New “Member News” Feature

A big ‘Thank you!’ to all of you who have praised our web site, and who congratulated us for updating it so frequently. And thanks to those of you who suggested that the web site was a worthy successor to, and perhaps even an improvement on, the once-per-year appearance of The Record. But to the couple of you who remarked “but if only you had a members’ news section…..” well we have an update! We have taken heed of your suggestion, and are delighted to say we have a brand new area of the web site where we can share news from our members.

You’ll find ‘MEMBER NEWS’ in the navigation strip, or you can take a look here…… for news from Dr. MC Black, Dr. ‘Bob’ Pickup, Dr. Leslie Hughes, Prof. Albert Curzon and from Jill Shacklock.

If you have any bits of news, or any information that my be of interest to fellow members, just email the details to the Hon Sec. [...] Read more...

Great Exhibition Road Festival and Alumni Weekend

Not long until the Great Exhibition Road Festival and Alumni Weekend return to South Kensington on 17th and 18th June. Hope you can get along!

For more details, and to register for the Festival (which is entirely free) click here……. The Great Exhibition Road Festival.

Running alongside the Festival is the Alumni Weekend and your RCSA team will be attendance, of course.  We look forward to seeing you in the Alumni Lounge, in the Jez garage or in the Union Bar. For more details click here……. The Alumni Weekend.

There is a small charge to register for the Alumni Lounge, but it does give you access to free refreshments (including tea, coffee and snacks) all day. And you get exclusive tours, early-bird talk tickets and early access to the Smart Machines Zone before it opens to the public. And you even get a voucher for a free drink from the Union Bar

Click here…. to book your ticket. Have a great day, and make a point of looking us up.

[...]

Supporting the Armenia 2023 Expedition

Five students from the Department of Life Sciences have won the support of the RCSA Trust and of the IC Exploration Board for their Vayots Dzor, Armenia 2023 Expedition.

The students will spend two weeks in the latter half of May travelling the Transcaucasian Trail (TCT) through the Vayots Dzor province. During the hike, they will also record bird sightings to upload to, a citizen science database of bird occurrences.

Our scientists will capitalise on the work of the Transcaucasian Trail (TCT) project, which began in 2015 with the aim of developing a world-class, long-distance trail network across the Caucasus region, linking roughly two dozen existing and proposed national parks in the region. By its completion, the trail will stretch roughly 3,000 km. Currently over 400 km have been completed in Georgia and Armenia.

We wish our intrepid scientists the best of luck with their challenging expedition and look forward to reading their post-expedition report.

The RCSA Trust have been supporting the adventurous activities of our science students since 1990. Please consider making a donation to the Trust. Any amount, however small, will be gratefully received and every penny will be faithfully applied to assist the students of the Royal College of Science. [...] Read more...

No.3: RCSU News(letter)

As the Spring term draws to a close we’d like to tell you a little of what the students are up to.

You’ve heard already about the “Run From Imperial” historic vehicles rally that takes place on 29th April, and for those of you with school-age children, we’ve already pointed out the submission deadline for the RCSU Science Challenge is Monday 17 April 2023 at 17.00.

And there is news on the student election front. Our RCSU President, Trinity Stenhouse, and her Vice President (Activities), Julia Purrinos de Oliveira, have been elected for a second term of office. But there are new faces too: Chloe Lee as VP(Operations) and Kye Bong Choo as Treasurer. And several positions won’t be settled until the Summer elections. The RCSA look forward to working with both new and familiar faces.

You can keep abreast of the activities of the RCSU by reviewing the RCSU Newsletter Issue 3, you can find it by clicking here. [...] Read more...

RCS Motor Club ‘Run From Imperial’

The RCSA are pleased to support this RCS Motor Club initiative with some much-needed start-up funding. The run came about as the London to Brighton vehicle rallies are suspended for the foreseeable future. The Coronation has clashed with this year’s date, and none of the traditional mustering points are suitable now they find themselves within the ULEZ low emission zone. Whilst the Historic Commercial Vehicle Society (HCVS) work out a solution, the RCS Motor Club has filled the gap with a rally of its own.

It’s called ‘The Run from Imperial’ and will start from Harlington (which is outside the ULEZ) and will take place on the 29th of April, to the Rural Life Living Museum at Farnham and back. Bring your own car, or ride on Jezebel and/or Clementine! The run might become an annual affair, at least until the HCVS sort themselves out, and may well continue even after their London-Brighton rally is re-instated.

All the entrants receive a commemorative ‘rally plaque’, and a bottle of bubbly awaits the prize-winning entrant (though the judging criteria are yet to be finalised).

The Schedule is as follows:

  • 07:30 Jez, Clem, and Minibus set off from South Ken to Harlington.
  • 08:30 Tea and pastries at Harlington.
[...]

ORCS Win the SKADL League

ORCS, the “Old Royal College of Science” darts team have been victorious in the Winter 2023 SKADL Darts League. They become the inaugural winners of the “RCSA Purse” – £100 of prize money. Of twelve games, ORCS won ten, drew another and lost only one. A very impressive run for which we congratulate them most heartily.

The various teams in SKADL, the South Kensington Academic Darts League, have their roots in the Union Bar, in the Holland Bar, in the RCS and in various other academic institutions ‘not so far from South Kensington’, and the 2023 Summer League see another RCSA Team joining the fray. The newly formed RCSA Double Eleven team will play their home fixtures in the Union Bar, and their away fixtures in a variety of excellent pubs across London, all on a Monday night. If your Monday evenings are free and you fancy throwing a few darts, do contact us.

The RCSA are delighted to once again offer the “RCSA Purse” for the winning team of the 2023 Summer League and hope to sharpen up the competition and to enliven the celebrations on ‘Finals Night’. [...] Read more...

No.2: RCS Union, having a Ball….

What news from the students of the RCSU you might be wondering? Well, they have an all-new constitution (which seems to be called their ‘standing orders’ these days). And a barrage of events you might wish to hear about. With the term all but over, there is only their Spring Ball remaining and it is almost upon us, coming up soon on the 15th March.

Always of interest is the RCSU Science Challenge, and members with school-age children should know the RCS Union opened the competition on Monday 27th February and have declared the submission deadline to be Monday 17 April 2023 at 17.00. If any of your kids decide to get involved, we wish them the best of luck.

Anyone interested in the new RCSU constitution can peruse a copy by clicking here. You, or your youngsters, can find out more about the RCSU Science Challenge by clicking here. And if you are intrigued with the Spring Ball, which is being held in conjunction with the City and Guilds Union, or if you’d like a glimpse at the RCSU Spring-Term Newsletter, you can achieve both of those by clicking here. [...] Read more...

Another Heirloom Saved

RCSU President, Trinity Stenhouse, modelling RCS Jacket

Hot on the heels of saving the Union Bar table, which is a historical relic dating back to 1911, the RCSA are at it again. We’ve rescued a tradition that isn’t quite so old; this time it is the RCSU President’s ceremonial jacket that has been cleaned, restored and given a new lease of life.

Once upon a time the RCSU had several of these stripy purple, black and white jackets, sufficient for all of the exec, but for many years now we have been down to the last one, reserved for the president. But what a state it was in! Dirty, worn, ink-stained……. it was desperately in need of conservation and restoration.

Into the story steps Anne Barrett, Imperial’s archivist. She, of course, had a top garment restorer on her books who was confident of making an enormous improvement.

So RCSU President, Trinity Stenhouse, handed over the jacket and patiently waited whilst the restorers set to work. A few weeks later and……. “The results are magnificent,” Trinity tells us. “There is a black ink stain that hasn’t entirely gone, but otherwise the jacket is back to its best – as good as new!

The RCSA is delighted to have funded this initiative and delighted to breathe new life into this old and traditional item of clothing. [...] Read more...


The RCSA are delighted to announce these Ellingham Awards, instituted in 2023, and named for the late Harold Johann Thomas ‘Tom’ Ellingham.

The RCSA propose to fund 35 awards, each of £20, which will allow an RCS student who is already receiving hardship support to attend an RCS or RCSA formal dinner at a reduced price. The awards will be administered by the RCSU president who will allocate awards by ballot from those qualifying students who apply.

More awards, or fewer awards, or larger awards may be made as funds allow.

‘Tom’ Ellingham was born in London in 1897 and died, aged 78, in 1975. Tom studied chemistry at the Royal College of Science from 1914 to 1916 and then went off as part of the Mesopotamian Expeditionary Force to Iraq from 1917 to 1919 with the Royal Engineers. He returned to College and was promoted from demonstrator to lecturer in 1922 and to a reader in 1937 and, very unusually, became a lecturer to all three constituent colleges. Tom expended enormous energy in the collection of monies for the Memorial Fund which purchased the sports ground, the boat house and the war memorial plaques. He spoke with thousands of students and ex-students in the process. [...] Read more...

RCSA Saves the Day

By rescuing a piece of IC Union history, the RCSA truly have ‘saved the day’. One of the two large tables in the Union Bar, both of which are ‘dripping with history’, was desperately in need of repair. At any time, a slice of the table-top, about a fifth if it, was about to break away. And two of the table legs, despite looking the epitome of robustness, were on the verge of dropping off.

With the Union strapped for cash and bogged down with their ‘back to basics’ agenda, it was the College Archivist, Anne Barrett, who put us in touch with her favourite restorer/conservator. And it was the new RCSA Exec who completed the jigsaw puzzle by coming up with the all-important funding.

RCSA President, Mike Munroe, commented…. “considering the amount of time we have all spent chatting over, drinking at and, yes… dancing on that table over the years, it seems only fitting that Alumni should get involved.

So the table was restored over the Christmas and New Year and is now returned the Bar. It is back to its best and ready for the next 112 years of its history. But do you know the story of the Union Bar tables? [...] Read more...