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Category Archives: Events

Spotlight: Formals

Gowned, weekly and full of tradition–it’s just what a formal should be, no matter what your coursemates up on the hill say. Our formals are one of Hatfield’s favourite–and probably most well known–traditions. During Michaelmas term, they usually take place on Tuesday and Friday evenings, dropping to Friday evenings only in Epiphany and Easter terms (with a brief hiatus for exams).

Before the dinner, attendees gather in the college bar while our remarkable catering team (seriously–they’ve won awards) puts the final touches on the hall. From there, you are directed to the hall entrance and are allowed to purchase wine or soft drinks on the way in (water and squash are provided at the tables). Once everybody’s seated, somebody will seize the initiative and get everybody spooning while the Exec enter the hall with their guests. The Senior Man then tries to rattle off a quick speech with a cheesy joke before we all lose interest, and finally Darryl, our Catering Services Manager/Hatfield VIP No 1 shows the High Table in. Guests are expected to stand and remain silent while the top brass enter the hall and until Latin grace has been read, at which point the meal has begun.

Throughout the formal, our VP Discipline–Brogan Lear–has the power to sconce (fine) guests for unruly behaviour. The temptation may be strong to test her sight and hearing (we’ve all been there), but Brogan has an unrivaled passion for discipline. Even if she has to walk the length of the hall three times to realise you were sat right next to her, she will find you.

Normal formals (#normforms?) have three courses. Once the Senior Man has finished his meal, he will rise, approach the high table and ‘bow out’ to the Master, at which point you are free to leave the hall. From there guests return to the bar for a rendition of the College Songs led by the Keeper of the Cane. DUCK’s Toastie Bar and discounted post-formal soft drinks contribute to a great atmosphere in the bar which usually attracts members of college who couldn’t pull themselves from their work quite long enough to make the dinner itself.

Throughout the year, there will also be a number of themed formals, usually to observe holidays or mark special events in college. A yearly favourite are the three Christmas formals held at the end of first term, which last year were filled with carols, crackers and mince pies. A fair amount of effort goes into making these events special for the college, so make sure you try to get a seat!

Finally, the college puts on a number of Black Tie Guest Formals throughout the year, which, with a more formal atmosphere, even nicer food, a cheese course and often live entertainment, are definitely not to be missed.



So we’ll see you there? Be rude not to…

Would you like to go to MCR Formal?

The MCR would like to invite JCR finalist to you us for Formal Dinner Tuesday 10th of March. Sign up is possible via this link:


Sign up will close on Friday 6th March at 6pm. The price will be £9, but may be lowered if enough people sign up. The menu for the evening will be:

Parsnip and cumin seed soup (v)

Braised beef with a green peppercorn sauce
served with thyme roasted potatoes, glazed carrots
and fine beans

Vegetable ravioli with a rich tomato concasse
served with roasted Meditteranean vegetables
and garlic slice (v)

Double chocolate torte

If there are any question please contact Pauline at hatfield.mcrevents@durham.ac.uk



Would you like to become a part of Hatfield’s biggest social event of the year? 

If you have a passion for creativity and design then why not apply to be on the LIWB Decs Team!

This Year, the LIWB Decs Co-ordinator’s have been appointed as Laura Gray and Georgie Box. They are seeking to find a team to help them transform Hatfield into an incredible venue to hold The LIWB. The job entails assisting with the creation and positioning of decs, thinking of new ideas and transforming college in the run up to the ball.

If you would like to apply for a position on the Decs Team, please submit a manifesto of 150 words to Laura Gray’s pigeon hole and send an email with the manifesto attached to l.r.gray@durham.ac.uk by Sunday 16th November at midday!

Please note there is no experience required for this role- we do however expect commitment, creativity and the ability to think outside the box!

Any questions, please feel free to contact Laura or Georgie.

Many thanks,

Rob Double


Lumley Castle Masquerade Ball – Remaining Table and Ticket Collection

There is one table left available for this amazing event! SIGN UP NOW by emailingannie.robinson@durham.ac.uk or georgina.mccooke@durham.ac.uk.
Struggling to get a table of ten together because all your friends have already signed up? Get in touch with us and we can arrange a table of the remaining numbers. 
For those that have signed up already:
Ticket collection Sunday 23rd November 3-4pm 
We also ask that one person per table sends us a list of the 10 names and what order they would like to be seated around the table. If we do not receive this we will make the seating plan for you.
Lots of love, 
Annie and Georgina x