College events

Other College events for alumni are listed on the Development Office website.

Downing Photographic Competition

The competition theme was “New Normal”. The chosen theme reflected the fact that after two difficult years due to the Covid Pandemic, college life was starting to get back to normal, albeit with some changes.

The judges were Charles Harpum QC (Emeritus Fellow and President of the Association), Vicki Ambery-Smith (designer and wife of the Master), Dick Taplin (Emeritus Fellow and former Junior Bursar) and Neville Tait (Associate Fellow Emeritus and competition organiser).

Keeping score and ensuring fair play was the Association Secretary, Peter Whittington. In coming to its decision, the judging panel considered not only the technical quality of the image in terms of composition, sharpness and exposure but also how well the image matched the brief.

The judges had some difficulty in seeing how the competition theme had been met in some of the images, but that may be because the connection was too subtle for them to grasp! Also, a number of the images could have been greatly improved by some cropping (e.g. too much foreground or too much sky), or some lightening of the shadows to bring out some detail. Interestingly, most of the images were taken with smartphones and some remarkable results achieved!

The judges were unable to separate 1st and 2nd and decided to award two first prizes, with the total of the 1st and 2nd cash prizes being equally shared.


"1st Equal Prize “The music returns” by Louisa Denby

This was a carefully composed image of the interior of the college chapel, taken from slightly off-centre, so that the altar was not obscured by the lectern, while at the same time maintaining the altar cross in the centre of the image and the tall candlestick dead centre in front of a recess in the wall. The connection with the theme was cleverly made by a blue face mask hanging from the lectern.

1st Equal Prize “Hope” by Aurelia Eulenburg

This image, taken from a little visited corner of the college, combines the view of a ’wild’ area with wonderful spring flowers and in the middle distance some deckchairs set out on the Paddock in the hope and expectation of the good weather to come.

Highly Commended

“A full moon” by Savanna Patel.

This image taken across the Domus looking towards the West Range shows the moon shining through a wonderfully patterned sky, with the college buildings lit up by street lighting and the windows in the distant Judge Institute shining out.


“Behold the skies with glory riven” by Kate Tsoi

This wonderful sunset skyscape, looking over the roof of the Library, benefits from some of the rather unattractive parts of the foreground buildings being in silhouette.

“The Silver Lining” by Kate Tsoi

Another view of the Library, this time from ground level, comprises a cloudless blue sky, green grass and red foliage on the foreground tree, all enhanced by the thin shaft of light tracking from left to right across the image and lighting up the base of the tree trunk.