My year as Master is over! We have just finished a magnificent evening at Drapers’ Hall where Tony Joyce was installed as our new Master. Congratulations and best wishes to him and Polly for the year ahead. It has been a huge honour to serve the Company and I would like to take the opportunity to say a big thank you to Amanda and her team for their hard work and of course to you the livery for your incredible support and encouragement during my year in office.
My last official engagement as Master. I was on duty at 8.00 am at the new offices of UBS in Broadgate Circus to participate in a panel session to discuss the Q3 survey results. Some very bullish views from agents and investors on the prospects for the industrial sector.
Congratulations to Duncan Preston who has been presented by Amanda Clack the President’s Medal. Duncan has not only been a great servant of the Company but also over many years for the RICS.
The last social event of my year in office! A group of about 20 liverymen and friends gathered for a very informal evening at 2 Cavendish Square to celebrate chocolate. Caroline is a keen amateur chocolatier and kindly organised this event for us. We started with a welcome drink and enjoyed a tasty buffet supper before the hardwork of the evening started — learning about and tasting chocolate from Russell and Albert of Fifth Dimension Chocolates.
Fifth Dimension Chocolates was founded in 2013 by Russell Pullan and Albert Chau and is an internationally-renowned British chocolatier specialising in luxury handmade chocolates. The aim is to create a sensory experience in fine chocolates, by combining classic and unusual flavours with premium, fine flavour (fino de aroma) single origin cocoa. They have won over 30 awards already!
During the evening we were given an insight into how and where cacao is grown and the many different types giving taste variances equivalent to those between a fine claret and supermarket plonk. We were given instructions on how to taste chocolate and then put that knowledge into practice. We then had a demonstration on how they approached pairing the different chocolate with their amazing filling choices. We sampled Rio — a banana a cardamon chocolate and one with peanut butter and and jam filling.
There was even time for a bit of practical work with the Master producing some hand rolled chocolate truffles but sadly with little style and consistency of chocolate covering.
A fantastic evening with most of the attendees clutching boxes of chocolates purchased on the night. I guarantee that if you buy 5th Dimension Chocolates for Christmas presents you will not be disappointed. Go and have a look at www.5dchocolates.com.
I played this strategy game for the second time recently. The idea is to use your liverymen counters to win guilds and with it become the master. The winner though is the one who accumulates the most points which are gathered during play and then in a count up at the end linked to the cards and guilds you have won. This game is for game lovers who want something with greater emphasis on strategy than rolling the dice. Several leagues up from Monopoly and it will take time to work it out and learn it. However great fun for the the livery company enthusiast! Interestingly when the game maker was putting it together very few Companies allowed him to use their names so you will see plays on names but not very difficult to work out. Available on Amazon at around £25.
Mayfair Capital Investment Management, where I am a non executive director, kindly agreed to make our Treloar’s 40th anniversary appeal the beneficiary of their annual quiz night. Now the numbers have been added up James Thornton, the CEO, has presented me with a cheque for £15,000. Many many thanks again to all the Mayfair team for the huge amount of work that went into the evening as well as the providers of auction lots and the generosity of the bidders.
Zen Master followed up his encouraging 3rd place to make a winning reappearance at Market Rasen in the Smokey Joe Maiden Hurdle. A great start for our new racing club!
I attended a presentation hosted by the Lord Mayor at the Mansion House promoting apprenticeships. It is good to see this getting wider attention. I had some interesting conversations and it is clear the surveyors are well ahead in what we have done. An interesting statistic I obtained the other day was that between August 2016 and April 2017 that there were 1250 Level 6 starts in all subjects. Of these 125 were on UCEM/CSTT programmes meaning currently 10% of level 6 apprentices are budding surveyors!
My third visit to Treloar’s but this time accompanied by Robin Broadhurst, Keith Knowles, Brian Lamden, Alistair Subba Row and Amanda and Caroline. It was an open day for supporters generally but had also been opened up especially for our Company to allow liverymen to learn more about our 40th anniversary charity appeal this year. We were invited into a Maths class, a workshop for a Treloar’s adaption of The Tempest and an Art lesson. It was fantastic to see how well the children were responding to the stimulus of learning and the application of a philosophy of focussing on what they can do rather than what they cannot.
The construction of the coach is now well underway and there was a meeting going on with the supplier when we were there. They are looking to take delivery in January. The gratitude for our gift is overwhelming.
The response from the Livery to the 40th anniversary appeal has been fantastic with some 110 donations to date. It would be great to get a few more before the official end of the appeal on 26th October!
Another fantastic evening at the Central School of Ballet where we were treated to a demonstration of the work from Year 3 students and then extracts from the Nutcracker Suite, Cinderella and a piece of work choreographed by one of the students. Please make a note in your diary to attend the event next year. It is one of the highlights of our programme and the support we give to help students in need is really appreciated. The school is incredibly hospitable and the students a delight to talk to.
I attended the lunch wearing my chairman of the Chartered Surveyors Training Trust hat. UCEM are our key delivery partners on apprenticeships organised by CSTT. However given we were in the Haberdashers Hall and the room was well represented by our liverymen including several past masters it did also feel a bit of a livery event too! Congratulations to the award winners and to UCEM for organising a very enjoyable occasion.
The Financial Services Group of Livery Companies aims to support the Lord Mayor in his overseas visits, his meetings in the City with overseas delegations, and his role of promoting “the City” brand of UK financial and other business services. It was established in 2006 by 12 modern companies: the Solicitors, Accountants, Tax Advisors, Information Technologists, Management Consultants, Marketors, Chartered Secretaries, International Bankers, World Traders, Actuaries, Insurers and Arbitrators.
Our application to join this group was approved by the FSG and all the respective Courts of the members during the year and yesterday was the first meeting with the Chartered Surveyors as members. We had a presentation on world trade and gave a briefing to Lord Mayor elect, Charles Bowman.
David Haigh, a liveryman of the Marketeers, gave an interesting and entertaining talk hosted by Investec at their offices in Gresham Street. David is the CEO and founder of Brand Finance plc, the pioneering global brand and business valuation consultancy. He is an big Brexiteer. In his view the road ahead was good if we grabbed the opportunity and the worries from the remainers will turn out to have as much validity as those concerns over the famous millennium bug that never was. Not sure he converted a heavily remain voting audience but it was a fun evening!
Caroline and I accepted an invitation from the Lady Mayoress to watch her opening the trading day at the London Stock Exchange. A very early start was rewarded with the opportunity not only to see the count down and start of business but also to see some of the LSE treasures and to hear a recital from the head flautist of the London Symphony Orchestra. Also another opportunity to catch up with two other Masters that were present.
The first runner of the WCCS racing club made its debut appearance at Southwell in a competitive 2 mile hurdle. Zen Master ran very well making the frame in third place. I have two of the 20 shares in our club’s ownership of a share in the 25 Club available at £500 each with no other costs until next season. The next of the 4 horses in action is likely to be The Ogle Gogle Man.
I represented the Company along with other construction related companies at a prize giving for some very talented young stone masons. The awards were presented by the Duke of Gloucester who is also a liveryman of the Mason’s Company. It was held in the magnificent setting of St Bartholomew the Great in West Smithfield, the oldest church in London founded in 1123 as an Augustinian monastery.
I was invited to a private viewing of an art display promoted by the Painters’ Decorative and Fine Art Society. It was held at the Painter-Stainers Hall just off Queen Victoria Street. Some beautiful paintings on display and another chance to catch up with a few other Masters.
The last of my committee meetings as Master have now taken place. Our committee chairs and members have given up a lot of their time on behalf of the Company and have been a huge help and support to me in my year in office. They have achieved considerable success with ensuring good governance, delivering our education initiatives, managing our largest ever programme of charitable giving, fund raising, attracting new members and organising a programme of enjoyable and varied events. The business plan group has also come up with a challenging and exciting framework on which to take the Company forward in future years. Thank you on behalf of the wider livery to all who have been involved.
I attended this dinner as a guest of TP Bennett and mention that I did so by virtue of the fact that the guest speaker was Lord Mayor elect and architecture graduate — Alderman Charles Bowman.
Charles said he would champion a Brexit that works for City businesses and communities and would be speaking to government to ensure this happens. He wants to see mutual access to EU markets continue, ensure early agreement on a transitional deal, and make sure we continue to allow the brightest and best to find jobs in the UK.
A particular theme of Mayoralty will be the fact that he believes we need to do more to demonstrate the value and integrity of the City to the public. During his year in office, through the ‘Business of Trust’ programme, he will be challenging business to raise its game — better business trusted by society.
The Lord Mayor is elected at Common Hall each year on Michaelmas, and takes office on the Friday before the second Saturday in November, at The Silent Ceremony.
Electing the Lord Mayor is a right that was granted to the Liverymen of the City of London by King John in the Magna Carta of 1215. The Lord Mayor was first appointed by King Richard I in 1189 but the City of London won the right to elect him themselves and it is one of only three clauses of Magna Carta that are still extant.
With all the other Masters, Prime Wardens and Upper Bailiff I attended the Guild Church of St Lawrence Jewry for a service prior to the election. We then processed into Guildhall to take our places at the front of the hall below the Hustings.
The qualification to stand for election is that one must have served as a City Sheriff and be a current Alderman. Since 1385, prior service as Sheriff has been mandatory for election to the Lord Mayoralty. By an ordinance of 1435, the Lord Mayor must be chosen from amongst the Aldermen of the City of London.After due process and staged ceremony, Alderman Charles Bowman, Grocer and a partner of PWC, was elected.
Mayfair Capital, where I am a non executive director, kindly agreed to make our Treloar’sappeal the centre piece of their annual charity fund raising quiz evening. We had a fantastic night which started with an emotional presentation by Treloar’s on the school and then a personal one from the BBC Foreign Correspondent, Humphrey Hawksley who has a child at Treloar’s. The quiz was won by Forsters but not before some brisk auction bidding encouraged by the talents of auctioneer Chris Mills. The Company was represented by Caroline and I, Simon Camamile and friends, David Jinks and Ralph Charlwood. Overall thanks to the generosity of those present we raised around £15,000.
Amanda, our Clerk, Caroline and I were invited by the Lord Mayor and the Lady Mayoress to the Mansion House for a private audience as a mark of the City’s gratitude for the Company’s donation to Treloar’s. We enjoyed a glass of champagne before it was time to head off for some fund raising for the Mayfair Capital quiz at the Lansdowne Club.
I attended the annual Sir Frederick Tymms Memorial Lecture at 4 Hamilton Place. The lecture was given by Air Marshal Greg Bagwell CB CBE on Air Power – Today and the Future.
The Company became a Livery Company in 1956, the 81st Livery Company to be formed.
I had a quick return visit to the Mansion House to represent the Company at the Dragon Awards.
The awards were founded in 1987 by the then Lord Mayor, Sir David Rowe-Ham. They were the first of their kind in the UK, and remain the only London-wide scheme that recognises Corporate Community Involvement. Since the first Awards, over 130 Dragon Awards have been given to companies ranging from small local enterprises, to large multi-national businesses.
The name and the Award statuettes are based on the dragons that have guarded to gates to the City of London for centuries. These dragons can also be found on the City of London’s coat of arms.
It was really interesting to see how many companies were making significant positive social impacts with their programmes. Winners included PWC, UBS and Arsenal Football Club.
We are in the middle of our committee meeting cycle ahead of the Court meeting on 26th October. Yesterday was the Charity Committee meeting at which we discussed, inter alia, fund raising plans for next year. Our strategy is to run 6 events each year from which we would hope to raise the majority of our funds to support our giving. These will include long established events such as PMA and possibly a new one each year. It is the intention that the events will help us reach out to the wider property community to improve the awareness of the Company and ensure we are not drawing on the generosity of the same people each time.
The idea is to form a committee around each event which we would hope to run for several years until the event reaches its sell by date. Alistair Subba Row is master minding our strategy and if anyone wants to join one of the fund raising groups please get in touch with the Clerk and she will put you in touch.
It is with great sadness that we have been notified by Robin’s family that he passed away on 22nd September. Robin was a Liveryman from the very beginning of the Company. We were in correspondence earlier in the year remembering the Drivers Jonas days where I started my career at the time he was senior partner. A lovely man who will be missed by the many friends he made in the profession.
Over 100 hundred of the members of the Livery have now responded to the 40th Anniversary fund raising appeal donating some £35,000 before gift aid. A huge thank you for this incredible support. We will close the appeal on 26th October so if you are thinking of giving there is still time to do so. Treloar’s will be taking delivery of the new coach we have helped fund in January 2018.
The first social event of the newly formed WCCS Racing Club was a very enjoyable visit to Charlie Mann’s stables in Upper Lambourn. The Club has purchased one of 25 shares in the 25 Club which owns 4 national hunt horses in training with Charlie.
Each of the 4 horses was paraded in front of us. The Ogle Goggle Man was first up followed by Zen Master,Lion Dancer and then the mare, Welcome Polly. All were looking fit and healthy and are expected to be on the race course shortly. Zen Master is probably going to be the first one to make his debut.Following the parade we had a guided tour of the stables and met some of the stable stars. We finished with a fantastic pub Sunday lunch at a racing pub down the road.
Our membership is capped at 20 and we are close to that limit. If any one is interested in joining for an all in £500 that includes a share in the ownership of the horses and their prize money then please contactthe Clerk, who is our Racing Club secretary.
Clockwise from top left- Ogle Gogle Man, Zen Master, Lion Dancer and Welcome Polly
I took a table at the dinner organised by Past Master Roger Southam who is also a Trustee of Treloar’s. Our Livery was represented by Amanda Jackson, Ken Morgan and Master elect Tony Joyce as well as myself and Caroline.
We enjoyed a moving musical recital from some of the pupils with plenty of audience participation and actions. Not the forte of the Master but right up the street of his wife! After brisk bidding in a silent auction and an auction proper the evening raised a total of £75,000 towards some new technology equipment. Our Company was also singled out in the Lord Mayor’s speech for our donation to the Treloar’s coach appeal.
I attended a fascinating lecture given by Lord Deben, better known as the former Conservative Minister John Gummer. Lord Deben is the Chairman of the Committee on Climate Change and spoke to an audience largely from the fossil fuel industries.
The motto of the Fuellers is In carbone robur nostrum (Our Strength is in carbon). The Fuellers’ origins can be traced back to the Woodmongers in the 14th Century but their modern membership now incorporates coal, oil, nuclear, gas, electricity and renewable energy industries.
Lord Deben made some interesting comments on how the cost of offshore wind energy had fallen to be competitive with nuclear. He stressed the opportunities lay in carbon capture and storage for the gas industry and threw down a challenge to the house builders who he said were still producing low quality energy efficient homes. He also showed a masterful grasp of his brief during a wide ranging question and answer session.