A cold but crisp evening and St Lawrence Jewry looking resplendent greeted a full congregation to a wonderful Carol service, courtesy of Bill Gloyn with the RICS singers, Nigel Waring, our Honorary Chaplain and the Vicar of St Lawrence Jewry. All there commented the service was inclusive and welcomed in Christmas although probably longer than ideal. At 90 minutes it will stand as the longest service in the life of the Surveyors Livery Company but also one that raised over £1,000 for CSTT. Thank you to all for their contributions.
Attended the first Regeneration Network outside of London (in Leeds) talking on education, regeneration and surveying. Joined on platform by Chief Executive of Leeds and a lively and interesting discussion after. May be opportunity for CSTT to link up with Leeds Council and their sponsored apprentices’ scheme.
A concert held to launch the Spitalfields Music festival at Spitalfields Church which carries on for a fortnight. A select group of Masters attended and were entertained with a mix of Handel and Scottish Reels, learnt that Robert Burns’ Publisher sent a music score to Beethoven to be arranged. What he got back he didn’t like and asked Beethoven to redo it!
From initial conversations a year ago I was persuaded to join the Candlewick Ward Club and attend the Carol service and Breakfast. A rousing Carol service at St Clements Church of Oranges and Lemons fame, with breakfast at Guildhall Crypt. The Contractors and Builders Merchants are big supporters of the Ward, the oldest in the City.
Held in the splendid surroundings of Goldsmith Hall there was a good turnout from Masters to hear Patrick Barwise expound how to get organic profits in your business. A fascinating discourse. The lecture was followed by supper where I enjoyed follow up conversation with Patrick and the Master Marketor. I hope we will be availing ourselves of their outreach service – free marketing advise to Livery Companies.
Another trip down to Esher and the headquarters of 135. The mess dinner was held to celebrate Major Mick James tenure as OC and was hosted by new OC Stuart Batey. An interesting and informative evening with excellent company and warmth and empathy for the support and contribution from the Livery. 135 have taken the Livery Owl emblem and developed it to a flying owl to represent dynamism and symbolise moving forward and evolution and change – perhaps we should follow suit?
A very enjoyable evening with the Solicitors and always good to be able to obtain free advise in convivial surroundings! I had the pleasure of sitting opposite Master Actuary who it turns out is reading my blog and beside Dennis Vine surveyor to the Fabric for Solicitors and who I hadn’t seen for a long while. Interesting the speaker was Professor Richard Susskind OBE who’s last book was entitled The End of Lawyers?
Roberta enjoyed her first solo engagement in the Company of Masters Ladies courtesy Tallow Chandlers. I am told a very enjoyable occasion.
A marvellous cause which is chaired by Assistant Lady Davis, the debate was on Drugs, Criminality and Prison. An interesting debate that left me divided on not agreeing with either side! Held at St Mary Le Bow Church and not a great attendance, but a select band of Masters.
The Musicians Benevolent Fund have organised a festival to celebrate the patron saint of music since 1946, it rotates from Westminster Abbey to Westminster Cathedral to this year’s venue, St Pauls. A delightful service and celebration, worth going at some point to savour.
The new Lord Mayor, Roger Gifford, outlined his plan for the year and his aims and ambitions. With a keen interest in music that provides a central theme and alongside getting Liverymen active in the City and Liverymen committing to legacy for their Livery Companies.
A fascinating lecture on Polymers and supper at the Royal Society of Medicine. I now know more about hips and joint replacement, advances in medicine in using polymers and how our teeth will be filled in 12 months’ time! I have always long believed you only get out what you put in and being a broad church and open conduit to experience – but the value of this paid off last night!
Having left in good time to get to 135 at Esher, I discovered owing to casual conversation with Roberta that I had managed to leave the Endeavour Tankard behind that I had to present! So we turned round, went home and retrieved the tankard. We then had a mad dash to Esher and the service. Ably covered by Assistant Larard, we arrived at 10.25, parked by a sign at TA saying “no parking MOD”, went to the wrong church but still arrived as wreaths being laid! The service was splendid and aside from the sheer emotion of remembering the fallen at 11th hour on the 11th of the 11th, it was a magnificent reminder of days gone by when I would parade as a cub and scout and the pride of being in the colour party! The service was followed by lunch at TA 135 and the presentation of the Endeavour Award by our company which went to Corporal David Olajide – thank goodness I went back and got the tankard, he leaves for Afghanistan next week on a 6 month tour – I think that would have exceeded our postage budget!
It dawned on me as I travelled to the show that it is 30 years since I first appeared in the Lord Mayors Show as a To Let board for Jones Lang Wootton where I was a sandwich student. This year it was my honour to appear as Master in the Modern Companies float accompanied by Senior Warden Liz Edwards and Liveryman David Reynolds (no, the other one!). Much fun was had by all and we had the pleasure of seeing Jessica Ennis – it was very sweet of her to say that to have her picture taken with the Surveyors Master was the pinnacle of a great year for her!
The highlight of a great year for Ennis, meeting Surveyors Master!
The Surveyors Livery Three
As moving as I remember from my time on General Council, it is a shame the RICS do not encourage greater attendance by announcing high wide and mighty. Extra special having Philip Tarris who has been ordained and was RICS Staff member giving the address and Bill Gloyn and his band of RICS singers doing a fantastic job. Although the event should come with a health warning for Masters, having managed to be covered in candle wax during rehearsal (bumped into candle stand!) the clergy did a marvellous job with iron and brown paper getting all wax off my suit, could have done with the same on my head and hair!
A fitting evening to Celebrate Lord Mayor David Wootton’s year with a champagne and canapé reception in Mansion House. Funds raised to date are £2.5m with some serious pledges apparently which will significantly raise the total.
A truly moving occasion held at St Paul’s with British Legion The Forces and City grandees planting crosses in Remembrance and launching the opening of the Garden of Remembrance in the run up to Armistice Day
As the President couldn’t make the Installation Dinner he kindly invited me to lunch at Roux. A very pleasant 2 hours chatting about anything and everything in convivial surroundings.
A fascinating evening with a lecture on the Role of Boards given by Donald Brydon (Chairman of Royal Mail) and hosted by the Actuaries at Staple Inn. A large number of Masters and a good opportunity to chat and catch up over a pleasant supper.
The inaugural composition launched by the Musicians Company with the Lord Mayors support held at Mansion House. The composition was delightful and inspired by John Milton and entitled Paradise Lost. The Guildhall School of Music supplied a string quintet to perform and a convivial evening was enjoyed by a small but select audience – Past Master Hibberdine was there with his new hip in fine fettle!
The laying down of the old colours at St Clements Dane Church and then at the RAF Club. Fantastic event, which only happens about 25 years so a real treat. The hierarchy of the RAF in attendance was something else along with HRH Duke of Gloucester. Made very welcome and well looked after by Squadron Leader Stuart Talton of 7010.
White tie banquet at Mansion house in the convivial company of the Engineers Company. A charming evening, well looked after and a nice balance between formal and relaxed occasion.
A celebration of Sir Michael’s year as Lord Mayor and to showcase Coram. He raised £4m of which £400,000 from Livery Companies of which £50,000 from Surveyors Company – we should be hugely proud, well don Rob and his team! Interestingly it made me think we are not maximising our bang for our buck because we weren’t listed in roll call for supporting Coram because channelled through Lord Mayor’s appeal – something to think about.
A very wet and inclement day was enjoyed by 60 brave golfing souls. The bunkers and greens took on the look of the lakes as the round wore on. An enjoyable day in spite of the weather and next year must seek sunshine!
An extraordinary event which happens every 4 years and the detail and craftsmanship was amazing. The Turner’s who hosted, are one of the few Liveries with still active tradesman some of whom are keen amateurs along with professionals. A pleasurable early evening viewing. Never cease to be amazed who you bump into – Andrew Meyer a Chartered Surveyor who joined Turners in 1970’s (via his Grandfather) and the father of our Livery, Alan Gillett who is also a Turner.
An interesting evening in the Livery Hall at Guildhall (apparently no one knew it existed until 2005! – built in 1600’s!), where I was introduced as Roger Southam and then the Assistant spent the rest of her speech on my CV calling me Clifford! Also the Actuaries support the Narcolepsy Charity, you can make your own jokes from there – there are just too many. The Actuaries are a very warm and welcoming Livery and having an egg timer to make sure dinner stays to time is priceless!
The Installation dinner was held in Clothworkers Hall, one of the great 12 Companies and a magnificent dinning facility. The guests were entertained by Steve Backley OBE and Dr Pippa Malmgren. From the reaction and sweet notes received a fun and enjoyable was had by all. Hopefully the first of many and the start of a year where we can encourage greater participation from our Liverymen.
This is my final sign off as Master of the WCCS; I would like to thank everyone who has helped to make this a very special year for me and my Family. It has been a most stimulating mix of traditional events and new events and I hope you have all enjoyed the fruits of some very hard labour by members of our Committees.
Within the City I have met many new friends amongst the Masters of other Livery Companies and learnt what a generous and good hearted place the City can be.
The roots of the Livery movement lies in the training of young people to a trade or craft and in this spirit the additional support for the CSTT, should be seen as the major achievement of the year. I am certain this will grow and flourish under the stewardship of those who will come after me.
I would like to wish Roger every success in his year ahead – which promises to be exciting. It is with some relief I hand over to him the task of writing this BLOG and look forward to reading of his activates in the coming year – no doubt conducted in his own flamboyant style.
And as always I must give my heartfelt thanks to Amanda for her support and guidance – I could not have done it without her.
Best wishes to you all
Master Chartered Surveyor 2011/2012
On Wednesday 10 October I attended the court dinner for the Tinplate Workers alias the Wire Workers Livery at the Haberdashers Hall, a modern hall which is beautifully decorated and atmospheric.
The Tin plate trade is ancient craft going back to before Roman times and the Wireworkers have also been existence for many centenaries going back to the time of Henry VIII when they were part of the Girdlers Company. Their joint Royal Charter was granted in 1670 and the Livery is ranked number 67 in the City of London.
For reasons lost in the mists of time, there are a large number of Chartered Surveyors in this company and their new Master Andrew Balcolme is a surveyor a Director of Balcolme Associates and a consultant to Vail Williams. Andrews’s life has been steeped in the Livery with his Father and Grandfather both being former Masters of the Tinplate Workers.
At the dinner his principle guests included John Edgecombe formerly of Hillier Parker, and Torquil Gyngell FRICS MCIArb who is a Director and Head of the Landlord and Tenant Department at HNG, a multi-disciplined firm of Chartered Surveyors based in the West End of London. Who spoke enthusiastically of the Masters provenance including Philip and Margaret Balcolme, the Master’s parents.
The dinner was a very friendly occasion, with a light hearted ribbing between the two crafts including the Master’s joke
“Last year it was reported in Der Speigal that at the beginning of 2011 German Archeologists at a site just outside Berlin had dug to a depth of 3m and found traces of copper wire dating back 200 years. They claimed this was irrefutable proof that Germany had telephones 100 years before it was invented. However the Americans did not take kindly to this and 3 months later it was reported by the New York Times that American Archaeologists had dug down 20 ft and found traces of 250 year old copper wire which suggested the native Indians may have been more technologically advanced than the European as this was 50 years before the date of the German wiring.
Last month it was reported in the Sheffield Star that a team of amateur Archaeologists had made a stunning discovery in the site of a former steel works in the City, I quote after digging down a depth of 30 ft said Jack Ludlow, ‘ we found sod all, thereby proving that 250 years ago Britain had already gone wireless…”
A fine end to a lovely evening and a fitting conclusion to my official engagements as Master.