The ‘Last Hurrah of the Upper Classes’ – Photographs by Dafydd Jones

"It was Thatcher’s Britain, a period of celebration for those that had money,"

Dafydd Jones Last Hurrah

Susie Kydd. 1983 approx. © Copyright Dafydd Jones

The photographs for which Dafydd Jones made his name seem a long way from Doncaster where he was born during the 1950s. After a stint in Wales his family moved to Oxford when he was ten. It was there where he took photographs of Oxford University’s dining clubs in the 1980s and these went on to win a Sunday Times Magazine photography competition. This led to an invitation by Tina Brown to take photographs of society weddings, parties and hunt balls for Tatler magazine. No one had quite taken pictures of these parties quite like this before.

‘It was like an invitation to a secret society’ he told the Times in 2018, ‘the “last hurrah” of the upper classes’.

Dafydd Jones Last Hurrah

Burning boat, Oriel. Oxford 1984 – photo Dafydd Jones

Dafydd Jones Last Hurrah

Benita Douglas-Robertson above Matt Gomez at the Blizzard Ball, London Hilton. 3 January 2001. Photograph by Dafydd Jones

Dafydd Jones Last Hurrah

New College May Ball. Oxford. June 1986.

Dafydd Jones Last Hurrah

Halloween Ball 1987

Dafydd Jones Last Hurrah

Trinity Hall, Cambridge, 14 June 1983.

Dafydd Jones Last Hurrah

Sliding down the marquee during the New College May Ball. Oxford. 24 June 1983.

Dafydd Jones Last Hurrah

Clive Cooke at a party organised by Oliver Baxter. 149 Grosvenor St. London. 13 November 11981. Film. 81245f3
© Copyright Dafydd Jones.

Trinity Hall, Cambridge, 1984 © Dafydd Jones

New College May Ball, Oxford, 1986 © Dafydd Jones

Luciana Martinez and Deryck Healey, Terence Conran birthday, New barn 3.10.81 – photo Dafydd Jones

The Last Hurrah by Dafydd Jones is published by Stanley/Barker (£10; stanleybarker.co.uk)