, where we all trained and graduated?” Well, it’s a simple question with a very complicated answer but at the moment  its fate really hasn’t been fully decided. The issue is complicated because the original site estate has multiple landlords and not all of the buildings are in a great state of repair. What has been said publicly is that it is likely that some research will remain but what is certain is that students will have a new home from 4th September 2023.

Artist impression of the new School Reception Area

On a completely different subject; many older past students passing through “Op-tech” will fondly remember Douglas Dobson, affectionately known by everyone as ‘Dobbie’, who arrived in Bristol as a prosthetic technician in 1949 and rose to become chief instructor by the time he retired in 1988. He celebrated his 99th birthday on 1st October 2022 and was especially pleased to receive a photograph and letter from the Queen earlier that year on the occasion of his 70th wedding anniversary! What a marvellous achievement and I’m sure there are many of us whose skills with a wax-knife are, for the most part, down to the excellent instruction and encouragement of Dobbie and the late Ivor Robinson!

Best wishes for a healthy and happy 2023.

Gary Mendham



General News

Year 1976 Interim Reunion

Year 1976 operates on a five- yearly reunion cycle, when quite mysteriously, like palolo worms reacting to a certain phase of the moon, and usually around November, a crowd of dentists converge on one of Bristol’s hotels. This time however, global disruptions caused by someone, somewhere dropping a bat in the soup, meant that we would normally have had to wait for a period of ten years to elapse in order to put our reunions back on track, or adapt somehow. We chose to adapt rather than face the extra costs of having name badges made for the next reunion. Change was necessary, so we chose September and quite logically, Wedmore. This rural village may not seem like the hub of the universe we usually choose but it is possibly the hub of traditional cider production in the South-West.

The venue, Compton House, was discovered by Carol Robinson who also organised everything for us, and the warm weather meant that we were able to sit outside in a rambling garden setting and enjoy locally produced homemade food. Our traditional series of talks with slides was abandoned and replaced by an informal chat session with talks limited to five minutes each. For this, we took our wine glasses with us indoors and sat around a huge mahogany table, much like 10 Downing Street. The talks started off with an introduction by Carol in which she mentioned the the empty seats, those of Reg Andlaw, Robin Matthews and Graham Charlton. A suitably reflective moment then followed with a piece of classical guitar music played for us by Roger Robinson.

Talks were varied and included news from Chris Stephens and Ken Marshall. Most of us had something to report and the general atmosphere was relaxed and convivial. It was clear that this interim reunion was a welcome change enjoyed by everyone. Who knows, perhaps Root ‘76 might be on the verge of changing its reunion habits, especially since our next scheduled reunion will mark our 50th year of dentistry.

Geoffrey van Beek


Photograph, Root 76 dentists and partners. Dentists back row from left to right: Ken Marshall, Chris Stephens, Paul; Baines, Niel Mc Donald, Derek Fieldhouse, Frank Wood, Hugh Devlin, Peter Duke, Carol Robinson, Phil Key, Roger Robinson. Dentists front row from left to right: Geoffrey van Beek, Raman Bedi, Caroline Baines, Jacky Thackeray, Jane Wood, Anne Muirhead, Louise Sowden ,Bertie Jukes, Claire Foster


General News

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.

General News

Oscar anyone?

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

Read all about it here

General News News from the School

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  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.

General News

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.

General News

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.

General News

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.