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UCH 1954-1957

At the end of August 2012 there was a gathering of alumni who had graduated in medicine at UCH between 1954 and 1957. Through the good offices of one of our number Professor Sir Peter Lachmann, the venue for this meeting was Christs College, Cambridge where we were welcomed generously and accommodated very comfortably.

We spent one morning listening and debating the topics of 3 talks given by members. The first was given by Lord Rea on his experience of the progress of the National Health Service Bill through the House of Lords which exceptionally had been delayed by the Lords at it’s second reading. Next Professor Graham Dukes addressed aspects of the regulation of the licensing of medicines in which he had been involved at WHO and elsewhere. Finally Dr David Hall described the developments that had taken place in his general practice during the years he had been a partner. The changes encompassed not only those in diagnosis and treatment, but in staffing and accommodation and reminded us of just how monumental the improvement of facilities for patients and staff had been since we qualified.

In the afternoon some elected to go to the Fitzwilliam Museum where it had been arranged for the curator to take us around the current exhibition, of treasures found in China in the tombs of the Emperors of the Han Dynasty. Bearing in mind that the artefacts had come from tombs dating from around 2500BC they were truly remarkable, in particular the jade suits in which the bodies of the Emperors were encased.

The formal dinner in the evening gave us once more an opportunity to chat, catch up and enjoy our recollections. The evening concluded with an enchanting concert given in the college chapel by members of the college choir. The songs ranged in composer from Thomas Tomkins to Ralph Vaughan Williams and included three works by the French composer Faure. It truly was a magical conclusion to our reunion which had been organised with meticulous care by Dr Harald Lipman.

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