In 1992 Tim Birkhead and Harry Moore held the first ‘BoS’ meeting in the Department of Animal & Plant Sciences at the University of Sheffield. The meeting was titled “Sperm Day” and was a one day event with 50 attendees. A recently uncovered report described the meeting as a ‘sufficiently useful event’ that ‘might become an annual event’.
The 1993 meeting was thus conceived. The venue remained the same but the meeting was extended over two days.
The first two ‘Sperm Days’ were so successful that the meetings were renamed with the more academic title of the “Biology of Spermatozoa Meeting” and were continued biennially.
University of Sheffield, South Yorkshire
The first two meetings were held on C floor of the Animal & Plant Sciences department at the University of Sheffield. Participants were accommodated in the student residences at Tapton Hall.
Losehill Hall, Derbyshire
Losehill Hall in Castleton, Derbyshire housed eight Biology of Spermatozoa meeting over the course of sixteen years. The venue stands in beautiful gardens and is surrounded by many acres of peaceful parkland with woods and streams. The Grade-II listed Victorian mansion was run by the Peak District National Park Authority (PDNPA) as an education centre until its unfortunate closure in 2011. The Hall and grounds have since been bought by the Youth Hostel Association.
Delegates of the BoS meetings at Losehill will fondly remember the charming grounds, beautiful scenery and hearty dinners. In fact, the Losehill Hall catering held a reputation of its own: robust meals served with no nonsense!
Hassop Hall, Derbyshire
Hassop Hall, located near Bakewell, Derbyshire, has provided the venue for the BoS meetings since the closure of Losehill Hall in 2011. Hassop Hall is a grand estate with a history dating back 900 years to the Domesday Book.
Attendees of the BoS meetings at Hassop Hall have been treated to incredible hospitality. Five course dinners, luxurious rooms and handmade biscuits with every tea break! The BoS talks are held in the grand ballroom in the banqueting house above the old brewery. At mealtimes, delegates relocate to the main house where the lavish dining takes place. At the end of each full day of talks and feeding, the cosy pub-like bar in the main house opens for an evening drink.