Monthly Archives: December 2014

Tuesday 9 December 2014 Livery Company Committees meetings

It is quite remarkable the extent of work our Livery Company now undertakes and how it has evolved into a significant City of London organisation over the past five years let alone its achievements since it was admitted in 1977.

We have over 50 different Liverymen as  members of nine committees. To remind you these are as follows: Charitable Board; Finance and General Purposes; Education; Fundraising; Marketing & Communication; Election; Property marketing Awards, Royal Charter & Master & Wardens. All committees report to the Court which approves and monitors as appropriate.

The big change is that the existing infrastructure has been struggling to keep up with this expansion of Company business and the Court cannot follow the detail of all the work undertaken. In any event at some 28 members strong the Court is too big to be an effective decision maker on the ground. Consequently the work is now devolved to the Committees who work to an agreed three year business plan set by the Court but where the Committees decide for themselves as to how they achieve their objectives. So as to ensure the process is efficient and creative each Committee has been asked to adopt new procedures and to set out their own “terms of reference” for approval by the Court.

Transparency of the working of the Committees is to be improved with the procedures, terms of reference and summary minutes of meetings to be provided on  the web site. for this reason I am not going to follow the approach of previous Masters and give a summary of the Committee meetings as the information will shortly be posted on a more detailed and available basis on the Livery Members side of web site.

Another change is that whereas Committee meetings were spread out over 4 or 5 days over a period of 2 to 4 weeks this will now be condensed into two half day sessions within 2 weeks of each other and within about 2 weeks of the following Court meeting. This will hopefully provide a more prescriptive and effective pattern of meetings which is also necessary now we have adopted Apothecaries Hall as our home. The costs of hiring rooms will require efficiency of use and time with our first Committee meetings at Apothecaries Hall scheduled for the morning of Tuesday 13th January.

We are truly entering a new era with a new home, new business plan, new committee procedures and new methods of reporting. The tradition and closeness of our organisation is not to be compromised in any way with this initiative designed to catch up with the natural evolution of the Livery as well as to promote transparency and interest in the significant and varied work the Chartered Surveyors Company does. Hopefully it will also demonstrate our successes, as well as challenges, to our wider Livery membership and encourage increasing participation.

I am most grateful to our Clerk, Amanda Jackson for accommodating the changes and our Committee Chairmen who have enthusiastically adopted the regime. It was a welcome and enjoyable drink and celebration for the Committee chairman in the splendid champagne bar on the ground floor of the Royal Exchange after our last Committee meetings held at GVA offices on Tuesday 9th December.

Finally my sincere thanks to Past Master Rob Bould,  Court Assistant Tony Joyce and all at GVA who have allowed us to use their City base at 80 Cheapside for a number of years for our Committee meetings. Their generosity and support really has been much appreciated and without this facility we would not have evolved to our current standing.

Graham F. Chase  Master



Monday 8 December 2014 RICS & ICE Carol Service St Margaret’s Church, Westminster Abbey

At this time of year Masters of Livery Companies find themselves brushing up on their reading and speaking skills as several carol services require lessons from the pulpit to be delivered with gusto. So with some nervousness in front of a congregation of about 300 merry Christmas revelers in the wonderful and historic St Margaret’s church next to Westminster Abbey, I took my place at the lectern whilst the verger carefully opened the page that I was to read from.

At this point my audience was still in full voice on the last few lines of the hymn that had announced my turn to read. This was just about enough time for me to realise that the page the Verger had alighted on was totally different from the text I had been provided with several weeks earlier to practice and get word perfect.

I had been quite pleased with the text originally supplied at just two paragraphs long, with no tricky words or names of unpronounceable tribal names and a rhythm that would let me truly belt out my task in probably no more than two deep breaths. However, what faced me was something of significant difference. Six paragraphs glared out of me from the page in close knit type encouraging me to fumble for my glasses which fortunately I had kept in my pocket. As the beads of perspiration began to appear on my forehead the position worsened as I caught sight of some very long words and names in a romanic text that would be tongue twisters for a linguist from Kings College Cambridge.

What to do as I had the original text in my top left inside pocket so could easily read that as I could almost remember it in any event. It was then that I realised that although the texts were very different the story line was the same being the moment when Mary asks the Angel Gabriel about this pregnancy thing and how could she possibly be with child so to speak. At this point I realised the congregation had just finished the hymn and were sitting down in eager anticipation of my words. What to do?

It was then that my arbitration and expert witness skills came to the fore. I had to make an immediate decision and the options were clear — the text in front of me or reverting to the screwed up piece of paper in my pocket with the original text. No contest I whispered to myself. The show had to go on and with an audience of 300 and the chance to project myself over 6 verses rather than 2 the former appealed to my over inflated ego of being the second reader of a lesson out of 7. With confidence I settled my glasses on my nose, released the paper in my pocket and bravely spouted forth from the virgin text in front of me.

I recount this little cameo as it demonstrates the huge pressures placed upon your Master during the year of office and the obvious abilities us property professionals are able to draw upon to cope with unexpected and difficult situations arising.

I should add that the Carol Service was a marvellous affair with all the pomp and circumstance that is expected from a service such as this. 6 hymns, 7 lessons, the blessing by The Venerable Andrew Tremlett Sub-Dean and Rector of St Margaret’s and all supported by the largest RICS Singers group I have seen perform. Bill Gloyn as conductor put in his usual energetic but uplifting arm movements as he brought the choir up to full voice and sung 3 pieces for the entertainment of the audience. As ever thanks also to Damon Emes for his wonderful trumpet playing. He is such an asset to RICS Singers and brings the whole show to life.

Now what can happen at the Chartered Surveyors Livery Company Carol Service at St Lawrence Jewry this coming Monday 15th December? Why don’t you find out for yourself and come along with your family? I will be there and who knows I may just get the reading right on this occasion. The tension mounts.

Graham F. Chase. Master


Monday 15 December 2014 The Chartered Surveyors Company Service of Lessons and Carols St Lawrence Jewry next Guildhall

This is always a popular event with Liverymen and this year was no exception with a full turnout from Members with their families and guests to make it a truly social occasion.

The Service was jointly conducted by the Revd Canon David Parrot the Guild Vicar of St Lawrence Jewry and the Revd John Kronenberg the Honorary Chaplain to the Chartered Surveyors Company. We really are so very well served by these two who shepherded the entire event without a hitch. We are very grateful to David Parrot for his genuine and warm welcome as well as his support and understanding, in particular allowing us to wonder around the church with our mince pies and wine glasses after the service.

We all like a good sing song and belting out some well known carols was just the start we needed to herald in the Christmas festivities. We rolled out the old favourites of “Once in Royal David’s City”; “O Come, O come Emmanuel”; “Unto us is born a Son”; “Ding Dong! merrily on high”; “In the bleak midwinter” and “O come, all ye faithful”.

This was complemented by our wonderful RICS Singers, directed and conducted by Liveryman Bill Gloyn and Michael Chapman, who sang no less than four cameo pieces of “Adam lay y-bounden”; Gabriel’s Message” and “Here is the Little Door” but with the best reserved for their rendition of “Stella Nacht” which was sung as a backdrop to the highlight of the entire event, the reading by our Beadle, Yeoman Warder Jimmy James of the “Christmas Truce –A first World war letter from the Front”. As moving an experience as I have witnessed this year on the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War and that famous impromptu football match in no man’s land between the trenches and the barbed wire at Christmas 1914. Jimmy’s reading was one of the best I can remember of its type.

Our Honorary Chaplain John Kronenberg followed this up with the “address” which, appropriately and quite brilliantly reflected on the peace that the Christmas 1914 truce brought to the front lines of battle despite the war that raged. That brief moment of peace at was the hope that shone through and the humanity that existed but was buried in a truly bleak period in mankind’s history.

We must also thank Liveryman Nigel Waring who once again demonstrated his skill and dexterity in bringing the St Lawrence Jewry organ to heal and perform in perfect accompaniment with the gusto singing of the congregation as well as the more delicate pieces performed by the choir. Our best wishes go to Nigel as he retires from TSB at the end of the year.

By the end of the service the congregation was emotionally drained but spirits had been uplifted so the buffet and wine taken in the church itself provided a fitting and well deserved end to a fantastic service to kick off the fun of the Christmas and New Year break.

May I wish all Livery, Freeman and Friends of the Worshipful Company of Chartered Surveyors, their families and all who help and support us, a very merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year from the Master and Wardens and our families.

Graham F. Chase  Master


Worshipful Company of Chartered Surveyors Endeavour Award 2014 – Citation

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LCpl Paul Mackrill embarked on his military career in earnest by joining Bravo rifle platoon of the Royal Gloustershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment, based at Brock Bks, Reading in October 2001. Prior to this LCpl Mackrill had already shown his commitment to the forces by spending five years as a cadet instructor.

He soon began looking for a more challenging career and in May 2003 transferred to 395 Air Despatch Troop RLC at RAF Lynham, qualifying as an Air Dispatcher. In April 2007 LCpl Mackrill transferred to the Hermitage Troop of 135 Geographic Squadron.

Since this time he has strived to contribute to the Squadron by taking on leadership and instructional roles that have allowed him to progress and earn his peers respect. In March 2011, LCpl Mackrill volunteered as a Combat Engineer signaller for a very busy six month Operational Tour of Afghanistan. He has an arm full of military qualifications and in October of this year completed his Class 1 Geographic Course. A quote from his Army Physical Training Instructors course report reads “ LCpl Mackrill was a mature confident and reliable individual who arrived well prepared for the course. His instructional practice was imaginative and well delivered, displaying good class control and originality”

In addition, this year he has attended the Urban operations Instructors course which will be put to good use at the end of this month.

LCpl’s Mackrills positive, can do attitude is a credit to himself and an excellent example to all other aspiring JNCO’s. His willingness to volunteer for duties at the Army Reserve Basic Training course have further developed his Instructional techniques and shown that he can be totally relied upon to represent the Squadron in an excellent light.

The Endeavour Award is presented annually, to the individual who has given outstanding and loyal support to the Squadron, whilst participating and contributing in a variety of activities throughout the training year. The fact that LCpl Mackrill has been selected for this honour, demonstrates the significance of his outstanding contribution to unit life, during this period.

It is for his devotion to duty and sheer hard work that LCpl Mackrill receives the prestigious “Endeavour Award” which is presented annually by the Master of the Worshipful Company of Chartered Surveyors’ and is this year, presented by Mr Graham Chase.

9 November 2014
Mr Graham Chase
Master, The Worshipful Company of Chartered Surveyors’


Monday 1 December 2014 – The Order of Mercy Grand Dinner in Honour of HRH Prince Davit, Duke of Lasos and Head of the Royal House of Georgia – Armourers’ Hall

Well this was a bit of a first to be summoned to dinner at the atmospheric Armourers’ Hall with Lords and Knights of the realm in full white tie and medals which in some cases were so plentiful that the wearer had difficulty in moving to the splendid Dining Hall from the reception room. Indeed some of them were more bedecked with sculptured precious metals than the suits of armour hanging on the walls which remind us of a chivalrous and bygone age.

I was kindly and generously introduced to the guest of honour HRH Prince Davit, Duke of Lasos by Lord Lingfield and spent a few minutes explaining the role of Livery Companies in the City of London only to realise from his blank expression  to my detailed and colourful explanation that he did not speak a word of English. However he smiled very politely when I had finished my discourse but I suspect that was his relief that he was moving on to speak to one of his fellow countrymen.

For the second time in my career in the Livery but within the space of a week, the procession was led by Pikemen of the HAC in full Civil War period military costumes including drummers and trumpeters. No other country I suspect does pageantry as well as the British. The profile of the House of Lords combined with the City of London, the Livery Companies, past Sheriffs and notable dignitaries, resulted in an impact and effect that was simply stunning and awe inspiring. If you were not a prince you certainly felt as if you should be in these surroundings. A totally fitting backdrop to a splendid and glamorous event.

The food and wine matched the glamour of the event and my wild boar was truly delicious as was the soufflé to start with and as well as pudding a savoury of Cod Roe with Caper sauce all washed down with appropriate and high class wines finishing with brandy and port. No wonder Masters put on weight during the year and “dry out” at weekends!

The League of Mercy was instigated by the Prince of Wales and founded on 30th March 1899 by Royal Charter of Queen Victoria with subsequently two Princes of Wales (George V and Edward VIII) taking up the role of Grand President in a way that only Royalty can. Today it is a registered charity and awards the “Order of Mercy” to those who have performed distinguished voluntary work in a number of areas of care.

The current President of the Order of Mercy is The Right Honourable the Lord Lingfield who took the chair and spoke for ten minutes introducing all of his guests by title and telling a number of stories without a note or prompt in sight. Quite extraordinary. Anyway we shall see if this is normal for as some readers may already know Lord Lingfield is my guest speaker at our Livery Dinner at Goldsmith’s Hall on Monday 26th January 2015. I hope as many of you as possible will be able to attend to hear this fascinating Lord advise us on his views on education alongside the Master Educator, Mr Peter Williams.

Just in case some of you may feel I have overreached my station in life at this event, the journey home by underground and bus brought me back to earth fairly quickly but a few hours in a dreamworld was a wonderful experience that I will remember.

Graham F. Chase. Master


Monday 24 November 2014 Installation and Launch of the Guild of Entrepreneurs: Ironmongers Hall

The launch of a new guild is like the birth of a new star. Awe inspiring, filled with mystery and destined to lead to greater things.

The City and Mayoralty have seen a spate of new Guilds being born in the last two years with the Entrepreneurs following hot on the heels of the Guilds of Public Relations Practitioners and Freemen. The key point is the interest in the City of London and its Livery companies and the type of Guilds that are coming forward as part of a tradition that stretches back to 1130 for conversion. Guilds themselves can trace their roots back even further to Anglo Saxon times when they offered their loyalty and support to the sheriff of London, the oldest recorded post in the City. These new Guilds will ultimately take their place as Livery Companies and like a new star, establish their position in the firmament.

It was indeed a splendid affair with the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress processing into the Ironmongers Hall to the sound of trumpets and the beat of drums supported by Sheriffs, the Court of the new Guild, other dignitaries and with the Mayors guard at front and rear.

An ancient ceremony then took place as Sir Paul Judge as Master of the Guild with his Wardens and Court Members were sworn in with much pomp and circumstance followed by the rising of the Livery Company Masters in order of precedence to a rousing shout of “welcome Entrepreneurs”.

Of course this was all thirsty work and therefore a grand reception was held immediately afterwards which was just as enjoyable but perhaps not quite as mysterious as the installation ceremony. Perhaps some things have never changed, even when the timescales exceed 1,000 years presumably because the best aspects of any ceremony are worth keeping!

Graham F. Chase. Master