2023-10-09 Brother Lawrence 40th Scroll Presentation

On Monday 9 October 2023, Brothers, Ladies of North Warwickshire celebrated one of their own in the presence of the Provincial President Joe Martin of Leamington Spa circle Lawrence Conway 40 Years in the Association

Brother Lawrence was born in 1937, and grew up in Gateshead on Tyneside, attended St. Cuthbert’s Grammar School in Newcastle. He studied Fuel Science at Leeds University where he also met his beloved wife, Margaret. He moved to the Gas Research Centre in Solihull where he was involved in large scale experiments to seek new methods of making gas from coal and oil. This led to cooperation with a Japanese gas company and Lawrence spent much time in Japan. Later he was chairman of an international working group preparing technical contributions to the triennial World Gas Conferences. This involved…globetrotting but this time Margaret joined him on many occasions and enjoyed visiting new countries and making new friends.

When British Gas decided to concentrate all its research on one site at Loughborough, Lawrence became General Manager responsible for completing construction, fitting out the laboratories and offices and moving staff from London, Solihull and Newcastle. He was then appointed Head of Research Services until he retired early in 1996.

On the 10 October 1983, was introduce to North Warwickshire Circle this was in Brother Richard Bird Presidency, his sponsor was Bill Carthy who he and Margaret was great friends with Bill wife Nuala.

In the year 2000 – 2001 Lawrence was President   they organised Circle visits to The Black Country Museum, to Sudeley Castle and to Buckingham Palace.

They also hosted a Millennium celebration in their house and what became for many years an annual visit to the theatre in Solihull followed by refreshments in their house. Lawrence was a member of the St Augustine’s Musical Theatre Company and played many of the leading parts in their productions.

He also organised, with Brother Kit Morton’s guidance, the Circle “At Home to Province” event at the Allesley Hotel in Coventry celebrating our 65th year and that of one of our founder members, John Bowen.

With recruitment and retention of younger members in mind, Lawrence arranged a range of events including a Circle meeting and Ladies’ informal on a Saturday lunchtime, a “lads and lasses” Circle meeting and an evening meal at a local Chinese Restaurant the former Shirley Temple.

Margaret and Lawrence had four sons. They had great fun as they grew up, enjoyed family camping holidays across Britain and Europe and frequent trips zigzagging across the country to keep in touch with families up North and in London. They were immensely proud of all their sons and their five grandchildren.

Retirement has been almost as busy: camping and travelling including a 10 week holiday visiting family in Australia and friends in New Zealand, some 20 long distance walks with friends, Catenian activities and Margaret gaining a second degree via the Open University. The last venture was a holiday home in France shared with one of their sons.

Lawrence has said that he has seem manage changes in the association, province and circle including the involvement of Ladies, very grate to Bill & Nuale Carthy for introducing Lawrence to the association.



2023-09-16 “Saint” Harold Hands President Mass – North Warwickshire

On Saturday 16 September 2023, our Circle President, had his President Mass at Olton Friary was concelebrated by Fr Bijou (parish priest) & Fr Enrico (‘Provincial’ for the Italian section of the Sacred Heart Father’s order) went very well, and was attended by about 40 or so Brothers, Wives, Guests & Children.

Fr Bijou made a speech at the end of Mass greatly praising Bro Harold (our President) – we later joked with Harold that it was a virtual ‘canonisation’ ! It was followed by tea/coffee plus sandwiches & cakes in the parish hall, which were delicious

2023-09-11 North Warwickshire Meeting

The September Circle meeting at Nuthurst Grange went without issues, and (in a first Circle departure from normal Catenian practice) the Chairman was Mary Johnson (wife of Bro Bill) which was as we expected from a former headmistress – flawless !
The guest speaker was Stuart Shelton, along with his wife Sarah the new young Head of St Peter’s Catholic School in Solihull who introduced himself very personably and told us of his background and his ambitions in his new role.

Stuart Shelton pointed out that he is a St Peter’s old-boy having first attended Our Lady of the Wayside Primary school, Stuart explained that he lived in Dubai for five years before moving back to the UK. When in the UK Stuart Shelton was head teacher of Four Swellings in Quinton before taking on the position of Head teacher at St Peter’s.

Before becoming a teacher Stuart Shelton was an engineering apprentice, before deciding that teaching was his vocation.

It was good to meet and hear from a leader in local Catholic Education and to appreciate him as a person and not just a Headmaster….!

The Past Presidents Toasts – 2023

The Past Presidents Toasts – 2023

On Monday 14 August 2023, North Warwickshire Circle meeting at Nuthurst Grange toasted our Past Presidents present at the Meeting and remember Presidents no longer with us. Circle was delight to welcome the widow of Kit Morton Jo to the meeting 

After the meeting had finished current President Harold Hands gave his thoughts on how well the meeting went.