The Brigantes Breakfast is a lunch held for liverymen from the north with the venue alternating between Lancashire and Yorkshire. Southerners are also invited!
It is called the Brigantes, after the ancient Celtic tribe that existed in northern England before, and during the Roman invasion of Britain. The Brigantes occupied an area stretching from Liverpool to Hull, taking in much of what we now know as Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds and the north east, and was centred in Yorkshire. Over 1,200 Liverymen from the same northern areas are connected with the current City Liveries.
This year the event was held in Liverpool at the famous St George’s Hall. The journey up was made all the more pleasurable by the company of past master Jenna Davies who was in top form. She spent a lot of time talking to strange men in the carriage whilst I was doing a conference call!
The event was packed out. Toasts were given by Adrian Waddingham (past sheriff) with a response from the Lord Mayor of London. The event was hosted by the Lord Lieutenant of Merseyside, Dame Lorna Muirhead DCVO DBE.
Thank you again to everyone who has so far donated to the appeal. We are about a quarter of the way to the target. One liveryman who has donated mentioned a family member attended Treloars in the 1960s and she still looks back on that as a life changing experience and the foundation of their ability to get a job and have independent living. Things are always closer to home than you might think.
We have a visit to Treloars organised for 17th October details of which Amanda has circulated. Numbers are limited but we do still have some spaces. Please contact her if you are interested.
Congratulations to Delva for serving an incredible 15 years as Hon Air Cmdre 7010 Squadron. Her final 3rd term of office comes to an end in November but she will continue her RAF Reserve links having been appointed Air Cmdre Hon Group Captain of 601 Squadron. Delva initiated the Company’s links with 7010 some 20 years ago.
Central Foundation is one of the 4 schools the Company supports. It is located in Bow but has an interesting history being originally located in the City. I attended with Amanda the annual prize giving at which the Company presents an award to a pupil that has excelled in overcoming adversity. It was a very enjoyable afternoon and a school that is clearly doing well despite some significant challenges in the community it serves. The winner of our prize was Melanie. When you hear why she won it brings tears to your eyes. It is supporting young people like her that makes everything we do so worthwhile.
I attended a white tie banquet held at Mansion House in the presence of the Lord Mayor. It was a traditional livery dinner with all the bells and whistles. A hugely enjoyable evening with the usual entertaining speech from the Lord Mayor. A privilege to be there.
I represented the Company at a dinner hosted by our military affiliate 135 Geographic Squadron. The main purpose of the dinner was to present the Company Endeavour Award to Corporal Hewitt but we also dined out a number of leavers at the same time. An eventful evening as sandwiched between the dinner was a trip to Epsom Hospital casualty ten minutes down the road from the dinner to drop off one of my children who had dislocated his finger playing cricket and then picking him up after the dinner had finished!
Back to some serious business today. We had a very productive meeting discussing how we can improve the support to our adopted schools. The Company is hugely fortunate to have such a dedicated group of people working in the education area led by Clywd Roberts and with the support of Ema Saunders and her team at Savills.
This year the Carmen were celebrating their 500th anniversary. The annual Cart Marking Ceremony took place in Guildhall Yard with a record 56 vehicles marked between the Master Carmen, Marsha Rae Ratcliff OBE, The Rt.Hon The Lord Mayor of London Alderman Dr Andrew Parmley and the Master Glover Jonathan Crossman MBE. The vehicles marked were both horse drawn and motor powered.
They included the famous Dad’s army van of Corporal Jones.
Cart marking goes back hundreds of years and was effectively an early form of road licence. In the City it gave rights for Carmen to ply their trade of moving goods around conditional on clearing up the mess their horse drawn carts left behind!
A lunch was held after in the Great Hall where I joined 655 other people.
WOW! One of the highlights of the year and very pleased to be able to share it with a number of liverymen and friends. We attended a gala dinner in the Barbican and then a performance by the final year at the Guildhall School of Music of the famous George Gershwin musical Crazy for You. This must be right at the top of the best amateur dramatic shows with the cast days away from embarking on professional singing and theatre careers. A fantastic evening.
I attended this event held at the Old Bailey. A fund was established in 1808 by the two sheriffs, appalled by conditions in Newgate prison, to help the families of the prisoners. In 1931 the fund merged with a fund set up by the Recorder to help offenders released on probation. Today, funded by Livery Companies, individuals and City institutions, the SRF performs a crucial role in helping to reduce reoffending by making a number of grants to help the rehabilitation of released prisoners.
I attended as a guest of Richard Brindley, the Master. The dinner was held in Florence Hall at the RIBA headquarters in Portland Place. A rare excursion outside the City and a nice change.
The Company award a prize for the City Building of the Year. Two buildings were singled out — Angel Court (Stanhope/Mitsui Fudosan) and the winner 8 Finsbury Circus (Stanhope/Mitsubishi). It was great to see an old friend Paul Lewis of Stanhope laden down with prizes!
We held our Election Court meeting at the Armourers and Brasiers’ Hall.
The Armourers & Brasiers’ Company was founded in 1322 as the Guild of St George of the Armourers, it was awarded its first Royal Charter in 1453 from King Henry VI. In 1708 the Armourers joined with the Brasiers and the Worshipful Company of Armourers & Brasiers received its current charter from Queen Anne.
The Company has occupied its current site since 1346. The present Armourers’ Hall was built in 1839 and re-modelled in 1872. It is a Grade 2* listed building and a scheduled ancient monument.
Sadly Daniel Carter, the senior warden, has had to step down for business reasons. Daniel has been a huge servant to the Company and the Court expressed their thanks for all he has done. On a personal level Daniel has been a great support to me for which I am especially grateful. The Court elected Tony Joyce as the next Master, Digby Flower as senior warden, John Woodman as junior warden and Ken Morgan to fill a new role of Renter Warden.
5 new members were elected to the Court: Antonia Belcher, Hugh Bullock, Amanda Clack, James Gillett and James Young.
The evening concluded with a small dinner to include two new sworn in liverymen — Alison McDonald and Gary McNamara.
The annual Property Marketing Awards celebrate the year’s very best, most effective, as well as the most innovative and creative marketing campaigns around the UK property industry. Set up by the Company to improve standards in property marketing and to raise money for the Charitable Trust, the awards this year reached their 25th anniversary.
The awards were hosted by well known BBC breakfast broadcaster Naga Munchetty and held at 30 Euston Square. The audience was packed and enjoyed a reception before and after the ceremony. I presented the grand prix on behalf of the Company to NextBigThing.
The evening would not have been possible without a huge amount of work from the organising committee under the leadership of Assistant Colin Peacock, the generosity of our sponsors, the time given up by our judges, our partner EG, Sarah Sherwin, The Drum, Luminous and Park.
This year we added Debate Mate as one of our charitable beneficiaries. Debate Mate is a unique, international educational charity dedicated to improving social mobility using cost-effective peer-to-peer debate mentoring. They run after school debating clubs in areas of high child poverty, facilitated by students at the best universities, which give disadvantaged young people the skills they need to become exceptional young leaders – confidence, interpersonal communication skills and higher order thinking.
Caroline was invited to lunch at Mansion House along with 12 other consorts to Masters for a private lunch with the Lady Mayoress. She had a guided tour of all the treasures in the Mansion House!
The working party had its fifth meeting to discuss the new business plan. We have made some good progress and a first draft for discussion will be going to the Court on 4th July.
The Election of Sheriffs is a very special event in the civic calendar when Liverymen from all livery companies meet to elect the two Sheriffs for the year. A number of surveyors were present including past master Brian Lambden.
I assembled with Masters from other companies in our gowns and chains and processed into Guildhall ahead of the main Civic party.
The office of Sheriff is the oldest civic office in the City (older even than the office of the Lord Mayor). The two sheriffs elected were :
TIMOTHY RUSSELL HAILES
NEIL MORGAN REDCLIFFE