No 35 October 2011



The new extension at the rear of Kinnessburn, photographed by John Cook



22nd June 2012

The late Graham Robertson was the inspiration behind the Kinnessburn reunions and the highly entertaining newsletters. He had planned to organise another, possibly final, reunion in 2011 to coincide with the University’s 600th Anniversary celebrations. The momentum was lost after GRAHAM’s untimely death in 2005. We should be very thankful that after a six year hiatus Greg ‘Noggin’ Newman has stepped up to the plate and offered to take on the task of organising a reunion in 2012, with the assistance of John Stepney.

Greg’s letter gives full details of the proposed event, and asks for responses to be sent to him by email or by letter. The distribution of his letter and this issue of Reunion News would not have been possible without the much appreciated assistance of Elaine Cartwright, the Alumni Relations Officer. Elaine has gone to a lot of trouble to edit and update the database of names and addresses which Graham had faithfully maintained. Unfortunately, the provisions of the Data Protection Act have prevented Elaine from passing on any new or changed addresses. We therefore request that Men include their full contact details including both postal and email addresses when responding to Greg.

Greg and John visited Kinnessburn earlier this month to discuss the plans for the reunion with Jane Magee, the Director of the current occupants, English Language Teaching. Jane has been extremely supportive of the proposed event, and we are most grateful to her for offering to co-organise a function with us. Dr David Wishart, who is an Honorary Research Fellow in the School of Management, has also kindly agreed to assist in organising the programme for the day.

The photograph on the front of this newsletter is one of several taken by John Cook in 2008. More of his photos can be found on this website in Extra Features, and some will feature in the next edition of REUNION NEWS.

For those of you into social networking, there’s a group on Facebook called ‘St. Andrews University – Men of Kinnessburn (1962-72)’. We’ll try to keep it updated with news of the proposed reunion.

To finish this section, here is the customary appeal for any news or sightings of the “Lost” Men of Kinnessburn. The list has been reduced by seventeen, thanks to Elaine Cartwright’s trawl through the Alumni database, but we still have no information about 46 former residents. If you know any of the following missing Men, please ask them to get in touch with us:

Malcolm Baker, Harry Barker, John Baxter, John Bennett, Eddie Birkby, Ian Booth, Dave Brewin, John Cameron, Iain McTaggart Campbell, Jim Campbell, Alastair Chisholm, Richard Clark, Tom Conroy, Dr John Cordingley, Brian Crowe, John Cunningham, Paul Davies, Stuart Donaldson, Dave Eggeling, K M Ferguson, Andy Green, Fraser Hall, Tony Hancock, Lenny Helling, Paul Holloway, Peter Kerry, Peter Lawrie, Dave Lindsay, Jonathan Lowe, Ian Mallard, Sandy McAlpin, Ian McPhail, Colin Miller, Alan More, Simon Olivant, Mike Peterson, Brian Rickard, Robin Rose, Charlie Scott, Alistair Simpson, Graham Smith, Barclay Stewart, Keith Taylor, John Thewlis, Tony Ward, David Wright.

News received after NL34 (December 2005), most of which was previously published on the ‘News’ page of this website, is reproduced below.

From ‘ARCH’ ANDREWS 30/12/2006

I had a 'phone call from ELSIE MACKECKNIE just before Christmas to say that BILL died suddenly on 21st Dec.

Bill Mackechnie

Bill - from the SNP 1997 Election website - he was the SNP Westminster  candidate for Dumbarton in 1992 (polled 3rd) and 1997 (polled 2nd).


From TONY WILLIAMS 08/06/2007

I would like to help in any way I can to keep the Kinnessburn project  going. I would also quite like to make contact with old mates such as Tony Ashwell, Don Brydon and Phil Wheeler (and indeed David Dixon for that matter). I was at Kinnessburn for two years (1962/03 and 1963/04)  Let me know anything I can do and send any addresses or emails if you have them. I contributed to two or three of Graham's newsletters but was  unable to attend any re unions. (How sad to hear of his death.)

From JOHN COOK 15/12/2007

I stumbled upon the Kinnessburn website quite by accident and can certainly add a lot to the history with photos, room info and stories. I was in Room 5 in my first year 1963/4 and shared with Fraser Hall. In my second year I was in a bunk in John Street (not sure of the number but it was with a bunch of spinster sisters), third year Room 1 and in my final year I was in a bunk in Lade Braes Walk.

Enclosing some photos [See in “Extra Features”]

How fascinating it will be to read all the news, I just want to get this off asap to let you know that I am back from the list of the lost men.

Briefly after I left Kinnessburn, having been inspired by Don Brydon my "senior man" I went on to do a Ph.D in Chemistry at St.Andrews and finished it off in Edinburgh when Prof Cadogan moved. All my working life was spent with the Eastman Kodak Company, both in the US (Rochester, NY) and in the UK (Harrow) in a variety of technical and managerial roles. My final job was as World-Wide Quality and Supply Chain Manager for Kodak's Graphic Arts Division; this allowed me to indulge in a couple of my interests: foreign travel and collecting unusual musical instruments. I retired four years ago and live in Leighton Buzzard in Bedfordshire. I married Margaret "Maggie" (nee Marshall) in 1971: she did Arts at St.Andrews, where we met, and we have three children Alistair 24 (did Chemistry at Bristol and now works for Schlumberger), Fiona 27 (did Law at Bristol and works for an African Charity) and Moray 30 currently doing a Ph.D in Psychology at London City (having career changed after doing Chemistry at Bristol). I amuse myself doing gardening, photography and play in a geriatric rock group called Paradox that does pubs, clubs, weddings, parties, bar-mitzvahs whatever in the Beds, Bucks Herts area of SE England. Maggie still works as a teacher in a local Upper School but will probably retire in the next couple of years. 

Looking forward to hopefully attending your next re-union and would love to hear from any of my contemporaries

PHIL WHEELER heard from ALLAN HOOD in February 2008 that, sadly, GRAHAM ROBERTSON’s widow GILL had died suddenly.

From TREVOR JONES 12/06/2008 (passed on by ‘ARCH ANDREWS)

Ishbel & I plan to meet up with Ruth & Merv Thompson at the Reunion weekend later this month.

Ishbel spotted in the 2008 Alumnus Chronicle that it's hoped to hold 'Men of Kinnessburn' reunion in 2011. Do keep us informed as and when you can.

Ishbel has also spotted something else. Last year  we visited the John Murray Archive at the National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh. A photographer asked if I minded having my picture taken, which I didn't. Earlier this week, Ishbel was looking up the National Library website and discovered that my picture is included in their publicity material, complete with my red North-face gortex jacket and my St.Andrews tie! To see the photo for yourself visit By the way the John Murray Archive is a first rate exhibition which kept both Ishbel & I engrossed for hours. The personal correspondence between publisher and author was fascinating to read with the touch screen version greatly helping in the interpretation of the hand-written letters.

More from TREVOR JONES 16/06/2011

I was delighted to read a mention of Men of Kinnessburn in the recently published Alumnus Chronicle. This morning I made a point of looking up the Men of Kinnessburn website when I was using the people's internet in our (part-time) village library. May I congratulate you on the production of an interesting website. I was impressed by the range of information included. I was also impressed by David (Arch) Andrews memory of who occupied the various rooms and at which years!

My wife, Ishbel, and I were last in St.Andrews a year ago as guests of the Principal at the Graduation Dinner. We made a mini-holiday of the occasion and took the opportunity to visit a number of places in Fife. We "researched" possible activities for a reunion event!

Previously we had stayed in New Hall along with Ruth and Mervyn Thompson in 2008, the 40th anniversary of our matriculation. The instigation of that was linked to several of the ladies of Hamilton Hall having a reunion. We all had a splendid week-end in New Hall. The accommodation is first class and comparable with that available in four-star establishments that we have stayed in.
I believe that Ruth & Merve Thompson together with my wife, Ishbel, and I are thinking about being in St.Andrews for the Reunion week-end in June 2012. That will co-incide with the 40th anniversary of our graduation, forty years since Kinnessburn closed as a residence and Ruth and Merve's Ruby wedding anniversary. I think it would be a grand chance to have a Kinnessburn get-together.

Ruth has arranged to attend the Chemistry re-union this month. Merve has cricket engagements and will not be attending the reunion. Their first grandchild, Charlotte, arrived recently!

As for volunteering to organise a reunion, I'm not sure. I'm extremely busy at the moment with building renovation in order to achieve completion before a Building Warrant expiry date in October 2011. I hope to have more time after that so I may be able to help. After all I did act as Kinnessburn Ball Convener one year!

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