We use cookies on this site. By browsing our site you agree to our use of cookies. Close this message Find out more

Home > Alumni home > Groups > The Bedford Society > Committee Members
More in this section The Bedford Society

Committee Members

The following members are on the Bedford Society Committee and are self-appointed:

  • Dr Claire Gobbi Daunton (Chair)
  • Professor Caroline Barron
  • Mrs Marta Baker
  • Professor Clare Bradley
  • Mrs Pat Doble
  • Professor Gavin Drewry
  • Mrs Caroline Garthwaite
  • Mrs Jennifer Glastonbury
  • Mrs Enid Light
  • Mr Crispin Manners
  • Ms Dinah Nichols CB
  • Dr Joseph Spring
  • Mr Bruce Watson
  • Miss Rachel Whittaker MBE JP


Dr Claire Gobbi Daunton (Chair)

ClaireDauntonI studied history at Bedford College, graduating in 1974. The course was wide-ranging, and we were exceptionally well taught, and well cared for as individuals. Of course it helped that we were located in Regent's Park and that our department was in the beautiful St John's Lodge, with a rose garden running down to the boating lake where some tutorials even took place. We had the best time.

The history degree was intercollegiate so we could take courses in different colleges of the university, and I did. We were encouraged to feel part of our own college, but also part of the University of London, and to take advantage of what London offered.  Being in central London was a great privilege, even though in 1973 we had the oil crisis and not long after that the three-day week, and much disruption. But all in all it was a golden time.

I made friends there, at Bedford, good friends for life, and I came out with a very good degree which took me on to a further degree, and I never really left history. I have worked at different kinds of jobs in the University of London, and now in Cambridge where I have been for the last seventeen years. Although now retired I still do some research and teaching in medieval history.

What I took from Bedford College was a deep love of my subject and of academic enquiry more generally, and an abiding sense of gratitude to the place and people who taught me. I am still in regular contact with many of them, and the Bedford society helps to maintain this contact.

Professor Caroline Barron

I joined the History department of Bedford College in 1965 as a tutorial fellow and rose through the ranks to become a professor in 2005. So my academic career was divided almost evenly between Bedford College in Regent’s Park and Royal Holloway and Bedford New College at Egham. I was the last Dean of Arts at Bedford and worked closely with Professor Ian Spink, the Dean of Arts at Holloway to try to achieve a creative and amicable merger of the two Arts Faculties. Later I was Dean of the Postgraduate School at RHBNC and I have always particularly enjoyed teaching postgraduates. Together with Dr Ros Field in the Bedford English department we instituted the new MA in Medieval Studies which we took with us to RHBNC and which still flourishes.

My own research interests focus on medieval London, Richard II and medieval women. Outside of my University work I have served on the Council of the Girl’s Day School Trust, as a Royal Commissioner on Historical Manuscripts, as a Corresponding Fellow of the Medieval Academy of America and as an Honorary Fellow of Somerville College Oxford. Bedford College gave me the opportunity to pursue a career which has been an extremely happy one and I am very glad that I have been able to repay a little of that debt by serving on the Bedford Society Committee.

Professor Gavin Drewry

GavinDrewryI joined the Sociology Department at Bedford in 1966, as a very junior research assistant attached to the Legal Research Unit. The Head of Department then was the formidable Professor (later, Lord) McGregor, but I quickly learned that it was our equally formidable departmental secretary, Madge Simonis, who really ruled the roost. My research director was the distinguished barrister (now an Honorary Fellow of RHBNC), Louis Blom-Cooper, who taught criminology. In 1970, I transferred to the teaching staff, and lectured in politics and public administration. I went on doing that for another 39 years (can it really have been so long?) until I (semi) retired, as an emeritus professor, from what had by then metamorphosed, via many convoluted evolutionary stages, into the Department of Politics and International Relations at RHBNC.

Like many Bedford colleagues and students, I didn’t relish one little bit the prospect of eviction from our lovely location in Regent’s Park. But, I did soon grow to accept and respect the merged institution at Egham. RHBNC is a world-class university and Bedford is an essential part of its heritage. The spirit of Bedford College is, thankfully, still very much alive and the mission of this Society is to ensure that it remains so. As a loyal and rather sentimental old Bedfordian I am very glad to be part of this important project.

Mrs Enid Light

I EnidLightread German from 1952-55 and chose Bedford because it had been my headmistress’s college and also had a very good German department.  I lived in Reid Hall and the friends I made there are still my friends.

On finishing my degree I wanted to work in Germany, but this was not possible (no lovely EU in those days!) so Lufthansa gave me a job in their town office.  This was my introduction to the world of aviation and subsequently I joined BOAC and married a pilot.
Having lost my job on my wedding day (this was the fate of women in many institutions in those days), my degree qualified me to teach (without teacher training!) and I taught languages in FE and then for many years ran an Adult Education Centre.

Meanwhile my headmistress retired, became President of BCOSA and co-opted me onto the committee, where I remained until we disbanded ourselves a few years ago. I served on Bedford College Council before the merger and for many years on the Council of the new college, where I was known as the ‘Bedford bit’.

The Bedford Society has given me the chance to speak up again for the ‘Bedford bit’ and I am happy to serve on its committee.

Mrs Pat Doble

I PatDoblestudied Mathematics at Bedford 1962-5, then Operational Research at Lancaster University.

Bedford gave me a glimpse of London life and the opportunities ahead, with a lasting passport into the best employers.

In my early career computers transformed all aspects of business. I  helped Littlewoods and then Mars to optimise budgets, including advertising,  before transferring into marketing. After a nine year career break, we have two daughters and a son, I managed marketing services and global brands at Mars, then Guinness’ spirits brands. I loved travelling, understanding and motivating people across the world to drive mega brands like Johnnie Walker. Finally, I joined the board of a media services company, Aegis, to build a global network through acquisition and strong international branding.  I served on the Board of Nationwide Building Society and became Chairman of the Nationwide Foundation.  I was a member of the Council of RHBNC.

I retired to work with my husband in handing over our farm to our son as a fourth generation tenant. Gardening and music have always been my inspiration, recently eclipsed by two tiny granddaughters.

I would like the Bedford Society to bring alive the legacy of pioneering education and to help RHBNC inspire and support today’s trail blazers.

Mr Crispin Manners

CrispinMannersI studied Geography at Bedford – graduating in 1978 – just before the winter of discontent! Studying at Bedford was hugely enjoyable with teaching staff that really stretched you. I preferred physical to social geography – particularly the impact of glaciation. To this day I marvel at exactly how successive Ice Ages have shaped much of the world and how surreal it can be driving through the desert environment of Death Valley only to be surrounded by a landscape formed by ice.
Since I graduated I’ve developed a career in communications and am passionate about increasing the involvement and engagement of customers and employees and unlocking the innovative power of employees. Along the way I’ve been the architect of the UK first in consumer engagement developed for the Simple beauty brand and also developed a world-first in consumer engagement on Facebook for 11 Unilever brands. I believe in the power of good planning and am the creator of the communications planning and management regime – ValueFlow – that won the accolade for my firm of the UK’s Innovative Company of the Year in 2003.
I believe in contributing to my profession and am a Founding Fellow and past Chairman of the Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA), a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR), a Fellow of the Institute of Directors, a Freeman of the Guild of PR Practitioners and a past Chairman of the European region of the Worldcom PR Group. I am very proud to have been selected to be a Trustee of St Joseph’s Hospice in Hackney – the first hospice in the UK and the inspirer of much of the palliative care in the UK today.
I'm delighted to help the Bedford Society continue to sustain the Bedford spirit through the work at Royal Holloway and look forward to helping make it an active and thriving community.

Dr William Joseph Spring

Joseph Spring is a mathematician and computer scientist. His initial training in mathematics centred on developing skills in analytic and algebraic disciplines with applications in Newtonian, Lagrangian and Hamiltonian mechanics, logic, classical probability, quantum theory and relativity. Subsequent training focused in operator theory, quantum probability and quantum stochastic calculus. In computer science his initial training involved programming, formal languages, cryptography and security in networks and distributed systems, quantum Information and computation.

Joseph’s research interests include classical and quantum distributed systems, dynamics, intrusion detection schemes, geometric applications to quantum based systems and applications of quantum stochastic calculus.

Joseph currently lectures in cyber security, quantum computing, programming paradigms, measures and models for software engineering, secure systems programming and distributed systems security. He continues to supervise students for PhD, MPhil, MSc (Res), MSc and BSc (Hons) in areas relating to quantum distributed systems, cyber security, intrusion detection, applications of game theory to secure systems, security and VoIP, security and the internet of things, cryptography, cryptographic algorithms, and the representation of quantum states via hyperbolic geometry.

Joseph’s international interests have involved the management of educational links in Hungary, India, Ireland, Malta and Oman


Comment on this page

Did you find the information you were looking for? Is there a broken link or content that needs updating? Let us know so we can improve the page.

Note: If you need further information or have a question that cannot be satisfied by this page, please call our switchboard on +44 (0)1784 434455.

This window will close when you submit your comment.

Add Your Feedback