Cambridge Society of Paris News Bulletin 7

A new and exciting year

 Like the remark before the disastrous wedding speech in Four Weddings and a Funeral “There is something for everyone.”

Lectures, Welcome Party, Book launch, Dinners, Debate, Berlin Cabaret, Sport, Carols, Château Visit, Music, Garden Party, Photographic Exhibition, Paris Walks, and a mysterious Escape!

The full details will follow; this is just an appetizer for the events being planned by the Cambridge Society of Paris for the months to come.

First, in order of timing, four events in rapid succession during the remaining two weeks of this month: Lecture by George Yipp (Magdalene) Thursday 13th September; Welcome Party, Tuesday 18th September; Sebastian Faulks Embassy Book Launch, Monday 24th September; Lecture on Soren Kierkgaard (fore-runner to Jean Paul Sartre), Wednesday 26th September.

We organise the Welcome Party to congratulate students from Paris about to start their studies at Cambridge. It is for new students and all members of the Cambridge Society of Paris. Fascinating for each to meet and for the new students to hear alumni memories of Cambridge. You are highly encouraged to attend.

And what a wonderful bonus, given by the Embassy and Sebastian Faulks, fifty places for members of the Cambridge Society of Paris to attend the launch of Sebastian Faulks’s latest book, Paris Echo, at the Embassy, the evening of Monday 24th September. “Paris as you have never seen it before, every building holds an echo of an unacknowledged past, the shadows of Vichy and Algeria.” This event is a stunner and the (free) tickets will go very fast indeed.

The new Cambridge year brings the start of our two ambitious and important projects: “The Cambridge Cutting Edge Lectures” and “Glory Days of Paris.” The first will be ongoing, two lectures a year, in conjunction with heavyweight Paris based scientific institutions. The second, a cycle of five lectures on the art, literature, jazz, philosophy, and intellectual hedonism of Les Années Folles, an epoque when Paris was at the centre of the artistic world. For the moment, we are keeping the details tantalisingly secret… except just to say that the first two speakers for the Cutting Edge Lectures are the President of the Royal Society and Professor Sir Roger Penrose. Can’t do better than that!

As a glorious counterpoint, on 23rd or 24th November, by way of our Christmas Party, Berlin Cabaret. Exotic, original, opera operetta and Kurt Weil as never before, a stunning dinner performance by the bewigged, bejewelled and bewitching Claudia Roick and Nicole Tschaikin.

Edward Archer is kindly organising his much-loved Christmas Carols at the Hôtel Paiva, and the Corpus Christi choir will be performing for us in the Spring.

With new committee member David Sayers, we are working on the scope for a photographic exhibition and talk by the wonderfully eccentric American photographer of the world’s celebrities (including Bianca Jagger on horseback), Rose Hartman.

One of the great successes last year was the guided visit to Christies organised by Valérie Didier and I am delighted to say that this has been offered again for the current year.

George Young will, we hope, conduct stage two of his walk around the Marais and, in addition, we are planning one or two guided walks around Paris showing Paris as you have never seen it before.

But this is not all, we have some further gems that we hope to reveal ere long, as well as traditional highlights including the Annual Dinner and the Embassy Garden Party.

Finally, as a complete departure, fun for all, young and old, the new craze sweeping Paris and Barcelona: enter into a hidden room in a curious domain. A mystery starts to unfold. You are trapped. You can only escape by using your wits, your skill, your ingenuity. Teams of up to five. I have tried it… amazing!

Our membership has doubled over the past eighteen months. Very good indeed, and I hope that there are events here that will appeal to all. I look forward enormously to meeting you at as many events as you can manage.

With very best wishes,

Andrew Lyndon-Skeggs

President, Cambridge Society of Paris

12th September 2018

What can you do as a member of the Cambridge Society of Paris?

I concluded the recent News Bulletin with a rhetorical question: “Is there anything that can be done by members of the Society outside the work done by the Committee?”

I responded, with a nod to Flanders and Swan, “Indeed there is and I shall tell you all about that .. another time!”

Well, now is that time, and it is important. It is wonderful that the Cambridge Society of Paris has grown so much over the last year; your support is hugely appreciated. The more active the Society, the better. The more everyone is involved, the more it will flourish. So, some thoughts:

•        Events: first, foremost, and above all, you will be highly welcome at all the events. Any that appeal. The Society is there to be enjoyed

•        New members: From every point of view it is beneficial to increase the membership. Do please encourage others to become members

•        College Representatives: this is working incredibly well, and we now have representatives for nearly every College. However, some are still floating. If you would like to be the representative for your College, and if the post is still open, you would be more than welcome

•        Committee: we currently have a couple of places available on the committee. We are guarding these carefully, but I would be very happy to speak to anyone who might like to put their name forward

•        The Cambridge Cutting Edge Lectures: a long-term programme of top-class lectures on modern topics of burning importance to humanity, to be run in partnership with one or two major Paris based institutions. We already have early speakers pencilled in, but it would be wonderful to hear your ideas for topics and for potential speakers.

•        Glory Days of Paris: a cycle of four or five lectures bringing together the heady days of Les Années Folles through to post war Paris: Dadaism and surrealism; the writers painters and photographers; the introduction of jazz; Simone de Beauvoir, Jean-Paul Sartre and existentialism. Your input, and ideas for inspiring speakers, would be most welcome.

•        Venues: every event requires a venue. For Berlin cabaret somewhere exotic in Montmartre or the Marais. For Glory Days, Montparnasse or St Germain des Prés. For dinners, grand and impressive or cosy and atmospheric. I am constantly on the look-out. Ideas please

•        Events: What would you like in the future? Don’t hesitate to come forward with suggestions. Over and above, if you would like to run an event, A to Z, as Edward Archer does with the carols, Clare Hohler with the Shakespeare, and George Young with the walks .. you are on!

•        Trevor Brown Bursary: such a very worthwhile aspect of the Cambridge Society of Paris, master-minded by Terry Quinn, assisting current Cambridge students to visit France to study French life and culture. We want to expand this further. Can you help by introducing suitable applicants, or even donating to help funds?

Happy Holidays! If thoughts spring to mind, do please ping an email:

With very best wishes,

Andrew Lyndon-Skeggs

President Cambridge Society of Paris

10th July 2018


Launch of the CamSoc Paris Youtube Channel

I am pleased to say that the Cambridge Society of Paris has taken a further step forward in its evolution: we now have a dedicated channel on You Tube.

At present, this runs under the complicated title of:

The intent is to change the last part of this to …. cambridgesocietyofparis.


However, this can only be done by having 100 subscribers, and waiting 30 days. It would be most excellent to have a proper named account, and therefore we need 100 people to ‘subscribe’.

This is dead easy and does not involve any payment or obligation. All you have to do is go to the You Tube channel by copying the following link into your web browser:

and then clicking on Subscribe (or Abonner). As simple as that.

It would be hugely appreciated if you could please do this, to help get the 100 users we need – we already have more than 50…

When you go to our new You Tube Channel, you will be able to see the video of the Christmas Party and, very soon, a video of the Union Debate.

Next newsletter, with the video of the debate, will follow.

With best wishes,