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London Dinner 2003

The 57th London Dinner was held at the Quality Hotel, Westminster on Friday 16 May. Peter and Liz Jones had worked tirelessly to raise support for this enjoyable function, and got together 43 Old Tauntonians for the occasion. Sixteen of them travelled from Southampton in the coach organised by Martin Rowe, and Tony Ironside had come from New Zealand. Over 30 apologies had been received, many citing the following day's Cup Final as their reason.

Chairman for the evening was Barrie Ellis-Jones (1952–1958) and the MC was the excellent Ian Carnaby (1961–1967).

Jenny Fitton could not be at the dinner, and in her place we were privileged to have the Vice Principal of the College, Chris Worden. Chris spoke of the College year and the successes gained across the range of College activities.

Introducing the Chairman, Ian told us of Barrie's BA and MA degrees in German from Nottingham University and his success in teaching and publishing in that language. However, his first love was film, and it was in the latter field that he became recognised internationally.

Barrie told us of his pre-Taunton's days at Oakmount School. Over the way from Oakmount was Taunton's, which he joined in 1952. Extra curricular activities at Taunton's included acting and poetry reading – he once won a Latin Verse Speaking contest against the mighty Winchester College.

After Taunton's came Nottingham University and an honours degree in German. He made full use of his degree, as a lecturer in German at the University of East Anglia, the compiler of Collins Large German Dictionary and the translator of Walser's Das Einhorn – published by Calder and Boyars as The Unicorn.

In 1974 he started an illustrious career in the film industry as Deputy Director of Films of Scotland before joining the British Film Institute, rising to Acting Deputy Director and in 1989/1990 was seconded as Chief Executive, European Film Awards Glasgow 1990.

In 1991 Lord Attenborough invited him to become Chief Executive of Cinema 100. For two years from 1994 he was Executive Secretary, Euroimages, Council of Europe and for the past seven years he has been freelance – a consultant on European film and television.

For a full report see our newsletter, News & Views No. 56, Oct 2003.

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