The Lutyens Trust Christmas Lunch

Saturday 28 November 2009

In her biography of Lutyens, Jane Ridley tells us that it was in June 1926 that he was asked to become a consultant/approver in connection with the design for a new Park Lane hotel. The site was that of Grosvenor House, the former town-house of the Duke of Westminster. In the end, he more than merely ‘approved’ and actually transformed the rather dull original design of Guthrie, the architect, by stressing the horizontals, adding four tall roof-top pavilions, joining the blocks with a spectacular high-level bridge, and by dressing the lower shop storeys with classical colonnades. For Lutyens, the end result was rather a compromise, both architecturally (the design was modified to exclude the high-level bridge) and professionally. He had been well-paid but merely to give his name to a design over which he had no direct control. However, on the plus side, it pleased the Duke and, as a consequence, led to some further work from other clients.

More than eight decades later, members of the Lutyens Trust met at the Grosvenor House Hotel for their annual Christmas Lunch. Impeccably organised by Paul Waite, with assistance from Richard Breese and Andrew Barnett, the occasion maintained its reputation as one of the most popular events in the social calendar. A relaxed and enjoyable lunch was followed by a slide show giving a review of the Trust’s activities during 2009. The traditional quiz then followed and a raffle was drawn. Darkness had fallen and it was around 5pm before the last members stepped back out into Park Lane to wend their way home.

As always, our thanks must go to Paul, and to Richard and Andrew, for their work in ensuring the continuing success of this much-loved annual event.

John Entwisle