On Saturday 1st February Varsity, the Cambridge student newspapers, reported that “The blonde bombshell that is Boris Johnson has been spotted having brunch in Churchill College, reportedly following a bridge tournament.” It is certainly true that Boris was in Churchill College and that he enjoyed a hearty brunch in the main dining hall, and that he was spotted leaving the Jock Colville Hall where a bridge tournament was indeed taking place. But the truth behind this sighting lies in the rooms above and behind the Jock Colville Hall. For there lie the reading rooms and strong rooms of the Churchill Archives Centre. Boris was visiting to see the Churchill Papers collection and to draw inspiration for his current literary project, a book about Winston Churchill and why he should be remembered today.
The Master of Churchill, Sir David Wallace, the Director of the Archives Centre, Allen Packwood, and historian Warren Dockter, presented a display of Churchill documents designed to encourage Boris to think about different aspects of Churchill and his leadership. He seemed particularly enthralled by Jock Colville’s wartime diary. As for the contents of the book, he is keeping his cards close to his chest, which suggests that maybe he should have joined the bridge tournament after all.