And so to my final engagement, the Worshipful Company of Framework Knitters’ banquet at Mansion House. The Framework Knitters are mostly based around Leicester which is the home of the UK hosiery industry. The Guild was incorporated by Letters Patent on 13th June 1659 and became a Livery Company in 1713, ranking it 64 in the order of Livery Companies.
The Company initiated its Bursary and Awards scheme in order to encourage students to take an interest in the knitting and knitwear industry and a number of the winners were presented with their awards during the Banquet.
Master Linda Smith had invited Sir David Wootton to reply to the Civic toast and Ian Davenport replied on behalf of the guests.
I was hosted by the immediate Past Master, Stephen Woolfe and enjoyed a delightful and relaxed evening, together with many of the Masters I have got to know during my year, including Clare Chisholm, Master Wheelwright, Dorothy Saul Pooley, Master Air Pilot, Douglas Clasby, Master Fanmaker, David Bentley, Master Baker, David Raines, Master Distiller.
It was a fitting dinner to end my year: huge fun and with many new friends.
The Mansion House was packed for the Engineers’ Annual Banquet. Mike and I were hosted by Jenna and David Davies. A stunning evening made more so by the guest speaker, HRH The Princess Royal, who was incredibly witty as she spoke about the necessity for Women to study core subjects and raised a cheer when she admitted that always preferred Mechano, as a child, to Lego. The Representative Lord Mayor, Sheriff Fiona Adler responded to the Civic toast.
A wonderful evening amongst great company.
A wonderful evening shared by liverymen and guests at the Central Ballet School in Clerkenwell. We were treated to performances by the three years, showing how they learn the various dances and the hard work required in order to achieve the amazingly high standards. It was difficult to comprehend that most of these students are 17 to 21 years old, but they display maturity behind their years .This year we gave burseries to two final year students who are incredibly talented and will have a fantastic future ahead of them.
We then repaired to a local restaurant to continue the evening. As always, a very big thank you to Past Master Laurence Johnstone.
A glorious celebration of music and hymns for the Musicians Company, together the Royal College of Music String Orchestra playing Elgar’s Elegy for Strings.
These services really do bring the companies together , sitting together under the great dome of St Paul’s. A great feeling of Fellowship and the reason we participate. Afterwards, we gathered in the crypt for a reception .
St Lawrence Jewry was filled to capacity for the Divine Service. This is an historical service of celebration as well as guidance prior to the Election of The Lord Mayor which follows afterwards. The Livery companies filed into their pews, followed by the Civic procession and clergy .
We sang some well known hymns and listened to a beautifully sung aria from Cosi Fan Tutte ‘ Soave sia il vento’. This was quite a solemn service prior to the lively nature of the Election, for which we filed out following The Lord Mayor and the Civic procession into Guildhall.
The Common Hall Election of The Lord Mayor is open to all liverymen, although tickets must be obtained in advance from the Clerk. It follows a format, but is done with good humour and elegance and never fails to entertain, especially when the Sherifs discuss and agree the election results. Alderman Alan Yarrow was elected the 687th Lord Mayor.
The Mercers’Hall hosted an evening of music at their Hall. Masters, together with their other halves and many people from the music world gathered to hear a programme of Lieder, sung by a wonderful young baritone, Benjamin Appl, followed by a piano recital given by Mei Yi Foo who won the BBC Best Newcomer of the Year Award in 2013. She played JS Bach Partita no 5 in G and notably, La Valse by Ravel. These young performers were stunning, dramatic and to watch out for in the future.
Afterwards, we gathered in the various court and dining rooms for a most enjoyable supper. It was a magical evening.
A fun afternoon, together with Junior Warden Jenna Davies, Liveryman Vivian King and over 30 better halves, comprising the Ladies or Mistresses. Assistant Janie Strange kindly arranged an backstage visit to the RAH, including the Queen’s private rooms. Our guide was informative and fun, finishing the afternoon off with tea and sandwiches.
Mike and I were invited, together with Bish Lis, the Master Chartered Secretary and his wife, Yvonne, to a delightful, intimate lunch with Nicholas Woolf, The Lord Mayors Consort. Friends of Nicholas were also present. We lunched in the dining room which forms part of The Lord Mayor’s apartments.
A most enjoyable afternoon.
Rain and thunder did nothing to dampen the spirits and enthusiasm on the many people taking part in this major fundraising event. There was even an appearance by Spiderman (otherwise known at Assistant David Mann) abseiling down Broadgate Tower to the delight of onlookers. Thankfully he wasn’t arrested!!
I, together with Joanna Aveley, Chief Executive of Land Aid presented the awards. We were extremely grateful to Savills for their most generous sponsorship of the event,
The total sums are still being finalised but there will be a fantastic sum available for our charities.
A most fun evening, ending an incredibly busy day. The event as held at Claridges, which is always a pleasure to visit!
The WIP Student Awards recognises the future female talent. Candidates are Second year students studying a Built Environment degree course. The competition was ferocious, but the prize went to Jessica Dowdy, whom is studying construction project management at Oxford Brookes university.
The evening was sponsored by my hosts, DTZ, together with Bouyges and Turner and Townsend.im all an uplifting event! showing that our industry has some fantastic young people.
Last committee meeting for this year. Assistant Ken Morgan has chaired the committee for two years and now hands over to Assistant Mark Larard. My thanks to Ken for doing such a good job .
Last committee meeting of the year. My thanks to the committee, chaired by Assistanr William Hill, who will continue next year.
A most jolly lunch at the Armourers’ Hall to celebrate the installation of the new Master, Geoffrey Purves. I had got to know last year’s Master well, Jaki Howes, who is always great fun and part of the cabal of lady Masters. I was most flattered to be amongst the guests, which included Jane Duncan and other Masters.
The Schools City seminar is a firm fixture in the Livery Company’s calendar, designed to introduce the workings of the City and the property industry to Year 12 students from our 4 schools. This year attracted some 50 young people who listened to a formidable array of people, including Alderman Dr Andrew Parmley, Liverymen Liz Peace and Neil Murray. Liveryman Tony Joyce introduced the famous City model, which is now quite famous.
Feedback from the students was fantastically positive. A great morning.
Liveryman Gordon Edington arranged for us to visit Fulham Palace, of which he is Vice Chairman and a Trustee. The Palace was home to the Bishops of London for hundreds of years until the late 1970s, when it fell into disrepair until the Trust was formed to protect it. The Palace is tucked away by the river Thames, with a delightful walled garden and is open to the public. It was a delightful evening made more so by the wonderful balmy weather.
A quick dash from the City to East Ham in order to meet Adam Mendries and the Newham Sea Cadets, who were sailing on the Royal Docks that evening. Watching the young people was a real pleasure, however, the Sea Cadets needs our help and I hope that we will be able to support them financially and bring them into the Company’s family.
Thank you to Ann Heywood and Jenna Davies for accompanying me!
Our final Education meeting of the year, held at GVA. This is such an important committee because of the work we do with our four schools and apprentices through CSTT. Thank you to Chairman Graham Chase .
A busy afternoon, thank you to Simon Kolesar for chairing the meetings this year. We discussed new initiatives and interviewed 3 potential liverymen.
Amanda and I enjoyed a delightful lunch at Apothecaries Hall by kind invitation of Baroness Byford. The hospitality was excellent and speeches most impressive, not least the Farmers Company Nuffield Scholar who spoke eloquently and without notes on his Research into improving crop yield without the use of chemicals.
135 hosted the annual dinner to honour this year’s recipient, LCpl Anna Walmsley, who spent 6 months in Afghanistan on a major mapping exercise as well as teaching map reading to the local Afghan troops. She is getting married on 13th September, to Kiaran Terry, a fellow reservist and we wish them well for the future.
I have enjoyed supporting 135 this year . They do great work and are a great bunch of people. Moreover, it was interesting to learn about their role now that the recruitment focus is on reservists as opposed to full time soldiers, which is full of challenges .
The Fuellers Company hosted the Autumn dinner at Skinners’ Hall, marking the first real City event following the summer break. Drinks were enjoyed on the roof terrace followed by dinner in the hall. The atmosphere was jolly and food delicious.
My daughter Sophie and I joined parents and supporters ( plus a number of familiarly famous faces from the ballet world) at the new University of the Arts theatre at Kings Cross for CFB’s end of year performance. The standard of dance was superb and it was a delight to have been invited.
St Faith’s Crypt, St Pauls’s celebrated the annual service of dedication for the Imperial Society of Knights Bachelor. A most impressive event.
A balmy evening threatened to overheat the Masters in their gowns as we filed into St Pauls’ Cathedral for evensong! Following the service, we walked to Guildhall for Beating Retreat by the Band of the Prince of Wales Regiment and then a reception at Guildhall Library.
The GSMD’s annual gala evening produced Grand Hotel, based upon the original film that made Greta Garbo and Joan Crawford famous in the 1930s. Amanda kindly arranges for us to support this function every year and I have to say I was disappointed with the poor turnout from the Livery at this event. It is a fundraising event for the School and the talent it develops is quite fantastic and those attending, enjoyed a wonderful evening of young talent.
Liveryman William Nicol- Gent and I were invited to to the Newham Sea Cadets annual parade at their headquarters in East Ham. The sea cadets are a relatively new addition to the Company’s charitable activities and an incredibly worthwhile cause. The cadets are aged 12–18 years old and are all from the immediate vicinity. Commander Tim Porter RN and Sub Lt(SCC) Adam Mendrys RNR explained to me afterwards, how for many of the young people, this is the major focus of their lives, due to difficult family backgrounds and poverty.
The Cadets gave us a presentation of their history, core values and I was invited to take part in tying knots!
The Company has been invited back on 11th September and I hope to make various presentations at that event. Do please put this date in your diary!
A fabulous evening of music, together with kind hospitality provided by Robert Clack School. As always, Sir Paul Grant made Amanda and I most welcome .
A delightful lunch in the Company of the Environmental Cleaners as the historic Armourers Hall, by kind invitation of Master Issa Tahaan.
Great food and entertaining company!
Following the court meeting, I had the pleasure of welcoming members of the Court, new liverymen and guests to an informal supper. It did not take the form of a usual livery dinner, but I had asked two of our bursary students to talk about their experiences. Jemima Bamgbose, who is studying Building Surveying at Westminster and Josh Geach, studying Architecture at de Montfort, spoke eloquently for a few minutes each. Both students came from Robert Clack School in Dagenham. I was also delighted to welcome headteachers Esther holland of Central Foundation Girls School and Catherine May of St Saviours and St Olaves in Southwark.
A lovely ending to a busy afternoon.
A busy afternoon, discussing Budgets for the next Livery Year and the approval of nominations for the next Master: Graham Chase, Senior Warden: Lady Davies, Junior Warden: William Hill.
I also had the pleasure to admit the following new liverymen: Andrew Ellingworth, Nicholas Farrington, Gareth Hird and John Wetherall.