Ditton Corner
Ditton Corner

Coburn-Mulligan Gazette 2019

And So Into the Roaring Twenties...

A year of political retrogression ends and a new era begins. Andrew and Helen are suited and booted for a journey back to the future.

And so farewell to the teen years of the 21st Century, and with 2020 vision we embrace the coming decade.  Our home at Ditton Corner is as old as the millennium, so it marks a landmark of sorts for us. 2019 has certainly been a memorable year domestically and of course politically. We try to stay open minded about the new future for UK.

Andrew enjoyed his first year as Chief Scientist at the Centre for Risk Studies back in Cambridge University. Helen spent the time she isn't running her consulting business on scripts and hats. Alice and Henry are off doing their own things in different parts of the world. The 2020s look like being a very different era for us all...

California Dreaming


Henry followed up his Masters at Goldsmiths by starting a five-year PhD programme in English literature at the University of California in Santa Barbara. When the family left California in 2006, he always swore, like the Terminator, that he would be back.


Wildfire caused the suspension of classes on campus at Santa Barbara

Catching On Like Wildfire


Not that it has been all plain surf-boarding in SoCal. In addition to the marauding mountain lions, Henry has been subjected o a range of natural hazards including the wildfires and mudslides of the surrounding hills. 

Goldsmiths - Coburn!


Before leaving Goldsmiths, Henry captained their University Challenge team on TV, achieving a decent score and a highly memorable Paxo sneer for an incorrect interruption: "Georgia O'Keeffe?!!!??!"


Alice and Martyn poised for ritual sacrifice at Teotihuacan.

Ascending the Pyramids


Alice continues her work in pharma promoting science careers, now with Martyn having joined her in London to do a PhD at Brunel. Their pursuit of the perfect 10 on the Scotsdale chilli scale in meso-America left them with taste buds intact, but stunned by the snorkel diving in the deep caves of Yucatan.

Alice powers home for a PeeBee at the Cambridge Half

Run Alice, Run


Alice and Martyn are keen participants in their local Park Run most Saturdays.  Except when they go for a longer distance: Alice ran half-marathons in Cambridge, Hackney and the Royal Parks.  Henry joined Alice and Martyn for the local 10k Great Wilbraham Run, with the lure of cake at the finishing line – produced by Bake Off finalist Ian Cumming.

Launch of Solving Cyber Risk


Andrew published a new book in 2019: Solving Cyber Risk, co-written with his wonderful colleagues Eireann and Gordon, de-mystifying cyber threat for beginners. The book was unleashed on a world tour of launch event parties at Cambridge, London, New York, and Washington DC. The tour was a lot more fun than writing the book. And to everyone's surprise, reached #4 in the risk management category of Amazon book sales.


Available now from Amazon.com (are you the only person who hasn't got a copy?)


Norma, Faeeza, Victoria and their 10 colleagues present posters at a conference session in Porto

Revitalising Shrinking Cities


Helen’s work at Cambridge Architectural Research continues to focus on shrinking cities.  Her RE-CITY project looks at the causes of shrinkage and how to address them, funding 13 PhD students at the European partner universities and companies.  CAR’s student Faeeza has joined us from South Africa, to work with Helen on resilience to climate-related events. In September CAR ran a workshop day for all the students at the RE-CITY training school in Porto.


Its been a good year to be a Liverpool supporter - party to watch them win the European Champions League

Warning to Football Managers:

This posse may damage your career


Helen and Andrew have been spotted at various Premier League football grounds this season, after which heads have rolled. Their record in successfully chanting “You’re getting sacked in the morning!” have put paid to the tenures of Mssrs Jose Mourinho and Arsène Wenger, and most recently Unai Emery from Arsenal. Ole Gunnar Solskjear is next up: Liverpool v Man U, Jan 19. Be afraid Ole, be very afraid...

Gangsters and Molls: Alice, Martyn, Henry, Andrew and Helen

Nick's Retro Party


Andrew’s brother Nick turned 60 this year (goodness!) and celebrated with an all-singing, all-dancing hootenanny at the Chester St David Hotel.  Theme was 1930s – with plenty of excuse for chalk-striped suits, correspondent shoes and fedoras for the guys; boas, cigarette holders and cloche hats for the girls.




Helen sporting one of her fabulous hat creations

Helen's Hats


You may have noticed a theme in this year's events – lots of hats were required, mainly supplied by Helen, who is continuing to experiment with millinery techniques. She’s making her own 3D printed hats blocks at Makespace in Cambridge, and taking occasional masterclasses with renowned hat makers - Niav Riley in Abbeyleix in Ireland, Judy Bentinck in London, et Estelle Ramousse à Paris.

The research team at Cambridge Centre for Risk Studies celebrate their 10th Annual Risk Summit

Cambridge Risk Centre


Andrew took up a role as Chief Scientist at the Centre for Risk Studies at University of Cambridge, a research unit that he helped set up while he was working 'in industry' (as they quaintly call it in academia). This year marked the 10th anniversary, with a record number of publications and supporters.



Helen's Feature Film Project 'My Good Side'. Sign up to join the support community and receive information about the Gala reception on 4 April

Fire Walk With Us

Helen writes on


Helen continues her adventures in the screen trade.  She was sponsored by Screen Skills for the Talent Campus programme, run by the London Screenwriters’ Festival: not only intensive coaching on screenwriting, but team-bonding and fear-conquering sessions. Specifically tarantula stroking.  And firewalking!

No cold feet about demonstrating commitment with the Talent Campus as Helen completes her firewalk

Helen continued her foot-blistering work with the Talent Campus group on a feature film project My Good Side, co-writing the script, and is launching a funding drive on 4 April at BAFTA. Click here to sign up for further details of how you can support this innovative project raising awareness about breast cancer.


During the year, Helen has also written and directed a micro-short 2min film, Prime Meridian. She crewed on another, Where Are You?, created by her Talent Campus group. Both micro-shorts have been submitted for inclusion in the Impact50 project. She’s also had another short story published - The Ring: Vienna 1898, appeared in the Churchill Review (page 181) this year.

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