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Annual Dinner 2017

January 14, 2017 @ 6:30 pm - 10:00 pm

A couple of cancellations from members who had booked to attend the Annual Dinner have meant that a few last minute places are available.

The Society's sixty-third Annual Dinner will be held in the Members' Dining Room at the House of Commons, London, on Saturday 14th January 2017, at 6.30 for 7.30 pm.  The title assigned to this year's function is THE FRANCO-MIDLAND FANDANGO.  We are much indebted to Bob Neill, who makes a welcome return as our sponsor as a sitting Member of Parliament, a requirement for all functions held in this unique venue. We look forward to welcoming both him and all or most of our Honorary Members, as well as members of the Society from all over the world.

Our guest speaker this year is Mark Billingham.  Mark is a former actor and stand-up comedian and is now a bestselling crime writer.  He grew up in Birmingham, hence the title for our Annual Dinner.  

Mark commenced his entertainment career as an actor, then went on to pursue a career in comedy, performing all over the world and appearing regularly at The Comedy Store. In 2001 his debut novel Sleepyhead was published, later chosen by the Sunday Times as one of the 100 books that had shaped the decade. It was the first of thirteen novels featuring DI Tom Thorne which have twice won him the Crime Novel Of The Year award as well as the Sherlock Award for Best British Detective. 

A television series based on the Thorne novels starred David Morrissey as Tom Thorne and a major new drama based on In The Dark and Time Of Death is to be screened by the BBC early next year. His latest novel Die of Shame was published in May this year.

The menu for the Dinner is as follows:-

Smoked haddock terrine with potatoes and tarragon, Granny Smith apple, cider, crispy capers and brown butter dressing

Roasted Gressingham duck, confit leg, cranberry and orange sauce buttered savoy cabbage and dauphinoise potato

Apple and cinnamon crumble with vanilla ice cream

Coffee and petit fours

Most members will know that the seating capacity of the Members' Dining Room is limited to 170 and that this means it is only possible for them to invite one guest each. If the Dinner is oversubscribed a ballot will be held immediately after the closing date for applications, which is Friday 25th November.  Security at the House of Commons is necessarily strict, and admission will be by formal invitation only: for this reason we need to know the full name of your guest if you are bringing one.  Successful applicants will receive personalised invitation cards which will have to be produced to the police on the night in order to gain entrance to the building, and as these will perforce be despatched during the Christmas postal rush please do not worry unduly if yours does not arrive until after the holiday.  If you expect to be away at that time please give an address to which mail should be sent to ensure safe receipt.  Guests are advised to bring personal photo identification.

A vegetarian alternatives will be available if ordered in advance, and special dietary requirements can also be catered for provided sufficient notice is given.  Space is provided on the application form for you to state your requirements. Details of the Vegetarian main course are unlikely to be available in advance of the Dinner.

The charge for the evening will be £87.00/US$174.00 per head, inclusive of everything except drinks which must be paid for individually on the night.  Copies of the House of Commons wine and bar lists will be sent to all successful applicants so that they can order in advance: we have found that this gives everyone more time to mingle with friends in the bar beforehand – although you will be able to place an order on the night if you prefer.

The Dinner is a formal occasion and it is customary for gentlemen to wear dinner jackets (black tie) and for ladies to wear evening dress (short or long) but this is not obligatory. Visitors from overseas in particular may not wish to bring dress clothes for one evening only, and we should like to assure them that dark lounge suits and cocktail frocks are equally suitable.

Smoking, including e-cigarettes, is not permitted in any rooms, including the pre-prandial bar and the Dining Room itself. 

Download full details and application


January 14, 2017
6:30 pm - 10:00 pm
Event Category:


House of Commons, London
St Margarets Street, Westminster
London, SW1A 0AA United Kingdom
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