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.
I represented the Company at this service held at the beautiful St Michael’s Church, Cornhill. The sermon was given by the Dean of Canterbury Cathedral. The Drapers have had a link with the church for over 500 year and kindly hosted a reception after the event.
Having barely digested the generous lunch supplied by the Masons it was off to the Plaisterers Hall in the evening for a magnificent livery dinner at which some 50 Companies were represented. Past Master Terry Knight was also a guest. Managed to make the the gym tonight!
I attended the Epiphany Court luncheon at the Mercer’s Hall with the Clerk. We were greeted by the beaming smile of Bill Gloyn who nearly launched into the 12 Days of Christmas again! Fantastic hospitality and a very moving speech about a soldier who became a hero in Iraq having been given a second chance after some discipline issues in the UK.
Many congratulations to Past Master George Gillon for being awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours List for services to the City and the Scottish community in London. Great news!
Tickets are selling for the dinner and arrangements coming together for what should be a fantastic evening on the 24th. However, there are some tickets remaining and I would really like to have a full house if possible. Please let Amanda know if you can come as soon as possible (remember we are doing a double ticket for £150 — the lowest price we have done for many a year) as it will really help with the event planning.
The carol service took place on 13th December at St Lawrence Jewry. It was a wonderful service led by our chaplain, John Kronenberg. At the end of the service the roof was raised with the now traditional singing of the 12 Days of Christmas aided by the spectacular conducting of Bill Gloyn and the singing of the RICS singers. Many thanks to GVA for hosting the reception after and to David Parrott for allowing us to use the church.
I attended a reception at the City of London Club for the launch of the Lord Mayor’s Big Curry lunch. At the moment the date is not fixed but it should be either the 4th or 6th of April. Tickets will be £100 for as much as you want to eat and drink! Proceeds go to the Soldiers’ Charity with the aim to raise around £450,000 from sponsorship and ticket sales. Put the two dates in your diary and we will see if we can get a group together to support this great cause.
I attended a dinner in both my capacity as Master and the new chairman of CSTT to thank Richard Carter for his 5 year tenure as chairman. Richard is a past CSTT apprentice himself and has put in a huge amount of time into CSTT as a director and chairman as well as acting as a mentor and source of motivation for our learners. Job well done and I am pleased he will continue to help CSTT going forward from the back benches.
I was a guest of the Master, Nicholas Hughes, at the City Solicitors’ Livery Dinner held at the Drapers Hall. The principal guest was Major General Susan Ridge, Director of the Army Legal Services. A very enjoyable evening to finish a busy livery week.
Caroline and I represented the Company at Westminster Abbey at a service to mark the Festival of St Cecilia. Modern festivities date back to 1946 and is an important fund raiser for Help Musicians UK, the country’s leading independent music charity which helped some 2,600 musicians last year. St Cecilia, a Roman woman, was martyred in 230 AD for her Christian faith and is the patroness of musicians. The first recorded event in her memory was in 1570 in Normandy. An Ode to St Cecilia was composed by Henry Purcell in 1692.
The first social event of my year saw 30 people enjoy a very privileged insight into the world of Port courtesy of a guided tasting of 6 vintage Sandeman Ports by Ligia Marques, Wine Educator, the House of Sandeman. The 2000 had most acclaim and a good Christmas present idea if you can find some! Many thanks to Jonathan Wallach and to his colleague Bernard Hornung for organising a special event.
A really proud moment for some young people who received certificates from the President of the RICS to mark their completion of level 3 apprenticeships. I presented a prize on behalf of the Company and as chair of CSTT the apprentice of the year award. The RICS provided some excellent hospitality which was enjoyed by the largest year group of apprentices we have seen to completion to date.