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After visiting a few colleges, I felt Emma
was the one in which I felt most welcome

Emily, 2nd Year

Past Events

Members and their guests have been busy attending a wide range of events. Reports and photographs are below.

Friday 15 JUN 2018

Emmanuel Society logo

Society vs. College Cricket Match


Saturday 9 JUN 2018

Recent Graduates' Dinner (June)

7:00pm – Hall

Friday 4 MAY 2018

Burnaby Recital

6:15pm – Queen's Building Lecture Theatre

This was a wonderful evening, well received by all in attendance.

Daniel Rowland and Alissa Firsova really brought the works of Daniel Milhaud and César Franck to life, with their own subtle yet commanding performances.

Thursday 3 MAY 2018

Emmanuel Society logo

Tour of the Supreme Court

6:00pm – Parliament Square, Westminster SW1P 3BD

The tour of the Supreme Court was thoroughly enjoyed by the lucky few able to attend.

The Court's significance, coupled with the incredible architecture created a lasting impression - not to mention the keenly knowledgable guide, who really brought the place to life.

Sunday 29 APR 2018

Chapel Choir Reunion 2018

4:00pm – Emmanuel College Chapel

Following the successes of the Chapel Choir Reunions of 2012 and 2015, this evening's Reunion is sure to be remembered fondly by the 65 people who came, listened, and sang.

From the opening Hail, Gladdening Light to the closing anthem of Blest pair of Sirens, the Chapel walls reverberated with the collective voice of all.

Saturday 28 APR 2018

Recent Graduates' Dinner (April)

7:00pm – Hall

Wednesday 25 APR 2018

Emmanuel Society logo

Emmanuel Society Lecture by James Fox

Leighton House Museum, Holland Park Road, W14 8LZ

The Society Lecture was given on Wednesday 26 April – in London for the first time – by the art historian Dr James Fox. In the rather sumptuous surroundings of Leighton House, he held some sixty of us completely fascinated by his illustrated talk on Blue.

The brief analysis, scientific and aesthetic, of a Titian painting was typically wide-ranging and, overall, the speaker’s presentation of Blue from its ethereal, other-worldly quality, via the hard facts about its costliness as lapis lazuli, to the notion of it as quintessentially earthly after all – the blue planet memorably photographed from space – was thoroughly absorbing.

The lecture stimulated questions that led the speaker into indigo dye, to the use of blue in television and film, the varying gender associations of the colour, as well as its role in achieving the blackest of blacks and the whitest of whites.

The evening concluded with drinks, and an opportunity to explore the House.

Saturday 24 MAR 2018

Gathering of Members (1970-72)

Tuesday 6 MAR 2018

Master's Supper in New York

6:30pm – Harvard Club of New York

The Master, her husband Bob Merrill and Sarah Bendall (Development Director) were delighted to welcome over sixty members local to New York to a supper party at the Harvard Club of New York. Members and their family and friends were able to catch up with College news and reminicse about good time at College with their contemporaries, and new friends. 

Tuesday 6 MAR 2018

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London Drinks

6:00pm – Phoenix Artist Club 1 Phoenix Street, London WC2H 8BU

Around 50 members gathered at the Phoenix Artist Club for our annual informal drinks gathering. We were a diverse group represented across several decades from those in their prime down to recent graduates. There was a good showing of the latter group encouraged by free drinks. Throughout the evening a lively buzz filled our area of the bar as friends reunited and new connections were made. We look forward to welcoming everyone back next year.

Wednesday 21 FEB 2018

Emmanuel Society logo

Talk by Nicola Blackwood (2003): CANCELLED


Unfortunately this talk was cancelled, for personal reasons. We hope to find a new date.

Wednesday 21 FEB 2018

Visit to the UL Holdsworth Collection

3:00pm – University Library, Cambridge

Local members and Fellows of the College enjoyed a tour of the University Library by ark Purcell, Deputy Director, Research Collections, and Liam Sims, Rare Books Specialist. We were shown fascinating  items from the library of Richard Holdsworth, fourth Master of Emmanuel (1636-43).

Under his will of 1649, he intended that his library of more than 10,000 should go either to the University or Emmanuel. Sancroft felt that Emmanuel’s claim was good, but after legal negotiations the books were eventually conceded to the University. This was a wonderful opportunity to see what we might have had!

Tuesday 13 FEB 2018

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Emmanuel Society Travelling Book Group - first discussion

8:00pm – Fellows' Breakfast Room, College

Oh, but the kitchen did tempt us!

Clearly keen that we should make the most of the last evening before Lent started they sent up a generosity of pancakes accompanied by apple in calvados, chocolate sauce or classic lemon juice and sugar.  But the real treat of the evening was the opportunity to discuss The Anatomy of Ghosts not only with each other but also with its author Andrew Taylor (also a member of the Emmanuel Society, of course). He took questions not so much about the plot as about the ‘how’ of writing it. Focussing on its being set in the eighteenth century, we covered the difficulties of getting historic dialogue to be both comprehensible to modern readers, and tolerably authentic.

We also considered his relationship with his publishers, editing drafts and how his books tend to lose characters and complications during that process, and what he might feel were his agent to get a contract for a television drama based on one of his many books. We wondered whether there was something River Styx-ish going on with the hero’s son and wife drowning in the Thames and the body in the pond at “Jerusalem College”, but he said that was not conscious on his part. The college name has to be in quotation marks because it is so clearly Emmanuel, despite one of the characters, Tom Turdman, saying early on that he collects from Jerusalem, Emmanuel, Christ’s and a couple of other (real) colleges. And, sitting in the Fellows’ Breakfast Room with the arcade alongside the chapel where so much of the action takes place visible out of the open-curtained window, we reminded ourselves about the real body in the pond: the resident of Fen Ditton whose freshly buried corpse was procured for two Fellows who were anatomists, in about 1730. When the angry crowd broke in to search the College they were frustrated by its being weighed down in the pond to be retrieved later (Dr Ron Gray’s letter to Dame Fiona, 25 April 2014). For those with stamina there was also a cheeseboard, port and fruit, a theme to be repeated at the Easter Term meeting!

Friday 2 FEB 2018

Burnaby Recital


The College were delighted to welcome Simon and David Ponsford back to College for a recital in the Chapel. Simon is an established countertenor soloist and was accompanied by the virginals, played by his father (1968). The performance was a delightful evening of Elizabeth and Jacobean song, with performances of Dowland, Burd, Tomkins and Johnson.

Wednesday 31 JAN 2018

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First Night of Television: Talk by Hugh Hunt


We were delighted to welcome Dr Hugh Hunt (1984), Reader in Engineering Dynamics and Vibration and Fellow of Trinity, to College for a talk on 31 January. Dr Hugh talked about the fascinating first BBC television broadcast. He detailed how it was done, giving demonstrations of spinning discs and flashing lights. Footage of the broadcast itself was shown and he talked passionately about the wonders of the engineering! Many members of the Emma and Cambridge Engineering Societies attended, and probed Dr Hunt for further information at supper in the Old Library.

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