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Lord Flowers

(Rector, 1973-85)
Lord Flowers and his wife, Lady Flowers, remember student parties in their South Kensington flat.

Watch the interview or read the transcript below:

Lord Flowers (Rector, 1975-85)Lord Flowers: I was very keen that we should have very good social and working relationships with the students, particularly with the Students Union because they influence what the student body thinks. And so I had regular meetings with them and we had them in at home and so on. But we also had students into the flat, the Rector’s flat, in droves - Mary was responsible for that, together with the Imperial College Wives Club. So when I came home from work on the days of all these parties at which we served beer and bangers, I found the kitchen full of college wives and Mary bustling around organising it all. Photo right: Lord Flowers, (Rector,1973-85)

Lady Flowers: Well yes, I felt it was very important that we should get to know the students and we used to have twice termly beer and bangers parties. I must say they were marvellous because you can imagine the mess when they had gone! A few of them used to come up to me and say, “Well, where’s the hoover?” and they’d clean up after themselves.

Once, we found the sausages were going rather fast and I had to keep on sending down to the kitchen for more. I’d allowed about 8 sausages per capita - so that’s a lot of sausages! Then I realised that there was a competition afoot as to who could sink the most sausages, and we got wise to that and found the culprits and rationed them! But, no on the whole they were marvellous and as Brian has said we had our grandchildren here an awful lot and I mean they were falling over themselves to baby sit. So I never lacked for help.

Lord Flowers: Trevor Phillips was President of the Union for part of our time here and our young grandson Marcus used to call him Uncle Trevor. And Uncle Trevor he has remained in our family ever since. We are very fond of Trevor.

BangersWe’d given beer and bangers parties twice a term for 12 years pretty well non-stop if I remember rightly. When we left it was a very appropriate but a terribly nice gesture that the Students Union decided to throw a beer and bangers party for us on the Queen’s Lawn. This was a great occasion. The high spot for me wasn’t the beer and bangers, but the fact that they decided to take me on a tour of Hyde Park and Park Lane and back along Knightsbridge on Bo’ and this we carried out to the considerable consternation of the police who fortunately had a sense of humour and rubbed their eyes in disbelief and waved us on! That was a great and jolly occasion a few days before we actually left the College. It was a very nice gesture on the part of the students.

Lady Flowers: Oh yes I drove Bo’. Very badly I’m afraid! I went over some flower beds. We’d better draw a veil over that because I was not used to changing gear outside the car.....

  © 2007 Imperial College London

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