Charleston Festival (2)

Another thing I like about the Charleston Festival is the presence of the old and the wise.   In the front row of the stalls at the first event was Jeremy Hutchinson (age 99), the emeritus Professor of Law at the Royal Academy, whose mother Mary was Clive Bell’s mistress.   A few rows back was Olivier Bell (age 97), who served in the Control Commission in the second world war and has just been awarded an MBE.   One of the best of the speakers was Asa Briggs (age 93) talking about his third volume of autobiography, still pretty alert, a codebreaker in Bletchley and second Vice Chancellor of Sussex University.   When it came to questions, someone asked a tough one about the long delay in the publication of the Chilcot Inquiry.   Asa Briggs said, ‘Thank you, Phyllis’.   The questioner was P.D. James (age 94).

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