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...