For many years a group of St John’s friends from the 1950’s have met every November for lunch at the Oxford and Cambridge Club in Pall Mall, London and for the past three years this happy custom has been extended to include a summer gathering in Oxford together with partners. Last year, when the St John’s Barge was restored temporarily for Eights Week to its original home in Christ Church Meadows, the gathering took the form of a Champagne Reception on the Barge followed by dinner at the Oxford Spires Hotel. As the hotel is on the South bank and the Barge was moored on the North bank, this involved somewhat precarious and decidedly hilarious river crossings in punts. But happily all was accomplished without any duckings.
On 13th July this year the ‘Friends of the Fifties’ gathering took place at Sandford. Again celebrations started with a Champagne Reception on the Barge, back in its customary mooring in the grounds of the Oxford Thames Four Pillars Hotel. This was followed by a delicious and leisurely lunch in the Little Barn at the Hotel and the event concluded with cheese, coffee and plentiful port on the Barge. It is good to record that again all this was achieved without anyone falling in, in spite of steadily advancing age and steadily consumed alcohol.
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