After a three-cornered contest with Simon Burrows and Chris Harvey, Sally took over the post which she had shadowed for one year. Stewart and Rachel continued in the other two major committee posts. The Vice-Regency was abolished in its old form, and instead became a purely honorary post, with the privilege of sitting on the President's knee. The constitutional description of the post later gained a large number of references to Monty Python and the Holy Grail. The first of the new Vice-Regents was Lindsay Womersley, whose previous post, the Marshalship, had been abolished.
Trinity 1988 saw the Quest Picnic make its debut, initially managed by Chris Gidlow and Shelagh Lewins. "So far the plan is to shuttle people out to a wonderful mysterious wood and lose them there", Rachel recorded in the minute book. The event, for most of its history, would be in essence a live role-playing event, with an Arthurian theme, in costume, followed by the consumption of whatever food and drink had been brought along.
Events followed the now traditional pattern except for the experiment of a weekend pilgrimage in Michaelmas rather than a day one, allowing the Society to visit Glastonbury. Nigel Pennick, having been banned by Chris, returned to speak for the last time (so far...). A new style of introductory meeting was tried, instead of the Round Table discussion, in which various committee members gave a series of talks and stories. It was felt not to have been as successful as had been hoped. There was the first major fall in membership intake, a problem which was to grow in subsequent years. "We came to the conclusion that handing out 3000 leaflets to get 14 members is uneconomic", concluded a committee meeting early in Michaelmas. Things did improve slightly, however. For his services at Freshers' Fair, Nick Brooke was given the Order of the Pink Plastic Sword, an innovation never to be repeated.
Other speakers included John Matthews (another regular not entertained by Chris) on 'Reapprasing Gawain', and Gareth Knight (whose real first name, allegedly, is Basil) on 'The Secret Tradition of Arthurian Legend'. Kathleen Herbert returned, and donated a hardback copy of her novel Ghost in the Sunlight to the Society's library. A special event was the Society's assisting with the University Charity Rag parade early in Trinity 1989.
Committee meetings seemed to get more riotous, with more happening over or after a meal cooked by whichever member was hosting the meeting. In one notorious incident, the committee "started off by consuming a large amount of cheese fondue, after which half of Stew's clothing was removed and quite a lot of chocolate fondue was smeared over the top half of his torso; this was then licked off by Sally and Rachel, causing much amusement."* This was the result of a bet concerning a game of pool proposed during the summer pilgrimage to 'the North', and finally carried out during the autumn one to Glastonbury, when Stewart was reminded of his forfeit. No such interesting details are recorded of the Hilary pilgrimage to South Wales.
Ceridwen's Cauldron continued, still edited by Tony Ashcroft, although from Michaelmas now merged with the termcard for economic reasons. May 1989 saw the Society spend May Morning at the Rollright Stones a week before Queen Ygraine was allowed to retire to Tintagel at the AGM.
President/Regent: SALLY-JANE HUMPHRYS (Queen Ygraine) St Hugh's Vice-Pres/Vice-Regt: LINDSAY WOMERSLEY (Lady of the Lake) Keble Chancellor/Secretary: RACHEL LOCKLIN (Queen Isolde) Oriel Seneschal/Treasurer: STEWART GRIME (Sir Tristram) Oriel Butler/Social Secretary:SUSAN GRAHAM (Lady Lynette) Brasenose Magazine Editor/Scribe: TONY ASHCROFT (Sir Lancelot) Chamberlains: NICK BROOKE (Sir Kay) Balliol RHIANNON DAVIES (Queen Morgan le Fay) St Anne's EWAN HARLEY (Sir Owain) St Hugh's SHELAGH LEWINS (Britomart) New Chief Adviser: CHRIS GIDLOW (Sir Gawain) Oriel