Member Monday#023

Every Monday we profile one of our Members. This week we are joined by Proprietor 55, Dr Hollinshead.

Who are you? I am Janet Hollinshead – member of the Athenaeum since 2009 and holder of share 55. In a previous existence I taught history at Liverpool Hope University.

What is your greatest achievement? My most pleasing achievement is that I was able to help the adopted brother (aged 70) of a friend to find his blood brother – last seen sixty years previously when they were both evacuated at the outbreak of war in 1939. That research journey and its successful outcome proved so rewarding, and felt like an unbelievable achievement when they first met again.

Can you give one interesting fact about yourself?  Nothing sounds really interesting. I come from Stoke-on-Trent and after education and employment in various parts of the country, I arrived in Liverpool for a new job in 1972 – and somehow I am still here.

What brought you to the Athenaeum? I had visited the Athenaeum a couple of times as a guest but never thought of joining until I retired from employment. It was my treat to me. The Athenaeum’s location and library were the attractions. I knew little about the Club but wanted the opportunity to explore it. Now, I have been a member of the Library Sub-Committee and, along with Stephen Lyus, have helped to establish the Library and Archive Interest Group.

Is there anything you would like to change about the Athenaeum? I think all Proprietors should consider the Club that they belong to and have ideas for improvements. The AGM is a poor vehicle for cultivating membership involvement. What about posting names and pictures of Committee members so that they can all be more easily identified – a small and cheap addition to communication. More radically – stop serving food and drinks in the Committee Room – it is not a suitable venue as it houses the Library’s special books. The Club should endeavour to develop another venue more convenient to the kitchen and more appropriate for small groups.

Do you have any Athenaeum memories or stories that you wish to share? During the last year the several meetings of the ‘Demerara Group’ of members (seven of us, and too complicated to explain in full) have been great fun. We have learned a lot, laughed a lot, and discovered surprising connections amongst ourselves.

What would you say to anyone considering joining the Club? Please come to visit and meet with one or two members.