The Regency of Lady Nimue
Sarah Tucker, 1986-1987

Sarah Tucker continued Trinity Term with now-traditional events: Peter repeated his walk round Oxford, and sarah also gave a talk on 'The Arthurian Legend and its Audience'. The week-long pilgrimage went to Brittany, for the only time in the history of the Society; it was also notable for having been taken in what Ivan Viehoff recalls as "three rickety cars" rather than in a minibus.

Michaelmas events were enhanced not only by the membership fee increasing to #5, but also by a weekend pilgrimage to Glastonbury, and a debate on the subject "This house believes that legend is unnecessary when you can find out the facts". Connections with the English Civil War Society continued, a Yuletide Ceilidh being held jointly with them, although there were controversies over the financial side of the meeting, and a plan the next term for a Trial of Guinevere, including Lancelot rescuing her from the burning stake, was rejected as too close to the Civil War Society's Witch Trial.

Speakers continued to talk on a variety of topics. Cambridge don Caroline Brett spoke on the existence (or not) of Arthur; popular authors Bob Stewart and John Matthews were present as well. Chris Gidlow, alias Sir Gawain, told his autobiography.

Sarah had handed over Ceridwen's Cauldron to Andrew Smith, but disputes between the old and new editors led to Geoff resigning after completing just one proper issue. Part of the controversy involved an article challenging Geoffrey Ashe's theories concerning the Glastonbury Tor maze, which Geoff had sent to Ashe inviting a reply. Sarah feared this would damage the Society's relations with Ashe, and introduced new rules concerning the magazine's format which restricted editorial independence.

Something that became a permanent fixture was the Celtic Festival, introduced to replace the Pagan Party following complaints that it wasn't "debauched enough". Recipes included hot peppered chops derived from the Mabinogion; these continued even though after a few years their literary origins were forgotten! Another innovation was a folk song evening, hosted by Geoff.

A document in the President's file appears to date from this time. In Sarah's handwriting, it sketches a possible scenario for an Oxford Arthurian conference, with a range of possible speakers from the Society's list. Although a good idea, it was never taken forward.

The Annual General Meeting was scheduled for May Eve, with the May Morning party (including a drive to the Rollright Stones for dawn) to follow. Although a finalist, Chris Gidlow chose to stand for the Presidency again, opposed by first year Sally Humphrys, backed by Sarah. This time, though, the tables were turned...


Committee for 1986-1987

President:		SARAH TUCKER		(Lady Margaret Hall)
Secretary:		TONY ASHCROFT		(St Peter's)
Treasurer:		CAROLYN FOOKS		(Somerville)
Magazine Editor:	ANDREW SMITH		
Committee:		MARK BAKER		(Green)
			SIMON BURROWS		(Wadham)
			CHRIS GIDLOW		(Oriel)
			PAUL PHILLIPS		(St Anne's)
			SALLY-JANE HUMPHRYS	(St Hugh's) (from end MT 86)
Ex-President:		PETER EWING		(Trinity, Cambridge)