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2,500 Attend Centenary Ball

Jun 18 2007 11:00
Ashley Brown
2,500 students, alumni and guests attended Imperial's massive Centenary Ball on Saturday night, which also made national news.
The marquee might cover the lawn, but it has its uses
Trevor Phillips speaks, including a joke about the Queen Mother which riled the tabloid press

Saturday night's Centenary Ball was the first one in many years to turn a profit, with 500 people arriving for a champagne reception and 2,000 more turning up later in the evening for the plethora of entertainments available across South Kensington.

The massive ticket sales combined with sponsorship means a healthy profit should be made, which will be put into the Beit redevelopment plan. Festivities continued into the early hours of the morning, with people in bow-ties still at South Kensington station at 7:45am.

The food on offer was far better than previous College-catered events, being followed by some excellent but mercifully short speeches. Trevor Phillips focussed on the quality and diversity of students at Imperial, highlighting the things that make the place special. He concluded with a plea to those present to keep sight of one quality in particular, describing Imperial as "classy but without the pomp".

The speech Phillips gave has caused a kerfuffle in the tabloid press due to a joke about the Queen Mother, as The Mirror, The Sun and that bastion of fine journalism, The Metro, are all reporting. It seems a couple of the guests found the joke distasteful and have contacted the press, which are now seeking to embarrass Phillips. Live! will be checking stoic tv's tapes of the speech, but we are fairly sure the joke did in fact get laughter, not the "stunned silence" Scott Solder, 37, and Richard Norris, 35, claim it received.

After the dinner the crowd dispersed to join those with ents-only tickets, with activities around campus including human table football, a shisha bar, a small casino area, fun-fair and of course plenty of music. Fireworks were launched from the top of EEE, with a small pyrotechnic display from Sherfield amounting mostly to a lot of smoke pouring from the building. A bar stretching the length of the MDH and Ante Room provided refreshments in Sherfield, while the union's bars serviced those in the quad.

On the basis that a picture speaks a thousand words, here comes a long article...

The crowd wait for dinner
Dinner in the marquee
The Queen's Tower
Fireworks were launched from EEE
Eton Road were well received by some of Imperial's female population
The funfair returned
The dodgems provided an ideal place for bitter hacks to crash into each other
Beit provided a more relaxed atmosphere
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Discussion about “2,500 Attend Centenary Ball”

The comments below are unmoderated submissions by Live! readers. The Editor accepts no liability for their content, nor for any offence caused by them. Any complaints should be directed to the Editor.
Jun 18 2007 11:19

Well, I am looking for a place I can vent my frustration at such a disappointing event. You've highlighted the dinner, which I believe was a success from what I have heard but the rest...

?35 for what?? Eton Road singing Backstreet boys at 1.30am in the morning, no wine available in any of the bars (except the union) at 9.30pm (not to mention that by 2am you couldn't buy much of anything apart from in the union) and fireworks that I've seen better at my mates house parties (and you didn't have to strain your neck to see it). The only place with decent music, dBs was so packed you weren't allowed in!!!

It may have been a profit but it's no surprise that people don't come back to these events.

If anyone knows who we can complain to at the union could you let me know so that I can send them a torrent of emails. Really very disappointing for a 100 year celebration.

2. Cat   
Jun 18 2007 11:42

I beg to differ. I thought the whole evening was a great success and thoroughly enjoyed all the ents, especially the fun fair. If you were prepared to queue you could certainly get value for money and perhaps it was for the best that the alcoholics of the college weren't able to pour their student loan down the drain after alcohol. It is possible to have fun and to stay sober.

Personally I think those people who put a great deal of time and effort into organising what must be a logistical nightmare ought to be congratulated for providing such a smoothly run and enjoyable event.

Jun 18 2007 13:57

I also thought it was a fantastic event. (Amir: fyi, I paid ?85 for my ticket and though it was superb value).

I think Jon should be congratulated on running a splendid ball, and I hope he's managed to recover fully from the stress he went through before hand.

College Catering did a fantastic job as well; the best i've ever sen at one of these events. S kudos to paddy, david parker and everyone else (I'm sorry, I can't remember the head of catering's name from the night - too much alcohol :-) )

Jun 18 2007 14:57

I spoke to one guest, who has attended over 40 IC summer balls, and he described this event as "by far the best Union ball in living memory".

Thank you to everybody who helped make this such a brilliant event. With the exception of a few comments about queues at the start, I have heard nothing except positive feedback about this event. This clearly shows that the hard work put into the organisation of this event by our dedicated staff and volunteers paid off.

Jun 18 2007 15:33

Echoing the comments above, I had a fantastic time and drank far too much champagne. I can only hope that next year I run a ball half as successful as this years! Well done to the staff and Sabbs who ensured that everyone (well almost) had a fantastic time!


Jun 19 2007 12:47

Can you guys upload Trevor jokes on youtube? Plssssss! Tim

7. ha!   
Jun 20 2007 15:24

two main acts didnt turn up. no alcohol.


i was there last year, it was far better

Jun 20 2007 18:38

I don't know how else to break this to you, ha!, but ALL acts turned up.

Jun 21 2007 12:37

then where was vernon kay? and pendulum? ayy jonny boy?

Jun 21 2007 14:27

Erm...did you see the announcement of Vernon Kay withdrawing to be replaced by Alex Zane? So there was an act there, which was very well received from what I've heard from fellow friends and acquaintances that were there.

I don't know what you mean by 'No Alcohol' (meths maybe?) but I certainly had booze. There was even Imperial 100 available in the great hall!

I know being supportive of something is not very Imperial of me, but I had a great time at the ball; the atmosphere was electric and I was elated all weekend. A Big Matty congrats to all those involved is in order.

Jun 21 2007 18:52

I must agree with Amir.

This years event was pretty poor compared with last years event. Vodka and Tonic had run out by 11 at the MDH bar, the burlesque dancers and the rat pack were awful. The fireworks didnt really go off with much of a bang and were pretty short. The union was splattered in sick. Pendulum i admit were wicked but the sound wasnt that great which let them down.

Last year's event with the shaolin monks, the fire horse and jcr casino/sheisha seemed much more value for money ents ticket wise than ben mills, eaton road etc this year. Its all very well those who paid ?85 saying they had value for money, but those who paid ?35 and didnt even get breakfast included, this years ball was a great dissapointment

Jun 21 2007 20:19

The union had shisha and a (admitedly small) casino, if you didn't like some of the acts then it was probably down to personal preference and there was pleanty more going on.

If the union was covered in sick then it must have been cleaned up pretty quickly because I was in there for a loooong time and didn't see anything

Jun 22 2007 12:02

I enjoyed myself, but there was no candyfloss... more candyfloss next year please, I like candyfloss... go on you know you want to Chris!

Is there going to be an after meeting open to students to discuss improvements for next year... or is slating it on live! as good as it's going to get?

Jun 28 2007 00:34

I agree with Amir/Dangerous brian.

Why no CHOCOLATE FOUNTAIN?!?!? Personally I thought there were no good acts/bands this year. Even the casino was better last year!

This one sucked - I expected more on the college's centenary. I am hoping it will be better next year, I don't know how it can get worse.

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See Also

  1. Vernon Kay Pulls Out of Ball
    07 Jun 07 | News
  2. Ball Tickets on Ebay
    04 Jun 07 | News
  3. Snippets - 01/06/2007
    01 Jun 07 | Snippets

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