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Maturation of the BAD

From 195047 the Association's activities grew as it became involved with the Tenth International Congress of 1952. Dermatology, its development and its academic status, was widely accepted and this healthy and energetic attitude was reflected by the success of the burgeoning regional societies, all of which arranged successful clinical meetings. The Dowling Club also started to foster provincial meetings, and some enterprising pharmaceutical companies, like Stiefel, sponsored educational gatherings, at varying academic levels, and always with generous hospitality.

For some years after the war the Journal had run at a loss despite a gradual increase in membership (120 in 1949). Subscriptions had to be increased, and by 1954 a credit balance was recorded - this gradually grew. In 1961 the yearly subscription was still only one guinea (,1-5p) for the 144 members. Gray, and later Ingram, were conservative Treasurers, models of financial rectitude.

The Willan Room

In October 1965, Sir Archibald Gray's dream was realized in the form of the Willan Room at the College of Physicians. He, as Treasurer, had planned a donation of £2,500 towards the College's costly new home, as it moved from Pall Mall East to Dennis Lasdun's controversial building in Regent's Park. These monies were derived from the profit of the 1952 International Congress, and Archibald Gray was delighted that his tentative suggestion had been so widely supported. The allocation of a room, though not for our exclusive use, meant that we could house our memorabilia there and it enshrines our speciality within the orbit of general medicine, a theme dear to both Gray and John Ingram.

At first, the Willan Room was used for our committee meetings though now, with accommodation of our own, it is less in demand; the College also puts it to good use. It is on the first floor, facing south towards St Andrew's Place. The entrance is flanked outside, on the west by a portrait of Robert Willan on loan from Sedbergh School, and on the opposite side by one of John Ingram painted by Frank Eastman and presented to the Association by his widow, Dame Kathleen Raven.

On the inside (north) wall, are shelves and cupboards, installed by Rattee and Kett of Cambridge; they had built the furniture for the Harveian Library, and the College insisted we should follow their pattern. This shelving houses the Willan Library. Books were sought by Stephen Anning, the first Willan Librarian, and by his successors, Arthur Rook and now Peter Copeman. The collection includes Hutchinson's Archives of Surgery, the treasured library of Radcliffe Crocker donated by University College Hospital, and his records of the Dermatological Society of London; various texts by Willan, Daniel Turner, Plenck, Lorry, Jonathan Green and Samuel Plumbe are also there. All the writings of Parkes Weber, a unique collection of the rare and bizarre, bound in three volumes, were donated by Dr E P W Helps, his great nephew. The many gifts of books and atlases have led to duplication; but such gifts are still actively encouraged, exchanges can be arranged.

Our first portrait, bought in the art market and reframed, is by Stephen Pearce of Erasmus Wilson. That of Sir Archibald Gray, founding father of the Association, was painted by Rodrigo Moynihan in 1956, and presented to him after his long-term as Honorary Treasurer. Lady Gray later passed it back, along with his "grandmother " long-case clock made by Alex Innes of Dalkeith. The portrait of Geoffrey Dowling by Patrick Phillips was given to the Association by his family; the most recently acquired is of Arthur Rook, also by Patrick Phillips, and presented to an outstanding Editor on completion of his office. It was returned to the Association by his elder son, John Rook.

The opening of this room was a formal occasion, at which the Association entertained the officers of the College and other distinguished guests. It was certainly a happy day for Gray.

Two further items commemorating Robert Willan should be mentioned here. The placing of a plaque on the face of his old home, the Hill at Marthwaite, was arranged in 1971 by G A Grant Peterkin with the help of the incumbent, Mr Madge, then biology master at Sedbergh. It was finally affixed, after many vicissitudes, in 1980. The other is the elegant medallion of Robert Willan, the work of Francis Ray Bettley, which until 1993 graced the outer cover of our Journal; it has now been replaced by our modern "logo". (There is also a silhouette of Willan in the possession of the Medical Society of London).

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The Association's secretariat had by 1970 realised that an increasing workload demands a more professional approach. A registration fee, introduced in 1965, helped defray costs, but an invitation to the pharmaceutical houses, an accepted feature of most foreign meetings, had not yet been countenanced. The pattern of our Annual Meetings remained largely unchanged over these years. Contributions unashamedly clinical, but, as more members, especially the eager young, were now able to visit foreign centres, they noted the accent on basic research and investigative measures. Pressure to make comparable arrangements was understandable, and an opportunity to break the mould arose in 1967, the year of the Munich International Congress. Our President, R M B MacKenna, was approached by American colleagues who suggested that London might organize an extra meeting so their delegates could learn from the British before departing for Germany; such an agreeable interlude might even provide tax advantages. The programme, arranged by Imrich Sarkany, was patently successful.

1968 was an important year for the Association. A second meeting, restricted to research and investigation, was arranged for the Winter. Instigated largely by the new Professor in Newcastle, Sam Shuster, it proved to be the germ of the British Society for Investigative Dermatology, which has now more than 120 members. Gradually other affiliated groups arose, notably the British Society for Dermatopathology (1975), Contact Dermatitis (1981), Dermatological Surgery (1983), Paediatric Dermatology (1985), Photodermatology (1987), Nursing Group (1990) and most recently the British Association of University Teachers of Dermatology. All receive modest subsidies from the parent Association.

In 1968, we first hired professional help. Until then administration had been in the hands of the Honorary Secretaries, who were responsible for all activities, such as supervising the election of officers, guiding the President through committees, and coping with correspondence. This was achieved thanks to accommodating wives, and was conducted on various dining-room tables.

Peggy Paxton, long on the staff of the Royal Society of Medicine, was "loaned" in 1978 to help with our administrative work. She developed a warm relationship with the Association and continued in this role, moving us in 1979 into the basement in John Street, Blackwell's London headquarters. There we stayed until 1986 when space became available in St Andrew's Place. We had applied in 1972 for a tenancy when this development had first been mooted by the College of Physicians. Our first office was not agreeable but the next year we found the basement of Number Three, which was lighter and more spacious. On Peggy Paxton's retirement, Linda Barducci, previously Professor Greaves' secretary at the Institute of Dermatology, proved an admirable replacement.

The third coup in 1968 was persuading Arthur Rook to become Editor, this proved to be an inspired move. The journal, he felt, would improve with a different publisher and he was convinced that Blackwells in Oxford would be superior to H K Lewis. The effect on circulation was dramatic, and the Journal quickly became profitable. Nevertheless H K Lewis had been responsible for publishing our Journal, and indeed collecting all subscriptions, from our very beginnings, and this parting of the ways was for some a sad occasion. With this change in our fortunes, and with an increasing membership, (267 in 1974) our Treasurer, Oliver Scott, arranged that the Association should be accorded charitable status.

Some years later the nettle was grasped and an invitation was sent to pharmaceutical houses to attend the Annual Meeting and to exhibit at a Trade Show. This idea had long been anathema, but the effect was stunning, and funds accumulated miraculously. Our increasing affluence now prompted the funding of scholarships and the provision of means for the young to travel. The Dowling Fellowship was the first such prize and was soon followed by a grant from Stiefel. Glaxo, thanks to David Williams, had long been involved in producing our programmes and literature. We remain indebted to these two companies as they started an avalanche of other gifts. Such grants are usually towards travel expenses enabling attendance at foreign meetings.

The Growth of the Journal

For the first 20 years of this century the journal prospered modestly. Editors changed: MacLeod was followed by Sequiera, and then, by Archibald Gray, who was in post for 13 years. This was the period of Gray's ruminations and dreams - dreams that resulted in the genesis of our Association. The journal's title was changed to embrace "syphilis" in 1917 so as to harmonise with the Royal Commission on Venereal Diseases, but reverted in 1951. Roxburgh and Goldsmith were to follow, their biographies have already appeared. Throughout this time the pattern was maintained, though the volumes grew, and editorial "stints" seemed to shrink. Goldsmith was succeeded by F R Bettley, and then by P J Hare - the academic influence of University College Hospital was evident.

Francis Ray Bettley (1909-1993) edited the Journal for 10 years, following his mentor, W N Goldsmith.

After Whitgift School he had gone to University College and then UCH, qualifying in 1932. He was attracted to dermatology early, so once he had completed his house appointments he was able, thanks to a Radcliffe Crocker Scholarship, to visit Vienna and then Strasbourg, where he fell under the spell of Professor Worringer and became fluent in French. On his return he was appointed Consultant Dermatologist and Venereologist to Cardiff Royal Infirmary in 1937, but only briefly. Already a Territorial Officer, he was mobilized early as ADMS (T) to the 53rd (Welsh) Division, then after a variety of posts found himself Adviser to the East Africa command.

On demobilisation, he returned to Cardiff, but within a few months applied successfully to the Middlesex Hospital in London following the retirement of MacCormac. Within two more years he was appointed to St John's, soon became Editor of the Journal and for a few years even took on the Deanship of the Institute of Dermatology.

While working at the Institute of Clinical Research at the Middlesex Hospital, between 1950 and 1965, he studied the effect of soaps and detergents on the skin and on epidermal permeability. He measured insensible water loss through the epidermis, and with K A Grice noted the effect of sweating on patch testing to soap. Interested in Industrial Dermatitis, and in its medico-legal implications, he was a particularly skilful expert witness, helped by his research activities. His interest in the law was more than passing - he invariably wore a tie that was plain and white, and remarkably similar to a barrister's bands.

There were other sides to Francis Bettley, apart from his intellect: he was no mean painter, a skilful sculptor and it was he who unearthed the portrait of Erasmus Wilson bought by the BAD. He also designed the motif of Robert Willan for the cover of our Journal, helped the College with the design of the Parkes Weber Medal, and suggested Rodrigo Moynihan as the artist for Sir Archibald Gray's portrait.

In retirement he became an inveterate traveller, skimming around France on his moped with beret atop; he also served as ship's surgeon on several voyages to Australia, and later was Civilian Consultant in Dermatology to the British Army of the Rhine.

Patrick J Hare (1920-1982) divided his professional life between London, at UCH, and Edinburgh, where he followed Percival as Grant Professor of Dermatology. He edited the Journal from 1959 to 1967.

"Paddy" was born in Scotland, the son of one of the last owner-actor-managers of a local theatre; the "Opera House" in Dunfermline was his happy memory. From his father he inherited a wit, a turn of phrase and an actor's timing which made him a fine lecturer and after-dinner speaker. He gained a scholarship to University College before proceeding to the Hospital; then, with a Rockefeller Scholarship had the chance, much coveted, to get to Baltimore graduating MD from Johns Hopkins. On his return to England he took the London MB before serving for the statutory three years in the RAMC. He had developed a taste for dermatology and, back at UCH became Registrar to W N Goldsmith, a taskmaster noted for detail and precision. After three disciplined years, the Radcliffe Crocker Scholarship, a treasured prize of his medical school, enabled him to travel abroad, first to Revalier in Paris and then to Switzerland to Guido Miescher. In Zürich he studied necrobiosis lipoidica, a problem much in the Professor's mind at that time, and this was the basis for his London MD. His fluency in French and German was a useful editorial attribute.

He was appointed to the staff at University College Hospital to join Goldsmith in 1952, and took over in 1958. Running the multifarious activities at hospital single-handed, developing a private practice, and editing the British Journal of Dermatology, must have been a load, which with hindsight, was too burdensome. In 1966 an exchange professorship at McGill University provided a chance to recharge his batteries in Montreal; so the move to Edinburgh, shortly after his return from Canada, was perhaps not surprising.

In Edinburgh he started Saturday Morning Clinical Meetings, at which the chairmanship rotated and democracy prevailed; he rarely missed these popular educative sessions. The Skin Biology Club, founded with his friend D M Jenkinson, a veterinary research worker, offered a forum for studying comparative histology; these formal affairs he conducted with whimsical wit, in his own quiet way. Latterly he was involved in the University as Convenor of the Committee planning the new Erskine Library. This was opened after he had left Edinburgh, though he was able to return for the opening ceremony.

"Paddy" Hare, only 62 when he died, was a quiet, thoughtful man; he enjoyed teaching and studying at the microscope. A bibliophile blessed with a retentive memory, he was also interested in the history of medicine. The ethos of his illustrious predecessors at University College Hospital, and his spells in our editorial seat and in the Edinburgh Chair, provided an agreeable stimulus to his life.

With the arrival of Arthur Rook as Editor in 1968, things were to change. A man of vision and scholarship, he had considerable editorial experience, literary talent and an obvious streak of business acumen. Rook saw a brighter future if the Journal moved to Oxford where Blackwell Scientific Publications had already published his magisterial textbook. Quarterly and other reviews soon appeared, as well as a number of supplements, sponsored by outside funds.

James Arthur Rook (1918-1991) edited the Journal from 1968 to 1974, was President of the Association in 1975, and for two separate periods was Willan Librarian. He was awarded the Gray Medal for his contributions and became an outstanding ambassador for British medicine.

He was the son of a high-powered industrialist, Sir William Rook, who at Winston Churchill's request had masterminded the nation's sugar supplies throughout the second world war. Arthur, born in Surrey, was educated at Charterhouse and Trinity College, Cambridge. He had intended to read modern languages but, impulsively, decided to switch to medicine. This was permitted but only if he did all the preliminary work in his own time. After qualifying in 1942 he spent three war years in the RAF and on leaving as Squadron Leader returned to St Thomas'.

A contemporary of Wells, Wilkinson, Sweet, Lyell, and others whose names have become well known, he joined Dowling's team of registrars, then being moulded by Hugh Wallace into an unusually talented group of post-war dermatologists - all founder members of the "George", later the Dowling Club. Ian Whimster, in the pathology department, was developing a keen interest in the skin prompted by Dowling; he cooperated in two of Rook's projects. First came the defining of kerato-acanthoma, (adenoma sebaceum of MacCormac and Scarff) which, though seemingly malignant, usually follows a benign course. Next they drew a distinction between pemphigoid and pemphigus prompted by the observations of Civatte and Tzanck in Paris where Rook had spent three months at the St Louis Hopital, staying on after the visit of the Dowling travelling club. He became an ardent Francophile, admiring their morphological precision.

His appointment to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge meant that he was to spend the rest of his professional life there. His East Anglian parish extended widely and, like Whittle before him, he had to travel many miles to outlying hospitals. At base he assembled a first class team, furthermore he gained a spacious and purpose built department when Addenbrooke's left its original site in Trumpington Street for new accommodation.

Rook was devoted to his chosen speciality. His extensive knowledge of the world literature was combined with a formidable memory; he spoke several languages and could understand the written words of a few more. He was happiest teaching in his clinics and postgraduates came from far and wide, so great was his reputation. He was admired by his colleagues, by family doctors, and particularly by his patients. He was also an enthusiastic medical historian and, in a totally different sphere, was so intrigued by biological sciences that he started courses for dermatologists, young and old, to acquaint them with progress in the fields of applied science. The first was in 1958. They became so successful they were regularly repeated, with varying formats. Now there is a yearly introductory course for initiates.

With D S Wilkinson, a colleague from his St Thomas' days, and the late F J Ebling, Professor of Zoology at Sheffield as co-editors, he conceived the idea of producing a comprehensive textbook. This meant assembling a team, allocating subjects, and ensuring a uniform and succinct style, a task demanding the skills of a circus ring-master. The first edition saw the light of day in 1968. The Textbook of Dermatology, known affectionately the world over as the Rook Book, has now reached its fifth edition. Its four large volumes are the bible of dermatology, no self-respecting dermatologist is without his set. In addition he edited other texts and was co-author of two books - Botanical Dermatology and Diseases of the Hair; his writings were faultlessly polished, and his erudition remarkable.

The Willan Library came under his care from 1974 to 1991, and as a bibliophil and medical historian he was ideal. He produced outstanding reports concerning recent acquisitions. Those numbered V of 1980 and VI of 1981 were printed in full in the Journal. They include interesting historical vignettes of Alexander Balmanno Squire and of Prosper Baumes.

Other events involved him, notably the Parkes-Weber lecture at the Royal College of Physicians, and later the Dowling Oration. As well as the Archibald Gray Medal, he was awarded the Mendes de Costa Medal of the Netherlands, and the Ferdinand von Hebra Medal from Austria.

This scholarly and distinguished man became well known through his writings, and also in person, for he travelled extensively, to many congresses where his distinctive appearance and friendly manner ensured ready recognition. His friendly manner always ensured a warm welcome. Arthur Rook has recently been honoured by the Association which has instituted an eponymous lecture. His work for British dermatology was comparable to his father's achievements with the Nation's war-time sugar supplies.

The Centenary of the Journal, in 1988, was marked by a special number; Rona MacKie68, then Editor, published some elegant papers preceded by her own engaging prologue. The present Journal is, much improved, and in 1993 moved to full colour publication (at no extra cost to the authors). Now our Editor receives hundreds of submissions from around the world.

In 1992 some 3,500 copies were printed each month along with two supplements, enabling, after all expenses had been met, £179,000 to be paid into the Association's funds. Thus the Journal, with Blackwell's expertise, has indeed flourished and has become a money spinner. We should be grateful to the foresight that prompted this change in direction. The illustrations in the first numbers, all readily found in the Library at the Royal Society of Medicine, give a measure of the distance we have travelled.

Consolidation

During the years of expansion after 1960, interest in dermatology increased throughout Britain and this was accompanied by an improvement in working conditions. Following the example of Edinburgh, London and Newcastle, other centres have hoped to develop academic units with professional chairs; but decisions on this have often been influenced by the views of the local Professor of Medicine, and by finance. There were many uphill struggles. Nevertheless there are now a number of Professors of Dermatology in the UK, though several only have personal Chairs.

Another straw in the wind was the development of the various regional dermatological associations, all of which hold regular clinical meetings, fulfilling useful educational and social purposes. Londoners still enjoy the privilege of the monthly meetings of the Dermatology Section at the Royal Society of Medicine, and the St John's Dermatological Society, in less spacious surroundings, fills another niche.

In the 75 years since its foundation, the BAD's membership has increased inexorably. From the élitist clique of 30 or so specialists, who were both professionally and socially acceptable to one another, the Association has changed to the present thriving concern with more than 900 members.

In 1939 there had been only 84 members, increasing to 120 by 1949; with the introduction of the National Health Service, new posts were created and enthusiastic trainees abounded. Those anxious to join could not apply themselves; they had, supposedly in ignorance, to be proposed and seconded. Involvement in general practice, or indeed any practice other than that of dermatology, precluded consideration; admission to the BAD for a while was not easy. Among the voices favouring expansion, and against exclusivity, were those of John Ingram and Geoffrey Dowling. Eventually common sense prevailed, and our doors opened.

Funds now became more accessible - a soothing balm for the war-weary. Furthermore our eyes were opened by American contacts, as it was now possible to visit centres abroad, to attend international meetings, and to witness how dermatology was thriving elsewhere. In 1971 there were 225 and by 1974, 267 members.

Special Membership categories have changed over the years. For the Australians, there were branches in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia, but, as with the Canadian and South African groups, they have gradually tended to dissociate themselves. Currently we list New Zealand and Australian members but only on an individual basis.
Overseas Membership is over a hundred strong, and includes many from the old colonial territories, friends who studied here in the past and others who enjoy our meetings.

Honorary Members (at one time designated "Emeritus") are a group of senior and respected persons, the original 20 being expanded to 40 in 1984.Honorary Foreign Membership is for distinguished dermatologists who have been invited to join; they may attend our meetings without invitation and enjoy full privileges. The great bulk of the Association is made up of Ordinary Members, while Retired Members enjoy the Association's facilities but without further subscriptions.

Senior Registrars were introduced in 1980; and this was a break with tradition. No longer was the Association restricted to established consultants, but welcomed those with feet on the ladder and fire in their bellies. Trainee Membership allows for automatic transfer to ordinary status once a consultant post has been obtained.

Annual Meetings

The Annual Meeting is the main event of our year. The regular pattern that emerged, with two meetings in provincial centres followed by a third in London, provided a rhythm that was maintained until war-time travel was so disrupted that London became the only practical option. In 1947 the original pattern was re-established, though in 1952, the year of the International Congress, and 1953, the meetings were both in London.

In the leisurely days before, and for a while after the second world war, these occasions were regarded as the President's personal preserve. He was chosen as much by seniority and personality as by the hospital and university centre in which he worked. The ladies would be entertained in his own home and the formal dinner, though generally in a restaurant or hotel, might occasionally be held there as well. The addition of a President's Reception, a conventional cocktail party with the President footing most of the bill, was held the evening before the formal dinner.

An elaborate social programme evolved - visits to stately homes, beauty spots, galleries and local places of interest; all helped to fill the day for spouses and families. An afternoon, usually on the Friday, has been kept free of medical activity, offering the chance for some to play golf or to opt for a watery grave, by competing at a local sailing club. The less active can accompany their spouses on the sight-seeing trail. Attempts to use Friday afternoons for serious work have not been popular.

As numbers have grown, meetings now have to be restricted to purpose-built conference centres so that we can combine, "under one roof", business, academic, and commercial activities. Registration and documentation, run in the early days by the Secretary, his family and friends, have become sophisticated affairs, and has been taken over by professionals.

Increasing complexity in our affairs has led to a whole session being given over to this at the Annual General Meeting. Some associated groups, such as photobiology or dermatological surgery, hold meetings which fit in with the main programme, and the pharmaceutical trade show is a popular feature. There is still scope for social or even athletic adventures which can be arranged elsewhere.

One major loss has been the popular clinical demonstrations of live patients. These were the highlight of early meetings, as bizarre and rare conditions, hand-picked and elaborately worked up, provided a unique clinical experience. However, alternative demonstrations, with modern projection and colour photography, are so good that they offer a comfortable, even soporific way of meandering through collections of exotica.

Once the older member knew most of those present at these meetings, and wives and families became good friends, but now the occasion is more like the larger, less personal, American assemblies. However, on the professional side, the presentation of papers, lacking verbosity and using clear diagrams, shows careful preparation and rehearsal - the British hallmark.

Occasionally a meeting is specially tailored. The Association's 50th Anniversary in 1970, with Ian Sneddon presiding in Sheffield, was celebrated by a reception in Cutlers' Hall and a stylish ball. Several entertaining Anglo-French Reunions have occurred, such as those in Oxford in 1980 and Cambridge in 1989. Geoffrey Dowling and Hugh Wallace, ardent supporters of such affairs, used their own brand of Franglais, causing much merriment. Presidents may invite a delegation from a particular country; in 1993 Terence Ryan hosted a meeting in Oxford combined with the Canadian Association and culminating in the "Celebration of Dermatology".

Philantropy and Awards

In 1964, John Ingram as Treasurer felt that the funds were robust enough to support the Association's first philanthropic venture, a triennial prize known as the Dowling Fellowship. It broke new ground, and the first award was made to Edward Wilson-Jones.

Previously it had seemed an irrelevance which the Association was reluctant to accept, but a registration fee was introduced at the end of Ingram's capable stewardship. Since then, with increasing membership and mounting costs, it has proved a useful source of funds and a check on unlawful intruders.

The Archibald Gray Medal and Prize was first awarded in 1965 for "Outstanding Services to Dermatology in Britain": it is our most prestigious prize. The interval between awards was reduced in 1992, from five years to three. The medallist have been David Williams, Arthur Rook, Charles Calnan, Ian Sneddon, Renwick Vickers, Neville Rowell, F J G Ebling and Sam Shuster.

David Iorwerth Williams (1913-1994), was the first recipient. He had been Secretary of the Association at a time of vigorous expansion and he was President in 1976. "D I", a proud Welshman though brought up in Kent, reached King's College Hospital via Dulwich and King's Colleges, picking up prizes on the way. Qualifying in 1937 he completed his House appointments before enroling as a Clinical Assistant in the Skin and VD Clinics at King's, both in the charge of Sydney Thomson. By 1940 he was in the RAMC and his previous experience in venereology led him naturally in that direction; he reached the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, as an Adviser in Venereology by the age of 32.

He was lucky to be involved with R A Peters and the MRC group in assessing BAL (dimercaprol), a compound developed by the Ministry of Supply as an antidote to the toxic effects of "Lewisite", colloquially the "Dew of Death". This was a dreadful arsenical poison gas, thankfully never to be released, so BAL was not needed for that purpose; however it did help patients suffering from the medicinal use of heavy metals, for toxic reactions could occur not only from the rheumatologist's gold but from arsenic and mercury which many dermatologists had been prescribing.

In 1946, he was back at King's, a Registrar working for the MRCP, by 1947 he was on the Consultant staff, a meteoric ascent of the professional ladder. Life was busy, he started a practice and acquired other Hospital appointments, he also became involved with Glaxo and remained as one of their advisers for many years. Thus it was that the 1958/9 papers concerning griseofulvin's therapeutic advantages in the treatment of dermatophyte infections, emanated both from his clinic at King's and from the mycology laboratory run by J C Gentles in Glasgow.

Now with two prestigious contributions under his belt, "D I" exuded confidence and with his incisive mind was truly a "man of affairs". However the life of a hospital dermatologist was not enough to stretch his talents and he took on the role of Secretary of our Association, and then became Dean of King's, his own Medical School, which delighted him as it had Arthur Whitfield, his illustrious predecessor. Finally he became Medical Adviser to the Kuwaiti Embassy at a time when the influx from the Middle East of patients seeking "magic" in London, was at its height.

"D I" enjoyed travel and frequently visited the USA as he had formed friendships with a number of dermatologists there; at his own London meeting he arranged for a posse of Americans to take part in the jamboree. Like all good Welshman, rugby football and music were important, as were lawn tennis and fives; an expert clarinettist he taught his nieces who played at his memorial service. A stroke, while at a meeting in the United States, prompted a medical team from King's to fly over and transport him speedily home. Recovery was slow, and though mobility was impaired, his brain regained its razor sharpness, the Times cross-word being completed by midday. After 13 more years the final catastrophe occurred.

Francis John Govier Ebling (1918-1992) was still active in the field of cutaneous biology when he died at 73. As Professor of Zoology in Sheffield his early interests were in marine/invertebrate zoology, turning to mammalian endocrinology and the response of sebaceous glands to hormonal stimuli. After retirement he carried on independent research in the Sheffield Skin Department. A vast contributor to our knowledge, and an original co-editor with Rook and Wilkinson of the "Rook Book", he wrote his own chapters on "Comparative Dermatology" and "Functions of the Skin".

In 1968 Oliver Scott, as Treasurer, took over financial control and the Association's finances were to thrive. The Journal made a modest profit and our reserves were invested prudently but it was the pharmaceutical trade exhibition that was to boost our funds. This proved something of a "culture shock" to a generation only just been able to accept that Players had, at last, become Gentlemen. A small exhibition was first seen at the Oxford meeting in 1966 and since then the enterprise has thrived, and enlarged.

In 1977 the Association employed a part-time secretary and in 1979, moved into its own first office, in John Street, Blackwell's London base; thereafter running expenses had to be taken into consideration. Nevertheless the Executive Committee, with Harvey Baker then Treasurer, ever alert to the complexities of the current financial climate, had to consider how best to use our funds.

It was decided to foster the education of the young by awarding scholarships for travel abroad, and these have been added to by generous grants from pharmaceutical houses. The BAD prize of £500, for an essay on a dermatological theme by an undergraduate student, had already begun in 1973.

Two prizes had been provided for sporting endeavour - the Dowling-MacCaw cup for Golf and the Bowers-Sneddon cup for dinghy sailing; both promote vigorous and enthusiastic competition. At a less frivolous level the Association awards a number of Travelling Fellowships of up to £1,000 as well as Fellowships of up to £3,750 to permit a three month period of study in this country; one of these is the Neutrogena Study Fellowship. Further Travelling Fellowships are also awarded in collusion with the Dowling Club. The Bristol cup is given for the best academic poster at the Annual meeting, and the Wycombe Prize and Chair for the most outstanding contribution to dermatology from a non-teaching hospital. At the instigation of Philadelphia's unique investigator-cum-showman, the generous Professor Albert Kligman, there is now a prize to honour Ian Whimster, experimental dermato-pathologist, for work published in his field. Most recently, since the death of Louis Forman, the Association has received his magnificent bequest of £100,000 which will enable a young dermatologist to work in a developing country.

Our financial strength was to allow contributions to the Skin Disease Research Fund (£10,000), the Royal Society of Medicine (£30,000 over three years) for the engraved portrait of Robert Willan which graces the centre of the glass dividing screen separating the two sections of the library. £3,000 went to the International Foundation of Dermatology and £1,000 to the Royal Medical Benevolent Fund. In 1988, £9,000 was given to the Ghana project at the request of Roger Harman. Our Charitable status is fully honoured.

In 1986/7 we moved our base to St Andrew's Place in the precinct of the Royal College of Physicians. Number Six was awkward and cramped, but the basement of Number Three was more spacious and could house our staff in subterranean comfort. By the late 1980s, the time had clearly come to consider buying our own home. In 1994, London property values had fallen and an attractive corner house at 19 Fitzroy Square presented itself 69 . It is now ours, and we will be able to rub shoulders with ghosts of Robert Adam who built the South side of the square, while Bernard Shaw, Virginia Woolf and the Marquess of Salisbury were, for a time, much closer on the West side. We are in good company.

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