Vincent’s 2nd Real Tennis Tournament 2017

8 old members of Vincent’s and 2 other blues, who were ‘up’ in the
1960s, gathered at OUTC’s court in Merton Street on 6th April for the
2nd Vincent’s Realers Tourney. The inaugural event was held in 2013 as
part of the club’s 150th anniversary celebrations.

The 2nd edition consisted of a round robin between 5 pairs playing
single sets to 6 of handicap doubles. Some of the matches were very
closely contested, others less so! But the overall standard of play
was remarkably high. The winners were the lawners blues, Tony
Billington and Robert Dolman, by one point from the 1970 realers blue
pair of Jonnie Potter, who had not played for ages, and Luke Readman.
They and Judge Richard Bray are former captains of OUTC. Another
competitor was Admiral Mike Gretton, the son of Admiral Sir Peter
Gretton, the famous Battle of the Atlantic convoy escort commander,
who was, whilst Bursar of Univ, largely responsible for the survival
of the court and Tennis at Oxford in the 1960s.

After their exertions on court the players and some guests repaired
for a very convivial dinner at Vincent’s. They are most grateful to
the Vincent’s catering staff for the dinner, and to the OUTC pros,
Andrew Davis and Craig Greenhalgh, for marking and seeing fair play
throughout, and to the current members of OUTC for allowing them the
privilege of playing again on the court where some of them learned to
play. Its amenities are unrecognisably wonderful compared to those of
yesteryear. They also greatly appreciated the use of Vincent’s
refurbished facilities, some for the first time.

If any member would like to be informed of any similar future events
please contact the organiser,


The players, and their colleges, were, from left to right in the photo:

Richard East (Brasenose), Jonnie Potter (Jesus), Luke Readman and
Richard Bray (Corpus), Peter Begg (Brasenose), Paul Butler (Christ
Church), Tony Billington (St John’s), Robert Dolman (SEH), Mike
Gretton (Trinity), and Richard White (SEH), organiser.

An Important Notice for Vincent’s Members

Please Update your Details using this linked Data and Communications Form

Data Protection legislation is becoming more onerous and before long we will need your explicit consent to contact you, especially if anything we send is deemed to be marketing or fundraising. If we do not have your written consent to mail or e-mail you, we may not be able to contact you in the future. We also need your email as the prohibitive cost of mailings means that in future our communications will almost exclusively be by electronic means. Furthermore, there are far too many gaps and errors in our data meaning that we do not have college, year of election or sport noted for many of you.

Please fill in and return the form immediately to

Vincent’s Annual Club Dinner 2016

Dear Vincent’s Member,


I do hope that you can join us at this year’s Vincent’s Club Annual Dinner which will be held in the magnificent Hall of the Inner Temple. I’m delighted to announce that the new Chairman of VATC, Sir John Hood, (Worcester, 1976) will be the dinner Chairman, and Michael Beloff QC, (Magdalen, 1965) will be our guest speaker.

Michael is a former President of Trinity College, Treasurer of Grays Inn and Senior Ordinary Appeal Judge of the Courts of Appeal of Jersey and Guernsey . He is Chairman of the IAAF Ethics Board, Chairman of the ICC Code of Conduct Commission, a member of the Court of Arbitration for Sport who has arbitrated at five summer Olympic Games, including Rio, and is on the appeal bodies of other sports including motor racing, ironman and golf.

  • Date: Wednesday 7th December 2016
  • Venue: The Inner Temple, Crown Office Row, London, EC4Y 7HL
  • Time: 7.00 for 7.45 pm
  • Dress code: Black Tie
  • Tickets: £100 for a drinks reception (wine & beer), dinner with wines, coffee and port.

This year there will be a decent amount of wine included in the price of both the reception and dinner. Thus the cost of tickets is lower than in previous years and the annoying delay in obtaining drinks at the bar will be eliminated. However, there will also be a cash bar available for extra pre and post-dinner drinks, wine and beers. 

Should you wish to help one or two resident members who play your sport to join the dinner please contact

Some sponsorship opportunities for the dinner are also still available. Again please contact: Your support would be much appreciated.

To book tickets, please use the attached booking form. Payment can be made by cheque, credit card, or by bank transfer (details on the form), giving your name as the reference.

Official Dinner Invitation. Dinner Booking Form.

The Inner Temple Hall is limited to 250 places so please reply as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. We look forward to seeing you there.

Best wishes,

Simon Offen

V150 Administrator

December News

Dear Member of Vincent’s,
Unbelievably December is upon us. Only eight shopping days to Vincent’s dinner!
1)     This is your last chance to book for theClub’s Annual Dinner on December 9th .
It will be a splendid evening with Ian Ritchie (1972, Trinity) as dinner Chairman (RFU Chief Executive and mastermind of the 2015 World Cup) and sports broadcaster Andrew Cotter as our guest speaker.
The Black tie dinner is at the Sheraton Park Lane Hotel, Piccadilly, London W1J, 7.30 for 8.00pm. Tickets are £90, or £75 for current students, and those over 65 who would like to take up this concession.
Please contact the administrator or the Dinner Secretary: to book.
2)    It is also your last chance to purchase tickets for the Blues Village at the Rugby Varsity match (Dec. 10th) through the Club.
Tickets are just £47.00 each including a match ticket (£40.00) on the halfway line in the West Stand. The Blues Village is open from 11am to 7pm, is heated throughout the day,
has dedicated bars serving Greene King ales and Pol Roger Champagne, a carvery serving breakfast from 11am, and TVs showing the Women’s Varsity Match at 11.30am.
It is a great place to meet old friends alongside Blues rugby legends, and the Oxford team (after the game). You can also book car parking in the West Car Park, by The Blues Village, at £30. Please make your reservations by emailing
3)     For those living in or near Oxford, who would prefer to watch the match in more comfort, why not visit the Club on Thursday 10th to use the bar, have lunch, and watch the Varsity match on TV.
The Club will be open from 12 noon throughout the day.
4)     You are invited to attend the Vincent’s Christmas dinner for alumni and resident members on Thursday 17th December (10th Week) Chef has prepared an excellent menu from which you can choose (orders in advance) for only £30 p.p. A wine and port package is available in addition for an extra £10 p.p. or you can purchase your own drinks from the bar. The Club will be open from 6pm onwards with dinner at 7.30pm.
See attached booking form for the menu and how to reserve your places.
5)     Hilary term 2016 begins on January 11th , (0th Week). Don’t forget the usual 0th Week Alumni Members Wed. lunch on January 13th. Open to all from 12 noon. Book with the General Manager.
6)      On January 28th we are honoured to welcome the Club’s Hon. Life Chairman, Lord Butler, (Univ. Club President 1961-2) for our second Speaker’s Dinner.
Following a three course dinner Robin Butler will speak over coffee on “Life with 5 Prime Ministers” and answer questions. The Club opens at 6.30pm and dinner will start promptly at 7.15pm.
The cost of dinner is £25 p.p. and drinks may be purchased from the bar.
Please see the attached booking form for more details.
7)     The excellent Club History: “Vincent’s: 1863-2013”makes the perfect Christmas stocking filler. If you have not already purchased one why not give the attached order form to your nearest and dearest as a heavy hint! Only £20 incl. P&P for the UK, £25 overseas.
I do hope that we will see you at one or more event. Details are also on the website.
With very best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year,
Simon Offen
V150 Administrator
1A King Edward’s Street,
The excellent Club History: “Vincent’s: 1863-2013” may be ordered from the administrator.

Vincent’s Annual Club Dinner 2015

A5 dinner email

I do hope that you can join us at this year’s Vincent’s Club Annual Dinner which will be held at the Sheraton Park Lane, London. I’m delighted to announce that Ian Ritchie (1972, Trinity) will be the dinner Chairman (RFU Chief Executive and mastermind of the 2015 World Cup) and to introduce sports broadcaster Andrew Cotter as our guest speaker.

Andrew is regarded as one of the leading commentators on the BBC’s golf, rugby, tennis, and athletics coverage. Among the many events he has covered are The Masters, The Open and the Ryder Cup; the 6 Nations and the Rugby World Cup; Wimbledon; the World Athletics Championships and the Olympic Games; and Andrew is also no stranger to Varsity Sport with his coverage of The Boat Race.

  • Date: Wednesday 9th December 2015
  • Venue: Sheraton Park Lane Hotel, Piccadilly, London W1J
  • Time: 7.30 for 8.00pm
  • Dress code: Black Tie
  • Tickets: £90.

£75 for current students, and those over 65 who would like to take up this concession.

Official Dinner Invitation. Dinner Application Form.

Should you wish to help one or two resident members who play your sport to join the dinner please contact

Some sponsorship opportunities for the dinner are also still available. Again please contact: Your support would be much appreciated.

Tickets are available from the Dinner Secretary:

This is always a very popular event with spaces limited so please do email requests through as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. We look forward to seeing you there.

Best wishes,

Simon Offen

V150 Administrator


Outreach Roundup: September 2015


This year’s outreach activities have so far been centred around the Vincent’s and Atalanta’s summer sports camp. Now in its fifth year, the camp took place in 9th week o f Trinity term, and was again an all-round success. Working closely with representatives from Atalanta’s, our preparations began early in Trinity term. This year we worked with two year six classes from St Michal and St John Primary, and one year five class from East Oxford primary, totalling 89 children. Through establishing an early dialogue with the schools, we were really able to tailor this year’s camp to the teachers’ and students’ needs and desires. Most notably this involved running introductory sessions for each of the classes at their schools during the week preceding the camp, and focusing each of the camp sessions around particular pre-established learning objectives.


The camp itself was run out of the Iffley Road sports complex. We were gifted with fantastic weather, allowing all but one session to be held out on the astroturf. Each class attended three sessions, themed teamwork, leadership and strategy. On the final afternoon of the week, all the students attended our presentation session – an opportunity to discuss the positives and negatives of the week, and a chance to hear from our guest speaker, Olympic medallist and OUWBC athlete Caryn Davies, who also presented the children with their certificates. Throughout the week, the 16 Vincent’s and 13 Atalanta’s volunteers got to know all of the children well, something which since its infancy has really made the camp stand out for both the students and their teachers. Again, this year the feedback from the schools was fantastic, and both the Vincent’s and Atalanta’s volunteers unanimously had a great time working with the kids too.


This Michaelmas term, we will be looking to expand our outreach activities to a larger number of children in Oxford and hopefully provide some more continuity throughout the year for the children involved. The summer camps are logistically limited to schools close to the Iffley Road area; our current plans are therefore to expand by enabling groups of Vincent’s members to head out to schools or youth groups around Oxford to run shorter, but hopefully more regular, sessions on their own sites.


Guy Stephens
Vincent’s Club Outreach Secretary

Statement Regarding the Recent Ballot on Constitutional Change


Vincent’s Club was founded in 1863 by WB Woodgate. From its inception members have always been elected for their all-round qualities: social, sporting and intellectual.

The Club’s current, residential membership varies between 80 and 150 at any one time, with the alumni membership numbering nearly 5000. On matters of Constitutional change only the residential membership has a vote, and any change requires a majority of at least two thirds.

To celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the Club in 2013 the V150 project was launched to:

  • Revitalise links with the alumni members
  • Renovate the premises
  • Ensure the Club is professionally and well managed
  • Fund a number of Sports scholarships and bursaries for both men and women, able bodied and disabled athletes.
  • Develop an Outreach programme

The Constitutional Vote

Between October 2014 and February 2015 the Club undertook a consultation process of its alumni members to seek their views on removing the word “male” from the Constitution, thus allowing for the election of women as members. 695 alumni members gave their opinion: 12% abstained; most saying it is up to the resident members to decide. 25.5% were against deleting the word “male” from the Constitution, and 62.5% alumni members were of the opinion that change should occur.

In addition Vincent’s Club also consulted Atalanta’s Club, the major Oxford club for sports women. 91% of those Atalanta’s members who voted (which was two thirds of their resident members) expressed the view that they would rather Atalanta’s remain the sole club representing women’s sport in Oxford, than Vincent’s change its constitution.

With this information to hand the resident members recently voted on the issue and whilst a majority of resident members voted to remove the word “male”, the majority fell below the two thirds required for the amendment to the constitution.

Vincent’s will continue its close relationship with Atalanta’s, and many other Oxford sportswomen, for example in running such projects as the Outreach programme. It was also a source of immense satisfaction to Vincent’s members that three of the seven sports awards the Club made in the first year of the Vincent’s scholarships and bursaries went to women, and the Club will shortly be announcing the endowment of another scholarship, which has been named after an outstanding Oxford sportswoman.

Finally, as they have for many years, Vincent’s will continue to welcome women into the clubhouse, both at lunchtime and in the evening, to enjoy the refurbished amenities for which everyone is so grateful to the Vincent’s alumni members for providing.