If ever a venue was most likely to draw a big attendance for one of the regular OB London Drinks evenings it was surely the Paramount Sky Bar on the 32nd floor of London’s Centre Point Tower. The attendee list was appropriately over-subscribed – a terrific indicator for the New Year.
TAG: Stephen Cockburn (President 1991-94)
I arrived at my last annual dinner ‘in charge’ on an extremely cold evening thankful that, at least, we had no snow. After a short panic attack about missing table decorations, which turned up elsewhere in the school, I joined a packed Café de Paris for pre-dinner drinks before we repaired to a slightly chilly Dining Hall for dinner.
The past year has been a difficult time as our meeting places have been of necessity changed several times. For many years the Lodge has enjoyed the hospitality of the College for which we are extremely grateful. However, recently the College has been unable to help due, we suspect, to the huge success of the school and the enlargement of its boarding numbers.
The fifth annual Vice Presidents’ lunch saw us return to the Army and Navy Club, and once again we are very grateful to Peter Miller (C. 1945-49 ) for hosting the occasion and allowing us to enjoy the fine catering and premises of the club.
This year’s dinner was a very well attended affair held in a warm and dry Dining Hall while the rain and wind lashed outside.
This notwithstanding the Diners enjoyed a wonderful speech from Old Brightonian Chris Terrill (A. 1965-70); a genuinely warm and heartfelt account of his time at the College whilst acknowledging that things have generally changed for the better for current pupils. It was good to see that he’d brought props, and these included his old boater... which seemed to still fit!
The Lodge enjoyed an excellent Ladies’ evening at the College on Friday 28th March. 73 members and their guests, more than in recent years, sat down to a very good meal excellently served by the College caterers who had really worked hard to make it a special evening for us. The Lodge was particularly pleased to have Mary Rumney as a guest.
As we set off from Hereford I gave a little sigh and, when questioned by Isobel, admitted that I was wondering why I was setting off on a gloomy November day to drive two hundred miles across England for a dinner. Once we had arrived, however, all doubts were dispelled as we plunged into the happy hubbub of old friends.
What an evening! If you don't believe me then just take a look the ‘photos on this website, you will see plenty of animated smiling faces which, for me, sums up the purpose of events like this. Mind you with a combination of Ann Widdecombe as guest speaker, over 150 guests and a large contingent of 1981’ers what more could one expect?
Peter Gough died at the age of 92 on Monday 26th June 2006 (following a stroke which may have been brought on by falling asleep in the sun) in the Royal Sussex County Hospital just 200 yards along Eastern Road from the school where he had been such an influential and much loved member of staff from January 1946 to July 1966.
The first OB gathering of 2006 was an all male affair that in terms of College attendance spanned over 50 years!
As numbers go, the evening started off slowly, but built to a comfortable throng of 25 or so Old Brightonians. When I arrived shortly after 6pm David Gold (S. 1986-91) and Adam Belson (R. 1979-84) were the sole attendees – apparently trying to convince a sceptical barman that this evening would be worth his while...
The association’s dinner this year was a select affair. As if consciously to complement last year’s, when 30 years of coeducation was celebrated, an overwhelmingly male party gathered together in the Dining Hall on a cold November night. It was a most convivial evening of good wines, an excellent dinner, and of course one in which nostalgic reminiscences hung in the air like cigar smoke.