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2010 : City Lunch Review

2010 City Lunch

I was particularly struck as I arrived at the Bleeding Heart Restaurant, at the sense of history that pervades the whole place.  It is not at all difficult to believe that a murder or three took place.  Indeed, Lady Hatton copped it here, in the 17th Century, for being rather over-familiar with too many Royals, Bishops (surely not), and Foreign Ambassadors.  It was of course a foreigner that did for her – and her ‘bleeding heart’ gave the place its name.

The restaurant itself is delightful – and I was greeted to a room full to the brim with 58 Worthians, from the sixties to the naughties – Father Stephen and Desmond Calnan being the oldest and Chris Madsen the youngest.  Each decade was well represented – with those from the Seventies, numbering 23, topping the table.

Guests included Fathers Stephen and Kevin for the spiritual input, and Father Stephen delivered a wonderful Grace.  Additionally, Helen Sweetman and Evonne Gubbins were present (just in case anyone should require medical attention!).  Messrs Owers, Robinson (Nicholas) and Robertson were there to provide scintillating wit and rampantly anecdotal material for those present (just the same as the days when they taught the assembled throng!).  The whole event was formally informal – the usual suspects arrived at the wrong time and some didn’t quite do ‘dress code’.

When the whole throng had assembled, Simon McMenemy welcomed everyone and said a few words about the Society, following which, Father Stephen responded on behalf of the guests.

I was particularly lucky that my daughter, Elizabeth, could be there at the lunch – and it was highly amusing to find out just how many Worthians had been her babysitter!  The guests located their respective peers to dine alongside, and the spread was just wonderful – to describe it as crab, lamb, chocolate pud and coffee certainly doesn’t do it justice, but it gives you an idea.  I was on Nick Metcalf’s mid-70s table and I would like to thank them wholeheartedly for their generosity and excellent wine selection (and for allowing me to pop to the loo whilst the bill was settled!).

Returning briefly to the historical : the memories recalled were, without doubt, fond ones and inevitably amusing – Father Roger’s beer;  Father Edward’s St Bede’s theme pub;  Father Fabian climbing up a tree to catch the smokers;  Father Dominic who would often share a ciggy with his prefects;  Father Benedict’s sailing;  Father Bernard’s history classes;  Rutherford Parties;  Russell Coleburt’s mobile fruit bowl;  Roger Stokes’ Chapman Soirées – and so the list went on … and on.  And as one circulated a little more, we were regaled with further stories of rugby tours of Aurillac;  ski trips with Mike Margrett;  A-level geography trips with Keith Owers and JD;  and Art trips with James Cockburn (all allegedly in the interests of education).

I cannot mention all present by name – but it was with particular warmth that I was reconnected with families with whom I have been lucky enough to see both father and son through Worth.  The girls now add an extra dimension to that family continuity.  The news that Harry Whelpton had been Head of Rutherford caused Keith Owers some amusement.  And Chris Coffin is father of Worth’s first Head Girl – Jessica.  There will be many more links in the chain in the years ahead, I am sure.

The final point has to be the warmth and strength of feeling that Worth generates.  The Benedictine values that Worth is based upon came through very strongly as a core value in the lives of most of the people I spoke to. Some may not realise it, but their friendship, hospitality, sense of humour and concern for others says it all.

On behalf of everyone there, our thanks must go to all those involved in the organisation of the event, and to Olivia Henley in particular

Glenn Robertson (former member of Staff)

March 2010

City Lunch – List of Attendees

The following attended the City Lunch :


Desmond Calnan (R’69)

70s :

Andrew Agnew (G’77)

Nick Barnett (G’73)

Michael Berkeley (G’76)

James Blake (B’77)

Mark Breen (StB’76)

Robert Bodnar-Horvath (B’74)

Nigel Burnford (StB’72)

Paul Cattermull (StB’73)

Mark Drummond-Brady (B’75)

Hugh Easterbrook (R’76)

Jeremy Fletcher (G’72)

James Forte (C’72)

Steve Fowler (R’75)

Gavin Hamilton-Deeley (R’70)

Brian Heathcote (C’70)

Paddy Jago (StB’75)

Nick Metcalf (R’75)

Steven Noel-Hill (StB’74)

Stephen Thorton (C’75)

Tony van den Bosch (C’74)

Anthony Ward-Thomas (B’76)

Charlie Whelpton (B’74)

Michael Worrall (R’71)

80s :

Mark Collini (StB’89)

Sean Donnellan (StB’86)

Crispin Hayhoe (StB’82)

Charles Hooper (C’80)

Martin Hunt (StB’81)

Simon McMenemy (R’89)

Elizabeth Robertson (B’86)

Alex Walters (StB’80)

90s :

Ben Babington (G’96)

Simon Douglas (B’90)

Charlie Gerada (R’90)

Alex Kenney (B’97)

Will Kenney (B’95)

Richard Lynton-Jones (StB’97)

00s :

Je Ahn (R’01)

Luca Belpassi (G’01)

James D’Arcy (StB’02)

Giles Heather (F’03)

Mark Lane (F’03)

Chris Madsen (B’04)
Rorrie Mars (R’03)

Tom Podbury (C’02)

Adrian Pring (R’01)

James Pymont (B’00)

James Wallace (StB’02)

John-Henry Wicks (G’00)

Honorary Members, Monks and Worth Society :

Fr Stephen

Fr Kevin

Evonne Gubbin

Keith Owers

Nick Robinson

Glenn Robertson

Helen Sweetman

Olivia Henley

58 in total