History Corner

Sutton Coldfield Catenian Circle was inaugurated in October 1966 at Moor Hall Hotel, Sutton Coldfield . The circle has remained at this venue ever since and no other circle in Province No6  has stayed at its original meeting place. The photo shows the minutes of the inaugural meeting.  

In that time, the world has experienced some momentous events, including:

  • Landing on the Moon
  • The demise of the Soviet Union
  • The Falklands War
  • The Troubles in Northern Ireland and the Good Friday Agreement
  • The death of Princess Diana
  • The incorporation of Sutton Coldfield into Birmingham
  • Covid-19

Throughout these times, the Catenians kept meeting, sharing their own life events  and making friends they never knew they had!

This corner is a repository of some of the more interesting events and memories not only of own families but of larger city, country and world events that had a profound effect on us (e.g. the attack on New York). One example could be Aston Villa winning the European Cup in 1982; many have memories of that night and what they were doing (see attendant photo).

A Short History of the first 30 years of Sutton Catenians 232

(a summary from Mick Hurd’s History)

It took over 17 years of active appeals and repeated consideration that the Sutton Coldfield Circle was granted a charter and inaugurated as the 232nd Circle in October 1963. The inauguration ceremony took place in Sutton Coldfield Town Hall, attended by 47 enrolled members. Leading the inauguration was Grand President Sydney Quick, attended by the Guest of Honour and patron of the circle, Bishop Joe Clearly and of course the driving force of the new circle Joe Hicken.

Regular meetings started at Moor Hall Hotel and for 13 years membership grew to a high of 73 brothers. The 100th Meeting, under the Presidency of Colin Spinks was held on the 13th of January 1975. The 300th meeting, chaired by President Les Sheldon also coincided with the 25th year anniversary in 1991. An event that was especially noteworthy was a celebration of Joe Hicken’s 50 years as a Catenian. 174 people attended this meeting in 1994 and awarded him 9 bottles of the finest whisky

In the 80s and 90s, the Circle broadened its appeal by helping to facilitate (led by Joe Hicken’s wife) a parallel Ladies 232 Circle and a mass entry of men and ladies into Trinity Players, who became famous for their high-quality concerts for over 25 years. Indeed, the popularity of singing started an annual song contest which attracted brothers from a large number of circles. The quality of the entries was extremely high but the Sutton Circle won the competition at both provincial and national level. Singing did not stop there! The annual December meetings drew in large numbers to hear the Christmas carols and associated festivities.

Other activities became regular events such as sports competitions especially golf throughout the summer months, with some brothers like George Wheeler, Alf Dineen and Phil Denver regularly winning trophies. Annual Cricket matches were also arranged against other circles such as Streetly. Each monthly meeting had some activity or speaker; a very special one was inviting local girl Jane Sixsmith to speak about her Olympic bronze medal experiences in 1992.

Our Very First Minutes From Our First Meeting

The Team sheet photo denotes the commentator’s (Clive Tyldesley) handwritten planning notes for his commentary on the European Cup Final between Aston Villa and Bayern Munich.

Sutton Coldfield Emblem

Catenians Logo

Saxon Hoard – Saxon Hoard A Golden Discovery

The Staffordshire Hoard was found just up the road from Sutton. It is an amazing find and still quite mysterious. Attached is a BBC documentary which will remind people of this great find.

‘Kill as few patients as possible’

Summary of Professor Burls’ talk 13.9.21

Amanda Burls, Emeritus professor at City University delivered a sparkling and hugely informative presentation to Sutton Catenians on September the 13th. In a very inter-active talk, Professor Burls challenged medical thinking and assumptions about best practice in medicine, ‘common sense logic’ and the confidence people have in their own opinions on a range of conditions and practices.

Key topics included (a number of Professor Burls’ slides are incorporated):

  • the relative effectiveness of different types of para medics treating patients on site or getting them to hospital straight away
  • The delays and tactics used by commercial companies to prevent contrary evidence being published which would invalidate their product advertising messages. The example given was about the efficacy of ‘good’ bacteria in the stomach.13.9.21
  • The rapid, almost exponential, growth in medical knowledge and the fact that best evidence is too often ignored in favour of anecdote or personal experience resulting in incorrect clinical decisions
  • The rapid, almost exponential, growth in medical knowledge and the fact that best evidence is too often ignored in favour of anecdote or personal experience resulting in incorrect clinical decisions
  • Failure to use over many, years to acknowledge and use best evidence in advising mothers on how to let babies’ sleep; on their backs or their fronts. Over 10,000 babies’ lives could have been saved.
  • If hospitals ‘built in’ a continuous improvement culture, utilising best evidence  practices (EBP), there would be major benefits as shown below:
  • The major reasons that continuous improvement based on best evidence does not occur are shown below:
  • It became evident that Professor Burls believed there is an urgent need to a ‘top down’ drive to create a culture which systematically and regularly mandates clinicians to look for best evidence. In order to facilitate this need and to counter these barriers to use best evidence practices, Professor Burls has developed a free website which accesses the very best advice for any medical condition. It is: http://www.bestevidence.info

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