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.

News from the School

Brand new: A Day in the Life of a Dental Student

A new video has just gone live on Bristol Dental Student’s YouTube Channel entitled “A day in the life of a Dental Student”

It’s brilliant and you can watch it by clicking here (opens in new window)

News from the School

All Change in Lower Maudlin St.

Chris Stephens has just written a fascinating article regarding the current works happening in Lower Maudlin Street.

You can read about it by clicking here

News from the School

News from The School

Professor Peter Robinson took up the post as Head of School on 4th January 2016 so we prompted him to look back on his first six months at Bristol:
His first thought was to acknowledge how welcoming everybody had been.  “I spent the first few weeks going to speak to colleagues across the School and was really impressed with their openness and dedication.  I feel very lucky to be working as part of such an excellent team.
The School is in an excellent position, with a glowing GDC inspection report for the BDS programme and world leading and internationally excellent research highlighted in REF2014.
There are some important challenges ahead though.  We are a number of clinical academics short in Restorative Dentistry and unfortunately there is an international shortage in that discipline, so we’re going to have to think creatively about that.  Nicola West has taken on leadership responsibilities for the academic side of Restorative Dentistry, which will be a real help as she is creative, super-organised and knows everyone in the field.
Another thing we’ve started on is maximising students’ opportunities at South Bristol.  We’d like their experience there to mimic working in primary care as much as possible, finding the optimal blend between clinical excellence, patient-centred care and efficiency.  We’ve revised the booking system to allow this and are reviewing the patients on the recall list.  We’re hoping to make a number of clinical teaching fellow appointments at the dental hospital so that we can also move some of the learning from the tutorials at South Bristol up to the main building.
We’re also reflecting on the existing curriculum.   Rebecca John, Andrea Waylen, Nigel Robb and Dave Dymock are doing that at the moment. They held a hugely successful launch event earlier this month, which gave the process considerable momentum.  The existing curriculum is ten years old by now and we all know how much dentistry and oral health in general have changed in that time.  We need to know whether the existing curriculum is fit for purpose, whether it needs some tweaks or whether we need to revise it more substantially.  The group are due to report in September, which will be very interesting.  If there is more work to be done we will instigate a system to manage any changes, which James Tubman will lead with his usual thoroughness and imagination.
On top of all that, we’re introducing a new suite of postgraduate programmes this autumn, with a certificate in oral surgery, an MSc in Sedation, and with luck an MSc in Oral Medicine and Pathology by the new year.  A lot of people are working hard on this, guided by Tony Ireland and Dave Dymock.
We were very lucky to have Andy Ness to succeed Howard Jenkinson as Director of Research.  I think Howard had been in the role for 12 years, but Andy is raring to go.  He’s been exchanging ideas with all the School’s researchers over the last few months and will propose a new strategy in the coming months.  That strategy will need to fit in with our new PVC’s (John Iredale) approach to co-ordinate research across our faculty as well as Biomedical Science.  The intention is to focus on a small number of key areas for critical mass and strength.  This should suit us well as SORDS’ research maps directly onto these areas already.
We’ve had some real research endeavour and success.   Andy Ness collaborated with others across the faculty to submit a huge bid for a Biomedical Research Centre, which could position us very well for years to come.  Michelle Barbour’s spin-out company (Pertinax) has received £900k investment and is looking at introducing Chlorhexidine into dental restorations to reduce the incidence of secondary caries.  Given the distribution of caries this could be a much needed intervention.
We’ve also strengthened our ties with the Dental Hospital as there is much we can do for mutual benefit.  As the new lead doctor, Becky Davies has proved to be an open and committed colleague.  Our work together is not easy as we represent different organisations with sometimes competing priorities.  Yet we work well together. One result has been the allocation of the £450k capital budget, which has funded new equipment and upgraded facilities to the benefit of patients, students and staff.
It’s been a busy six months!   But I’d like to finish in the same way that I started, by thanking everyone for their welcome, their kindness and their hard work.  I look forward to working with everyone in the years to come.”
News from the School

Paul King Retires!

There was a huge turnout to mark the retirement of Paul King on June 26th. The occasion was held in the courtyard outside the student bar and was complete with live music and a hog roast. A great occasion! Paul says he has now retired but we note he is due to lecture next month at the 25th  Congress of the International Association of Paediatric Dentistry in Glasgow. Paul of course graduated from Leeds but it is good to also see  many ex Bristol graduates on the programme! (see


Retirement bash 260615    Paul King

News from the School

Opening of the Newly Refurbished Chapter House Lecture Theatre

On Tuesday 2nd December 2014 the newly-refurbished Chapter House Lecture Theatre was officially opened.

Speakers at the event included Dave Dymock, Head of Teaching; Sarah Bain, School Director and Professor Jonathan Sandy, Interim Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry. Chairman Reg Andlaw, Hon. Secretary, Gary Mendham, Hon. Treasurer Iain Hathorn and Chris Stephens were in attendance!

The lecture theatre refurbishment has recently been completed and part of the funding has come from our alumni association (BDAA) together with individuals whose names can be seen on the photograph below. For those of our membership who are old enough to remember the older “New Lecture Theatre” a photo is included together with before and after photos of the refurbishment project. You may well be able to spot the improvements!

The original “new” lecture theatre circa 1963

New Lecture th 1963


Chapter House Lecture Theatre Prior to Refurbishment

Ch Hse Lect theatre 2007


The new look…following refurbishment



Some of the attendees at the official opening


From L to R,

Prof. Chris Stephens, Dave Brown, Gary Mendham, Sarah Bain (Director, Bristol School of Dental Care Professionals), James Tubman (Dental School Manager), Reg Andlaw.

Prof. Jonathan Sandy speaking at the opening



Plaque of Donors


News from the School

News from the school

For all those practitioners stressed with the antics of our beloved CQC, those in the Dental School have not been spared!

In April 2014 the GDC visited Bristol for a two-day inspection, returning in May/June to meet staff and students and to shadow the exams at Finals. Although the full report has still to be published, initial feedback reveals the BDS programme delivered 25 of 29 Standards for Education requirements and partially met the remaining four. The GDC felt the BDS course benefited from a “strong, cohesive staff team providing excellent support for students studying in all years” This report ranks Bristol easily in the highest echelons of UK dental schools and great credit must go to Dave Dymock, James Tubman and especially Jonathan Sandy for all their hard work in submitting such a first rate programme.

This comes on the back of the December results of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) which assessed the quality of research carried out in Universities across the UK, and was conducted jointly by the Funding Councils for England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. The results for the University were outstanding, as it ranked University of Bristol among the top five institutions in the UK for its research. The Dental School achieved an excellent result, seeing an increase in the percentage of world-leading and internationally excellent research.