Category Archives: 2014/15 Graham Chase

National Trafalgar Day Parade – Trafalgar Square London, Sunday 18 October 2015

When I was at school, Trafalgar Day was one of those dates drummed into you and although it was never celebrated, the 21st October was always known as an important and historic day. It was therefore very special to be invited as your Master to the Trafalgar Day Parade at Trafalgar Square, beneath Nelson’s column, to celebrate the victory of the British fleet over the French and Spanish at the great sea battle at Trafalgar but with the sadness of Lord Horatio Nelson’s death — shot by a single musket ball from a French sharpshooter from high up in the rigging.

By coincidence, this August bank holiday just passed, I spent a week at Burnham Market and went for a few drinks at the Lord Nelson pub in Burnham Thorpe which is where Nelson had his farewell party in 1793 before setting off to sea for the last time. His Father was the Rector of three churches in the Burnhams, the other two being in Burnham Market. Sadly Nelson’s Father died when he was only 9 leaving him an Orphan as his Mother had died when he was just three. So began Nelson’s journey to becoming the World’s most celebrated naval officer when he was sent to sea at the tender age of 13.

210 years after his death at Trafalgar I am sat below Nelsons column in the second row alongside Vice Admiral Sir Jonathan Todd the former Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the British Royal Navy fleet and Rear Admiral John Clink the current Flag Officer Scotland, Northern England and Northern Ireland and Sea Training Royal Navy. By coincidence Vice Admiral Todd was part of the aircrew selection panel when I applied for my RAF Flying Scholarship so after some 43 years I was able to thank him for selecting me.

We were treated to an hour of physical training routines, marching and massed band displays primarily by the Sea Cadets who had travelled from all around the country to be with us. The last item on the programme was the service of hymns and prayers conducted by the Sea Cadet Corps Chaplain Reverend Graham Hitchins who also just happens to be the Rector of the Church at Burnham Market where Lord Nelson’s Father was Rector!

Immediately following the event I was escorted by my two new Admiral friends through St. James’s Park to Wellington Barracks where speeches, awards and a marvellous buffet lunch was served. Despite being a keen sailor somehow I have never felt as close to the sea and Nelson as I have on this day.

A very fitting end as my last official engagement as Master of the Worshipful Company of Chartered Surveyors before the Court Meeting on Monday 19th October. I have indeed had a wonderful year and loved every minute of it. What a privilege and pleasure it has been to hold this office.

Graham F. Chase Master

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Committee Club 313th Dinner, Tuesday 13 October 2015

At over 100 years old the Committee Club is one of the three oldest Surveyors clubs in existence. Designed to be a ginger group to keep the RICS on track and in touch with its Membership one might argue that it’s need is as great now as it has ever been.

A select dinner in the Carlton Club in the prestigious and quite exquisite ground floor dining room this was a daunting task with 50% of the diners being Chartered Surveyor Liverymen including the Father of the Livery, Past Master and Committee Club Father Professor Alan Gillett who chaired the event, Past Master Michael Baker and no less than 3 members of the Court. The other diners however had no links with the livery and not a clue what it was I stand for or do as Master for a Livery Company. So a wide variation in knowledge to say the least.

My brief was to say a little about the Livery and City of London and my year in office as I have only 5 days left before I hand over to Lady Davies.

I referred to the role of the Lord Mayor and Sheriffs, the existence of 110 Livery Companies, 39 Livery Halls, our own livery approaching 400 Members with 100 Freemen, the fact that the Liveries and Mayor raise over £50 million a year for Charity, The Lord Mayor makes over 20 overseas business visits and receives some 140 overseas delegations during his year and with the City of London responsible for generating about 20% of UK GDP.

I stressed the Livery was not about me as Master but as an organisation we support 18 university student bursaries, 200 apprenticeships through CSTT, 4 London Schools with grants and mentoring, We promote the Property Marketing Awards and are movers and shakers as a modern company in the Livery movement.

I gave the assembled diners some insights into my year as follows:

Highlights:
Allied & Associated Liveries lunch initiated, organised and hosted by the Chartered Surveyors Company at Apothecaries Hall with the Lord Mayor and Sheriffs.
The Lord Mayors Show.
The visit to Guildhall and the Magna Carta.

Low point:
My gown not arriving at the Sons of the Clergy Service at St Pauls and therefore being unable to process with the rest of the Masters.

Most Surprising:
Visit to RAF Wyton and meeting Air Vice Marshall The Lord Beaverbrook and a fly past at 100ft of the Battle of Britain flight Dakota resplendent in invasion markings.

Most unusual:
Jailed and Bailed in the Tower of London by the Sheriffs and having to parade through the tourists guarded by the Beefeaters whist chained to 30 other Masters and only being released on a fine of £2000 for charity.

Most daunting:
The three formal Livery dinners which secured a total of 700 attendees.

Most moving:
The Company’s Centenary carol service at St Lawrence Jewry on the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of WW1 and the story told by our Beadle, Jimmy James.

Other memorable moments:
Livery Hall Walks — all 39 of them a distance of some 12 miles covered.
Sea Cadets Marching Band at the Tower of London.
Knights Bachelor service in the Crypt of St Pauls.
Behind the scenes visit to St Pauls with the Surveyor to the Fabric of St Pauls.
Theatre visit — American Buffalo.
Guildhall School of Music production of Guys and Dolls.

All of that was probably enough to send many of the guests to sleep but equally a few more have asked about Membership so you never know!

Graham F. Chase Master

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135 Geographic Squadron and 42 Engineer Regiment – Expedition to Mongolia, Thursday 8 October 2015

Mongolia is somewhere we have all heard of and know roughly were it is but few would be able to pronounce the capital of Ulaanbaatar and fewer still would know how vast a country it is being the second largest landlocked country on earth at some 3,000 miles across at its broadest point.

One of the requirements of service in the armed forces is that you involve yourself in training were it is appropriate to operate at high altitudes and work at the edge of your qualifications. Therefore spending 18 days under canvass at 2,900 metres and climbing 3 peaks over 4,000 metres across a moving glacier satisfies both these tests for most humans that I know.

We were given a fascinating presentation of the expedition by several members of the 12 strong team that took up the challenge, brilliantly lead by Captain James “Nessie” Smith and explained in  great detail by Sapper Victoria James. On the night they had the support and attendance of officer in Command of 135 Geographic Squadron Captain Charles Wasilewski and Commanding officer of 42 Engineer Regiment Lt Colonel Nicky Bell. If was also wonderful to welcome Commander Phil Neville of HMS Echo and his wife Sue who had just flown in from Gibraltar where he had left the ship earlier that day.

The photographs and videos of the expedition and the scenery they encountered were fascinating and exhilarating and one can see why a number of candidates do not make it through the selection stages at the preliminary training camps held in the Cairngorms in Scotland. With temperatures ranging between -5c and +30c this is not a picnic but a serious look at survival where lives are quite literally on the line. To make the point and for a bit of fun, everyone on the expedition gets thrown down a crevasse just so as to get used to how it feels to be rescued.

My respect for these men and women simply grows when you see the pressure they put themselves under and makes me proud that we are indeed fortunate to have them as our affiliates.

My thanks to David Reynolds who organised the event and GVA Bilfinger who hosted and provided us with a very full selection of wines, beers and great food. A most entertaining, educational, thought provoking and satisfying evening in very good company

Graham F. Chase Master

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Visit to 7010 Photographic and Intelligence Squadron, RAF Wyton, Saturday 3 October 2015

A special day for me as it is 30 years since I hung up my RAF gliding instructor goggles at RAF Halton following on from an RAF Flying Scholarship and 12 years flying as a private pilot. As my chosen career at 18 was to be a pilot it is something of a miracle that I became a chartered surveyor but both choice and circumstances resulted in a very different career. I have absolutely no regrets but walking back onto an RAF aerodrome for the first time in 30 years did make me wonder “what if” I had put my signature to the form in front of me that would have sent me on a 16 year commission!

One thing I do know is that it would not have given me the ability to be a member of a Livery Company and run my own business so the “what if” very quickly became a “so what”!

I had a splendid day as the guest of 7010 Photographic Interpretation Squadron at RAF Wyton in Cambridgeshire in near perfect flying conditions. Squadron Leader Stuart Tarlton is OC 7010 but we learnt that day, during the after lunch speeches from Inspecting Officer Air Vice Marshall Lord Beaverbrook, that Stuart will shortly be joining him at HQ in central London together with promotion to Wing Commander. Congratulations and well deserved.

My thanks also to Flight Lieutenant Mike Flory for looking after me so well and ensuring I did not contravene any official secret requirements which on an operational base specialising in intelligence gathering and interpretation is a serious subject matter.

The highlight of the day was the fly past of the Battle of Britain Flight Dakota DC3 resplendent in its white striped invasion markings with that idea I seem to recall taken from the markings on pigeons wings for rapid flight speed recognition. It took three passes right over us and you can see some of the pictures taken by Flt. Lt. Norman Gray who from the quality of the shots is well placed in 7010 Photography squadron.

Lunch was a truly sumptuous affair and as usual if you want a great place to eat and drink on a Royal Airforce establishment always head straight for the Sergeants Mess.

I was privileged to make the Achievement Award for Excellence and asked to say a few words about the links between 7010 Sqn, our Livery and the City of London. It was a very proud moment and one I shall remember for many years although I doubt of many of the 150 Officers men, women and guests of 7010 will but it took me back to my roots as well as reminding me of how important and a privilege our links are with our Armed Forces Associations.

Graham F. Chase Master

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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

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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

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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

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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

 

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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

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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

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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

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Sea Cadets Marching Band Competition Tower of London, Saturday 22 August 2015

Trinity House is a fascinating building going back to the 17th Century but with the internal areas and frescoes beautifully restored following bomb damage during WWII. In any event it was a great place to meet for a welcome glass of champagne on one of the hottest days of the summer.

We moved down to The Tower to watch not one Sea Cadet marching band but over twenty travelling from afar afield as Scotland and in their colourful War of Independence outfits a Sea Cadet marching band from Pennsylvania State in the USA.

It was a splendid spectacle as each band in turn displayed their marching and music skills in the moat fronting the Tower and before a very large crowd of onlookers from above.

They were judged by members of the Royal Marines School of Music, who in their immaculate uniforms and tightly fitting peaked caps, resplendent with the famous red band, looked a formidable panel to impress. But impress they did as the routines were both imaginative and intricate yet they never missed a beat or a step.

For those of you with some military knowledge the Royal Navy marches differently to the rest of the armed forces with no stamping of feet so as not to damage the deck of a ship! The grassed area of the Tower’s moat therefore accommodated this style very well.

It was a long day for the participants with some as young as 8 and unfortunately the heat got to a few needing the attendance of St John’s ambulance demonstrating how tough the conditions were. However we got through it and made our way into the Tower on the shaded grass area just below the place where so many have had their heads removed.

I was privileged to be invited to award one of the prizes with the broad beaming smile on the face of the recipient showing how much it meant to them.

My thanks go to Commander Phil Patterson RNR for hosting me so splendidly throughout the day. Also my thanks to one of our own, Liveryman Martin Coles, Chief Executive of “Marine Society Sea Cadets” (MSSC) who made the whole event possible through his team’s organisation and funding. A splendid day indeed.

Graham F. Chase Master

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The Lord Mayors G-Kart Grand Prix at Daytona Sandown Park, Sunday 26 July 2015

Lewis Hamilton may have been having difficulties securing a successful race at Budapest but the Chartered Surveyors Company proved they were real petrol heads under any circumstances.

With torrential rain the omens were not looking good as I set out for Sandown Park under grey sky’s and travelled through spray on the M25 that would have dwarfed a North Atlantic convoy. Fortunately conditions did improve and although it remained damp for most of the day the track dried out sufficiently to really test the racing line and skill of the participants.

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26 teams entered for the day although this included 2 wild card professional entrants with a stewards inquiry progressing to see where they came from especially as they finished 1st and 2nd! Our petrol head team, managed by yours truly comprised the following Liverymen in Race Order

  1. Adrian Goldsmith
  2. Paul Tin
  3. Paul Beasley
  4. David Mann

The day started with briefings followed by practice laps and then qualifying for the pole positions on the grid. We kept our powder dry preferring to let others take up the front line knowing that our best tactic would be to negotiate our way up the order in any event.

The Race was off and at a cracking pace. As a non driver but keen and interested observer the speed and skill of sliding through corners was truly exhilarating. We did well in the practice laps suggesting we had some potential and this was proved correct as we hit 7th place at one stage. Each driver drove for 1/2 an hour with a pit stop to change at any time depending on team tactics. We stuck to 1/2 hr slots as the strain on arms and legs was quite significant. The final result was an excellent 9th place which was remarkable given many teams had drafted in some seriously experienced karting drivers.

The Dowgate Dodgers were the winners although they all sported “Team Army” racing colours which put some doubt as to their City pedigree despite the name. The Lord Mayors team just pipped us in 7th place (the correct thing to let him beat us) and last place was taken by the Sheriffs but no doubt they were just keeping to the speed limit.

It really was a terrific day out with the Chartered Surveyors Livery Company raising a total of £2,000 for the Lord Mayors Appeal so a worthwhile outcome across the Board.

My thanks go to our driving team, especially Assistant David Mann who organised it all and made it happen. My sympathies to Adrian Goldsmith whiose Ferrari had problems on the way to the race with broken windscreen wipers which was not funny in the downpour. However the AA man fitted a new set of Fiat wipers which clearly worked better than the Ferrari official spare parts! well done to Adrian for making the start despite his car trauma.

Graham F. Chase Master

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Visits to Guildhall, Guildhall Gallery, Magna Carta and the Roman Amphitheatre, Saturday 25 July 2015

Some 27 intrepid Liverymen, family and friends turned up on a glorious but not too hot Saturday morning to have a closer look at a building which is quite familiar to us but which holds many secrets and surprises.

We had two excellent professional guides, Christine and Heather, who really knew their stuff and were quite eclectic in its delivery. Split into two groups the pace was quite hectic but nobody was left behind.

The highlight was the Magna Carta which is the most pristine copy in existence dating from 1295 and is the copy that confirms the City of London may govern itself.

The art gallery is magical and houses many famous pictures. My favourite is “Salome” depicting the famous moment when King Herod gives the order for John the Baptist to be found and executed by decapitation.

Guildhall was revealed with all its nooks and crannies and  explained defining its 500 year history although there is evidence of a Saxon Guildhall equivalent on the site going back to the 7th Century. Of course the oldest structure is the Roman amphitheatre dating back to circa 200 AD but only discovered in 1982 by our own Liveryman Past Master Ted Hartill who was the City of London Corporation Surveyor at the time when the Art Gallery was being built which lead to the discovery.

My many thanks to Liveryman David Jinks for organising such a splendid event and having to rearrange it when the original date had to be cancelled because of an anti austerity protest March through the City.

Graham F. Chase Master

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The Great North London Charity Finsbury Square Bowling Challenge, Tuesday 21 July 2015

As famous as the HAC playing ground the Finsbury Square Bowling Green in the heart of the City just a few yards from Moorgate station is one of the most valuable pieces of green turf in the World.

We had entered 4 teams comprising 8 Liveryman of

  1. Graham Chase         Team 1
  2. Daniel Carter
  3. David J Reynolds      Team 2
  4. Brian Lamden
  5. Giles Godbold          Team 3
  6. Tom Boggis
  7. Colin Peacock           Team 4
  8. Paul Disley-Tindell

With some 36 participants in 18 teams the logistics of completing the competition proved too much leaving the final yet to be completed.

It didn’t really matter as we had a great time and discovered some really quite ruthless players within our midst but despite this ability we were unable to progress any Chartered Surveyor Livery team beyond the second round.

The winner in any event was the ORCHID charity for at testicular cancer for whom we raised £1,000 so well done to everyone who contributed with such generous support and for the spectacular performance of our team.

Graham F. Chase Master

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The Imperial Society of Knights Bachelor – Annual Service of Dedication The Chapel of St Faith, St Paul’s Cathedral,Thursday 16 July 2015

There is pomp and circumstance and pomp and circumstance and this prestigious event is definitely the greater of the two.

In essence it is the Knights of the Realm who are Knights Bachelor reaffirming their allegiance to The Queen and Country with new Members taking their vow for the first time.

Lead by trumpeters and a procession of colour and pageantry the 60 or so Livery Masters attending had a wonderful time including our own Lady Davies (Jenna) whose husband Sir David Davies is on the Council of the Imperial Society of Knights Bachelor. I can vouch for him that he did not put a foot wrong at any time of the ceremony.

I will not give a full list of the Processional line up but it included

The Right Honourable The Lord Dear, Sir Michael Craig-Cooper, Sir David Davies The knight President The Right Honourable The Lord Lingfield The Registrar His Honour Sir Gavyn Arthur The Knight Principal Professor Sir Colin Berry.

The Prelate of the Imperial Society The Right Reverend and Right Honourable Richard Chartres Bishop of London.

The Ceremony was delightful and meaningful with some clear words of advice and expectancy by the Bishop of London in his Address. In essence he asked all Knights not to take their position as one where their words are taken to be sufficient to improve the lot of the people of this land but that their deeds must match those words.

The procession left as it had arrived but as I had learnt a lot more in that intervening hour than I had expected I left a lot wiser.

Graham F. Chase Master

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Guildhall School Summer Gala Evening Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Footlights and face paint was the cry from this quite lavish production of Broadway’s hit musical “Guys and Dolls” by Damon Runyon and Frank Loesser.

A gentle and amusing story of gambling and soul saving via the Salvation Army set in New York in the 50’s. Its success is the feel good factor where the Guy and Gal get their match at the end of the day. It is if course accompanied by a brilliant sound score with a host of 50’s hits including “Luck be a Lady” and “Sit Down You’re Rockin’ the Boat.”

The Guildhall School of Music did it proud and had the audience laughing and clapping with them as they took us through a set and routine that would not be out of place in the West End. The choreography and direction as well as the scenery were excellent and the behind the scenes effort must not be forgotten.

The whole cast were top end but the show stealers were Luke Dale as Sky Masterson, Oscar Batterham as Nathan Detroit, Katrina McKeever as Miss Adelaide and Rebecca Lee as Sarah Brown. I wonder which one of those if any we will see in Hollywood in the next 10 years? It needed quality and depth of character as with 17 scenes and 18 scores this was no turn up and have a go production. I was mightily impressed.

A pre show meal was held in the Garden Room with several Livery Members attending including Past Masters Robin Broadhurst and Ted Hartill and the Clerk, Amanda Jackson, so quite a family gathering.

The Guildhall School of Music produces students with tremendous ability and clearly is a centre of excellence. Our ongoing support for this world class institution for the arts and education is a very worthy cause and as a City of London Livery Company we benefit tremendously from its output and profile. I recommend you book a place at next year’s production — I will.

Graham F. Chase Master

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Sheriffs’ and Recorder’s Fund AGM Central Criminal Court Old Bailey, Monday 13 July 2015

This was a new one on me having never heard of the Sheriffs’ & Recorder’s Fund and with no understanding of what it was all about. I was therefore ushered into No 4 Court at the Old Bailey to see it packed with Judges, City of London Dignitaries, a Sheriff of London, The Recorder of London and The President of the Supreme Court, alongside about 100 Livery Masters.

The Sheriffs Fund was set up in 1808 in Newgate Prison, the site of the current Old Bailey, to help ex-offenders released from prison and to assist their dependants. In 1931 The Fund merged with the Recorders Fund, which had been established to assist offenders released on probation.

Today the fund has assets of about £1.5 million and last year distributed £0.25 million to its charitable causes. Grants issued covered assistance to purchase tools of the trade, furnishings, white goods, training and clothing. About 75 Livery Companies make regular donations which assisted the charitable giving to the Butte Trust which supports education for vulnerable youngsters and Blue Sky Development which is close to our hearts being contributions to public works and infrastructure projects.

Lord Neuberger responded to the outgoing Chairman of Trustees Lady Davies after many years service and where he made special mention of the Liveries both in terms of their attendance at the AGM and the financial support they give. He mused over whether Livery Companies should make a little more noise about their charitable giving.

He took questions on a number of issues including costs and harshness and length of sentences and then joined everyone for drinks and sandwiches in a reception at the end and which literally buzzed for well over an hour.

Graham F. Chase Master

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Social Visit to Royal Naval College Greenwich, Sunday 4 July 2015

A small but select group assembled at just before 10:30 am at the London Eye and Thames Clipper Pier in what I can only describe as surprising weather as for the first time in a fortnight it was raining with an overcast sky. Undaunted we took to the grey but fast flowing waters of the Thames as it moved towards low tide, in the comfort of an exceptionally swift water taxi stopping on over half a dozen occasions as we zigzagged from bank to bank down to Greenwich. However no signs of seasickness from this motley crew but time for a coffee and a chat before stepping off at our destination a mere 40 minutes later.

We were greeted by Lesley, our guide who with tremendous enthusiasm, knowledge and a great sense of humour took us on a fascinating tour of the principle buildings as well as a few places not normally seen by the public.

The history was  fascinating as the old Greenwich Palace took its place in history as a state of the art home for the Royal Family of Henry VIII. However it had to be transformed from a ramshackle collection of buildings in various stages of collapse to the magnificent iconic estate we see today representing the very best combined works of Inigo Jones and Sir Christopher Wren — two of our most famous “surveyors”. Indeed it was their skill as surveyors that shaped the buildings to ensure they were economic and practical coupled with the longevity fit for a King and subsequently the Royal Naval Hospital.

The decorations and ceiling paintings can only be viewed with awe and therefore for those who have not been, you must do so. You will not be disappointed.

Lunch  was a welcome break as was the coolness of the weather for such a long walking morning. However the sun shone brilliantly in time for our personalised tour to the longest herbaceous border in England, well almost the longest and a fantastic explanation of how it came into being and  maintained. Our visit was certainly at the right time of the year with the colours and scent of its flowers absolutely magnificent. A real surprise and treat at the end of a great day.

My thanks to Liveryman Helen Smith who organised the event with tremendous enthusiasm and skill allowing me to count in the same number that I had counted out. A simply splendid day and a very happy return on the zigzag ferry presumably avoiding submarines etc in our great River Thames, connecting Greenwich Palace with The Palace of Westminster, Hampton Court and Windsor Castle — a journey through time and history.

Graham F. Chase Master

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Archbishop Tenison’s School 330th Anniversary Dinner, Thursday 2 July 2015

330 years young and still going strong was the theme of the anniversary dinner held in the main hall of the Archbishop Tenison School with some 150 guests in attendance. In the year 1685 King James II of Enland and VII of Scotland was on the throne, Louis XIV the Sun King of France withdrew French Protestant human rights and King James won the battle of Sedgemoor defeating the Duke of Monmouth who rebelled against a Catholic King occupying the throne of England. Perhaps it is therefore of no surprise that during these turbulent religious stand offs the then Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Tenison, founded a new Church of England school to help calm heated disputes.

A grammar school of significant repute it drew scholars from a wide area. Even in living memory,  the competition for places was so great that many paid for the privilege of attending the School even though it was State run.

Today the school has firmly emerged from difficult times and despite being one of the poorest in terms of facilities in south London it shines through as a beacon with its academic and cultural successes. To demonstrate this line of travel in September this year Archbishop Tenison School goes fully Co Ed accepting girls for the first time into year 7.

The dinner was a splendid affair and I had the privilege of sitting on a table with 3 Old Boys with the youngest 76 and the eldest 90. Further they all remembered their former PE teacher and Head Master Mr Waddington who turns 99 in October so a real link through the generations.

The meal was cooked by the School caterers and offered 3 choices for each course and was served up by members of the sixth form acting as waiters and waitresses, who eagerly got into the part. It was great fun with quite a few laughs but no dinner in the lap incidents.

Mrs Simms, the inspirational Head Teacher, delivered an excellent address, explaining some of the history, the current state of play and thanked all those who  made the dinner possible. She also very kindly took time out to thank the Chartered Surveyors Company for their ongoing support especially for the music facilities.  I note the School orchestra had recently performed at the prestigious Dyers Concert at Southwark Cathedral alongside another school we support of St Saviour’s and St Olave’s.

Despite not being a member of staff or an old boy I was treated as if I was and felt very humbled by the welcome and attention I received. I therefore purchased plenty of raffle tickets, none of which were successful but I did purchase an auction item… a portrait of yours truly to be undertaken by the Head Boy. I wonder how that will turn out and if it will still be around in 330 years time?

Graham F. Chase Master

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Round the Island Race, Saturday 27 June 2015

As a keen sailor I’ve always wanted to enter the Round the Island Race. Representing the Livery Company this year seemed the perfect opportunity to both promote the Worshipful Company of Chartered Surveyors and tick a box on an event to be completed whilst I still can.

There were five chartered surveyors with myself, Derek Downham, Ian Walrond, Richard Glanville and Jonathan Buckingham taking on the challenge in a Baveria 36. The day started early at 5.00am as we collected our bacon rolls at the Mercury Yacht Harbour Restaurant which had opened even earlier at 3.00am to deal with the “big boys” such as Mike Slade’s leopard 3. We eased in to the Solent via the Hamble and Southampton water joining the flotilla of some 1,800 yachts thrashing around so as to get the maximum advantage of the staggered starts which began at 7.00am and finished at 9.00am.

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First off was Michael Slade’s Leopard which led the flotilla around the Island and although it would be pretty difficult to lose your way there is no question that Slade and his team made sure that everybody simply had to follow. That said, Leopard was soon out of sight as for most of us this was at least a 10 hour trip but Leopard was home for lunch.

With a pleasant force 4–5 wind from the SW, which in real money terms is 16 to 19 knots  kept the fleet on a brisk but thoroughly enjoyable pace averaging approximately 6 knots for most of the tubby type yachts which make up the majority of the participants. However, for the true racers of which there were several including a number of the round the world and Great Britain team class 1 yachts considerably higher average speeds were secured on what were perfect sailing conditions.

I will never forgot the sight of 1,800 yachts rounding the needles in a perfect  line a stern as the fleet spread out down the eastern stretch of the Isle of Wight penultimate leg.

We made a tactical error on the last leg following the channel rather than hugging the coast which lost us about an hour. Had not been for this blunder we would have secured a pretty respectable finish but at the end we came in about halfway down in our class. Importantly we had completed the course and to boot had thoroughly enjoyed the day. We went off to Gosport for the night where your intrepid crew celebrated in the “Great Wall” Chinese restaurant but tiredness soon overcame our story telling and it was not until the following day when we recovered our strength that we could really celebrate to full effect.

A glorious moment in the history of the Worshipful Company of Chartered Surveyors in having a formal entry in the Round the Island Race but not one to shout about given our lowly position at the end. My sincere thanks to my crew who stuck with me for the weekend listening to all my jokes but quite rightly not paying too much attention to my instructions as we attempted to win a prize.

Graham F. Chase Master

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Property Marketing Awards 30 Euston Square London W1, Thursday 25 June 2015

Our very own show, the Property Marketing Awards strives to promote and support excellence in the marketing of land, property and construction across the Board. This year not only did we up the quality but Colin Peacock and his fantastic committee have turned around the entire event and consequently we are likely to see  some £25,000 come into our fundraising armoury.

There are 14 Awards and their details together with all the winners has been posted on our website so I will not repeat them here. Nevertheless I wish to congratulate Colin Peacock and all of his PMA committee in making this year’s Awards such a rip roaring success.

The Awards venue at 30 Euston Square was inspired. Modern and spacious it adequately covered the ground but most notably raised the quality and standards. The pre and post Awards drinks and canapés following were plentiful and added to the electric atmosphere. The evening simply fizzed with bon ami as the sound of a large number of individuals enjoying themselves came through.

The entire ceremony was brilliantly hosted by BBC presenter Steph McGovern who did really well in keeping it flowing as well as setting the tone for the event at the outset by asking everyone to hug their neighbour.

Our thanks go to the sponsors and the entrants who contributed to make this the best PMA night for years both in terms of results for the category winners and our fundraising exploits. There is no doubt the improving state of the commercial property market and the return of a stronger property marketing sector have aided the improvement but the credit goes to the Chairman of PMA and his hard working committee who have been patient in waiting for this moment as well as working intelligently to take advantage of the change in fortunes. A tremendous result with an inspired team at the helm. Very well done to you all and thankyou.

Graham F. Chase Master

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IPF Dinner at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Wednesday 24 June 2015

The Investment Property Forum is a little younger than the Chartered Surveyors Livery Company yet its roots are similar. The investment market felt it necessary to create an organisation which focused on the excellence of its activities in contributing to UK GDP, education to ensure standards are raised and met and camaraderie for its members.

I was therefore delighted to be the personal guest of incoming Chairman Chris Ireland and intrigued to be sat next to William Hague who has just resigned as The First Secretary of State and a parliamentarian at the last election following a 26 year career in the House of Commons.

One subject of immediate encouragement is that William and his Wife Ffion have recently purchased a house in Wales and instructed a surveyor to act on their behalf and negotiate the best deal. He felt it was well worth the fee and the surveyor added value to the process. His speech as guest after dinner speaker was witty and engaging demonstrating why he has been described as one of the most charismatic politicians of recent times.

The event was a great evening with friends old and new in attendance including Robert Bould Past Master and Past Chairman of IPF and a number of other Liverymen. A very welcome addition to my year as Master and linking well with the day job.

Graham F. Chase Master

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Election of Sheriffs and other officers at Common Hall Guildhall, Wednesday 24 June 2015

A grand occasion in Guildhall with the Masters of the Livery Companies processing into the Great Hall ahead of the Aldermen, Sheriffs and Lord Mayor.

Common Hall is opened by the Common Cryer and then continues as it has for hundreds of years to elect two Sheriffs. This year the elections were for Charles Edward Beck Bowman an Alderman and Grocer and Dr Christine Holliday Rigden.

After the presentation of the two Sheriff’s cases for election there was a vote of all those present. The current Sheriffs shook their heads and tried to assess the voting but with so many in the room and much shouting it was difficult to identify any differences between the candidates so as in every year since time immemorial they were both elected.

A very pleasing interlude to the working week with plenty of pomp and circumstance. The new Sheriffs, when they do take office, will have to work hard to take over from the current incumbents Dr Andrew Parmley and Fiona Adler who have been excellent, very popular and really brought the role of Sheriff to life.

Graham F. Chase Master

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Jailed and Bailed, Friday 19 June 2015

A devious Felon was how your Master was described by the Sheriffs of London Dr Andrew Parmley and Fiona Addler as I stood in the dock at Mansion House alongside 23 other desperate Masters all awaiting our fate. The Charge Sheet could not be denied with the crimes committed read out to a packed Hall.

On being found guilty we were bound with chain and ball and lead from the dock to a 1930’s charebang from whence we were taken to our place of incarceration to atone for our heinous crimes.  On arrival we were met by the Yeoman of the Guard and with some 10 Beefeaters escorting us lest we escape we were taken to our final destination ……… the terrible and most frightening place in London, the Royal Dining Room in the Tower of London.

Everybody was pretty decent about forgiving us of our sins provided we submitted to have our fingerprints taken and paid a fine of £1000 for  a bail bond. On release we were subject to the sight of several glasses of Pol Roger vintage Champagne and a slap up lunch.

It really was a great wheeze and fun as well as raising £33,000 for the British Red Cross. Not so much guilty but rather fingered with the money.

Finally many thanks to all the Liverymen who supported me with their donations. It has made a difference and our committment to this event was certainly noticed by the offices of the Lord Mayor and Sherrifs.

Graham F. Chase Master

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Drapers Company Court Luncheon Drapers Hall, Thursday 18 June 2015

To be wined and dined by one of the Great Twelve Livery Companies is an event not to be missed. My excitement was therefore somewhat dampened when I was advised by a client that a critical conference with Leading Counsel would be held all that day and that I had to attend. What to do?!

One thing that has changed recently has been in house solicitor hosted working lunches. Three courses is not unusual and although alcohol is not served there are many soft drinks available. Given that this takes time I felt I could squeeze in the Drapers event so negotiated my departure over lunch on the understanding that I would return sober and not later than 2:30. A result!

I explained the position to the Master of the Drapers Company, Sir Peter Bottomley MP and he graciously allowed me to continue as a guest but on the understanding that I left quietly before the speeches. It was a shame to have missed out on the Master’s speech but I made it back to the conference with just minutes to spare so ensured that for once everyone was happy.

Graham F. Chase Master

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Year 8 Presentations at Robert Clack School, Wednesday 17 June 2015

Inspiration is often promoted but rarely defined or explained but perhaps that is because it comes in many different guises.

Robert Clack School is an example of huge diversity both in its students and teachers, where the mix combines to produce results which are worthy of awards at the highest level. As an example the PE Award in athletics was to a student who originally had not shown any interest in athletics but was drawn into it by the enthusiasm of the school. The result was the he came 4th in the Schools Nationals and is tipped as a future star of the track.

What inspired me was that this achievement was not a one off, with success after success reeled off by the presenters in an awards ceremony that took two hours to deliver. Sciences, Maths, the arts and music together with sport were all covered. We were also treated to entertainment from a very talented bassoon player and a simply stunning pianist together with singing and cameo roles as students showed off their not inconsiderable and diverse talents.

However the Awards were not just for talent alone but included recognition of effort. Every winner achieves an accolade because of the others also trying to win. Effort by others is a significant contributor to the success of winners. Therefore for every winner’s prize there was a prize for effort and that to me identified what is inspiring about Robert Clack School.

My thanks To Mr Richardson, Assistant Headteacher and his colleagues for looking after me so well and for such an inspiring evening and well done to all the Robert Clack School prize winners of which there were far too many to mention.

Graham F. Chase Master

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Chartered Surveyors Livery Company Visit to St Paul’s Cathedral, Wednesday 3 June 2015

Awe inspiring and a magical evening is probably not strong enough to describe our visit to St Paul’s Cathedral. With only 22 places available it is not surprising there was a long waiting list and I am only sorry that so many who wished to undertake the visit could not do so for it was truly inspirational.

We were looked after by Mr Oliver Caroe the Surveyor to the Fabric of St Paul’s Cathedral and his colleague, Simon Carter, responsible for the library and archiving. Oliver, is an architect but as with all previous incumbents who have looked after the Cathedral including Sir Christopher Wren their designation is that of Surveyor rather than architect.

Indeed when St Paul’s was built following the Great Fire of London, the skills required of Sir Christopher Wren were more of those akin to surveying than architecture.  Wren’s brief set by his employers was dramatically changed by him on several occassions  putting to the test his negotiating and surveying skills. He won the day on every occassion allowing him to complete a Cathedral which differed quite significantly to the original design yet he managed to persuade his employers, the Corporation of London,  that the end result enhanced the original brief. Not many would disagree I am sure!

Our tour around the library, the roof space, the void above the domes and shuffling between the skins of the external and internal wall as we admired the buttressing and parapet gutter detail was wonderful to behold even for an investment and finance surveyor such as myself. To those who are building surveyors it was Christmas and for the rest of us it was the appreciation of one of the two most iconic buildings in the City, Guildhall and St Paul’s Cathedral. Both Oliver and Simon, our hosts, brought the entire visit to life and made us feel as if we were sitting along Sir Christopher Wren and his team designing the building as they went along and working out how to make sure it would not fall down especially the giant dome and the belfry which sits above it. Of course a visit such as this raises more questions than it gives answers and consequently led to a lively debate over dinner at Taberna Etrusca at 9–11 Bow Church Yard which followed. As if we had not been fortunate enough the food, service and cost of the meal was excellent and thoroughly enjoyed by everybody who attended.

My sincere thanks on behalf of the Livery and all those who attended the visit, to Liveryman Peter Miller who did such a splendid job in creating an event which I will always remember. Peter, I am indebted to you and can only assure you that you have a job for life organising events as far as I am concerned!

Graham F. Chase Master

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Open Hall Lunch at Haberdashers Hall “Banking, property, lending and valuation – do they go together?” Monday 18 May 2015

Most of the public walking down the street have little understanding of how the property that surrounds them was created. Like a garden shed the general view is that you go somewhere and buy it, blink and it appears. Little thought is given to the fact that property accounts for about 70% of the world’s worth and is one out most important factors of production with the property and construction industry accounting for some 11% to 13% of UK GDP.

Like most things in life, to create something you need money and with these credentials property needs a great deal of it. How property is financed is one of the key factors in the life of the person walking down the street although oblivious to the activity that is the property market. Every UK and World recession/downturn since 1974 has either been the result of, or the cause of an overheated property sector and crash.

The second of our Open Hall lunches at Haberdashers Hall on the subject of “Banking, property, lending and valuation — do they go together?” attracted an audience of just under 100. They were treated to a high level and incisive view on the activities of banks and how property is valued by Chris Sullivan, recently retired Deputy CEO of RBS and Michael Brodtman, Head of Valuation at CBRE.

Chris Sullivan described his experiences of banking behaviour in lending on property through his experiences since joining Nat. Wes.t in 1973 and was frank and fair in his analysis. He wished there had been a stronger dialogue between the banks and the property/valuation profession 15 years ago as that might have helped limit the excesses. As it happens, banks became greedy and with few checks in place forgot their purpose was to lend against secured assets with the borrower having an the ability to repay. Instead the banks  became equity players with disastrous consequences.

Michael Brodtman felt the valuation and banking sectors had been well aligned over the past 5 years but that there was much more that could be done in supporting stability and sustainability in property lending. One idea would be to take the IPD valuation model and every quarter benchmark lending levels and loan to value ratios so as to determine a line of travel and help assess peaks and breaking points for forecasting purposes. This would add to the armoury of both lenders and values undertaking the equivalent of a health on the property market, the level of finances employed and the risk factor it attracts.

As this was a business lunch, time was tight but Damian Wild, Editor of the Estates Gazette very kindly delayed his flight to Japan to chair the debate and kept the momentum going for over half an hour. He questioned how banks operated, what skill base do they have to deal with the sophistication of property and questioned the transparency and effectiveness of the valuation profession to which both Chris and Michael responded positively that much had been learnt and acted upon. However, all agreed there are no guarantees on the future and markets do not operate without risk and uncertainty.

The brief sound bite summary from our two lunches on the subject of “Banking, property, lending and valuation is as follows:

Mike Hussey: The lending and valuation cycles in banking and property have only been slighted in 3 of the past 30 years.

Peter Wynn Rees: Don’t trust a bank with property or a developer with money.

Chris Sullivan: Banks must stick to lending and not become equity players and listen more to Valuers.

Michael Brodtman: We need to have better financial modelling and benchmarks in place to assist with market travel and lending performance/security.

Despite all this understanding those walking down the street will continue to be oblivious to what the property around them means but if it gives them a home and a place to work why should they bother — that is our job and responsibility. Quite rightly the public, business and government expect us to get it right. Clearly we can do better but the lessons have been learnt and understood by all those involved in property. The question is can we remember the lessons and the pain?

I am most grateful to the 220 Liverymen and guests that have attended both Open Hall Lunches, Amanda Jackson for her organisation, Steve Hilton of Redwood Consulting for bringing together the speakers and Chairman on the day and Haberdashers Hall for their excellent carvery lunch and splendid surroundings in a modern business like setting.

Graham F. Chase Master

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Theatre Visit to American Buffalo, Thursday 7 May 2015

I remember as a small boy watching the cowboy films of the 50’s and 60’s where the Indians would charge down the side of a hill and attack the defenseless wagon train meandering through the “canyon”.   These images are punctuated with herds of buffalo enigmatically grazing in their thousands on the great Central American plains. There was usually a scene of the discussion  between the cowboy hero and the Indian chief (dressed like Tonto) recounting the days of their ancestors following the migration of the great buffalo herds.

The Chartered Surveyor’s Livery Company trip to see “American Buffalo” at the Wyndhams Theatre on Thursday 7 May was to be a real treat.   Not only was it a break during the middle of the week from the grind of the day job but also the chance to revisit my childhood memories of the great buffalo wandering the American plains with not a care in the world apart from annihilation by the American wagon train prospectors.

How wrong that image was as with only one set and three actors, we were focused on a junk shop somewhere in the Bronx of New York with three reprobate gangsters planning to rob a “valued” customer of a rare “buffalo nickel”.   The language was far more explicit than most Livery Company members would consider appropriate but on the other hand, the strength of the play, the quality of the acting and the end result reverberating with political and ethical possibilities left me and the audience stunned, having just experienced something quite special.

The three actors of John Goodman, Tom Sturridge and Damien Lewis gave strong performances to bring to life in a most vivid way the excellent script by Damien Lewis and the play produced by Daniel Evans.

Of the 28 Livery members and their guests who attended, this was indeed a special and memorable event and quite a record attendance for a theatre evening although we have not had one for some time. My thanks go to Liveryman Sally Leonard who organised the event including a tremendous pre-theatre dinner at Browns which was the perfect start to our time together.   Sally, we are most grateful to you for not only your efforts but creating such a successful evening.

I still have my images of American buffalos roaming the plains, but I now have another few descriptive words of old English to add to the script, just to keep them moving along and to stop them grazing in the same place.

Graham F. Chase Master

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