Principal's Blog: Early July 2019


blogBowerscrop1Michael Jolley:
On 20 June Michael Jolley the Manager of Grimsby Town Football Club spoke in the Amersi Foundation Room. He is unusual in football management in having been a graduate of Cambridge University in Economics and then having worked for HSBC in trading for just under six years in both London and New York (he was in New York on the day of 9/11). Before becoming Grimsby Manager, he was successively Head of Academy Operations at Crewe Alexandra, U23 Head Coach at Burnley and Head Coach at AFC Eskilstuna in the Swedish Premier League. He won League 2 Manager of the Month award for December 2018.

Michael presented some fascinating slides based on the interviews which he had conducted with football managers who had managed more than a thousand games each, including Harry Redknapp and Grimsby Town’s living legend Alan Buckley. They each had emphasised to him the importance of being authentic, creating a positive narrative to get fans behind him, and maintaining as much control of club operations as possible.

He stressed the role of the Grimsby club in the local community. He spoke of the difficulties of managing in the lower leagues on a small budget without the resources of the big clubs and reflected on the role of agents in the modern game. He also touched on the impact of the fact that he was managing without having been a player and how important it was to maintain the morale of the players, especially after a run of bad results. He said that he was satisfied with the club’s transfer business so far, and especially delighted that he’s been able to add some much needed height to the team in the form of 6”4 James Hanson and Matt Green. He had completed the signing of another player as he was arriving for our event at the Catte St entrance to Radcliffe Square!

We all gained a real sense of the complexity and breadth of the modern football manager, and Michael’s hunger for success. For me, it was terrific to hear the manager of a club I have supported through thick and thin (mainly to be frank thin) since I was ten. The first game I attended was against Chelsea when Grimsby were in the old Second Division (now the Championship).

Leavers’ Service:
The Annual Leavers Service took place on 16 June, and it is always a joyous occasion (not joy at seeing our students leave but that they are moving on to new things). Two of the readings in the Service were from Brasenose alumni, Thomas Trahernme and William Golding. The Chaplain gave an excellent sermon mentioning that leavers  will take some of the College away with them which would remain in their hearts (she did not mean taking the silver!). It was also a good opportunity to pay tribute to Tim Jenkins the Bible Clerk who is stepping down and the two Organ Scholars who thankfully are staying, Bethany Reeves and Scott Hextall.

Book launch by Mary Cox:
On 18 June Mary Cox (one of our Junior Golding Fellows) spoke to a large audience in the Amersi Foundation Room on her new book, Hunger in War and Peace, Women and Children in Germany 1914 – 24 which has just been published by OUP. The study examines the detailed height and weight data of children in the period from five countries to show the measures of deprivation and recovery. The work is detailed and harrowing and examines what the actual nutritional status was of women and children in Germany during and following the war. Mary uses detailed height and weight data for over 600,000 German children to show the true measure of overall deprivation, and to gauge infant recovery after aid arrived. This method is known as anthropometrics. I am looking forward to reading it.

As usual the JCR Garden Party was an excellent event providing a great opportunity for staff and students to socialise together. After heavy rain the sun came out for the event. The HCR party was held in the Hall, and enjoyed by all who attended.

Listeners to the BBC World Service programme The Forum (introduced by a BNC alumnus Rajan Datta) will have heard Dr Eleanor Parker, our lecturer in Medieval English Literature as part of a panel discussing the life of King Cnut.

On 24 June, we had a visit round Travelodge in York which we own. It is in Piccadilly in the middle of York opposite the County Court, where I used to “tread the boards” as a barrister. Next door is a thriving and cavernous Wetherspoons (which we also own) and which we were told sometimes serves one thousand breakfasts in a day. We took the opportunity to hold our Investment Advisory Committee in the Holiday Inn York just opposite, and particularly focussed on some of the diverse and interesting opportunities that the College faces within its property portfolio. Thanks are due as ever to our five alumni on the Committee who give so generously of their time and expertise.

I attended part of the CPR at 20 conference in the Bonavero Centre. There was a great array of lawyers and judges to discuss the effect of the Civil Procedure Rules and where we should go now.

I wish all readers a great summer.

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