SUES Committee 2020/2021

Dr Alan Potter (Acting Chairman)

I have been associated with learning throughout my career, first in schools, then with local authorities and currently, my own business. On early retirement, I took the opportunity to research into understanding quality learning in later life and set up www.longlifelearning.co.uk. This brought me to SUES, and on to the committee, where I enjoy the programmes on offer and make contributions, particularly using my science background. My other interests include going horse-racing, watching rugby league and overseas travel, with writing poetry and lichenology being particular passions.


Roger Mitchell (Secretary)

I was both born and brought up in East Lancashire and my wife and I now live in Aughton, West Lancashire. In between, I have been to University at Oxford and Bristol and worked in Warwick and Huntingdon. I have been teaching history for more than 50 years – first in schools and then at King George V College, here in Southport, where I was Vice-Principal in the 1980s and 1990s. I have, more recently, worked for Continuing Education at Liverpool University, for The Arts Society (formerly NADFAS) and for lots of other groups. I have a particular interest in, and passion for, Country Houses.


Bob Neate (Treasurer)

I am a Bristolian, who came to the North of England to university and have remained ever since. My whole career was with Pilkingtons until early retirement in 2004. In 1997 I sought to become a Reader and was licensed as as Reader (or lay minister) in the Church of England that same year. I served at Holy Trinity in Southport and enjoyed a fruitful seventeen years. I have acted as Treasurer for SUES since 2007.


Dr Margaret Boneham

I was born in Birmingham and studied Geography at Liverpool University, subsequently teaching in secondary schools. Following a move to Leamington Spa, I undertook a further degree researching the lives of older Sikh women in the town. Since settling in Southport over 30 years ago, I have worked in Higher Education, firstly with the Open University and then at the University of Bolton as principal lecturer and latterly as Dean of the Faculty of Health and Wellbeing. I have a passion for travel, studying art and learning new languages.


Dr Peter Firth (Connections)

Following my retirement after 35 years in the international meat trade, I gained a doctorate in 2011, researching medieval church and papal history. My thesis concerned the formation of the College of Cardinals in the later eleventh century. I went on to lecture to undergraduates at Chester University for one year immediately afterwards. My involvement in SUES stems from working for the University of Liverpool, Centre for Lifelong Learning and I have also given talks to several Newman Association Circles where I am chairman of the North Merseyside group.


Mary Ormsby

I was born and brought up in Scarisbrick and after studying chemistry at Durham University returned to the area to work in the R&D department at NSG / Pilkington. I spent my whole career there working on things as diverse as contact lens manufacture, organic photochromics and heat reflective coatings for vehicles and buildings. I have a great interest in English history, local history and genealogy and after discovering my great great, great grandmother was a kitchen maid at Scarisbrick Hall in 1841 and her husband was a gamekeeper there I became fascinated in the history of the hall, estate and family. What started as a hobby has become an obsession.


John Sharp (Membership)

I studied History at Cambridge and taught the subject in a variety of schools. Later on I became a comprehensive school headteacher and concluded my career as an adviser/inspector. I have maintained an interest in amateur theatre since my youth, acting in and directing many plays. In fact, I became aware of the existence of SUES in 2012 when asked to make a presentation on Charles Dickens. Since then I have regularly attended meetings, giving lectures and being on the committee with responsibility for membership and publications.


Christine Vasey

Born in Yorkshire, l finally settled in Southport in the 1980s. After leaving Cambridge with a degree in literature, I spent several years teaching English language and literature in further education including English as a Foreign Language. I moved on to become a senior lecturer at Liverpool University then the University of Central Lancashire in Preston. I have travelled extensively and since retirement worked part-time for the English Speaking Board. I have been a member of SUES for many years with an abiding passion for literature, history and art and I also enjoy playing tennis, walking, gardening and trying to improve my Italian.