This years’ OSA London Dinner was held in the elegant four-domed Grade II listed, Edwardian headquarters of the Institution of Civil Engineers, at One Great George Street, just off Parliament Square in Westminster. The venue had been specifically requested by our President, John Wren, who has been a professional member of the Institution for over sixty years! John’s personal support which enabled us to use this location for the Dinner is greatly appreciated by the Association.
We gathered for pre-dinner drinks in the grand Council Room and then moved next door into the magnificent, wood-panelled Brunel Room to dine. An almost full-house of 77 members then sat down, after an appropriate grace by Ray Crudgington (Sparta, 78-85), to a fine meal of smoked salmon, roast chicken, Eton mess and a more than adequate quantity of house wines.
Chris Sorrell once again acted as our Master of Ceremonies for the evening with his usual vigour and humour providing the obligatory interruptions and toasts including the oldest member present, Philip Hopkins (Tuscany, 39-41), the youngest, Sarah Webber (Sparta, 2008-10), the Mansfield Evacuees and for only the second time in recent memory, Sparta as Cock House!
Chris also entertained us with a couple of poetry recitals from past School magazines, much to the embarrassment of the authors, Chris Woodman (Tuscany, 73-80) and Grant Tuff (Sparta, 78-85).
Our President, John, then gave us a brief talk on the life and times of his hero – Isambard Kingdom Brunel. He made reference to his many and diverse engineering achievements including railways (broad gauge and atmospheric), bridges, tunnels, dockyards and propeller driven, iron, sailing ships (SS Great Eastern).
The formal proceedings concluded in good time and allowed the Old Boys to adjourn to the Council Room to continue reminiscing before returning home or continuing “In Town”.
The list of members attending the Dinner can be found here.