City Lunch 2017

The small matter of a General Election taking place that day was never going to stand in the way of a group of Old Clayesmorians and a good lunch. Hence, a hearty crowd of wine-quaffing folk gathered at usual haunt, Le Beaujolais in the West End, for steak frites, beaucoup de fromage and more than a soupçon of bonhomie.

Numbers were slightly up, with Gawain Towler, Emma Morris, Chris Johnston there and a first visit from the School’s Liisa Steele. Also present were Stephen Dover, Johan Van Dijk, Rory White-Andrews, Simon Swaby, David Fangen, Hamish Dow, Andrew Beaton, Piers Sabine and Hugh Thompson.

Hugh, who organises this annual shindig, stood up to say some words in memory of OC, Squadron Leader Peter Livingstone Chilton (1918-75), who was at the Prep School from 1925 to 1932. On leaving for Uppingham, it was said of him in The Clayesmorian: “he has been an outstanding example of cheeriness and loyalty.”

In  1936, he went to RAF College Cranwell and, as a bomber pilot, he flew over sixty missions and completed three tours of duty. He was awarded an AFC, DFC and DSO. The citation for the latter in the London Gazette (June 1945), when referring to his bringing a wounded plane home, stated: “this officer set a splendid example of skill, courage and tenacity.”

He was duly toasted in copious amounts of French vino and word has it that a hardy few stayed for some hours after the coffee had become cold and the Epoisses was crawling off the cheeseboard…