Friday, 28 December 2012


      Brian's name was not included in the list of Guys Alumni sent to me by the Kings College Alumni Office.     Neither was he listed by Mike Crowe who had organised previous reunions of our year so I rather put his name into the pending file to investigate later.    As it happens 'later' proved to be quite recently when I was asked about him by one of our colleagues.   I used 'Google' to obtain the transcript of  an Obituary (following Brian's death on 9th December 2007) which was published in the British Journal of Radiology; some of which has been plagiarised below.
      Brian Worthington's death in 2007 was a great loss for British Radiology and for Medicine generally.   A true scientist, he was one of the pioneers of clinical magnetic resonance imaging producing much of the seminal work during the early development of MRI in the 1970s.   For this he was very properly elected to the Fellowship of The Royal Society - a rare honour for a medical man and an even rarer for a practicing radiologist.    Many other awards were received including a string of Gold medals and other awards from various societies and Colleges in the UK and North America.

  Brian was born on June 9th 1938.   I did not know him well in the preclinical phase at Guys except that he was quiet and extremely able, going on to do a BSc in Physiology and thereby dropping back a year for the clinical phase.    I was initially very surprised that he did not become a houseman at Guys but then realised that he may well have upset some of the Clinical staff at Guys by knowing rather more than they did about the scientific aspects of medicine and telling them so!      Brian was not one to "butter up" the bosses.

    After qualifying he trained in Radiology and then won the Rohan Williams Medal for his outstanding performance in the the final Fellowship of the Royal College of Radiologists.   He was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 1998.
    His original post in Nottingham and Derby was ostensibly that of a Neuro-radiologist and in the days before CT he was heavily involved with interventional techniques and nuclear medicine studies of the brain.   However he was ideally placed to become involved with the emerging technique of 'nuclear magnetic resonance' and there were several outstanding M R scientists on the Nottingham campus.
    Because of his expertise he was strongly supported by the Department of Health and various industrial collaborators to whom he gave freely of his time.   This led to the establishment of a Professorial University Department in Nottingham.   He helped facilitate the clinical studies which contributed to the emergence of Nottingham as a leading centre of magnetic resonance imaging (viz Sir Peter Mansfield's Nobel Prize).

    It was not until after I had been appointed to the Chair of Pathology in Nottingham in 1982 that I became aware of the importance of what Brian was doing.   We both found the work required by a full time academic post whilst carrying a heavy NHS clinical load very demanding.   From time to time he would come round to my room in the University Hospital in the early evening when nearly everyone had departed and we would discuss our plans for the future and local academic and hospital problems.   He was a loyal friend who I knew I could trust not to pass on private matters and vice versa.

  He had a great love of Iceland and the other Nordic countries and gradually became immersed in their culture.   He visited whenever he could and had honorary membership of both Icelandic and Finnish Radiological Societies.  

  It was sad that his well-deserved retirement with his wife Margaret,at their home not far from Derby, was cut short by pancreatic cancer, an illness which he bore with great dignity.  
                                                                                                                                                                   ( Compiled by David Turner using the photograph and parts of the text from an Obituary prepared by Adrian K Dixon, Cambridge )

Thursday, 20 December 2012

50 yr Reunion photograph, Guys class of 1962

Alumni on steps of the Old Medical School September 2012

    Alumni and partners at Guys Medical School September 2012.

Monday, 10 September 2012


             I was first employed in the NHS at its inception in 1948 as a laboratory Technician to Dr. R.T. Grant  F.R.S.  He was a senior MRC Research Scientist (who together with T.S. Lewis in 1928 had described the wheal and flare " triple response").  My job was to inject various experimental substances into the main ear vein of rabbits for his  experiments on the control of the peripheral circulation of man and animals.   One day he asked me what  I wanted to do when he retired (which turned out to be only a few days later).   I replied that I would really like to do medicine so he went straight to see "Charlie" Boland.   When he came back he said "You start 1st. M.B. in October!"

             Quite early in my training I married J.P.G.Williams who subsequently had a high profile as an internationally known scientist.   My change in marital status seemed to upset Mr Wallis (in the medical school office) a great deal, who told me I was making "a very bad move for my future career" but this probably only served to make me work harder.   

As a clinical student I remember taking great care working up a case to present to Keith Simpson at post mortem only to have him cut me short mid sentence saying "Come along young lady, you are never going to make the "News of The World" at this rate."  

I was very short of money as a student and often felt hungry.  I did have two Guardian Angels.  Tim Spencer, through a clergyman friend of the family, arranged for me to have some free lunches at Southwark Cathedral and Prof Hunt was also concerned about how thin I was, took me for occasional lunches at "the George" where he would discretely pass his share of the potatoes onto my plate.  He was also helpful to my husband who at that stage of his career was earning very little.

After qualifying, my career was in even more turmoil because the research group to which my husband was attached was being transferred to the USA.  We travelled on the Queen Mary to New York taking our young son Pete with us with my little sister to look after him and and I then started out to try to get a job as an intern.   This proved to be virtually impossible since Buffalo N.Y. was not yet prepared for women in Medicine.  Eventually I met the wife of a Professor of Allergy and Immunology who persuaded her husband to give me a chance.   After a while my husband work moved to Texas and so on.

Overall the majority of my work has been as a medical gynaecologist in Texas, New York, Ohio, Harley Street (21)years, Nepal and China.   At one time I had the position of Gynaecologist to the American Navy working at the American Embassy in London.  Like Chekhov I have found that true life is so extraordinary that I am not very interested in reading novels which by comparison are rather mundane!  

I was happily married to Pat for 53yrs and have now been a widow for 7.   I spend  much time with my children and grandchildren.   I live on the 24th floor of an apartment block on Brighton Beach overlooking the ocean.   I still work, but now as a poetry editor, and flower photographer.

 I am very much looking forward to seeing you all at the Reunion.              Norma Williams.


              I was one of the fortunate students who were accepted for the 1st MB course at Guy’s with only languages at A level - French and Spanish. It was a very special first year both in terms of the excellent, medically orientated, teaching in basic science, very new to me, and for the life long friendships I made. Two of those contemporaries, Ian Boyd and Alan Clark, both went into General Practice, but both have now died.

The second year was the most significant. I met a first year dental student, Anita Thomas, at a CU meeting in the stark surroundings of a pathology lab. We married on 15 September 1962. By happy coincidence this reunion will take place on our Golden Wedding Anniversary! My HS posts were at the Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford where we were fortunate enough to live in some of the first married quarters for junior doctors. It was a tiny flat in a terraced house and our neighbours were Mike and Audrey Crowe with Dick and Diana Nicholson also in Guildford.

After some indecision about the direction to take I decided I liked shiny tools and took time out to study for the FRCS while Anita earned the bread and butter in dental practice. The arrival of our first child necessitated my rapid return to work. The only post available locally was in ENT which I gratefully took. This became my hugely enjoyed speciality. The next step was as registrar to Miles Foxen at the Westminster Hospital, a wonderful mentor and teacher. His whole approach to patients and wise words of caution have stayed with me; “Every silver lining has a cloud!”

We then had two very happy years in Oxford. I was the University Tutor in Otolaryngology and worked at the Radcliffe Infirmary before moving to Exeter as one of two ENT consultants at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital. Collateral to the day job I became involved in clinical management and eventually became Medical Director of the Trust. I always enjoyed seeing the wider perspective and spent some time as Regional Adviser for Surgery and Hon Sec of the British Society of Otolaryngologists as well as looking after a Section of the RSM for a delightful President from Ireland.

After retirement I became Medical Director of an Independent Sector Company providing surgical and diagnostic services to NHS patients and then moved to another ISTC running two NHS renal dialysis centres. A challenging time being on the ‘dark side’ external to the NHS while still looking after NHS patients with highly committed teams.

Current jobs are Chair of Trustees for Hospiscare, a local charity based in Exeter, and of Butterfly Children’s Hospices, a charity which runs a small hospice for very sick babies in Changsha, China. Recently I have become a trustee to the Board of Help the Hospices, the member organization for all UK independent hospices. Our three children are married with ten children between them. The grandchildren holiday with us in Topsham on the river Exe, just south of Exeter and share our love of cycling and sailing. A son and daughter studied medicine and physio respectively at Guy’s. So we all owe Guy’s a huge debt of gratitude.


             Having attended 1 or 2 operations by Sir Benjamin Ryecroft at the Royal  Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead, I decided against going into Ophthalmolgy, which had been my first intention, and instead turned towards Pathology.   Starting with Malcolm Henderson at Pembury, I had the good fortune to obtain a post with Adolf Beck at St Mary's, Paddington.   From Adolf, whose teachers had a direct line back to Pasteur, I learned about mycobacteria which together with my wife and family have been the love of my life since.

            I went back to Guys, first to Walter Merrivale and then to Prof Knox in academic bacteriology where I picked up Wally Gunthorpe as my first research technician.   Together we moved to George Dick's Department at the Middlesex where we set up a Mycobacterial Research Unit and I was appointed as University Reader.   Wally moved on to other things and I was joined by Graham MacIntyre with whom I still work.   Following the sad transfer of the Middlesex Hospital Medical School to University College I was appointed as professor of the department until retirement.   As our children left home, my wife joined me in the department as professorial assistant for our last years before retirement.
           During my years at the Middlesex /UCL, I extensively investigated the antigenicity of mycobacteria and developed a series skin-test reagents with which to probe the effects of environmental contact on the human   immune system and its relationship to disease.    Moving on to the development of immuno-therapeutic from an environmental mycobacterium isolated from Ugandan soil, a company - Stanford Rook Ltd was spun out from the College.   Sadly this did not reach its potential.

Planning the next part of the research programme!
            On retirement and with the help of the College, my wife and I together with Graham MacIntyre and an Argentinian Colleague, Oscar Bottasso, set up a research and discovery company, BioEos Ltd. to develop further bacterial immuno-therapeutics in which we have been very successful.   From our discoveries two development companies have been set up, one Immodulon Therapeutics Ltd. is nearing the completion of trials in melanoma , pancreatic cancer and lower bowel cancer, which we expect to be successful.   the second company, Actinopharma Ltd is developing a near mycobacterium, Tsuk amurella inchonensis, for the treatment and prevention of chronic inflammation.   Meanwhile Bioeos investigates immuno-therapies in agriculture and veterinary medicine.   We have developed a treatment for sweet itch in horses, a treatment for flea-bite allergy in dogs and have just started a study in 100,000 rainbow trout at Test Valley Farm in Hampshire.                
                                                                               John Stanford

Monday, 3 September 2012


An inactive student, surprised to qualify.   Hopeless with computers.  Had fun at Pembury.   Met and proposed to Rachel aged 17yrs.
Her father was a farmer and he was prepared to provide a house and a field for my hunter IF I could get a job in Salisbury.
This was done in 1964 and we married in 1965,  Pat Anderson kindly acted as Best Man at our wedding.

 Two super sons born in 1967 and 1970 supplied us with four grandchildren aged 11, 10, 9 and 8 who now all live within 5 miles of our family home.

 My most important posts have been Chairman and Treasurer of the local Point to Point and Chairman of the Wilton Hunt.

 Sadly, osteoporosis, falls and fractures have grounded me now so that I have to watch other jockeys riding my horses; albeit with some success.

 My job now, is supervising the fruit department of our farm.

                               Roger Jowett

Saturday, 1 September 2012


After my house jobs at Guys, I embarked on a career in Neuropathology, first at Guys, then in New York at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. I returned to England and after another brief spell at Guys and the Institute of Psychiatry, I was appointed to a post in the new Southampton University School of Medicine.
 The job was a fascinating mixture of clinical neuropathology, research, teaching and management. It was so fascinating that I remained in Southampton until I retired, as did David Barker and John Carruth. I managed to fulfil my quota of conferences in exotic places each year, thus justifying the collective noun of an “absence” of Professors. I spent periods engaged in research and teaching in Berlin, Zurich, Singapore, Dehli, Zimbabwe and Beijing.

 My research passed through a number of phases but for the last decade or so I have concentrated upon Alzheimer’s disease possibly as an insurance policy for my old age. I am still dovetailing research with retirement activities and discovering the beauties of my home town of Winchester, its magnificent cathedral with its surrounding countryside.

 Holidays are spent mainly in Europe and in West Wales with my wife, Francine, our daughter and two of our four grandchildren. My Welsh is progressing; I can almost say Cardiff in Welsh but not to the satisfaction of my son-in-law.


The accompanying photograph was taken last summer at the top of the Campanile in Florence with the Duomo in the background. I submitted it just to prove that I can still climb the 80 metres and 400 steps.           Roy Weller.