The Ghost Of Z/Yen Seasonal Events Past, Part Three, 2014 to 2023

Introduction by Ian Harris

Z/Yen Christmas events have been much-loved and fondly-remembered occasions since the very first year of Z/Yen’s existence, 1994. Several traditions have emerged over the years. The event always includes a meal and often (but not always) also includes an interesting activity as a prelude to the meal. Indeed, the “prelude activity” tradition started in Z/Yen’s very first year, as the founders of Z/Yen signed the original Shareholders’ Agreement for the Z/Yen Group just before dinner on the evening of that first Christmas event, at the Paris House in Woburn Park, on 16 December 1994. The other tradition that emerged from the outset was the tradition of performing a song at dinner. In 1994, the song was a fairly low key affair, as documented in my Ogblog piece about the matter – click here.

In 1995, again at The Paris House, three Z/Yen stalwarts - only I, as lyricist and ringleader, will own up to doing this - donned some seriously dodgy-looking wigs and sang When Will We See You At Z/Yen, much to the horror of the burghers of Bedfordshire, who were looking on askance from other tables. Try not to think about it too much. Fortunately for the world, no-one took photographs that evening. The tradition of taking a private room (or at least a semi-private dining area) for the Z/Yen Christmas event was thus subsequently established. In the interests of decency, Z/Yen held off from song-singing until it was in a position to take private rooms. For some reason unexplained, Z/Yen has never returned to the delightful Paris House.

But let us not run this account from the very beginning to the present day. Let's run it from the present day to the very beginning. This article will list all the events and, where possible, provide links to narrative, pictures and lyrics, sometimes elsewhere on the Z/Yen site, sometimes on my own Ogblog site.

This page sets out Part Three of the story - the years 2014 to 2023.

If you attended one or more of these events and have pictures and/or memories to share, please get in touch with me, Ian Harris, and I'll ensure that your material finds its way into these pieces.

2023 - Mansion House, 15 December 2023

Someone must have done well getting us a booking in that place. The grub was great,


An Ogblog piece is sure to follow - meanwhile here is a link to the lyrics of the medley we sang.

2022 - Watermen's Hall, 9 December 2022

We had a private room in Watermen's Hall for the 2022 seasonal lunch, reverting to tradition. The 2022 song lyric can be seen by clicking this link.

2021 - Watermen's Hall, 11 February 2022 (Deferred from 17 December 2021 due to Covid)


Ian Harris's account of the event, including menu(s) and pictures can be seen by clicking here. The lyric prepared for 17 December 2021 is included in the account but was not sung at the February event, for reasons explained in the text.

2020 - Virtual Event (due to Covid), 17 December 2020

Paul Fowler put on a virtual magic show. Mini-hampers of wine and grub enabled people virtually to eat together. That all worked rather well.

Here's a link to the song lyric. An enjoyable read, but virtual singing does not work at all well. Oh well.

2019 - Old Bailey, 13 December 2019


No, we hadn't got ourselves into serious trouble. Michael Mainelli was a sheriff of the City of London that year.

Ian Harris's Ogblog has an account of this event, the third part of a "hat trick of events" piece - click here.

If all you really want is the lyric sheet from this event, then click here instead.

2018 - Guildhall, 14 December 2018

This was the year we had a brawl in Guildhall, yet somehow did not get into trouble.

Brawl In Guildhall.docx

It's all quite well explained in a Now & Z/Yen piece published at the time - click here.

If you are keen to head straight for the lyric, it is within Ian Harris's Ogblog posting on this event - click here.

2017 - Watermen's Hall, Then Cinema Museum, 15 December 2017


A comprehensive write up, including more pictures and the seasonal song lyric, is contained in this Ogblog posting - click here.

2016 - Watermen's Hall, 14 December 2016

The event is written up as the third event in Ian's Ogblog posting on events that season - click here to read all about it, including the menu and seasonal lyric.

Collectors of obscure facts about Z/Yen seasonal events might be fascinated to learn that this lunch party was the first time the Z/Yen seasonal event was held at lunchtime.

2015 - Bottlescue, 11 December 2015

This event doubled as Mary O'Callaghan's leaving do. Ian Harris has written it up as an Ogblog piece, along with the lyric of the seasonal/Mary song - click here.

2014 - 90 Basinghall Street, 11 December 2014


2014 was basically a musical house party at the Z/Yen offices. Despite its simplicity, it is a treasured memory for many of us, as we all had so much fun. Fortunately Janie took a swathe of pictures and Ian Harris has Ogblogged some of them, along with a write up and seasonal song lyric - a revival of Ian's "Oh Little Street Of Basinghall" adaptation of Michael's St Helen's song from 2006. Recycling is rife at Z/Yen.

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