Lunch in Lectoure, with Baron Lawson of Blaby, Saturday, 12th August.

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We are pleased to invite you to what we believe will be an exceptional event; a quality lunch in lovely surroundings in the Gers, with a suitable post-prandial address by our guest, Nigel Lawson.

Those who attended our AGM four years ago will remember this fine hotel in 32700 Lectoure. Since then it has changed hands and a recent visit satisfies us the cuisine has improved still further. Our lunch will take place indoors in the elegant dining room, with apéritifs outside, weather permitting.

Nigel Lawson went up to Christ Church in the 1950s and took a First in PPE. He went on to write the Lexicon column at the FT, edit The Spectator, then serve inter alia as Chancellor of the Exchequer under Margaret Thatcher for 6 years to 1989. He has a house in the Gers and has kindly agreed to join us, with his partner, as our guest (or indeed he could be a member!) We are told by someone who heard him speak quite recently, that this is a rewarding experience.

Lunch, including 3 courses, apéritif, wine and coffee, is 35 euros per person. Members’ spouses and guests will be welcome, but capacity is limited to 40 so please reserve seats early to avoid disappointment! Because we are taking over the entire indoor dining area we are naturally being asked for a payment in advance, so
please confirm your wish to attend, with numbers, to Marion and then send your cheque for the relevant sum (being 35 euros x number of people) made payable to OUS SW France, to our Treasurer: Pip Kirby, 26 rue des fossés, 47800 Allemans du Dropt.

For further information, please refer to :
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nigel_Lawson

The final closing date for notifying your attendance or otherwise is Saturday 29 July.

Final details and directions will be circulated in due course to those attending.

Visiting Josephine

Our group of 30 visited Josephine Baker’s Chateau des Milandes on 26th June, courtesy of Tony Tucker. A fascinating tour of this 15th century Chateau, restored in the 20th century after centuries of disuse, and home of the American-born entertainer Josephine Baker from 1937 to 1968 was followed by lunch and a well-presented display of predatory birds. Josephine Baker’s story is well documented, but still remarkable as a major stage star in revues of the 20s and 30s, who then used her wealth extravagantly and immensely generously at Milandes, modernising the village and adopting eleven children. Then as a member of the French Secret Service in World War II she earned the Legion d’Honneur, and became a major participant in Civil Rights demonstrations in the 1960s. The I-Spy prize goes to Richard O’Neill for spotting the pocket-free ‘Irish’ billiard table’ and the raptor photography prize goes to Pip Kirby.

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The OUBC 2014 Boat Race squad comes to SW France

 

Warming up
Warming Up

 

The A crew with the President aboard
The A crew with the President aboard

All together now!

Marion reports:

The chilly, overcast day did nothing to dampen the spirits of those members who went to Le Temple-sur-Lot recently to meet and encourage the OUBC oarsmen and coxes training for the 2014 race. The crews, excellent ambassadors of the University, cheerfully gave up some of their free time to talk to us.  The lunch which followed, and which was attended by the two coaches (Sean Bowden and Andy Nelder), the President (Malcolm Howard) and the Club Administrator (Barbara Wilson), was a lively and convivial affair ; after watching the crews warm up and set off for their afternoon’s training, the OUS SW France members present (some of whom had travelled a long distance for the occasion) agreed unanimously that the event should be repeated next year !

What’s It All About, Albi

Richard O’Neill (Treasurer) kindly organised our visit to Albi on 17th May. Given the dismal May weather, our group of 16 were blessed by a sunny, rain-free day, starting inside, of course, with a fine lunch at La Temporalité, itself sandwiched in between the Cathedral and the newly-extended Toulouse-Lautrec Museum. We were detained longer than perhaps expected by this artist’s extraordinary draughtsmanship. The massive exterior of the Cathedral (supposedly the largest brick building in the world) didn’t seem particularly beckoning, but the interior is as rich as the exterior is austere. It has a particularly compelling representation of hell (and above) and amazingly well-preserved 16th-century painted vaulting and chapels. The boat-trip on the Tarn would have been positively dangerous given the state of the river after our May rains, but it didn’t really matter. A splendid day out: see our snapshots below.

Temporalite

 

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The Cathedral from the Museum

 

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A Stern Warning to all Transgressors
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The uninviting Tarn from the Museum

Madrid 2013

Our Chairman, John Baylis, and Treasurer, Richard O’Neill attended the European Reunion for alumni in Madrid. Photo courtesy of Jo Whiting. John is also seen at the Trinity College dinner. This was hosted by Greg Timofiejew (Oxford and Cambridge Society of Poland and Oxford and Cambridge Dining Club of Geneva), seen to the right of John and left of Jackie Hruby, the Alumni Office organiser.

2013 European Reunion - Friday Dinner (1)

 

Alice in Wonderland

Friday 19th April saw 18 OUS members and guests assembling at Château Pierrail, near 33220 Margueron, for a tour of the well-designed gardens, the winery and tastings of the fine Bordeaux Superior wines produced here. Alice and Jacques Demonchaux took on this beautiful once-baronial 17 C residence with 70 hectares of vines in 1970 and today it is a magnificent private estate producing first-class wines sold to restaurants throughout Europe.

Among the party was OUS Branch Secretary from Perth, Australia, Roger Winwood, seen here with our Chairman John Baylis and Secretary Marion Tempé.

Lunch was enjoyed at the Relais de Monestier before most of us drove to Allemans du Dropt, there to be suitably impressed by the 15 C frescoes in the church of Saint Eutrope, then relax with a cup of tea chez Pip & Sue Kirby, whose house is but a stone’s throw away in the village.