Monthly Archives: June 2012

Visit to Stratford upon Avon to see Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar

Last week a group of 40 Liverymen and friends visited the Royal Shakespeare theatre at Stratford on Avon to see Julius Caesar in the newly redeveloped theatre. It was a stunning production, with an all black caste. Set in an unnamed African country, in modern times, with the battle between a Dictator and his enemies, resonating with the story of a power struggle which spans the centuries.
Seated in the stalls, almost under the actors, gave us a really close up view of the intensity of the acting and meant we ran the risk of a shower of invective as Cassio and Brutus played out their tragedy.
We had dinner beforehand in the Alverston Manor hotel, which set us up for the production and then we walked across the bridge to the stunning new theatre and for once the weather was kind and we made it in the dry.
It was a pleasure to see some of our Liverymen who are local to the area join us including Michael Hodges David Marsh and Ian McRae and their wives, the party adjourned to the bar in the hotel afterwards where Roger Kallman and Brian Shepherd regaled Past Master Bould and others with stories of the olden days of the property  industry until the early hours.

Gregory Doran’s Julius Caesar

Paterson Joseph as Brutus and Ray Fearon as Mark Antony… “Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war”


Ladies Dinner, 11 June 2012

Last night we dined at the Tallow Chandlers Hall, it was the Ladies dinner and the Livery and their ladies, partners and escorts made a wonderful array of colour as we sat down to a splendid meal and were entertained by the Guild Hall School of Music singing operatic love songs with their magnificent voices echoing across this beautiful and intimate Hall.

My Guests were Kevin McCabe, property entrepreneur and Chairman of Sheffield United Football Club, who talked about football and surprised me and others by presenting me with a glass football and a football shirt – number 9. My other speaker was the well known celebrity – secret millionaire – Nick Leslau, who also talked about football – and his first love rugby as he is a part owner of the Saracens rugby club. His acceptance of the toast to the guests was most insightful and poignant, reflecting on the woes of those who own sports clubs and how the heart rules the head – even of the most successful business man when it comes to sport.

Our other guests included Sir Christopher the Master Tallow Chandler and his wife Lady Marilyn Pryke, Peter Faulkner Master Farmer and his wife Alison Faulkner, The Master Loriner Nick Fraser  and his wife Marilyn, the Master Mason Derek Sayer and Alderman Sir Michael Bear (Master Pavior & Court Assistant) and his wife Lady Barbara Bear.

Mickola Wilson


The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Luncheon

On Tuesday 5th June, The Wardens and I had a wonderful time at the Queen’s Jubilee lunch at Westminster Hall in the Houses of Parliament. The Lunch was hosted by The Livery Companies and the City of London and included some 700 guests representing the companies’ abundant trades and professions. The National Children’s Orchestra of Great Britain performed as the Queen arrived at Westminster Hall.

The grand setting for the Diamond Jubilee banquet

Master Mercer Thomas Sheldon welcomed the Queen, praising her ‘unstinting’ devotion to duty. ‘Much has changed in the last six decades. But it has been the age of Elizabeth,’ he told the guests. ‘You embody the very best of our national values. You are our constant in a changing world.’

The Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry also attended the meal.

At the request of the Lord Great Chamberlain, our guests on the Surveyors table included representatives from Society, and we invited guests from the affiliates of the armed forces, our schools and the CSTT apprentices and Ironbridge.

From left to right: Major Michael James RE(V), Squadron Leader Stuart Talton RAuxAF, Roger Southam (Senior Warden), Mickola Wilson (Master), Anna Brennand (Ironbridge), Liz Edwards (Junior Warden), Major Michael James RE(V), Azaan Akbar (Robert Clack student), Lt Mark Rowbotham RN (representing HMS Echo), Junaid Oughradar (apprentice representing CSTT), Elizabeth Sims (headmistress, Archbishop Tenison's School)

The luncheon was absolutely splendid occasion, with most of the immediate Royal Family there who sat on individual tables rather than just a top table, we were next to Prince Charles and were able to admire the outfits of the ladies, The Queen, Duchess of Cornwall and Duchess of Cambridge as they came into the Hall and processed out of the North Door at the end of the luncheon – promptly at 2.30.

The menu included Cornish crab, Cambrian Mountain Lamb and a Sympathy of Desserts and was delicious. The wines, which I have been asked to give you details included:

•    Sancerre Jean-Paul Picard, Bue, Loire Valley France 2011
•    Chateau Cap de Faugeres, Cotes de Castillion Bordeaux France 2007 – which I am told were exceptionally good.

The Junior Warden and I wore hats and the Senior Warden, looking very dashing in his morning suit, compromised and wore his WCCS bowtie.

This occasion was definitely the highlight of my year as Master and it was a great pleasure to invite our guests, who also appreciated this once in a lifetime event.

The Master, Liz Sims head mistress of Archbishop Tennison School and The Junior Warden

The Senior Warden

Azaan Akbar and Junaid Oughradar

Major Michael James RE(V) Lt Mark Rowbotham, RN (representing HMS Echo), Squadron Leader Stuart Talton, RAuxAF


Garden Party at Buckingham Palace

After weeks of rain, the 22nd May was a perfect day – beautiful blue skies and temperatures of over 20 degrees in London and my Family and I were fortunate to have been invited to the Queens garden party at Buckingham Palace.

Decked out in the full regalia of morning suits, summer dresses and hats for both ladies and gentlemen, we walked the length of the Mall, which is already dressed in union jacks ready for the Queen’s jubilee, on entering  the Palace through the main gates we  were quickly swept past the tourists and into the stately rooms which lead to the gardens.

Those who have been before will know that the royal gardens form a wonderful oasis of peace in the centre of London, with  immaculate lawns and flower beds leading to an avenue of lime trees and a series of paths around the lakes and areas of rhododendrons.

The Queen arrived with Prince Philip and Princess Ann, promptly at 4.0 pm, to a round of applause and the national anthem played by the two military bands .There were about 6,000 people there and we stood in groups to see the Queen and other members of the Royal Family, who were meeting and greeting people before they stepped into the Royal Tent for tea.

We retreated to some welcome shade under the trees and listened to the military bands playing and enjoyed a traditional English tea party style, cups of tea, lemonade, cucumber sandwiches and mini scones and chocolate cake and then ice cream.

The other guests came from all parts of the Empire and we were treated to wonderful show of costumes and outfits as we sat and people watched as they perambulated around the gardens. I saw a number of Masters and their families from other Livery companies, as this was a Livery day.

At six the Queen departed and although photographs of the Royal Family is forbidden, one generous soldier from the Household cavalry was kind enough to pose for a photo with my children in the grand courtyard that is just behind the grand facade to the Palace.

Mickola Wilson