Master’s November Blog
November started with two ancient ceremonies full of pomp and splendour. The Silent Ceremony in the Guildhall is when, as you may have guessed, the present Lord Mayor hands over to his successor the badges of his office. It was very impressive and the new Lord Mayor and his family were soundly cheered afterwards.
The cheers were even louder the following day for the Lord Mayor’s Show. In a break with tradition the rain actually held off during the procession and the fireworks. It was a very colourful event with camels, bands, the military, mounted cavalry and the Lady Mayoress and her daughters riding in front of the Mayoral coach. The lunch afterwards in the Hall was well attended and I am told by several young members that the entertainer was very good!
The Mistress and I, together with Deputy Master Terry Wright and Christine went to York Guild of Building dinner held in the Merchant Taylor’s Hall. Our hosts were very welcoming and we even got a chance to hear Evensong in the Minister.
November 22nd was a very busy day starting with breakfast at the Mercer’s to discuss the future of the Livery Companies, then the Mistress and I were at Westminster Cathedral for the Musicians’ Festival of St Cecilia. The choir was magnificent and a tribute to the patron saint of Musicians. The Mistress then attended a Tea in the Guildhall to welcome the Lady Mayoress whilst the Masters were given a briefing by the Lord Mayor and I finished the day with a dinner at Staples Hall with the Worshipful Company of Actuaries.
October was a busy month with quite a few lunches and dinners. Although I thoroughly enjoyed all the events, I have picked out a few for this blog.
The month started with the LCAS Presentation in Plaisterers’ Hall. The Lord Mayor presented the Certificates of Achievement to twenty two apprentices, from nine Livery Companies, who through the LCAS scheme, have completed their apprenticeships. LCAS (Livery Companies Apprenticeship Scheme) was set up in 2012 to develop an innovative apprentice training scheme and is strongly supported by the Lord Mayors.
This was followed by our Autumn Livery Dinner in the Hall. My guest speaker was Dame Julia Cleverdon, Chairman of my Charity this year, the National Literarcy Trust (NLT). She gave an excellent entertaining speech on the importance of improving literacy in the UK. I was very pleased that Jonathan and Diana from NLT were able to join us and we were able to present a cheque to NLT for £2000.
The Royal Marines kindly invited me to their dinner at Stationers Hall and I had a very interesting lunch at the Old Bailey with the Judges including HH Judge Anthony Leonard who is a Plaisterer.
The end of the month saw the Mistress, The Clerk, PM Peter Baker and Sarah and myself visiting St Peter’s C of E School in Whitechapel for a Communion Service and to hear their young choir. The children are very enthusiastic and Tom Duggett is doing a fine job with them. Tom is a member of St Paul’s Cathedral Outreach team. The final song was ‘When the Saints go Marching In’ and the children (and TLC) put a lot of energy into their singing! Our gift of a piano is very much appreciated. The afternoon was rounded off by a meal prepared by local Muslim ladies who are very involved in the social life of the school.
September started with an interesting talk, the Police Foundation’s John Harris Memorial Lecture given by Ms Alison Saunders, DPP.
The New Members’ Evening gave new Liverymen, Freemen and their partners a chance to informally meet each other. Everyone was very appreciative of the format.
Evensong at St Paul’s with the Clerk. St Paul’s School invited us as a thank you for supporting the Cathedral and one of its choristers. After the excellent service there was a chance to see some of the wonderful Church treasures.
The Clerk and I attended, at Carpenter’s Hall, the presentation of the chain of office to the incoming Shrieval Sheriff and a brooch to his wife who made a wonderful speech. The following day, September 14th was the Inter Livery Halls Walk, an 8-mile walk between all the Livery Halls starting at HQS Wellington. I coerced my brother to walk with me! Great fun and the chance to informally meet other Masters.
That evening the Mistress and I were guests of the British Red Cross at the Cavalry and Guards Club for a Reception and private viewing of the paintings of Jeremy Houghton, previously artist in residence at Windsor Castle. His themes are speed and motion. At the moment he is artist in residence at the All England Tennis Club.
The following week started with the Clerk and I attending lunch as guest of The Farmers’ Company at Farmers’ and Fletchers’ Hall where the Master made a plea for everyone to eat more English produce.
Wednesday I had two events, an Installation Court lunch with the Chartered Accountants at Stationer’s Hall where I was one of the principal guests. In the evening the Mistress, the LC, Angela and I attended Evensong in St Paul’s to celebrate, with the Apothecaries, the 400th anniversary of the Grant of their Royal Charter by James 1st, followed by a Reception at their Hall.
Thursday was a dinner at the Vintners Hall hosted by the Tax Advisers, people you don’t want to offend! I was delighted that Liverymen Ron (Past Master) and Peter Jordan were also guests.
Friday the Mistress and I were off to Glasgow to the Incorporation of Masons of Glasgow for the newly installed Deacon, David McLaren’s Choosing Dinner at the Trades Hall, a magnificent building. Glasgow is an interesting city with some beautiful Victorian buildings but needing a lot of TLC. The dinner was very entertaining and the hosts very welcoming. It was lovely to see PM Hall there.
282’s Wing Field Day Competition and Wing Day Parade was held at the Royal Artillery Barracks at Woolwich. Sadly it was outside these barracks that soldier Lee Rigby was murdered. The Mistress and I watched 282 perform banner and foot drills which they did extremely well. They came 2nd at the end of the competition.
The Clerk and I attended the Glazier’s Autumn dinner which was held at Painter’s Hall as their own hall is still being refurbished.
Wednesday night the Mistress and I were invited to the National Army Museum in Chelsea for a Reception for the Livery Companies as a tribute to the historical connections between the City and the Army.
The following night the Mistress, TLC, Angela and I were guests of the Paviors at Mansion House, a very splendid event.
The month ended with the Election of the next Lord Mayor at Guildhall, beginning with a service at St Lawrence Jewry and then the Shout in the Guildhall.
On 19th July 2017 I was the guest of the Worshipful Company of Plumbers & Contractors for the annual City of London Church Walk. It started at St Paul’s and finished at All Hallows by the Tower of London. Our own Parish Church, St Vedast was visited as well as St Stephen Walbrook, known as Wren’s masterpiece. A great day out.
20th July the Mistress and I were at a service in the Chapel of Faith in St Paul’s for the Annual Service of Dedication for the Imperial Society of Knights Batchelor followed by a Reception at the Apothecaries Hall.
On 25th July, together with the Mistress, The Clerk and Angela, Bill & Rose Mahoney, Peter Jordan, the Hon Chaplain Charles and Catherine Taylor and members of 282 led by Flt.Lt. Chris Booty and support staff We visited our ship HMS Dragon in Portsmouth for an onboard tour given by Lt Cmdr Stuart Fletcher. Among other places we visited the Ops Room and the Bridge. The Royal Marines Band School was our next stop for a very informative and entertaining visit. Part of the original building was a naval prison and the cells make excellent practice rooms. They have removed the locks!
The following evening The Worshipful Company of Distillers had a whisky and gin tasting event which was very convivial.
My next evening event was black tie, with the Clerk, at The Worshipful Company of Founders and their July dinner. The Reception was in a graveyard.
July 3rd and 4th saw myself, the Mistress, the Clerk and Angela as guests of the Royal Marines at HMS Drake, Devonport. Colonel Simon Scott entertained us extremely well with a dinner in the Falklands Room and then the following day was the Presentations at RM Tamar to the top students on the lC1 and LC2 courses. There was an excellent talk of the Chinese situation in the South China Sea, extremely informative. Col Scott expressed his gratitude for our continuing support.
My final event of this blog was a concert at The Gresham Centre to listen to VOCE8 and the final concert of their soprano Emily Dickens. A very talented Acapella group. We Plasterers are very much on the right track by extending our support to these activities at The Gresham Centre.