OPs spanning 58 years from 1964 to 2022 joined OP President, Joan Gough (75-77), Vice President, Charlie Lambert (01-08), and Committee member Simon Spence KC (74-81) at this year’s London Black Tie Dinner held at the RAF Club on Friday 18 November. The dinner was oversubscribed – a testament to the event’s growing popularity in recent years.
Several OPs had organised tables for their year group reunions. Of note was the Class of 1992 celebrating 30 years since leaving school, two of whom had travelled from the US to be there.
A number of retired staff members also attended including: Sarah Green (00-22), Paul Bennett (03-21), Andrew D’Arcy (83-21), Mike Evans (84-17), Nicholas Clements (00-07), Pat Boden (98-06), Sue Sumner (88-09), David Dyson (88-18), and Trevor Loten (70-80, former staff 86-21). Current staff were the Headmaster, Toby Seth, External Relations Director, Sheena McNamee, Development Officer, Jenny Preston, OP Liaison Officer, Rachel Dare, and boarding housemaster, Patrick Dare. A full guest list is here.
As guests arrived, the Churchill bar quickly filled up and the atmosphere was buzzing. This continued as people moved to the Sovereigns’ Room for the dinner with every table full to capacity with OPs and guests.
After the meal, Joan thanked everyone for coming and spoke of the vibrancy of the OP network. She encouraged OPs to register on the OP website and make the most of opportunities to volunteer as a mentor or seek careers support from an OP mentor.
Joan then invited the Headmaster, Toby Seth, to say a few words. He commented on the healthy position the school was in, with excellent pupil numbers and strong demand for admissions. At the same time, the school is focusing on growing its Shape the Future Bursary Campaign to enable it to give more young people the opportunity to access a life changing education at Pocklington.
Afterwards, guests gradually drifted back to the Churchill bar to continue the party before last orders and the evening drawing to a close at midnight.
Joan said, “Last night was an amazing evening, a resounding success! When I was looking round the room during my speech, it was just a sea of people enjoying themselves and made me feel fortunate to be an OP.”
OP Romney Walton (90-92) said: “Thank you for organising such a lovely evening! It was so nice to catch up with old friends and make some new ones… I loved it! Great job!!”
Andrew D’Arcy commented: “I absolutely loved Friday night, from start to finish...enjoyed everything! A beautiful venue and the dinner was just a delight, thank you so much for all that you did and do to make the night so special. Lovely to see so many old faces as well – my table was perfect and excellent company.”
Thank you to all who came to the event. Next year’s dinner will be on Friday 17 November 2023 at the RAF Club once again – we recommend that you get your tables organised early, ready for when bookings open in the summer term as places are likely to sell quickly! Please contact the OP office if you need any help contacting your contemporaries.
We hope to see you next year!
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