Formals are one of Hatfield's favourite traditions. Held in the Hall each week throughout the year (twice weekly in Michaelmas term), they are regularly well attended and widely regarded as the best formal in Durham. Formal meals are a traditional part of Hatfield life, with a smart dress code, Latin grace, gowns and High Table. Wine and soft drinks are available at a small price. After dinner, everyone heads over to the College bar to continue socialising, and of course to partake in one of Hatfield’s greatest traditions - College Songs!
In the Michaelmas Term, Formal dinners are held twice each week, on Tuesday and Friday. In the Epiphany Term this is reduced to only Fridays, with some exceptions. There are fewer Formal dinners during the Easter Term because of examinations.
JCR sign up to Formals is coordinated by the JCR Secretary, Dom Cornfield, and takes place on a “first come, first served” basis. Livers-In sign-up takes place in the bar at 17:00 on Sundays for Tuesday Formals and at the same time on Wednesdays for Friday formals. If for any reason you are unable to make sign-up but wish to attend, please contact the JCR Secretary. Livers-Out sign-up is via an online system at 17:00 three days before the respective formal and uses their Durham login. This is done via the MyJCR website, here.
The JCR subsidises the cost of formal for members. Currently, Livers-In attendance is free for all formals, while Livers-Out attendance is £3. Non-Hatfield guests are more than welcome to attend, but they pay the unsubsidised price of £8. Please be aware that if you do not contact the JCR Secretary before midday on the day of the formal stating your absence and do not attend, then you will be charged a £5 non-attendance fee by the JCR Treasurer.
The dress code for formals is academic dress (suit and tie or dress, with gown). You may be denied entrance into the hall if you are not in appropriate dress! If necessary, gowns may be hired for guests from the Exec prior to the start of formal, but you must notify the Facilities Officer or JCR Secretary in advance as there are a limited number available.
Attendees should gather in the college bar from 18:30 for a 19:00 start. You are allowed to purchase wine or soft drinks on the way into the hall for £7 or £2 respectively, water and squash are available at no cost.
Most undergraduates at Hatfield love the uniqueness of our formals and are always keen to show them off to visitors from other colleges or from elsewhere. Most of our formals are usually themed and this often brings a different menu or for international students something they can connect with whilst in Durham. Check out posts from the JCR Secretary, or updates in the weekly email, for all the information! They are truly a fun and quirky part of college life and are also very affordable and surely shouldn't be missed throughout your time at Durham
...it would be rude not to!