Every Monday we profile one of our Members. This week in we are joined by Country Member Jeannette Strickland.
Who are you?
I am Jeannette Strickland. I am a qualified archivist, now working as a heritage consultant, and also a postgraduate student. Although born in Yorkshire and now resident in Sussex, I have several links to Liverpool, not least being married to a Liverpudlian. I studied for a MA at the University of Liverpool many years ago and have been studying for a PhD there, so was in the city every month until recently. I have only been a member of the Athenaeum for a year, so please say hello if you see me, especially as I can’t visit the club as often as I would like.
What is your greatest achievement?
I would consider completing a PhD my greatest achievement. It is something I have wanted to do for many years, but only started five years ago after a radical re-think about my life and career. My thesis examines the advertising and marketing of William Lever, the soap manufacturer. I submitted it in February but, sadly, I cannot use the title “doctor” yet, because the Covid virus put paid to my viva (an oral exam). The university has since put new regulations in place, so the viva will now be an online experience
Can you give one interesting fact about yourself?
I have a passion for archaeology and ancient history and have travelled widely across North Africa and the Middle East. The Yemen is one of the most amazing countries I have visited. The topography is so diverse, from the vastness of the desert, to breathtaking mountains to lush, almost tropical, plains and it has incredible architecture, using wind towers to create natural air-conditioning. We were accompanied by armed Bedouin tribesmen when we crossed the Empty Quarter and I was given the opportunity to fire a Kalashnikov rifle and, whilst that’s not an experience I wish to repeat, I would love to return to the country one day. Sadly, the ongoing civil war is having a devastating impact on a country that was already severely impoverished.
What brought you to The Athenaeum?
I was looking for a friendly comfortable base whenever I am in the city, a place to relax and to meet colleagues and people I am mentoring. For a historian, access to its wonderful library and archives is an added bonus!
Is there anything you would change about the Athenaeum?
A tricky question as I have only been a member for one year, but I would like to see the club maintain its traditions whilst moving forward, which could be a difficult ask!
Do you have any Athenaeum memories or stories that you wish to share?
Again, I haven’t been a member for long enough.
What would you say to anyone considering joining the Club?
The Athenaeum is a wonderful oasis in the city centre. It is friendly, not stuffy as many might expect a club to be, and has so much to offer. It’s a brilliant place to meet people and to bring people and it has great food, so give it a try!