The President Elect, Liveryman Amanda Clack, hosted a delightful lunch for 15 of our Liverymen. I was flanked by both Wardens and during the meal Amanda led a lively and stimulating discussion about the RICS, her forthcoming year and the promotion of our wonderful profession in general.
Before the lunch we had a brief tour of our professional headquarters and enjoyed drinks in glorious sunshine on the roof terrace, then sat down for a delicious lunch in The Presidents’ Dining Room prepared and served by Roux at Parliament Square.
We were most grateful for the generous hospitality which was a real treat.
There was a very good turnout of Masters at the 28th Annual Pewter Live Design Competition. Following the Reception we enjoyed looking at all the works of art in pewter.
I was joined by Assistant Tony Joyce and about 30 Young Freemen at a talk given by Past Master George Gillon on the workings of The City of London and his close evolvement over many years. The event was part of the Young Freemen Society programme held in the splendid new offices of JLL on the 8th floor of The Wallbrook.
Together with a good number of other Masters I attended a Banquet to mark the historic pilgrimage relics of St Thomas a Beckett in honour of His Excellency Janos Ader, President of the Republic of Hungary and His Royal Highness Prince Charles of Bourbon Two Sicilies, Duke of Castro.
Guest speakers were His Eminence Vincent, Cardinal Nichols and The Rt Hon Lord Carey.
The very splendid greeting line comprised an array of members of European Royal Families.
It was a glittering occasion in the magnificent Drapers’ Hall but marred by sadness of the sudden death of Sir Gavyn Arthur on 16.5.16. My invitation to the Banquet came from him and he is gravely missed.
We were lucky with the weather and we thoroughly enjoyed our visit to The Palace. Approaching through the front entrance at about 3:30 (perfect timing), we walked through the Palace and down the steps into the garden.
At 4pm one of the bands played The National Anthem for the arrival of Her Majesty The Queen accompanied by a large number of the members of The Royal Family. Afternoon tea was served in a long marquee and we had plenty of time to explore the gardens. We were delighted to encounter The Lord Mayor and The Lady Mayoress and enjoyed meeting many people from a wide range of backgrounds.
My Consort and I joined a small group of other Masters with their partners for lunch at The Athenaeum Club before walking up The Mall to Buckingham Palace.
The Worshipful Company of Architects Annual Milo Lecture was held on the 5th floor of The Leadenhall Building.
Peter Murray, the Master Architect, introduced the three speakers who gave a full and most interesting view of the development of “The Cheese Grater” and other iconic buildings in the City together with the planners policy on the Cityscape in general.
I had another fish and chip lunch with several Masters and Senior Wardens. We were able to enjoy pre-lunch drinks in the sunshine overlooking the Thames. At this lunch we agreed arrangements for a series of Great Fire themed walks around the Livery Halls of the City. The date I have chosen for WCCS is 13th July. Details will be circulated by Amanda very shortly.
A delightful Reception to thank the Presenter, Sponsors and Judges for their part in this years Property Marketing Awards was held on the roof terrace overlooking Parliament Square and was most generously hosted by the RICS.
This was held at Holland and Holland. A wide range of Livery Companies entered teams, WCCS were represented by 2 brave teams lead by Liveryman Ken Morgan. Sadly for the first time in the 18 years of the competition the heavens opened and every one got very wet and rather cold.
I had the pleasure of joining our teams for lunch, no prizes but it was never the less an enjoyable occasion. I was well looked after by liverymen present and I was particularly pleased to see Liveryman David Tuffin who very kindly drove me back to a suitable station to return to Central London.
Held on the 17th Floor of The Shard, the speaker, Sir Ian Cheshire, was excellent and thought provoking.
I was joined by a good number of Masters and was well looked after by PM Peter Goudge in the Reception lunch on Thursday 21 January.
This was a most moving and enlightening morning hosted by CBRE in Henrietta Place.
The event was conceived to promote mental health and well being in the property industry prompted by the untimely death of John O’Halloran in March 2015. The Keynote speaker was Jonny Benjamin who spoke with candour and honesty regarding his own fight with depression. Other speakers spoke of personal or family experiences on the same field. We all came away with a much better idea of the size of the problem in the workplace and the importance of trying to act effectively.
Liveryman Gordon Edington, one of the organisers, gave a meaningful introduction and a summary at the end.
Arriving early at Mansion House for the lunch, my husband and I popped into St Stephen Walbrook where we were delighted to hear their super choir of 6 practicing. Liveryman Tony Joyce and his wife Pauline shared this most unexpected pleasure with us.
The Lunch was hosted most graciously by The Lord Mayor and the Lady Mayoress in the Egyptian Hall with a strong Yorkshire flavour.
Liverymen Hill, Joyce and I with our partners and Liveryman Carter with his guest, John Bywater (from Yorkshire), together with the father of the Company, Alan Gillett and his wife Patricia, had taken a table of 10 in aid of The Lord Mayor’s Appeal and Sea Cadets in Particular.
My consort and I welcomed Court Members and partners to our home in Sussex for a Reception and Lunch at the halfway point in my year. We were fortunate with the weather enabling our guests to enjoy a walk around the garden with us before sitting down for lunch.
In gown, Tudor bonnet and travelling badge, together with some other Masters, I collected for the British Red Cross in the late afternoon. Many people were very generous.
My husband and I went to sample a tasting menu in the kitchens of the beautiful modern Haberdashers’ Hall, with their head chief.
We hope very much that you will appreciate the courses we have chosen for you to enjoy at our Midsummer Banquet on 20.6.16.
We were joined on the day by Liveryman David Scott from Truro and not Liveryman Martyn Kingsford.
I had the very great pleasure to be invited with a few other Masters to The Worshipful Company of Tin Plate Workers May Court Dinner held in the delightful and ancient Skinners’ Hall.
We enjoyed enjoyed Champagne on the upper terrace in glorious sunshine with the fountain playing. I was looked after by Past Master David Greggains and at Dinner I was most honoured, as the most junior Master present to be seated next to the Master Tin Plate Worker, Ian Makouski.
The menu chosen was delicious. We enjoyed a stunning performance by Dagmar Zeromska and Daniel Shelvey accompanied by Erica Gundesen on piano.
The welcome by Liveryman Ted Roberts was warm and witty and the response was by Michael Cassidy CBE who talked most positively about the progress and benefit of Cross Rail. The Master responded to the toast to the Company and invited us to join him for a stirrup cup where the champagne continued to flow.
The Lord Mayor, both Sheriffs with most Masters were present at The Priory Church of St Bartholomew’s the Great for Evensong. The Choir and Music were splendid and the Sermon was given by The Bishop of London.
Following the Service we went up the Hogarth staircase to the magnificent Great Hall of St Bartholomew’s Hospital where we were entertained to a reception with short speeches.
The Service in St Paul’s was the 362nd Festival of the Sons and Friends of the Clergy, a charity originally started in 1655 to support destitute clergy during the time of Oliver Cromwell.
Some 50 Liverymen, Young Freemen and associates had a great breakfast at The Clink Restaurant which is part of Brixton Prison.
The Clink is an opportunity for prisoners nearing the end of their sentence to learn catering skills which will assist them in obtaining work when they are released.
We had a most interesting and inspiring talk by Kevin McGrath, one of the founders of the Charity which has set up Clink Restaurants in many prisons and hopes to expand the concept to more.
We were most grateful to Liveryman Helen Pickstock for the idea of the visit and for her arrangements together with Camilla Kirwan from the Young Freemen group.
Masters of virtually all 110 Livery Companies processed in robes and chains of office the entire length of St Paul’s. The Lord Mayor, both Sheriffs, the Bishop of London and the Archbishop of Canterbury were present.
The music was splendid with choirs from 3 Cathedrals; St Paul’s, Birmingham and St Edmundsbury and the sermon was preached by The Most Reverend and Right Honourable Justine Welby.
The father of our Company Prof Alan Gillett was in attendance for his 27th time as a Steward.
I joined an excellent talk arranged by Liveryman Clwyd Roberts for students from Archbishop Tennison and Central Foundation Girls Schools. The talk was given by Liveryman Robert Highmore, assisted by two of his trainee lawyers, Sarah and Dan, and held in Robert’s smart offices on the 8th Floor of 5 Fleet Place.
It was most informative and stimulating and an excellent opportunity for students from two of our adopted schools.
The worthy recipient of our Endeavour Award was PO Olroyd.
My apologies for the error in rank and name.
After an early breakfast overlooking Plymouth Hooe we were joined by Liverymen Bill Gater and Martyn Kingsford. We proceeded by car, coach and tender to board HMS Echo in glorious sunshine.
The ship’s company paraded on deck. A citation was read by the Commanding Officer Phillip Newell and I had the great pleasure of presenting AS Holroyd with the Company’s Endeavour Award for her outstanding service.
We were given a tour of the ship after which we enjoyed a delicious and most welcome lunch before returning to Plymouth for the train home.
I travelled by train with Past Master Simon Kolesar, after booking in to The Holiday Inn we met up with Liverymen Samantha Rowland, Tim Matthews, Walker Lapthorne and his wife. Walker had organised some local entertainment in the form of a visit to The Plymouth Gin Distillary where we sampled excellent gin based cocktails. We then proceeded to The Hakka, a Cantonese restaurant, where the chief designed a delicious meal for us all.
Amanda and I were guests at the Paviors’ Spring Livery Dinner held in one of the most splendid Halls in the City, lit by candlelight, overlooking London Bridge and the River Thames. The Principal speaker on HS2 was Simon Kirby, the toast to the Company by Gregory Lumsden and we were entertained by singers from The GHSM.
After a reception then seated under the dome with other Masters I thoroughly enjoyed a super Choral Concert performed by Cathedral Choristers from all over Britain. The Conductor was Andrew Carwood. We were in the presence of HRH The Duchess of Gloucester. The Concert was in aid of the Diamond Fund for Choristers with an introduction by Aled Jones and a most meaningful personal reminiscence by Alexander Armstrong on his early years as a choir boy.
I enjoyed a charming Lunch attended by Past Masters Ladies at which the Masters Ladies Brooch was handed over for the forthcoming year.
I was a guest at the Engineers’ Installation Dinner to see Isobel Pollock-Hulf OBE installed as the new Master. It was a glittering occasion in a delightful Hall I had not visited before. The speaker was Dame Ann Dowling OM.