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Evening-dress rebels in 1963 Israel

by
02 November 2006

iStock

Sir, - They are trivial points, but time too easily distorts the facts. Provost Ernie Southcott may or may not have "written a poem parodying bishops who led Mediterranean cruises to the Holy Land at Easter" ( Letters, 3 February), the first line beginning "In evening dress to Calvary" , but, if he did, he stole the phrase from one of his fellow-members of the then Southwark chapter, Stanley Evans.

Nor did it refer to a cruise at Easter, but to a post-Easter ecumenical pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 1963. It was organised by Inter-Church Travel, and the programme contained the unwise advice "Evening dress optional" for the final dinner. This led the radically left-wing Stanley Evans (who went on the voyage, as did I) to publish a witty, critical, but not unkind, journal of it entitled "In Evening Dress to Calvary". No one, incidentally, took up the option.
MICHAEL MAYNE
37 St Marks Road, Salisbury SP1 3AY

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