The first Wednesday of March has for many years meant only one thing to many UK entomologists – the Verrall Supper. I have written about the Verrall Supper previously on more than one occasion, so this will be largely a photographic record.
Van (Professor Helmut Van Emden) ready and set for the arriving Verrallers
This year’s Verrall Supper took place on Wednesday March 3rd at The Rembrandt Hotel, South Kensington. This year we had a further increase in numbers attending the meal at the Rembrandt Hotel, 190 compared with the 181 the previous year. We are now facing a bit of a dilemma, we have reached the maximum number that the Rembrandt can accommodate and as the general consensus is that it is a great venue, I am reluctant to try and find an alternative venue, but equally I don’t want to restrict membership. According to Van, the number of Verrallers making merry, once topped the 300 mark.
Marion Gratwick possibly the longest-serving Verraller, certainly the longest serving female member, although her claim to have attended 58 Verrall Suppers has been called into question as the first female was not admitted to the Supper until 1962; the arithmetic does not add up 🙂
Unfortunately, despite my ambition to get a 50:50 sex ratio, we still only managed to attract 55 female guests, the same as last year, which as we had a slight increase in total numbers meant that female members only accounted for 29% of the Verrallers. I must try even harder next year. For those interested in such statistics, we had twenty vegetarians, four diners unable to cope with gluten and only two vegans. The average age, has, I am sure gone down, as I felt that the of number of those sporting grey or white beards, bald pates and grey hair were definitely outnumbered by the younger generation.
It was, as usual, great to see so many of my ex-MSc Entomology students, from both incarnations of the course, Silwood Park and Harper Adams University, many now doing PhDs, and many post-PhD and in their turn teaching future generations.
A new generation of bearded entomologists. Alex Greenslade and Andy Salisbury, both former MSc students, one now doing a PhD, the other Senior Entomologist at RHS Wisley and both modelling entomological ties.
Charlie Rose, the youngest Verraller (possibly ever).
Professor Helmut Van Emden and Chris Lyal both of the Entomological Club.
The Verrall Supper organiser at the start of the evening, with Alex Austin, Sarah Arnold, Jennifer Wickens (I think, I have an excuse, she is one of identical twins, both entomologists) and Denise Gibbons.
Linda Birkin (fomer MSc student, now PhD at Sussex) and Ailsa McLean, Oxford University.
Max Barclay, the Verrall Lecturer.
High Loxdale savouring his pint.
Mark Ramsden (ADAS) former PhD student and Chris Jeffs (Oxford), former MRes student.
Tracie Evans (former MSc student) and Van Emden Bursary winner and Victoria Burton
Charlie Rose, with current and former Harper Adams University MSc students, Alice Mockford, Jenna Shaw, Scott Dwyer and Jordan Ryder.
The venue – ready and waiting and full house
Gordon Port and former MSc student, Anna Platoni
James Broom (former MSc student) and Roy Bateman who taught on the course for many years
One view of the top table.
Charles Godfray being lectured to by Tilly Collins 🙂
Not all grey beards and bald pates
Royal Entomological Society worthies, Archie Murchie, Jim Hardie and Debbie Wright
Ruth Carter (MSc student at Harper Adams, who first contacted me when she was 13 to ask how to become an entomologist, Gia Aradottir (former PhD student, now at Rothamsted) and Amoret Whitaker, forensic entomologist on the right (I was her PhD examiner).
Richard Comont and Sally-Ann Spence
Former MSc students from Harper Adams University, Molly McTaggart, Josh Jenkins Shaw and Dave Stanford-Beale, all on the PhD route, UK, Denmark and USA respectively.
More former Harper Adams University MSc students, Aidan Thomas and Kelleigh Greene.
Sally-Ann Spence, Katy Dainton (former MSc student, now at Forest Research), Jo Nunez (former MSc student, now at the Bat Conservation Trust) and Mike Wilson.
Current MSc students at Harper Adams University, Harry Simpson, Ben Clunie and Iain Place
Mike Shaw, a Hymenopterist deep in thought?
Tom and Soo-ok Miller all the way from the USA and if you are wondering about the bead necklaces that some of us are wearing, they came via Soo-ok.
Mike Copland, Sue Stickels (both Wye Bugs) and Ashleigh Whiffin (former MSc student, now at Edinburgh Museum).
Richard Lane (Entomological Club) and Luke Tilley, Royal Entomological Society Outreach Officer)
Van (now with beads) helping Kristi Thomas (former MSc student with her statistics)
Ceri Watkins (former MSc student) and Hagrid (alias Richard Comont)
Alan Dewar and Beulah Garner
Tilly Collins (one of my former PhD students) writing my mid-dinner speech!
John Whittaker and Claire Ozanne
Claudia Watts, me (now with beads) and Roy Bateman
Keith Walters (Harper Adams University) and Mike Singer (Plymouth)
Ana Platoni and Adriana De Palma (both former students)
Two curious gold weights – I can’t remember who showed them to me
Harper Adams students, past and present
Ruth Carter, Harry Simpson, Molly McTaggart, Scott Dwyer and Christina Faulder, all from Harper Adams.
Two of my current PhD students at opposite ends of their degree, Fran Sconce and Aidan Thomas.
Richard Harrington with his suction trap tie, retirement does funny things to people 🙂
Hayley Jones and her butterfly necklace.
All in all, a very pleasant occasion which I thoroughly enjoyed, despite the pre-function nerves. I look forward to hosting the Verrall Supper 2017, and am determined to get a 50:50 sex ratio!