Association of Open University Graduates




Suitcase - Hope Street

Suitcase scuplture on Hope Street


Britannia Adelphi Hotel

Britannia Adelphi Hotel


Roman Catholic Cathedral

Roman Catholic Cathedral





Beatle Story

Beatles Story



AGM 2012

The AGM 2012 took place on 18th - 20th May at Britannia Adelphi Hotel, Ranelagh Place, Liverpool L3 5UL.

An ABC guide to Liverpool - Venue for the 2012 AGM Weekend
It is no wonder that this vibrant city of Liverpool was designated, a few years ago, as European City of Culture. I think that there are three important strands which best describe the old and the new aspects.

A stands for Architecture. Around the city fine examples can be seen in abundance and the skyline displays a multitude of varying styles. Built on the side of the Mersey, Liverpool was both an entrance and exit for travellers and thus many cultures are reflected in Liverpool`s streets, not least China Town with its magnificent entrance gate. The history of the city tells us that Liverpool, at one time the second largest port in the country, saw manufactured goods, using the river Mersey, being transported mainly to far flung parts of the world. Prior to 1807, when the slave trade was stopped, slaves were transported from Africa to the Americas and on the return trip to Liverpool tobacco, sugar and cotton were brought back. Around the famous Albert Dock was built the Royal Liver Building which was the world`s first multi-storey reinforced structure. The shipping trade has now virtually ceased but the Albert Dock, in particular has been modernised to become a central attraction of the area. Many of the warehouses have been modernised with cafes and shops on the ground floors. One of the warehouses is now the six storey Merseyside Maritime Museum, opened to celebrate the 200th Anniversary of the abolition of slavery. Also right on the waterfront, near the Albert Dock is the brand new Museum of Liverpool which opens its doors in early July, this year.

The Adelphi Hotel, which we will be using for our AGM, next year, was built in 1912 with the purpose to cater for the flourishing passenger trade to the Americas. When built it was described as the most prestigious hotel outside London. Modern architecture is now evident in the city. The St. Johns Beacon, 133 metres high, built in 1965, overlooks a shopping centre and is used by a local radio station.

However, any description of Liverpool cannot omit B for the Beatles, who were responsible for putting the city back on the map. In the late 1950`s The Cavern Club opened as a jazz club and the Beatles performed at that venue about three hundred times. In time the club was pulled down but later was rebuilt using the original bricks. Again, by the Albert dock, there is an audio exhibition, in one of the original warehouses, where Beatlemania can be followed and it is from here that the “Yellow Duckmarine”, (a bright yellow amphibian vehicle, named after the Beatles Yellow Submarine), takes you around the streets of Liverpool before splashing into the water and touring the dockland area.

Then C must be for Cathedrals. (The song states, If you want a Cathedral we`ve got one to spare, .) and this is certainly true as linked by the aptly named Hope Street are the two cathedrals. At the eastern end is the Anglican cathedral, started in 1904 but with delays from two world wars, was not completed until 1978. This building is of medieval style and is the longest cathedral in Britain. In complete contrast, situated at the western end of Hope Street is the Catholic Metropolitan Cathedral which you may have heard of in friendly terms as “Paddy`s Wigwam“. Originally designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, the foundation stone was laid in 1933 but because of ever rising prohibitive costs, an open competition for a new design was held and the wigwam structure developed.

Liverpool has a wealth of places and things to see which they not stop at the city boundary for on the outskirts of the city, on the north side of the river lies Speke Hall and gardens. This consists of a fine Tudor timbered Manor House built by a devout Catholic family where a genuine Priest`s Hole can be viewed. Speke is a National Trust property and it is hoped that transport can be arranged for AOUG attendees to visit this property of which an American visitor famously remarked “..what ashame it was to build such a property right on the edge of Liverpool airport.

I hope that this short snapshot of the venue of the 2012 AGM will appeal to you and that you enjoyed the weekend.

Ramsey Hertzog - Chairman


Below is the AGM/Social Weekend Progamme and details of the optional excursions.


12.30 – 17.00         AOUG Reception desk – Trading stall – Foundation Raffle in Foyer
13.00 – 17.00         Tea/coffee served in Main Lounge
13.25                 Assemble in foyer -for excursion to Yellow Duckmarine / Maritime Museum
13.40                 Coach leaves for Albert Dock
14.00                 Assemble for Duckmarine - Group 1
16.45                 Assemble Albert Dock for return journey
17.00                 Coach leaves Albert Dock for Hotel
17.00                 AOUG Reception and Trading closed
(Late arrivals can collect their folders from the Hotel Reception instead)
19.00                 Evening meal in Crosby Room
20.00                 North West (08) members only – setting up for evening entertainment
20.30                 In - House entertainment organised by North West (08) in Empire Room

07.00 – 10.00        Breakfast in Restaurant
09.00                AGM Organisers only - to set up Empire Room for meetings       
09.30 onwards       Members to register for voting cards in Empire Room     
10.00                AGM meetings in Empire Room 
11.30                Coffee/ tea available in Ante Space outside Empire Room   
12.00                Workshop – discussion on AOUG/OU Relationship in Empire Room
13.00                Lunch in Crosby Room        
13.45                Assemble in Hotel entrance for excursion to Speke Hall          
14.00                Coach leaves for Speke Hall   
14.00                Executive Committee in Board Room
15.30                Coffee / Tea for Executive Committee meeting outside Board Room          
16.45                Assemble for return to Hotel
17.00                Coach leave for return journey to Hotel  
17.30                North West (08) members set up for raffle, flowers etc in Septon Room
19.00                Gala evening drink reception in outside Sefton Room
19.30                Gala Dinner in Sefton Room
23.30                Last orders from Sefton Bar                    
(Main bar open later for residents – charges to the Room only)  

07.30 – 10.30       Breakfast in Restaurant
09.15               Assemble in foyer for excursion – Beatles Story and New Museum of Liverpool
09.30               Coach leaves for Albert Dock
11.00               All rooms to be vacated
11.45               Assemble at Albert Dock for return journey
12.00               Coach leaves for return to Hotel    
13.00               Lunch in Restaurant
14.30               Farewells and departures        


AGM / Spring Weekend - Optional Excursions

Friday 18th May 2012 1.30pm Albert Dock for “The Yellow Duckmarine” and the Maritime Museum (including the Museum of Slavery and Titanic exhibition).
The coach takes us to Albert Dock for a `private hire` tour on “The Yellow Duckmarine”. This is a one hour sightseeing tour on an amphibious DUKW built for World War II, normally referred to as a Duck, and now painted bright yellow to link with the Beatles` song Yellow Submarine. All vehicles have been completely rebuilt and updated to incorporate the latest safety features and equipment but are still based on the 1940s chassis, body and mechanical components. Attendees should be warned that the “Yellow Duckmarine” has 5 steep steps and is unable to carry wheelchairs but that organisers do all they can to accommodate disabled passengers. This tour then takes us around the historic sights of Liverpool by both land and water without changing vehicles. After our tour there is time to visit the Maritime Museum also based on Albert Dock, with the history of Liverpool`s sea faring past, or to wander around the shops or take a leisurely coffee in one of the many cafes on the water front.

Saturday 19th May 2012 – Speke Hall
An afternoon excursion to the National Trust property of Speke Hall. Speke Hall is a rare example of a Tudor Manor House with restored Victorian interiors and William Morris wallpaper surrounded by attractive gardens and woodland. Once booked in, we are to enjoy a Victorian Costumed guided tour of the exterior and then in smaller groups we can explore the gardens further or see the House at our own speed, where there are guides in each room. There is also a shop and café facilities. Please note that there are two prices for this visit depending on whether you are a 2012 National Trust member. If you book for the reduced price, please ensure that you bring your National Trust membership card with you on the day.

Sunday 20th May 2012 – Albert Dock for “The Beatle Story” and Pier Head for the New Museum of Liverpool
Arrive at Albert Dock with time to browse the Beatles Story shop, take photos or `get a quick coffee`, before our 10.20am group booking at The Beatle Story. This offers visitors a unique insight into the life, times, culture and music of the Fab4 and will stir up many memories for most of us! It presents a journey through the childhoods in Liverpool, the early days of the band in Hamburg through to `World Domination` and Beatlemania and in depth looks at their solo careers. A `Living History` audio guide is supplied narrated by John Lennon`s sister, Julia. The Beatles Story is fully accessible for attendees with wheelchairs and hearing loops and large print guides are available on request
After your time in the Beatles Story, it is planned to walk over (about 10-15 minutes) to the new Museum of Liverpool, or you may like to spend time exploring other aspects of the vibrant Albert Dock before the coach returns us to the Hotel for lunch. The Museum of Liverpool has four core themes: `The Great Port`, `Global City`, `People`s Republic` and `Wonderous Place` located in four main large gallery spaces, and through these tells of the creative personalities of the city, the experiences of people living in the city, how the city shaped and was shaped by the British Empire, The Industrial Revolution and all the issues and impacts of dramatic social change over the last 200 years. 

PLACES ARE LIMITED SO PLEASE BOOK SOON. Please keep a record of your bookings.

A few places still left - book now on the Excursions booking form.