Every Monday we profile one of our Members. This week in we are joined by Proprietor 300, Past President Andrew Beeston.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of The Athenaeum.
Who are you ?
Andrew Beeston, born 1940, lived in Formby first 26 years and, when married, in Lathom near Ormskirk in same house since then. Working life throughout in Liverpool, as what today would be called an intellectual property attorney, professional qualifications Fellow of Chartered Institute of Patent Agents, and Fellow of Institute of Trade Mark Agents (of which President 1983-85); for much of the time a partner in Liverpool based WPThompson & Co.
What is your greatest achievement ?
Two things at which I was actually not the major player but do look back on them as very successful events at which I was present –
1- two acquaintances were at loggerheads and asked me to mediate. With some trepidation,I agreed.We met at a neutral venue,said Hello,I then stood watching and listening while they talked – and settled their differences .Both thanked me,and still do,and I still keep a letter of thanks – and I hadn’t said anything.
2 – the Athenaeum agreed to ladies becoming full members at a meeting which I had the pleasure of chairing as that year’s President.Happily we had Liz Christie very capable and willing to be elected and very soon she became our first lady,and an outstanding, President.
Can you give one interesting fact about yourself ?
I am also a local Tree Warden. And play squash.
What brought you to the Athenaeum ?
When I started work in Liverpool my father,himself a long-standing member ( and President in 1959), told me that I must become a member. “But Dad” I replied
“ it’s a club for old fogies and I won’t know anyone or use it.” He persisted however and eventually added that he would pay my subscription for the first 5 years(or was it 10 ? No matter). Anyway,I joined in 1961 and – eventually -became part of a lunch table,and began both to use and to enjoy my membership.
Is there anything you would like to change about the Athenaeum ?
Puddings/desserts – I’m a lover of home- or chef- made puddings as our chef Russell knows ( and a member of the Pudding Club to boot) : this is probably just a personal foible but it does hurt me a little me when constraints lead to a bought-in dessert – from time to time. If this was changed, I would love it
Do you have any memories or stories of the Club you would like to share?
Once,in the days when the Athenaeum still took daily newspapers and kept back copies, I came in to look up a story which had been in The Guardian a few days before – but no sign of the issue concerned in the back copies chest and Newsroom staff, infallibly helpful at all times,still couldn’t find it,nor could Reception downstairs : could someone have accidentally put it out for salvage ? Or even stolen it ? Alas,no answer::club,alas, not what it was…
BUT, when I was next in and entered Newsroom, I was presented by staff with,yes, the missing Guardian: seemingly it had not been removed or purloined the previous week but had been being read by a fellow proprietor sitting quietly in a corner,unaware of my searching for it – and I am happy to say that my irritation evaporated on the spot with the realisation that the Athenaeum was providing for not just one,but at least two, back number Guardian freaks after all (and the Newsroom staff had found it after all) – Oh frabjous day !
What would you say to anyone considering joining the Club ?
A haven of civilisation and sociability in a uniquely attractive setting ( and not at all just for old fogies)