David and I were guests at The Autumn Livery Dinner of The Worshipful Company of Glaziers and Painters of Glass. The Master Glazier spoke and welcomed visiting Masters and the guest speaker, Andrew Moor, spoke on his promotion of exciting decorative glazing projects including Hong Kong Airport.
This was a glittering affair attended by hundreds of guests in Guildhall in aid of The Lord Mayor’s Appeal. Following a lavish reception in The Guildhall Library we were seated at round tables of 10 in the packed Hall decorated superbly with a nautical theme. The meal was delicious, the Silent Auction (which raised £70,000) was most entertaining and then we danced to a great band until midnight.
I attended a most splendid Evensong in Memory of Sir Robert Finch, one of our own Liverymen and Lord Mayor in 2003/4. I was sitting under The Dome next to Past master Rob Bould where we enjoyed splendid singing and thunderous organ music.
The service was followed by a reception in Guildhall.
In glorious sunshine we enjoyed drinks in the garden followed by a delicious Installation Court Lunch hosted by the worshipful Company of Chartered Architects. I was joined by five masters of allied companies and seated with them all at top table. The principal speaker was Jane Duncan, President RIBA.
I was delighted to have been invited to attend The Installation Court Service to see the Master Architect, Richard Brindley installed for the coming year.
The Chaplin, The Rev Canon David Parrott gave an excellent address relating the lesson to the architectural profession. The singing and the organ music were superb.
Our Livery Company hosted a Schools Half Day Seminar. Three of our four schools had sent students, some 50 in all. I was the “warm up act” for Alderman Dr Andrew Parmley. Other speakers were Mike Reid, Lawyer, Liz Peace CBE and Liveryman Tony Joyce.
I was joined by a good number of guest Masters and Sheriff Charles Bowman for The Accountant’s 3rd Fair and True Lecture entitled “Globalization and its Discontents” given by Fayezul Choudhury. It was particularly pertinent in view if current affairs and post Brexit. A reception for all followed the lecture.
Accompanied by Amanda, I attended a Luncheon for Masters and Clerks hosted by The Worshipful Company of Farmers in their newly refurbishes Hall. The welcome from the Master was most warm and friendly and I was honored to be seated at top table between the Master Mercer and the Master’s Chaplin, both excellent company
The speaker was Liveryman Peter Wiggins-Davies talking about his plans to restore his family estate, most interesting.
43 Liverymen and guests boarded the Thames Sailing Barge at London Bridge City Pier for a day on the river. After a safety briefing we proceeded East with Tower Bridge lifting for us. The day was fully catered and we were well cared for by the skipper and crew.
We passed The Dome and went beyond The Thames barrier, returning to take part in a parade of other Thames Sailing Barges which was most impressive. Tower Bridge was lifted for us 4 times in all, twice to its highest extent for the Parade itself. During the day we were delightfully entertained by Stephen Shepherd of The Scots Guard Military Band on saxophone. The outing was pictured in The Times on the following Monday!
This was an amazing fund-raising event run in association with LandAid, The Property Industry Charity. The teams, of three, took part; one abseiled down, one ran up and the other cycled like mad on the spot for 10 minutes all at Broadgate Tower, some in fancy dress.
All proceeds from the day are this year to go towards the rebuilding of a hostel for homeless young people in The City. The day concluded with a reception and prize-giving on the 33rd floor of Broadgate Tower, from where we enjoyed splendid views over The City.
It was a privilege to attend the Upper School Prize Giving evening. Also present were the Master Dyer and a Past Master Cutlers who share our support of the school. The main speaker was Colleen Amos who spoke about her charitable support of students.
Over supper with the students and staff I was delighted to meet two of our own bursary students who demonstrated with their enthusiasm for their courses the difference that we have been able to make in their pursuit of their studies.
The Mistress Farmer invited David to a most enjoyable and well attended Consorts’ Luncheon. The excellent speaker was Samantha Bowman, whose talk was “From Vet to Sheriff’s Consort — all in a day’s Work”.
My grateful thanks to Liveryman David Mann who arranged a most enjoyable Walk “Biscuits to Banquets”. The start was at The Monument and the Walk proceeded under the most competent and entertaining leadership of our City Guide who enlightened us on eating habits and menus through the ages. At each of 3 Taverns we sampled drinks and food reflecting the theme of the tour.
We recalled, with gratitude, the late Liveryman Mark Brodrick who arranged similar walks when he served on the Marketing and Communications Committee.
The Glass Sellers’ Company hosted a Reception and their Ravenscroft Lecture given by Hazel Forsyth FSA on the glass which survived The Great Fire. This was held in the Garden and Terrace Rooms and was attended by a very good turnout of Masters.
Nearly all the Masters of the Modern Companies (those formed since 1927), together with many Senior Wardens, attended a very jolly Dinner in the newly refurbished Hall. On this occasion I was joined by our Master Elect William Hill. The dinner was hosted by The Master Constructor and the main speech, amusing as always, was by Sheriff Dr Christine Rigden.
Once again with a good number of Masters and the full civic team I attended a delightful reception, with an amazing selection of delicious canapés, held in the splendid Great Hall of The City of London School, now the offices of JP Morgan. Those giving short speeches included The Lord Mayor and Stephany Flanders.
As it got dark, we adjourned to a “VIP” area to witness the spectacular burning of the timber model of The City of London as it would have been in 1666.
A moving Service in commemoration of the anniversary of The Great Fire was held in one of the very many City churches that were destroyed. The sermon was by The Bishop of London, the first in a series on this theme.
I visited the“Fire! Fire!” exhibition, an imaginative and interactive display, commemorating The Great Fire which will run until April next year.
I visited many of the events organised by Artichoke, including the spectacular Fire Garden outside Tate Modern, the illuminated dome of St Pauls’ and Holoscenes, a depiction of flooding in a glass box which is envisaged as a contemporary hazard threatening London today.
The Lord Mayor together with the full civic team hosted a delightful gathering. Many Masters and their Guests were present together with the mayors and representatives of towns and parishes throughout the kingdom who had sent sums for the relief of distress following The Great Fire.
The last of these lunches at The City Livery Club in their present form. The attendee Masters whose Companies had sponsored and supported Artichoke had been invited to all the Festival events relating to the 1666 Anniversary of The Great Fire of London.
Together with a large number of Masters and civic dignitaries, I was delighted to attend the opening night reception for the Festival of London’s Burning to commemorate the 350 Anniversary of The Great Fire of London.
The Lord Mayor’s speech opened the Festival, masterminded for the City by Artichoke. The canapés were delicious and themed to be fiery and charcoaled!
I was invited with several other Masters to a private view of the Glass Sellers’ superb exhibition of glass artwork designed by 10 London secondary schools on the theme of The Great Fire and executed by leading contemporary artists. The Lord Mayor graciously presented the prizes.