Monthly Archives: July 2015

The Lord Mayors G-Kart Grand Prix at Daytona Sandown Park, Sunday 26 July 2015

Lewis Hamilton may have been having difficulties securing a successful race at Budapest but the Chartered Surveyors Company proved they were real petrol heads under any circumstances.

With torrential rain the omens were not looking good as I set out for Sandown Park under grey sky’s and travelled through spray on the M25 that would have dwarfed a North Atlantic convoy. Fortunately conditions did improve and although it remained damp for most of the day the track dried out sufficiently to really test the racing line and skill of the participants.

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26 teams entered for the day although this included 2 wild card professional entrants with a stewards inquiry progressing to see where they came from especially as they finished 1st and 2nd! Our petrol head team, managed by yours truly comprised the following Liverymen in Race Order

  1. Adrian Goldsmith
  2. Paul Tin
  3. Paul Beasley
  4. David Mann

The day started with briefings followed by practice laps and then qualifying for the pole positions on the grid. We kept our powder dry preferring to let others take up the front line knowing that our best tactic would be to negotiate our way up the order in any event.

The Race was off and at a cracking pace. As a non driver but keen and interested observer the speed and skill of sliding through corners was truly exhilarating. We did well in the practice laps suggesting we had some potential and this was proved correct as we hit 7th place at one stage. Each driver drove for 1/2 an hour with a pit stop to change at any time depending on team tactics. We stuck to 1/2 hr slots as the strain on arms and legs was quite significant. The final result was an excellent 9th place which was remarkable given many teams had drafted in some seriously experienced karting drivers.

The Dowgate Dodgers were the winners although they all sported “Team Army” racing colours which put some doubt as to their City pedigree despite the name. The Lord Mayors team just pipped us in 7th place (the correct thing to let him beat us) and last place was taken by the Sheriffs but no doubt they were just keeping to the speed limit.

It really was a terrific day out with the Chartered Surveyors Livery Company raising a total of £2,000 for the Lord Mayors Appeal so a worthwhile outcome across the Board.

My thanks go to our driving team, especially Assistant David Mann who organised it all and made it happen. My sympathies to Adrian Goldsmith whiose Ferrari had problems on the way to the race with broken windscreen wipers which was not funny in the downpour. However the AA man fitted a new set of Fiat wipers which clearly worked better than the Ferrari official spare parts! well done to Adrian for making the start despite his car trauma.

Graham F. Chase Master

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Visits to Guildhall, Guildhall Gallery, Magna Carta and the Roman Amphitheatre, Saturday 25 July 2015

Some 27 intrepid Liverymen, family and friends turned up on a glorious but not too hot Saturday morning to have a closer look at a building which is quite familiar to us but which holds many secrets and surprises.

We had two excellent professional guides, Christine and Heather, who really knew their stuff and were quite eclectic in its delivery. Split into two groups the pace was quite hectic but nobody was left behind.

The highlight was the Magna Carta which is the most pristine copy in existence dating from 1295 and is the copy that confirms the City of London may govern itself.

The art gallery is magical and houses many famous pictures. My favourite is “Salome” depicting the famous moment when King Herod gives the order for John the Baptist to be found and executed by decapitation.

Guildhall was revealed with all its nooks and crannies and  explained defining its 500 year history although there is evidence of a Saxon Guildhall equivalent on the site going back to the 7th Century. Of course the oldest structure is the Roman amphitheatre dating back to circa 200 AD but only discovered in 1982 by our own Liveryman Past Master Ted Hartill who was the City of London Corporation Surveyor at the time when the Art Gallery was being built which lead to the discovery.

My many thanks to Liveryman David Jinks for organising such a splendid event and having to rearrange it when the original date had to be cancelled because of an anti austerity protest March through the City.

Graham F. Chase Master

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The Great North London Charity Finsbury Square Bowling Challenge, Tuesday 21 July 2015

As famous as the HAC playing ground the Finsbury Square Bowling Green in the heart of the City just a few yards from Moorgate station is one of the most valuable pieces of green turf in the World.

We had entered 4 teams comprising 8 Liveryman of

  1. Graham Chase         Team 1
  2. Daniel Carter
  3. David J Reynolds      Team 2
  4. Brian Lamden
  5. Giles Godbold          Team 3
  6. Tom Boggis
  7. Colin Peacock           Team 4
  8. Paul Disley-Tindell

With some 36 participants in 18 teams the logistics of completing the competition proved too much leaving the final yet to be completed.

It didn’t really matter as we had a great time and discovered some really quite ruthless players within our midst but despite this ability we were unable to progress any Chartered Surveyor Livery team beyond the second round.

The winner in any event was the ORCHID charity for at testicular cancer for whom we raised £1,000 so well done to everyone who contributed with such generous support and for the spectacular performance of our team.

Graham F. Chase Master

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The Imperial Society of Knights Bachelor – Annual Service of Dedication The Chapel of St Faith, St Paul’s Cathedral,Thursday 16 July 2015

There is pomp and circumstance and pomp and circumstance and this prestigious event is definitely the greater of the two.

In essence it is the Knights of the Realm who are Knights Bachelor reaffirming their allegiance to The Queen and Country with new Members taking their vow for the first time.

Lead by trumpeters and a procession of colour and pageantry the 60 or so Livery Masters attending had a wonderful time including our own Lady Davies (Jenna) whose husband Sir David Davies is on the Council of the Imperial Society of Knights Bachelor. I can vouch for him that he did not put a foot wrong at any time of the ceremony.

I will not give a full list of the Processional line up but it included

The Right Honourable The Lord Dear, Sir Michael Craig-Cooper, Sir David Davies The knight President The Right Honourable The Lord Lingfield The Registrar His Honour Sir Gavyn Arthur The Knight Principal Professor Sir Colin Berry.

The Prelate of the Imperial Society The Right Reverend and Right Honourable Richard Chartres Bishop of London.

The Ceremony was delightful and meaningful with some clear words of advice and expectancy by the Bishop of London in his Address. In essence he asked all Knights not to take their position as one where their words are taken to be sufficient to improve the lot of the people of this land but that their deeds must match those words.

The procession left as it had arrived but as I had learnt a lot more in that intervening hour than I had expected I left a lot wiser.

Graham F. Chase Master

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Guildhall School Summer Gala Evening Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Footlights and face paint was the cry from this quite lavish production of Broadway’s hit musical “Guys and Dolls” by Damon Runyon and Frank Loesser.

A gentle and amusing story of gambling and soul saving via the Salvation Army set in New York in the 50’s. Its success is the feel good factor where the Guy and Gal get their match at the end of the day. It is if course accompanied by a brilliant sound score with a host of 50’s hits including “Luck be a Lady” and “Sit Down You’re Rockin’ the Boat.”

The Guildhall School of Music did it proud and had the audience laughing and clapping with them as they took us through a set and routine that would not be out of place in the West End. The choreography and direction as well as the scenery were excellent and the behind the scenes effort must not be forgotten.

The whole cast were top end but the show stealers were Luke Dale as Sky Masterson, Oscar Batterham as Nathan Detroit, Katrina McKeever as Miss Adelaide and Rebecca Lee as Sarah Brown. I wonder which one of those if any we will see in Hollywood in the next 10 years? It needed quality and depth of character as with 17 scenes and 18 scores this was no turn up and have a go production. I was mightily impressed.

A pre show meal was held in the Garden Room with several Livery Members attending including Past Masters Robin Broadhurst and Ted Hartill and the Clerk, Amanda Jackson, so quite a family gathering.

The Guildhall School of Music produces students with tremendous ability and clearly is a centre of excellence. Our ongoing support for this world class institution for the arts and education is a very worthy cause and as a City of London Livery Company we benefit tremendously from its output and profile. I recommend you book a place at next year’s production — I will.

Graham F. Chase Master

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Sheriffs’ and Recorder’s Fund AGM Central Criminal Court Old Bailey, Monday 13 July 2015

This was a new one on me having never heard of the Sheriffs’ & Recorder’s Fund and with no understanding of what it was all about. I was therefore ushered into No 4 Court at the Old Bailey to see it packed with Judges, City of London Dignitaries, a Sheriff of London, The Recorder of London and The President of the Supreme Court, alongside about 100 Livery Masters.

The Sheriffs Fund was set up in 1808 in Newgate Prison, the site of the current Old Bailey, to help ex-offenders released from prison and to assist their dependants. In 1931 The Fund merged with the Recorders Fund, which had been established to assist offenders released on probation.

Today the fund has assets of about £1.5 million and last year distributed £0.25 million to its charitable causes. Grants issued covered assistance to purchase tools of the trade, furnishings, white goods, training and clothing. About 75 Livery Companies make regular donations which assisted the charitable giving to the Butte Trust which supports education for vulnerable youngsters and Blue Sky Development which is close to our hearts being contributions to public works and infrastructure projects.

Lord Neuberger responded to the outgoing Chairman of Trustees Lady Davies after many years service and where he made special mention of the Liveries both in terms of their attendance at the AGM and the financial support they give. He mused over whether Livery Companies should make a little more noise about their charitable giving.

He took questions on a number of issues including costs and harshness and length of sentences and then joined everyone for drinks and sandwiches in a reception at the end and which literally buzzed for well over an hour.

Graham F. Chase Master

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Social Visit to Royal Naval College Greenwich, Sunday 4 July 2015

A small but select group assembled at just before 10:30 am at the London Eye and Thames Clipper Pier in what I can only describe as surprising weather as for the first time in a fortnight it was raining with an overcast sky. Undaunted we took to the grey but fast flowing waters of the Thames as it moved towards low tide, in the comfort of an exceptionally swift water taxi stopping on over half a dozen occasions as we zigzagged from bank to bank down to Greenwich. However no signs of seasickness from this motley crew but time for a coffee and a chat before stepping off at our destination a mere 40 minutes later.

We were greeted by Lesley, our guide who with tremendous enthusiasm, knowledge and a great sense of humour took us on a fascinating tour of the principle buildings as well as a few places not normally seen by the public.

The history was  fascinating as the old Greenwich Palace took its place in history as a state of the art home for the Royal Family of Henry VIII. However it had to be transformed from a ramshackle collection of buildings in various stages of collapse to the magnificent iconic estate we see today representing the very best combined works of Inigo Jones and Sir Christopher Wren — two of our most famous “surveyors”. Indeed it was their skill as surveyors that shaped the buildings to ensure they were economic and practical coupled with the longevity fit for a King and subsequently the Royal Naval Hospital.

The decorations and ceiling paintings can only be viewed with awe and therefore for those who have not been, you must do so. You will not be disappointed.

Lunch  was a welcome break as was the coolness of the weather for such a long walking morning. However the sun shone brilliantly in time for our personalised tour to the longest herbaceous border in England, well almost the longest and a fantastic explanation of how it came into being and  maintained. Our visit was certainly at the right time of the year with the colours and scent of its flowers absolutely magnificent. A real surprise and treat at the end of a great day.

My thanks to Liveryman Helen Smith who organised the event with tremendous enthusiasm and skill allowing me to count in the same number that I had counted out. A simply splendid day and a very happy return on the zigzag ferry presumably avoiding submarines etc in our great River Thames, connecting Greenwich Palace with The Palace of Westminster, Hampton Court and Windsor Castle — a journey through time and history.

Graham F. Chase Master

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Archbishop Tenison’s School 330th Anniversary Dinner, Thursday 2 July 2015

330 years young and still going strong was the theme of the anniversary dinner held in the main hall of the Archbishop Tenison School with some 150 guests in attendance. In the year 1685 King James II of Enland and VII of Scotland was on the throne, Louis XIV the Sun King of France withdrew French Protestant human rights and King James won the battle of Sedgemoor defeating the Duke of Monmouth who rebelled against a Catholic King occupying the throne of England. Perhaps it is therefore of no surprise that during these turbulent religious stand offs the then Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Tenison, founded a new Church of England school to help calm heated disputes.

A grammar school of significant repute it drew scholars from a wide area. Even in living memory,  the competition for places was so great that many paid for the privilege of attending the School even though it was State run.

Today the school has firmly emerged from difficult times and despite being one of the poorest in terms of facilities in south London it shines through as a beacon with its academic and cultural successes. To demonstrate this line of travel in September this year Archbishop Tenison School goes fully Co Ed accepting girls for the first time into year 7.

The dinner was a splendid affair and I had the privilege of sitting on a table with 3 Old Boys with the youngest 76 and the eldest 90. Further they all remembered their former PE teacher and Head Master Mr Waddington who turns 99 in October so a real link through the generations.

The meal was cooked by the School caterers and offered 3 choices for each course and was served up by members of the sixth form acting as waiters and waitresses, who eagerly got into the part. It was great fun with quite a few laughs but no dinner in the lap incidents.

Mrs Simms, the inspirational Head Teacher, delivered an excellent address, explaining some of the history, the current state of play and thanked all those who  made the dinner possible. She also very kindly took time out to thank the Chartered Surveyors Company for their ongoing support especially for the music facilities.  I note the School orchestra had recently performed at the prestigious Dyers Concert at Southwark Cathedral alongside another school we support of St Saviour’s and St Olave’s.

Despite not being a member of staff or an old boy I was treated as if I was and felt very humbled by the welcome and attention I received. I therefore purchased plenty of raffle tickets, none of which were successful but I did purchase an auction item… a portrait of yours truly to be undertaken by the Head Boy. I wonder how that will turn out and if it will still be around in 330 years time?

Graham F. Chase Master

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