Monthly Archives: September 2015

TowerAthlon – Broadgate Tower, Friday 18 September 2015

The TowerAthlon has become a regular feature on our fundraising programme with our joint venture partners LandAid. It offers thrills and spills as well as significant revenues for charitable giving.

Most importantly it attracts a wide range of participants and helpers keen to show they can hack the climb and cruise the fall!

This is our 3rd TowerAthlon and the second at Broadgate Tower with its mightily impressive and daunting 33 floors and 151 metre height. Although not the highest City of London skyscraper it is challenging enough and raises the mire of stomach butterflies as the contestants leap over the edge into oblivion. Assistant David Mann was heard to comment that he would prefer to jump out of an aircraft than abseil this height. Fortunately he was pushed and arrived at the bottom.

My sincere thanks to all those who participated in the race and challenge, our helpers, Past Master Robert Bould who represented LandAid and the curious who turned up to watch. That effort has raised nearly £60,000 for our Livery Charity and LandAid which is worth running up a few steps and then leaping off the top of the world.

Graham F. Chase Master


The Worshipful Company of Environmental Cleaners – 10th Annual Livery Halls Walk, Thursday 17 September 2015

As if the Lord Mayor’s Show is not enough to test the fitness of your Master this was another challenge which was too good to pass by. 39 Livery Halls and a distance of some 12 miles in full regalia with some 41 Masters, Wardens and Clerks in attendance, required a degree of concentration — primarily at the refreshment stops. The most interesting of these was the “Port” stop at Fishmongers Hall at the close by Southwark Cathedral, where the Dean took pity on both our souls and bodies and provided us with sustenance for the rest of our penance as we trudged around the streets of London.

A splendid lunch was provided on HQS Wellington provided by the Master Mariners — guess what it was “Billingsgate Fish Pie”. Alas there was a delay in serving up and yours truly had a legal meeting to attend in the early afternoon but given the inch that has grown around my midriff this year that was no real sacrifice.

What I did feel was the aches and pains the next morning but then again this is the sacrifice that a highly tuned athlete, such as myself with a body like a temple, has to endure for the sake of the City of London and its Livery Companies. Simply a great day and I now know where every Livery Hall is and what it looks like as well as where every muscle in my body is!

Graham F. Chase Master


450th Anniversary Celebration of the College of Arms, Thursday 17 September

The College of Arms, also known as the College of Heralds, is a Royal Corporation consisting of professional officers of arms, with jurisdiction over England, Wales, Northern Ireland and some Commonwealth realms. It was founded on 2nd March 1484 by Mary I of England, Richard III of England, Philip II of Spain.

Any coat of arms you see has been designed and recorded at this establishment which applies very strict heraldry criteria for any type of crest or badge in this area of design. They are the badge police and enforcers as well as very nice people.

It was therefore both a surprise and privilege to be invited to the College of Arms to celebrate their 450th anniversary as your Master. However, the rationale behind the invitation is that the College of Arms regards the City of London as its home and the Livery Companies as its neighbours. If you are going to throw a party you might as well do it for the neighbourhood!

The Champagne and canapés were excellent and with many distinguished and famous guests the party went on for longer than the College had anticipated but at least we managed to finish the champagne. After 450 years that was the least I could do to help cement our position as neighbours.

Graham F. Chase Master


Schools Half Day Programme Guildhall Marketing Suite, Wednesday 16 September 2015

This is one of our most important events of the year when we engage with our four schools on our home patch and demonstrate the relevance of the City, the Livery Company and business to young adults who have little idea what this all about.

My thanks to Assistant Tony Joyce and the Clerk, Amanda Jackson for organising such an imaginary programme delivered in a meaningful and impressive way.

We were fortunate to have support from the Sheriff’s office with Alderman & Sheriff Dr Andrew Parmley giving a lively and robust presentation in his Sheriffs dress reflecting on both tradition and stability of the City and it’s importance to business.

Pinsent Masons LLP, the City of London based solicitors, explained what it was like to do business in the City and how careers were carved out of markets which embrace world wide activities. My thanks to Mike Reid, Partner and his graduate for bringing the subject to life with real day to day experiences.

Liz Peace with her significant exposure to the workings of property as former CEO of the British Property Federation gave a lively and welcome expose of careers in the property profession and the opportunities that arise.

As ever the questions from the floor for both Liz and the solicitors revolved around “how much can you earn?” Of course the answer is the sky is the limit but so is the floor!

The event finished with Assistant Tony Joyce taking the students through the magnificent City model. A fitting finale to an important and influential day.

Graham F. Chase Master



The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators Joint Livery Company Dinner to celebrate the Institutes Centenary, Tuesday 15 September 2015

A visit to Plaisterers’ Hall is always welcome and this was a rather special event with the Worshipful Company of Arbitrators celebrating their centenary of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators with four other livery companies being ourselves, as Chartered Surveyors, Solicitors of the City of London, the Constructors Company and the Worshipful Company of Chartered Architects.

Charles Brown, President of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators proposed the toast with the response by Alderman and Sheriff Doctor Andrew Parmley and all of us kept in check by the Toast Master, Mr Jimmy James, our very own Beadle.

As ever, Plaisterers’ Hall caterers provided a superb menu and excellent wines with every course and as I rarely describe what I eat I felt this particular menu worth reproducing below:

Smoked salmon, trout mousseline, avocado tartare with forage leaves

Roast rump of english lamb pressed shoulder of lamb, puree of new season carrot, broad beans and pommes anna with lamb jus

Strawberry tart, tonka bean ice cream with vanilla poached strawberries and florentine

Coffee and petit fours, Taylor’s Port

It is worth drawing liverymen’s attention to the type of menu I have to cope with on a regular basis simply to demonstrate the sacrifice my body makes in support of the Chartered Surveyors Livery Company and to ensure we are always represented, when appropriate at the top table.

Graham F. Chase Master


135 Geographic Squadron Royal Engineers. “The Colonels Commandant Royal Engineers at Home” – Chatham Barracks, Saturday 12 September 2015

There is one thing the British do better than any other nation and that is pageantry coupled with pomp and circumstance especially with armed forces marching bands at the fore.

So it was on a glorious September day that I was treated to a marching display by the “Band of the Corps of Royal Engineers who paraded for my enjoyment (and others) for nearly an hour.

Preceding this climax to the day’s events was a tour over the Royal Engineers museum. Without doubt the highlight was the actual  map used by the Duke of Wellington at the battle of Waterloo with a fascinating talk on how, following several surveys by different specialist mapping officers, it was put together as a single map.

Lunch was the traditional British Army curry and a fine array of wines which went down well with me as I had travelled by train.

My special thanks to Major General Mungo Melvin for a marvellous talk on the engineering exploits of Sir John Fox Burgoyne during the Crimean campaign, Lieutenant General Sir Mark Mans for his exemplary hospitality and Major General Barton and his colleagues for keeping me in such excellent company over a most enjoyable lunch.

An unforgettable day and one that made me feel very humbled by the exploits and dedication of 135 Geographic Squadron and their part within the Royal Engineers as a remarkably special and expert integral part of the British Army.

Graham F. Chase Master


Modern Companies Dinner Armourers Hall, Monday 7 September 2015

It is a little known fact that in Livery terms modern is anything after 1932. This appears to be because the Worshipful Company of Master Mariners was admitted in this year and was the first new Livery company admitted since 1746.

However in 1976 with the then Labour administration, under the leadership of Harold Wilson, committed in their election manifesto to dissolve the City of London Corporation and the Liveries, urgent action was required. The Lord Mayor at the time approached the RICS, Chartered Accountants and Chartered Secretaries to set up new Liveries with the Chartered Surveyors first past the post followed a few months later by the Chartered Accountants and then the Chartered Secretaries. So in essence I see our Livery as the true first modern Livery and one of three that saved the City of London as an institution. As a direct result our action as a profession has allowed the City to remain a truly worldwide financial and services hub ever since because we helped to demonstrate the City was capable of moving with the times. A lesson we must never forget.

Since this time a total of 25 new liveries have been created so an increase of over 25% in 35 years. Chartered Surveyors are quite simply trend setters.

The modern companies dinner was hosted this year by the Company of Environmental cleaners with their Master, Mr Timothy J Doyle candidly admitting that he had thought it was a lounge suit affair until he arrived at 5:45pm at Armourers Hall to be told it was black tie. Some £600 to the worse, he paraded into the Hall in full black tie regalia only for some wag to mention to him that double breasted dinner jackets in the City were inappropriate!

The dinner was excellent and followed by equally excellent speeches from The Master Environmental Cleaner and the Sheriff, Alderman Dr Andrew Palmley. As ever the Sheriff was incisive and witty with real purpose to his words extolling the strengths of the City and the UK. He also demonstrated that English is the clearly established world language which brings with it a greater vocabulary than any others allowing it to be the most descriptive and full language on the planet. Hence we have produced much of the worlds greatest literature. At the top end is Shakespeare who’s literary prowess is such that many of his catch phrases are in common use to this day without most people knowing that they are indeed citing Shakespeare. Examples the Sheriff included are:

“In a pickle”

“Good riddance”

“Too much of a good thing”

“Eaten you out of house and home”

So with the passion of “Romeo and Juliet” the modern Companies Dinner had the serenity of a “Midsummer Nights dream”, as if delivered by the “Merchant of Venice” and just “As you like it”.

As you can see my literary talents are clearly available but rarely called upon. Probably for the best.

Graham F. Chase Master