Executive Committee


Professor Dame Carol Black DBE MD FRCP MACP FMedSci
Professor Dame Carol Black DBE is a former President of the Royal College of Physicians and the current Principal of Newnham College, Cambridge. She first graduated from the University of Bristol in 1962 with a BA in History after being Manor Hall's JCR President. Within the next few years she became President of the Students' Union, Sub-Warden of Manor Hall, completed a postgraduate diploma in Medical Social Work and, with the guidance of Manor Hall Warden, Mrs. Marjorie Tait (1956-1968), embarked on her eminent medical career, earning her degree in 1970 (MBChB Medicine). As a Professor in Rheumatology, she became the undisputed UK expert in scleroderma and connective tissue diseases and the Center she established at the Royal Free Hospital, London is internationally renowned in this field. It was for her contributions to this disease, and to patients with it, that she was awarded her CBE in 2002. This year also saw her become the second female President of the Royal College of Physicians. Dame Carol received an Honorary Doctorate of Science from the University in 2003, was awarded the DBE for Services to Medicine in 2005 and, in 2012, became Principal of Newnham College, Cambridge. In February 2013 she was named as one of the 100 most powerful women in the UK.

President Emeritus

Dr Martin Crossley Evans MBE JP BA PhD FSA FGS
Dr Crossley Evans graduated from the University of Bristol with a BA in Archaeology and Geology in 1978. After training as a schoolmaster at the University of Keele, he taught at Shrewsbury School and Gresham’s School, Holt, before returning to the University to become Warden of Manor Hall and Sinclair House in 1984. He was Clerk to Convocation from 1989 to 2008 and served as the University’s first Alumni Officer between 1989 and 1994, helping to establish the first alumni database. In 1990 he was awarded a PhD in Ecclesiastical History from the University. He was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London in 1994, appointed a JP for Bristol in 1999 and gazetted as an MBE in the New Year’s Honours 2001 for “services to higher education”. He was awarded the Convocation Medal in 2006, and given honorary life membership of the Union in 2008 for services to students, student societies, and halls of residence. He retired as Warden of Manor Hall in January 2018 after 33 years and one hundred terms in office, leaving as the longest-serving warden in the University's history. He was appointed President Emeritus at the Annual General Meeting in June.

Honorary Vice-Presidents

Mrs Lilian Brown BA CertEd Hon. MA
Mrs Lilian Brown first arrived in Manor Hall soon after the Second World War and recieved her degree in 'English Language with its Literature' and a Certificate of Education in 1952. After leaving the University, she became a teacher at St. Georges School and remained there for 30 years, becoming Head of House and Senior Mistress. Her devotion to the school and the students was unquestionable and she took a leading role in addressing race relation issues in one of the most culturally diverse schools in the area. Throughout this time, she was an active member of local and national associations for education and multiculturalism. Within the University, she was an invaluable member of the original Manor Hall Association and the University Convocation Committee. All who have met her benefit enormously from her wisdom, experience and advice. In 2005 she was awarded an Honorary Masters of Arts by the University of Bristol. Lilian was deservedly appointed as Honorary Vice-President when the Association reformed in 2009 for her unwavering dedication to Manor Hall and its residents and her invaluable wealth of experience.
Mr Christopher Didcote BSc
Christopher was the first Chairman of the Manor Hall Association after it came out of abeyance in 2007, and was responsible for creating the Elton House Award. Graduating from the University in 2008 with a BSc in Computer Science he remained the Association's Chairman until 2010. During his time in Hall he sat on each of the Hall's various committees, including JCR Treasurer. After graduation, he returned as a Tutor, acting as Secretary to the Senior Common Room and responsibility for the Bar. He is currently an honorary member of the Senior Common Room. He is an Alumni Representative to Court, and previously sat on the Alumni Committee (formerly known as the Convocation Committee). He currently works in web consultancy. At the 2014 AGM, Christopher was appointed a lifetime Honorary Vice-President of the Association in recognition of his work towards the Association's reformation in 2007.
Mrs Nikki Press BA
Nikki studied History at Bristol, spending her first year as an undergraduate as a resident in Hiatt Baker, and thereafter lived in a flat in York Place with a fine view of Manor Hall, although she can’t remember ever having visited it at that time! Like many Bristol students, she remained in Bristol after graduating, working principally in the headquarters of a Bristol based plc in the Company Secretary’s Office and for a start-up third party administrator specialising in medical insurance as a member of the executive team. She returned to the University to work as a part-time member of the administrative staff of Manor Hall in late 1999 when her children were of school age and remained working in the Hall until her then full-time role as Student Support Adviser was made redundant in August 2018 as part of the University’s review of pastoral care in its residences. She also served as a Convocation Representative on the University’s Court for a number of years until its recent reorganisation.


Mr Grant Wray MSci
Grant's links with Manor Hall go back more than 10 years through his involvement in one of the Hall's charities, the Heswall Disabled Children's Holiday Fund. In 2012 Grant became Senior Resident for 3 Tottenham Place. During his two years in Hall Grant worked closely with the JCR and developed an enthusiasm for all things Manor. Since leaving he has looked to strengthen his bond with the Hall by first undertaking the role of Reunion Coordinator, Vice-Chairman and now Chairman of the Manor Hall Association. Grant looks forward to developing the Manor Hall Association to ensure the Manor Hall community remains strong.


Mr Andrew Franks MEng
Andrew arrived at Manor Hall in 2006 to read Aeronautical Engineering. After securing a returner position in Manor Hall for his second year he gained a position on the Junior Common Room Committee as Archivist. After being heavily involved with planning the 75th Anniversary celebrations and being one of the first recipients of the Elton House Award he decided to continue in hall for his third year as the Bar Treasurer, as well as taking up the role of Secretary on the MHA Committee, which he continued until 2010, when he became Chairman of the Association. Andrew took up a position as a Senior Resident in Manor Hall in 2010 after graduating, with responsibilities for the bar which he continued until 2014. He has been a Convocation/Alumni Representative on Court since 2010. Andrew rejoined the Executive Committee as a Committee Member in 2013 and now serves as Vice-Chairman. He hopes to see that the Association continues to be an integral part of the Manor Hall Community for many years to come.


Dr Bo Hou BSc, MA, MSc, PhD
Bo studied Economics at the University of Bristol from 2007 to 2010. He stayed at Manor Hall in the 2007-08 and 2009-10 academic years. After graduating, he went to Manchester to further his study. He completed a PhD in Social Statistics and now works for the NHS. Although away from Bristol, he visited often and kept in touch with many friends from Manor. Some of them have become life-long friends and helped him greatly in times of despair.

Bo wants to contribute to this great community and support its members. As a new member of the committee, he looks forward to working with the team.


Ms Rachel Paterson

Publicity Officer

Dr Molly Niu PhD
Molly arrived at Manor Hall in 2011 as a postgraduate student in the Department of Film and Television. She became a Senior Resident in Manor House in 2012-14 and the fifth floor of the main building 2014-14. She greatly enjoyed helping out the international students and events through her role as SCR international rep. She made many lifelong friends at Manor Hall and wishes to ensure the MHA goes from strength to strength.