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Remembering our genesis: 50 years since the opening of Churchill College, June 1964

12th June 2014 in Archives Centre, News and Events

The opening of Churchill College.  CCRF 120/3/1

CCRF 120/3/1: photograph by Edward Leigh, image by kind permission of Lafayette Photography.

We’re busy in the Archives Centre getting ready to install a display next week to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the official opening of Churchill College, drawing on materials from the college archive. On 5 June 1964 the College pulled out all the stops to welcome The Visitor, His Royal Highness, The Duke of Edinburgh to perform the ceremony. It was a memorable occasion. Our display will feature rare newsreel footage and audio recordings captured on the day itself plus later recollections. We hear Sir Winston Churchill himself speaking of his hopes for the College which would bear his name; of the hasty transformation of the college from a building site to a place fit to welcome a Prince (piloting his own helicopter).

Part of the preparations have included a wonderful opportunity to record the reminiscences of Natasha Squire, seen here with the College Archivist while she was being interviewed.

Natasha Squire


Natasha devised the menu for the opening ceremony lunch after the sudden resignation of the Head Chef. The food was legendary: a terrine which surpassed anything Randolph Churchill had eaten in the South of France followed by beautiful pink poached salmon. Finally a cake modelled on the Dining Hall supported by chocolate pillars and topped with a vaulted roof of halved English strawberries. A fittingly splendid menu for a wonderful occasion.

menu for opening ceremony lunch, CCRF 111/1/2


—Natalie Adams, June 2014.

Exhibition details