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Members of the Northumbria Club and their guests welcomed the Rt Hon. Lord Shipley of Gosforth OBE as their guest of honour at their annual Guest Night, held at the National Liberal Club on Wednesday, March 9.

Tuesday, 22nd March 2016, 12:00 pm
Updated Thursday, 17th March 2016, 09:58 am

John Shipley had been a member of Newcastle City Council for 36 years and its leader for five, before his elevation to the House of Lords in 2010.

He has been a member of the board of One NorthEast, deputy chairman of the Independent Advisory Panel of the Regional Growth Fund, and chairman of the Prince’s Trust North East.

Speaking of his own family origins, Lord Shipley was able to trace ancestors back to Newcastle and Glanton, and pointed out that there is a Shipley Village just four miles from Alnwick.

He spoke, often amusingly, about his time in House of Lords, some of its arcane procedures, and almost getting his hand caught in an (apparently very necessary) mouse trap in the House of Lords dining room.

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Lord Shipley also spoke of the North East and the changes he had seen during his time in public life there.

He spoke of a changing economy, with the decline of heavy industry and an economy now much more geared towards tourism, service industries, and education. He even had some warm words about Greggs’ sausage rolls, which have now reached as far as Essex.

At the end of his talk, Lord Shipley was thanked by the club chairman Ian Graham and was presented with a club tie as a memento of the occasion.

The next meeting of the Northumbria Club will be held on June 8 at the National Liberal Club in London when the speaker will be Mark Skilbeck.

Full details of the club are available via the website www.northumbriaclub.com/