We held our Election Court meeting at the Armourers and Brasiers’ Hall.
The Armourers & Brasiers’ Company was founded in 1322 as the Guild of St George of the Armourers, it was awarded its first Royal Charter in 1453 from King Henry VI. In 1708 the Armourers joined with the Brasiers and the Worshipful Company of Armourers & Brasiers received its current charter from Queen Anne.
The Company has occupied its current site since 1346. The present Armourers’ Hall was built in 1839 and re-modelled in 1872. It is a Grade 2* listed building and a scheduled ancient monument.
Sadly Daniel Carter, the senior warden, has had to step down for business reasons. Daniel has been a huge servant to the Company and the Court expressed their thanks for all he has done. On a personal level Daniel has been a great support to me for which I am especially grateful. The Court elected Tony Joyce as the next Master, Digby Flower as senior warden, John Woodman as junior warden and Ken Morgan to fill a new role of Renter Warden.
5 new members were elected to the Court: Antonia Belcher, Hugh Bullock, Amanda Clack, James Gillett and James Young.
The evening concluded with a small dinner to include two new sworn in liverymen — Alison McDonald and Gary McNamara.
The annual Property Marketing Awards celebrate the year’s very best, most effective, as well as the most innovative and creative marketing campaigns around the UK property industry. Set up by the Company to improve standards in property marketing and to raise money for the Charitable Trust, the awards this year reached their 25th anniversary.
The awards were hosted by well known BBC breakfast broadcaster Naga Munchetty and held at 30 Euston Square. The audience was packed and enjoyed a reception before and after the ceremony. I presented the grand prix on behalf of the Company to NextBigThing.
The evening would not have been possible without a huge amount of work from the organising committee under the leadership of Assistant Colin Peacock, the generosity of our sponsors, the time given up by our judges, our partner EG, Sarah Sherwin, The Drum, Luminous and Park.
This year we added Debate Mate as one of our charitable beneficiaries. Debate Mate is a unique, international educational charity dedicated to improving social mobility using cost-effective peer-to-peer debate mentoring. They run after school debating clubs in areas of high child poverty, facilitated by students at the best universities, which give disadvantaged young people the skills they need to become exceptional young leaders – confidence, interpersonal communication skills and higher order thinking.
Caroline was invited to lunch at Mansion House along with 12 other consorts to Masters for a private lunch with the Lady Mayoress. She had a guided tour of all the treasures in the Mansion House!
The working party had its fifth meeting to discuss the new business plan. We have made some good progress and a first draft for discussion will be going to the Court on 4th July.
The Election of Sheriffs is a very special event in the civic calendar when Liverymen from all livery companies meet to elect the two Sheriffs for the year. A number of surveyors were present including past master Brian Lambden.
I assembled with Masters from other companies in our gowns and chains and processed into Guildhall ahead of the main Civic party.
The office of Sheriff is the oldest civic office in the City (older even than the office of the Lord Mayor). The two sheriffs elected were :
TIMOTHY RUSSELL HAILES
NEIL MORGAN REDCLIFFE
Congratulations to William for being made MBE in the Queen’s birthday honours list!
MBE — William Edward Hampshire Bagnall Governor and Chair, Finance and Strategy Committee, The Sixth Form College Farnborough, Hampshire. For services to education.
Summoned to the Old Bailey with around 30 other Masters, I appeared in Court and was charged, found immediately guilty by Sheriff Peter Estlin (masquerading as a judge) and sent to the Tower of London for indecent exposure. A bit harsh for a waistcoat malfunction at Mansion House corrected by a safety pin and no flesh in view!
Fortunately, my incarceration was not for long and after meagre prison rations of chicken salad, eton mess and Pol Roger (declined by me for water) the 30 or so Masters were finger printed, photographed and given bail raising between us £37,000 for the British Red Cross. The event has raised nearly £500,000 since it was launched about 14 years ago.
Just under 100 liverymen and guests attended the evening — the first time we had tried this type of event. With thanks to Schroders for hosting us, we started the evening with a very enjoyable and informative lecture on the changing face of London Wall by Ken Shuttleworth of Make Architects. Ken’s practice is the architect of the Brookfield/Oxford Properties London Wall Place, the new home in 2018 for Schroders.
We then made the short walk to the Barber Surgeon’s Hall built by a segment of the original London Wall for a reception in the garden. Dinner in the hall was under the eye of the Holbein painting behind the Master’s chair. Traditionally known as “King Henry VIII and the Barber Surgeons”, The Holbein shows the King celebrating the Act of Union between the Company of Barbers and the Guild or Fellowship of Surgeons in 1540. It was probably painted in 1542.
We were entertained by our two prize winners from the Guildhall School of Music who finished with a Happy Birthday encore for my son Charlie who was celebrating his 19th birthday. The Company’s charitable Trust also received a donation of £5,000 from Brookfield and Oxford towards the Treloar’s coach appeal for which I would like to record our thanks.
This was a hugely enjoyable and successful evening.
I represented the Company at the annual dinner of the Livery Committee held at the Cutler’s Hall. A chance to catch up with a few masters and share stories about the Ironbridge weekend. It was also a good opportunity to meet a number of people from the livery movement, most of whom had held high office in their Companies in years gone by.
The livery committee was created over 150 years ago to oversee the arrangements for the elections of the Lord Mayor and Sheriffs at Common Hall — a role it continues to fulfil to this day. It now plays an equally important role in acting as a link between the Livery and the City of London Corporation.
One of the privileges of being Master is an invitation to a Buckingham Palace garden party. The invitation also includes two children aged between 18 and 23 and from our portfolio of 6 we were able to find two (Charlie and Oliver) that qualified. Dressed in our finest we arrived in good time on a scorching hot afternoon along with other 8 to 9,000 guests! On entry to the garden we were approached by a man with a rolled up umbrella who asked whether we would like to be presented to the Queen! We were taken aside, given an briefing and about an hour later had the honour of being one of 14 groups who had just over 5 minutes each talking to Her Majesty. I was introduced as Master of the Worshipful Company of Chartered Surveyors in which Her Majesty showed great interest.
Around 30 liverymen and friends met in the Eclipse Suite for a fantastic evening of racing. We were hosted by David Crosse, a jump jockey, who marked our card, took us to the stalls to see a race started,
showed us his racing kit and ended the evening with a tour of the weighing room and the jockey’s changing room! Charlie Mann, the trainer, also attended and talked about the racing syndicate the newly formed livery racing club is going to have a share in. The first horse is rather appropriately called Zen Master. There are still a few places for those interested in joining.
I was back at the Mansion House for another magnificent livery white tie dinner as a guest of WCCSA. The Lord Mayor was in attendance with the other guest speaker Richard Hunter, UK Managing Director of Bombardier Transport.
David Mann organised a really enoyable livery social. 12 of us turned into chefs for the evening as we prepared under expert tuition a meal for us to eat together. Although I say it myself the food was prepared and cooked with great skill and was delicious. Thorough recommended as a great event for friends, work teams or with clients.
This year’s competition was well attended and as usual and we were not disappointed with a very entertaining programme. Each of the 5 singers had to perform one item of musical theatre in addition to the normal repertoire. We provide two prizes. The first is professionally adjudicated which was won by Isabelle Peters. The people’s prize voted by the audience went to Claire Lees. We all then enjoyed a supper in a restaurant a short walk from the School.
The service is another where the civic ceremony is to the fore. Livery companies process in robes and badges and the full civic team is on parade. This year the preacher was The Most Reverend and Right Honourable The Lord Archbishop of York. The music was provided by the choir of St Paul’s Cathedral, directed by Andrew Carwood, and the choirs of Chichester Cathedral and Chester Cathedral.
I attended a regular elections committee meeting interviewing two new candidates for membership of the livery. If you are a member please do not be shy in recommending candidates for the livery. If you are not a member and are interested then please contact the Clerk.
I represented the Company at a Court Lunch held at the Carpenters’Hall. The Worshipful Company of Plumbers is one of the most ancient of the Livery Companies of the City of London having served the City and the craft of plumbing continuously for over 650 years. We had a very interesting talk by Neil Kerfoot representing the Village by Village charity.
I attended a banquet as a guest of the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists to celebrate its 25th anniversary.
The celebration was the largest banquet held by any of the City’s 110 Livery Companies in many years with over 700 attendees. Guests of Honour included The Rt Hon The Lord Mayor Alderman Dr Andrew Parmley; Aldermen & Sheriffs Peter Estlin and William Russell; Royal Corps of Signals Corps Colonel Simon Hutchinson, Assistant Chief of the Defence Staff Major General John Crackett, Sir Brian Jenkins, Dame Steve Shirley and UK Space Agency Chief executive Graham Turnock who was the after-dinner speaker.
The banquet was held on May the Fourth (Star Wars day and as it happened my wedding anniversary which marked 7 more years than the WCIT history). We were greeted as we arrived by a Guard formed of Star Wars Stormtroopers. Luckily Caroline was out singing and there were no Darth Vader black looks when I got back!
I had the honour of being invited alongside the Mayor of the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham and the chair of the Governors to present prizes to years 12 and 13. They are a terrific group of students who have achieved some great things during the year both in and out of the classroom. Our support of the school is really valued.
I attended a magnificent dinner at the Goldsmith’s Hall as guest of the Paviors. It was my first dinner at the Hall since my installation dinner in October. The main speech was by Phil Wilbraham who is leading the new runway project at Heathrow Airport for BAA.
Fortified by lunch at the Waterman’s Hall I chaired the third of our business plan meetings. Please do email me or Amanda with any issues you think we should be considering. We are building a 10 year plan to take us up to our 50th year.
Amanda and I represented the Company at a traditional livery lunch to celebrate St George’s Day. We were all given a red rose button hole on arrival and enjoyed very generous hospitality at Waterman’s Hall. The speech on behalf of the guests was from the Master Mercer who was a guest at our Spring Dinner.
My second trip to Treloar’s since becoming Master. This time Caroline and I were accompanied by Amanda who was carrying a very important piece of paper — our cheque for £100,000 towards the coach appeal. Readers of my blog or attendees at the 40th anniversary dinner will be aware that the Trustees of the Charitable Trust and the Court approved this donation. It allows Treloar’s to press the button on their order for a new coach and has shortened their anticipated fund raising programme by three years.
In their words:
‘Your gift is life changing. A coach like no other which will enable the severely disabled young people at Treloar’s to travel in comfort as a group, accompanied by their carers and essential medical equipment, providing more opportunities to support their education, living skills and independence and ultimately enabling this group of inspirational young people to lead as independent and inclusive a life as possible.’
A big thank you to the livery – our generosity over the years in giving and fund raising has enabled the Company to make this donation. I will be writing to you shortly regarding our plans for a special 40th anniversary appeal to replenish our funds following this gift.
The United Guilds Service is one of the key civic events in the Livery year. The Lord Mayor and his Sheriffs are joined by the Masters and Wardens of every Livery Company, dressed in their colourful robes. This year the Sermon was given by the The Right Reverend Christopher Chessun, Lord Bishop of Southwark.
After the service 12 members of the Company enjoyed each others company over lunch at the Stationers’ Hall.
Caroline and I attended a white tie dinner at the Mansion House hosted by the Lord Mayor with around 100 other Masters. This is one of the set piece livery events in the calendar and obviously a huge privilege to be there representing the Company. The Master Mercer and Master Grocer as one and two in the order of precedence spoke with the Lord Mayor.
I had the pleasure of lunch with Lt Col Nicky Bell RE, Commanding Officer of 42 EngineerRegiment (Geospatial) and Captain James Smith to discuss the expedition DRAGON KYRGYZSTAN ODYSSEY 17. This is an alpine mountaineering expedition for 12 personnel from 42 Engineer Regiment (Geographic), including personnel from our affiliate
135 Geographic Squadron, to climb Peak Lenin (7134m) on the Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan border. We have agreed to support the trip with a grant of £3,000 and I presented the cheque to Nicky outside the Royal Exchange. Assistants David Reynolds and Mark Larard also attended the lunch.
A very special evening as we marked our 40th anniversary since the Company was founded and the Clerk her 30th year of service. Earlier in the evening the Court approved a donation of £100,000 to Treloars’ for the purchase of a state of the art specially adapted coach to enable their severely handicapped children to undertake more trips and work experience. This was announced at the dinner together with a 40th anniversary appeal. We also presented a cheque for just over £22,000 to the YMCA raised from the Towerathlon last year to help fund a new hostel for homeless young persons. Speakers at the dinner were Alderman and Sheriff Peter Estlin and The Right Honourable Sir Hugh Robertson. A special grace was written and said by Alan Gillett, father of the Company. Thank you to the sea cadets for their carpet guard and to all the staff at the Fishmongers’ Hall.
Attended a very interesting lecture at the Pewterer’s Hall given by Steve Holliday, former CEO of National Grid, on inclusion, diversity and business culture. We then had an enjoyable informal dinner after.
I attended Evensong at St Paul’s Cathedral with around 100 other Masters for a service to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the foundation of the Carmen. The current Master is Marsha Rae Ratcliff.
The Worshipful Company of Carmen continues to reflect the transport industry as it has done for five centuries. The Company is currently one of the largest, listed number 77 in the order of precedence, with approaching 700 members, including some 500 Liverymen, 170 Freemen and 40 Apprentices.
31 Livery companies took part in a careers fair for just over 30 schools and around 600 pupils at Guildhall today. Our stand was especially busy and thank you to Clywd Roberts, Ema Saunders and all our other volunteers for helping out. Also thank you to the CSTT team who shared our stand. It was really enjoyable talking to so many young people about their hopes and aspirations.
I attended this dinner held at the Brewers’ Hall. The idea of the modern livery company took shape in 1921 at the annual shipmaster’s dinner in Liverpool. This led to the formation of the Company of Master Mariners on 25th June 1926. Since then 32 other ‘modern’ livery companies have joined them including of course the Chartered Surveyors. The hosting of this dinner rotates and this time it was the turn of the Information Technologists to do the honours. They did a very good job and it was a great evening catching up again with Masters and Senior Wardens.
Caroline and I joined around 40 other Masters and consorts to support a visit by the Lord Mayor to Treloar’s. Treloar’s is a school and college for students with profound physical disabilities. It was founded by a previous Lord Mayor in 1907 and has retained its close links with the City. It is truly an amazing place. It provides education, care, therapy, medical support and independence training and aims to prepare its students for adult life, giving them the confidence and skills to achieve their full potential. It has a Nursery and School (from 2 to 19 years) and College (from 16 to 25 years). In School it has a target that every student leaves with at least one nationally recognised qualification. In College the aim is to enable all learners to achieve their long-term goals of a more independent life and make a meaningful contribution to their community, including Higher Education and employment.
There is a growing series of events that are put on for the consorts of Masters. Representing the Company is definitely a team effort. Caroline was on duty at Kew Gardens attending an event organised by the Architects.
Amanda pulled off another successful Swimathon at the RAC club in Epsom. Although down on previous numbers we still had the support of 9 other livery companies to raise money for various charities including the Lord Mayor’s charity. The feedback from these companies was hugely positive and I have received some nice letters encouraging us to continue with this event. We were well looked after by the RAC club who laid on a dinner for us in the Cedar Room. Many thanks to the club for making the pool available to us.
I took part in the inter livery Master’s Pancake race in Guildhall Yard with David Reynolds in the liveryman race. We both won our heats! Caroline stood in for the lady livery race and was first into the tossing zone but had to give way to a field 20 years or so younger! A really fun morning with funds raised going to charity.
Attended an interesting set of talks on why the City of London looks like it does through the eyes of architects and a City Corporation planner. Rather harshly the blame on some ugly post war buildings was pushed in the direction of a surveyor at Jones Lang Wootton.
Courtesy of an invitation from Alderman and Sheriff Peter Estlin, I was privileged to attend the Old Bailey today for lunch with the judges. On show across the courts are examples of the terrible impact of human error and human evil with lives lost and families devastated. Very sobering.
Caroline and I had a lovely dinner tonight in Camps Bay, Cape Town with past master Laurence Johnstone and his wife Clare. We managed to cover several matters livery during the evening as well as sharing our South African adventures to date. Earlier in the day I had a surprise encounter with Liveryman Jonathan Wallach on Table Mountain!
We arranged a tour of the Old Bailey this evening for students at our adopted schools Archbishop Tenison, Robert Clack and St Saviour’s and St Olave. Many thanks to the Secondary of the City of London, Charles Henty, for acting as our guide. We were treated to a talk by a judge in the historic Number 1 Court and a trip to the cells. A very successful evening with hopefully some young people more informed about our legal system and with some career inspiration as well.