Banquet Weekend Oxford Spires Hotel, October 7-9th 2022

After three long years of painful postponements, The 39 Club finally were able to hold the Banquet weekend event in the most beautiful and sunny city of Oxford, held at the very well located contemporary VOCO Oxford Spires Hotel close to the River Thames and a short walk from Chrischurch College and Meadow. The food, location, spa and staff were terrific and the event passed off very successfully and was hosted with grace by our new incoming Chair Kamla Patel. 

We danced the night away to the energetic and superbly musical Big River Band, held our generous raffle which raised money for our chosen charity the Place2Be as well as the Club.

After all the restrictions, it was just such a joy to be able to host a social function to bring people together, the members, family and guests into one charming hotel to celebrate once again.

The 39 Club would like to thank all of the raffle  prize sponsors who generously provided such a welcome array of beautiful luxurious gifts.

New member Nigel Pinnock also introduced us to a very interesting rendition of 'heads and tails' which added to the monies raised.

A massive thank you to all who attended and we look forward to seeing more members join us at the 2023 Banquet event.




HRH Queen Elizabeth II, 1926 - 2022


We bid a fond yet very sad farewell to our long serving, constant, selfless monarch Queen Elizabeth II

Long live the King.

Alan Simpson

I have been given the honour of writing some words in celebration of Alan’s life. It’s not hard to praise Alan’s life. As all of us will testify, he was a great character much loved by family and friends. He was my friend and colleague for over 50 years He achieved much in a deceptively unassuming way and made friends easily. Ask anyone; you just could not help liking Alan.

We travelled the length and breadth of the UK plying our trade. Alan had the knack of opening doors and gaining the trust of buyers. They realised that they could rely on him to give good advice . At Gallaher and Johnston Allen, he rose from office boy in the early fifties to the position of sales manager in control of twenty reps and agents He was also responsible for the West End of London. The top job. Sadly Gallahers were forced to close in 1980.

Alan received a number of good offers but fortunately for me, he joined Lehner-Morris. We had always worked together very well and the old team was back together.

I would come up with a plan. Alan would say fine and then do exactly what he liked. Almost inevitably an improvement. I used to say “could you make a mental note of that” and he always replied “I’m far too old to make a mental note of anything”. He also used to say he needed re-training if he went out to lunch. Not true!

We were quite often on business buying handkerchiefs in Switzerland. It must have looked strange to see two smartly dressed Englishmen walking the streets of the little mountain village of Appenzell,  a bit like the West End meets the “Sound of Music”

Over the years we became family friends. We remember Alan as a great family man. He told me he was so lucky to have married Shirley. He was so proud of Tony and Clive and Janet’s achievements, and how his grandchildren Lauren and Matthew are now making their mark in the world.

When it comes down to it, Alan was simply an excellent salesman and in later years was greeted with affection by all his customers. He was respected as a gentleman and elder statesman of the trade.

All of us were privileged to know him.

Let’s  raise a glass to Alan. A scotch with the same amount of water, no ice!


Michael Graver