In 1996 there was an extraordinary collection of old faces collected together for the first time in 14 years!
Guest of Honour, Zoe Ball, entertained all with the amusing tales of her own convent education, while Head of House, Frances Gladwin gave a witty and heartfelt speech, culminating in the launch of a new charity initiative which will initially sponsor a young girl in Malawi. Guests were also serenaded by the very fine in-house string quartet, harpist and chamber choir before the ‘old’ and ‘young’ chatted the night away.
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.
The Ebury has recently become our bar of choice being so close to Victoria Station, rather charmingly planted in the leafy streets of Belgravia, Pimlico, and so terribly convenient for our London and Brighton OBs. It does have one particular problem though, in that it has a namesake around the corner, and hence some of our OBs went on a little tour of drinking establishments before finding the correct Ebury. However, this didn’t dampen our evening on Thursday 10th November, and the eclectic range of OBs that find their way to the London Drinks had a suitably good time.
This year saw the third OB London Universities Dinner and we were joined not only by teachers from the Common Room, but also one of our governors, Andrew Cayley (Br. 1977-82) who himself attended UCL. The Old Brightonians is strongly supported by the College Governors, and it was brilliant that Andrew was able to join us.
With some many OBs attending Universities in the West of England, we decided that it would be only be fitting to host a dinner in Bristol following on from our OB London, Cambridge and Oxford dinners.
I am rarely asked by the manager to leave a public bar before closing time but I am pleased to report that on this occasion I did not disgrace myself! When I reserved a space at one of London’s newest trendy bars I saw no problem with the condition that we should make way for another party at 9:30pm. These informal gatherings usually attract just a few London OBs in search of someone to share a pint with after work and all have usually gone home by 8pm.