The Regency of King Pellinor
Andrew Jackson, 1993-1994

Andrew Jackson's Presidency began at a low ebb. Not only were membership figures and actual attendances both low, but the first speaker of the term, Caitlin Matthews, broke her leg and was unable to come; her husband, John, filled in with a talk on 'Ladies of the Lake', based on a book he and Caitlin had written. Many scheduled events of the term failed to take place in the manner in which they had been envisaged, such as a storytelling Boar Roast on Port Meadow and a balloon debate. A plan to hold a Questing Picnic on the River Cherwell was attempted, but turned, unsurprisingly, into another Punt Party.

The credit for the fact that the Society kept active at this point must largely be shared between Andrew and his fiancee Elspeth Edward who together kept spirits high and plans afoot for a relaunch of the Society during Michaelmas. Elspeth planned the North Wales pilgrimage of Trinity 1993 which once more returned to Youth Hostels rather than a fixed base in a cottage and for the first time included as a feature individual copies of a guide to sites for each participating member. This was followed up in Michaelmas by a day pilgrimage to 'local' sites, such as Avebury and West Kennet Long Barrow, supervised by Victoria, and in Hilary by a weekend that took in Winchester, Badbury Rings, Maiden Castle and Glastonbury, again planned by Elspeth.

Michaelmas 1993 saw an attempt at a less structured introductory meeting, with a short talk about the Society, a storytelling and a reading. Membership intake was slightly up on 1992 although not as good a recovery as could have been made. However, there were many more members prepared to become active in running the Society. Andrew had come to the Arthurians through its spin-off the Oxford Tolkien Society - who had become a much greater success than the Arthurian Society by this stage in the decade - and incorporated features which had worked there into the Arthurians, suich as the weekly committee meeting. This appeared to work and a pool of new volunteers emerged to help the committee with the Society, very necessary as several committee members became less active during the year. An early success was the Banquet, again at St Margaret's, which benefited from the expertise of newcomers including visiting American student Alexandra Schmidl, subsequently elected Vice-President for 1994/95. Other ideas had more mixed results, such as 'Whose Grail is it Anyway?' a variant on the radio and television panel game 'Whose Line is it Anyway?' transmitted to the Arthurians via the Tolkien Society's 'Whose Ring..?'

Connections with the Cardiff Arthurian Society had begun the previous year, when a small number of Oxford Arthurians went to the large-scale banquet of the Cardiff Arthurians in Caerphilly Castle - a slightly larger number made the journey in early December 1993. The Cardiff Arthurians had the advantage of a less developed clubs-and-societies subculture and central funding from the Student Union there.

Conscious of the high costs of entertaining speakers, Andrew chose to invite a smaller number, largely drawn from Oxford. Ian Forrester-Roberts - on Catharism and Parzival - was the only 'remote' speaker of the year, having already been invited by Julie, but he was followed by Oxford German professor Nigel Palmer, who spoke on Merlin, Dark Age historian James Campbell on Romano-Celtic civilization in Britain, the return of Elspeth Kennedy, mediaevalist Corinne Saunders on Tristan, and finally, in Trinity Term, the long-awaited return of Nikolai Tolstoy who spoke on Celtic topics.

At the close of Julie's presidency, Matthew Kilburn had taken over Ceridwen's Cauldron and remained editor throughout the Pellinor Regency. Matthew felt that a more vibrant magazine would attract members to the Society and although this strategy can't be said to have worked he did encourage more (and lengthier) contributions and saw the page count rise to 24 per issue, from the 16-20 enjoyed in most issues since Nick Brooke's day. Colour covers became the norm, having been experimented with by Liz and Dave.

Most of the committee were ready to retire, whether altogether or into minor posts, by the beginning of Trinity 1994. After some discussion Andrew Bell, co-opted as Social Secretary in Hilary, emerged as the favoured first-year to take over the Presidency and he was elected at the Trinity AGM, along with a largely new committee. It looked as if the Society had rediscovered its self-confidence and could proceed into the future with a spring in its collective step.

Committee for 1993-1994

Regent/President:	ANDREW JACKSON (King Pellinor)		St John's
Chancellor/Secretary:	MATTHEW KILBURN (The Fair Unknown)	St John's
Seneschal/Treasurer:	CRAIG FISHER (Sir Percivale)		Merton
Butler/Social Secretary:RHIAN WYN-WILLIAMS (Lady Olwen)	St Edmund Hall (-M93)
			RACHEL SEABROOK (Merlin)	Somerville (M93-H94) 
			ANDREW BELL (Taliesin)		University (H94-)
Scribe/Magazine Editor: MATTHEW KILBURN (The Fair Unknown)	St John's
Steward:		JAMES OWEN (Sir Geraint)		Wolfson
Chamberlain:		VICTORIA CLARE (Dennis the Peasant)
Marshal:		ELSPETH EDWARD (Lady Elaine of Astolat) 
Heralds:		SARAH LAWRENCE (Lady Lynet)		Worcester (M93-)
			BARBARA LONERGAN (Lady Nimue)		Worcester (M93-)
Courtiers:		STEPHIE COANE (Lady Argante)		Balliol (H94-)
			SARA PHILLP (Queen Ygraine)		University (H94-)
Chief Advisor:		JULIE SMITH (Lady Laurel)		St Antony's