It was once again that time of year for the York Tories to do what they do best and put on a Ball. This year it was held at the Park Inn, and was particularly special for the Tories as it was the 50th Anniversary of the founding of the York Tories. Current and former Society members, members of the Party and members of CF, dressed in their best, came from near and far to greet old friends, meet new ones and to celebrate a highly successful year.
The evening started with pre-drinks at the Whippet Inn, owned by friend of the Society Andrew Whitney, followed by a Pimms reception in the Park Inn. Then the guests were seated and the evening got on the way. The starter consisted of salmon or tomato and cheddar tart, the main was composed of a char-grilled chicken breast or Mediterranean vegetable roulade and dessert was a sumptuous Eton mess. This was followed by coffee/tea and mints and there were three bottles of wine per table. Then the speeches began. This year had not one, but many guest speakers, including: Charles Heslop, one of the party’s most fierce campaigners and recently awarded an O.B.E. on the Birthday honours list, Mark Clarke, founder of the hugely successful #Roadtrip2015 grassroots campaign group and former Chairman of National Conservative Future, to name just two.
The evening was rounded off with the traditional Honorary Vice-Presidents’ Prizes, led by former Chairman Dan Hawkridge and then the traditional raffle with a multitude of prizes kindly donated by friends and supporters. Furthermore, this year, we had something extra-special. One of the society’s closest friends, Stephen Canning, had donated a signed portrait of Sir John Major. The portrait was put to auction and raised a huge amount. The evening was concluded by the traditional pilgrimage into York until the early hours of the morning. There was no better place to be, nor a better way to celebrate the end of a very successful year. We look forward to a better and even more active year to come.