It was a great pleasure to attend the Trollope Society Dinner in the splendid surroundings of the Great Hall, Middle Temple. The hall is regarded by many as the finest remaining example of an Elizabethan Hall in the UK. Built in 1562 with a magnificent double hammer beam roof with a 41 foot span, it is wood panelled with stained glass windows commemorating figures associated with the Inn including Edward VII, Sir Walter Raleigh and Edward Osborne, Lord Mayor in 1583.
Guests of the Society at the High Table, which was constructed out of four 29 foot long planks fcut rom a single oak tree gifted to the Inn by Elizabeth I, included: Sir John Major, Lord Dyson (former Master of the Rolls and Head of Civil Justice, and a Justice of the Supreme Court – not the glorified “Hoover” inventor), Susan Hampshire, Julian Fellowes and his wife Lady Emma, Joanna Trollope, Hugh and Barbara Trollope, and Professor Steven Amarnick.
After dinner, Chairman of the Trollope Society, Michael Williamson, formally announced that Susan Hampshire has kindly agreed to become a vice president of the Society and Professor Amarnick, whose work with his team to reconstruct the full version of The Duke’s Children is now available in a reasonably priced trade hardback through Everyman, proposed the toast.
The dinner was punctuated by musical interludes including a specially adapted song “Thirty Years On”, complete with song-along chorus, to commemorate the thirtieth anniversary of the founding of the Trollope Society.