Monthly Archives: June 2015

Round the Island Race, Saturday 27 June 2015

As a keen sailor I’ve always wanted to enter the Round the Island Race. Representing the Livery Company this year seemed the perfect opportunity to both promote the Worshipful Company of Chartered Surveyors and tick a box on an event to be completed whilst I still can.

There were five chartered surveyors with myself, Derek Downham, Ian Walrond, Richard Glanville and Jonathan Buckingham taking on the challenge in a Baveria 36. The day started early at 5.00am as we collected our bacon rolls at the Mercury Yacht Harbour Restaurant which had opened even earlier at 3.00am to deal with the “big boys” such as Mike Slade’s leopard 3. We eased in to the Solent via the Hamble and Southampton water joining the flotilla of some 1,800 yachts thrashing around so as to get the maximum advantage of the staggered starts which began at 7.00am and finished at 9.00am.

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First off was Michael Slade’s Leopard which led the flotilla around the Island and although it would be pretty difficult to lose your way there is no question that Slade and his team made sure that everybody simply had to follow. That said, Leopard was soon out of sight as for most of us this was at least a 10 hour trip but Leopard was home for lunch.

With a pleasant force 4–5 wind from the SW, which in real money terms is 16 to 19 knots  kept the fleet on a brisk but thoroughly enjoyable pace averaging approximately 6 knots for most of the tubby type yachts which make up the majority of the participants. However, for the true racers of which there were several including a number of the round the world and Great Britain team class 1 yachts considerably higher average speeds were secured on what were perfect sailing conditions.

I will never forgot the sight of 1,800 yachts rounding the needles in a perfect  line a stern as the fleet spread out down the eastern stretch of the Isle of Wight penultimate leg.

We made a tactical error on the last leg following the channel rather than hugging the coast which lost us about an hour. Had not been for this blunder we would have secured a pretty respectable finish but at the end we came in about halfway down in our class. Importantly we had completed the course and to boot had thoroughly enjoyed the day. We went off to Gosport for the night where your intrepid crew celebrated in the “Great Wall” Chinese restaurant but tiredness soon overcame our story telling and it was not until the following day when we recovered our strength that we could really celebrate to full effect.

A glorious moment in the history of the Worshipful Company of Chartered Surveyors in having a formal entry in the Round the Island Race but not one to shout about given our lowly position at the end. My sincere thanks to my crew who stuck with me for the weekend listening to all my jokes but quite rightly not paying too much attention to my instructions as we attempted to win a prize.

Graham F. Chase Master

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Property Marketing Awards 30 Euston Square London W1, Thursday 25 June 2015

Our very own show, the Property Marketing Awards strives to promote and support excellence in the marketing of land, property and construction across the Board. This year not only did we up the quality but Colin Peacock and his fantastic committee have turned around the entire event and consequently we are likely to see  some £25,000 come into our fundraising armoury.

There are 14 Awards and their details together with all the winners has been posted on our website so I will not repeat them here. Nevertheless I wish to congratulate Colin Peacock and all of his PMA committee in making this year’s Awards such a rip roaring success.

The Awards venue at 30 Euston Square was inspired. Modern and spacious it adequately covered the ground but most notably raised the quality and standards. The pre and post Awards drinks and canapés following were plentiful and added to the electric atmosphere. The evening simply fizzed with bon ami as the sound of a large number of individuals enjoying themselves came through.

The entire ceremony was brilliantly hosted by BBC presenter Steph McGovern who did really well in keeping it flowing as well as setting the tone for the event at the outset by asking everyone to hug their neighbour.

Our thanks go to the sponsors and the entrants who contributed to make this the best PMA night for years both in terms of results for the category winners and our fundraising exploits. There is no doubt the improving state of the commercial property market and the return of a stronger property marketing sector have aided the improvement but the credit goes to the Chairman of PMA and his hard working committee who have been patient in waiting for this moment as well as working intelligently to take advantage of the change in fortunes. A tremendous result with an inspired team at the helm. Very well done to you all and thankyou.

Graham F. Chase Master

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IPF Dinner at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Wednesday 24 June 2015

The Investment Property Forum is a little younger than the Chartered Surveyors Livery Company yet its roots are similar. The investment market felt it necessary to create an organisation which focused on the excellence of its activities in contributing to UK GDP, education to ensure standards are raised and met and camaraderie for its members.

I was therefore delighted to be the personal guest of incoming Chairman Chris Ireland and intrigued to be sat next to William Hague who has just resigned as The First Secretary of State and a parliamentarian at the last election following a 26 year career in the House of Commons.

One subject of immediate encouragement is that William and his Wife Ffion have recently purchased a house in Wales and instructed a surveyor to act on their behalf and negotiate the best deal. He felt it was well worth the fee and the surveyor added value to the process. His speech as guest after dinner speaker was witty and engaging demonstrating why he has been described as one of the most charismatic politicians of recent times.

The event was a great evening with friends old and new in attendance including Robert Bould Past Master and Past Chairman of IPF and a number of other Liverymen. A very welcome addition to my year as Master and linking well with the day job.

Graham F. Chase Master

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Election of Sheriffs and other officers at Common Hall Guildhall, Wednesday 24 June 2015

A grand occasion in Guildhall with the Masters of the Livery Companies processing into the Great Hall ahead of the Aldermen, Sheriffs and Lord Mayor.

Common Hall is opened by the Common Cryer and then continues as it has for hundreds of years to elect two Sheriffs. This year the elections were for Charles Edward Beck Bowman an Alderman and Grocer and Dr Christine Holliday Rigden.

After the presentation of the two Sheriff’s cases for election there was a vote of all those present. The current Sheriffs shook their heads and tried to assess the voting but with so many in the room and much shouting it was difficult to identify any differences between the candidates so as in every year since time immemorial they were both elected.

A very pleasing interlude to the working week with plenty of pomp and circumstance. The new Sheriffs, when they do take office, will have to work hard to take over from the current incumbents Dr Andrew Parmley and Fiona Adler who have been excellent, very popular and really brought the role of Sheriff to life.

Graham F. Chase Master

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Jailed and Bailed, Friday 19 June 2015

A devious Felon was how your Master was described by the Sheriffs of London Dr Andrew Parmley and Fiona Addler as I stood in the dock at Mansion House alongside 23 other desperate Masters all awaiting our fate. The Charge Sheet could not be denied with the crimes committed read out to a packed Hall.

On being found guilty we were bound with chain and ball and lead from the dock to a 1930’s charebang from whence we were taken to our place of incarceration to atone for our heinous crimes.  On arrival we were met by the Yeoman of the Guard and with some 10 Beefeaters escorting us lest we escape we were taken to our final destination ……… the terrible and most frightening place in London, the Royal Dining Room in the Tower of London.

Everybody was pretty decent about forgiving us of our sins provided we submitted to have our fingerprints taken and paid a fine of £1000 for  a bail bond. On release we were subject to the sight of several glasses of Pol Roger vintage Champagne and a slap up lunch.

It really was a great wheeze and fun as well as raising £33,000 for the British Red Cross. Not so much guilty but rather fingered with the money.

Finally many thanks to all the Liverymen who supported me with their donations. It has made a difference and our committment to this event was certainly noticed by the offices of the Lord Mayor and Sherrifs.

Graham F. Chase Master

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Drapers Company Court Luncheon Drapers Hall, Thursday 18 June 2015

To be wined and dined by one of the Great Twelve Livery Companies is an event not to be missed. My excitement was therefore somewhat dampened when I was advised by a client that a critical conference with Leading Counsel would be held all that day and that I had to attend. What to do?!

One thing that has changed recently has been in house solicitor hosted working lunches. Three courses is not unusual and although alcohol is not served there are many soft drinks available. Given that this takes time I felt I could squeeze in the Drapers event so negotiated my departure over lunch on the understanding that I would return sober and not later than 2:30. A result!

I explained the position to the Master of the Drapers Company, Sir Peter Bottomley MP and he graciously allowed me to continue as a guest but on the understanding that I left quietly before the speeches. It was a shame to have missed out on the Master’s speech but I made it back to the conference with just minutes to spare so ensured that for once everyone was happy.

Graham F. Chase Master

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Year 8 Presentations at Robert Clack School, Wednesday 17 June 2015

Inspiration is often promoted but rarely defined or explained but perhaps that is because it comes in many different guises.

Robert Clack School is an example of huge diversity both in its students and teachers, where the mix combines to produce results which are worthy of awards at the highest level. As an example the PE Award in athletics was to a student who originally had not shown any interest in athletics but was drawn into it by the enthusiasm of the school. The result was the he came 4th in the Schools Nationals and is tipped as a future star of the track.

What inspired me was that this achievement was not a one off, with success after success reeled off by the presenters in an awards ceremony that took two hours to deliver. Sciences, Maths, the arts and music together with sport were all covered. We were also treated to entertainment from a very talented bassoon player and a simply stunning pianist together with singing and cameo roles as students showed off their not inconsiderable and diverse talents.

However the Awards were not just for talent alone but included recognition of effort. Every winner achieves an accolade because of the others also trying to win. Effort by others is a significant contributor to the success of winners. Therefore for every winner’s prize there was a prize for effort and that to me identified what is inspiring about Robert Clack School.

My thanks To Mr Richardson, Assistant Headteacher and his colleagues for looking after me so well and for such an inspiring evening and well done to all the Robert Clack School prize winners of which there were far too many to mention.

Graham F. Chase Master

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Chartered Surveyors Livery Company Visit to St Paul’s Cathedral, Wednesday 3 June 2015

Awe inspiring and a magical evening is probably not strong enough to describe our visit to St Paul’s Cathedral. With only 22 places available it is not surprising there was a long waiting list and I am only sorry that so many who wished to undertake the visit could not do so for it was truly inspirational.

We were looked after by Mr Oliver Caroe the Surveyor to the Fabric of St Paul’s Cathedral and his colleague, Simon Carter, responsible for the library and archiving. Oliver, is an architect but as with all previous incumbents who have looked after the Cathedral including Sir Christopher Wren their designation is that of Surveyor rather than architect.

Indeed when St Paul’s was built following the Great Fire of London, the skills required of Sir Christopher Wren were more of those akin to surveying than architecture.  Wren’s brief set by his employers was dramatically changed by him on several occassions  putting to the test his negotiating and surveying skills. He won the day on every occassion allowing him to complete a Cathedral which differed quite significantly to the original design yet he managed to persuade his employers, the Corporation of London,  that the end result enhanced the original brief. Not many would disagree I am sure!

Our tour around the library, the roof space, the void above the domes and shuffling between the skins of the external and internal wall as we admired the buttressing and parapet gutter detail was wonderful to behold even for an investment and finance surveyor such as myself. To those who are building surveyors it was Christmas and for the rest of us it was the appreciation of one of the two most iconic buildings in the City, Guildhall and St Paul’s Cathedral. Both Oliver and Simon, our hosts, brought the entire visit to life and made us feel as if we were sitting along Sir Christopher Wren and his team designing the building as they went along and working out how to make sure it would not fall down especially the giant dome and the belfry which sits above it. Of course a visit such as this raises more questions than it gives answers and consequently led to a lively debate over dinner at Taberna Etrusca at 9–11 Bow Church Yard which followed. As if we had not been fortunate enough the food, service and cost of the meal was excellent and thoroughly enjoyed by everybody who attended.

My sincere thanks on behalf of the Livery and all those who attended the visit, to Liveryman Peter Miller who did such a splendid job in creating an event which I will always remember. Peter, I am indebted to you and can only assure you that you have a job for life organising events as far as I am concerned!

Graham F. Chase Master

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