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Annual Dinner 2019

January 19 @ 6:30 pm - 10:45 pm

The Society’s sixty-fifth Annual Dinner will be held in the Members’ Dining Room at the House of Commons, London, on Saturday 19th January 2019, at 6.30 for 7.30 pm.  The title assigned to this year’s function is THE RED-HEADED HEIST.  We are much indebted to Bob Neill, who not only makes a welcome return as our sponsor as a sitting Member of Parliament, a requirement for all functions held in this unique venue, but has also  agreed to be our guest speaker this year.

Bob Neill is Member of Parliament for Bromley and Chislehurst. He was educated at Abbs Cross Grammar School, Hornchurch in Essex, before going on to study Law at the London School of Economics, which led to a successful career as a barrister specialising in criminal law. He has served as a Local Councillor and Member of the Greater London Assembly, where he served as the Leader of the Conservative Group. He was elected as MP for Bromley & Chislehurst in June 2006, following the sudden death of The Rt Hon Eric Forth. After only a year in Parliament Bob was appointed Shadow London Minister, joining the Shadow Communities & Local Government team. In 2008 he was made Shadow Local Government Minister and Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party and in January 2009, he also took over the shadow planning brief. From May 2010 to September 2012, Bob Neill MP was appointed as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of Communities and Local Government. In this role, he had responsibilities for the Fire Service, Thames Gateway, the Olympics, local government and planning. He currently serves on the Liaison Committee (Commons), the National Security Strategy (Joint Committee) and from 2015 has Chaired the Justice Select Committee. This Committee scrutinises the work of the Ministry of Justice, the Courts and legal system.

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.

The menu for the Dinner is as follows:-

  • Seared mackerel fillet with celeriac and horseradish remoulade carrots,
  • Granny Smith apple and ginger puree
  • Roasted rump of lamb, haggis croquette and whisky sauce swede mash,
  • wilted kale and onion puree
  • Blueberry cheesecake – blueberry jam, vanilla cheesecake,
  • Speculoos biscuit and pickled blueberries
  • Coffee and petit fours

Most members will know that the seating capacity of the Members’ Dining Room is limited to 176 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 7th December.  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 or fish alternative 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 and Fish main course options are unlikely to be available in advance of the Dinner.

The charge for the evening will be £88.00/US$132.00 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.

Please bring photo id such as a passport or photo driving licence on the night.

 The Society likes to keep a record of its activities, including photographs of our meetings which are published in the Journal and on the Society’s website/Facebook page.  If you do not want to appear in a Society photograph please avoid being in any posed photographs and advise one of the meeting organisers.

Download full details and application form.


January 19
6:30 pm - 10:45 pm
Event Category:


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