I can hardly claim that I have been so busy that I missed the early July deadline for this blog but the slight delay means I can provide an update and some concluding words.
June and July have, in fact, proved to be more active. The regular presentations under the banner of Gypsars and Daubers Online have continued with three more events. Sharon Ament, Director of the Museum of London, gave a fascinating talk about their work with young people with special educational needs ( the Plaisterers are supporting this as my charity of the year). This was followed by Helen Tapper, the President of FIS, and then Ann Wright of VOCES8 Foundation. I have prepared separate reports of these events and the last two were recorded and available to members in full on the website.
At the same time our Committees, Court and Plaisterers’ Hall Limited board have all met successfully and are working hard on every area of our work, planning and re-planning to take account of our new circumstances. I also held a virtual meeting of all the freemen and liverymen who were admitted one year ago who joined to talk about their first year and to meet the Master Elect and Wardens for the new year. The work of the Livery continues apace.
Other Livery companies have kept up events and invites to the Architects’ lecture on planning post Covid and the Carmen’s piano recital were delightful. An unusual treat, possible because of the lockdown, was to share a coffee morning with the Lord Mayor and several other Masters and Clerks and hear about the Lord Mayor’s plans and he about ours. He listened carefully as we the individual Livery Companies spoke of our various difficulties and how we are seeking to overcome them. He wished us well.
Even in lockdown the City Corporation has been able to perform ceremonies admitting people to the freedom of the City and so it was a real first to be present to see Alain Kerneis become the first City freemen in the Plaisterers. He was closely followed by Josh Oates with his sponsor PM Robert Dalrymple delighted to support him. Both will be admitted into the Livery on July 21st.
That is also the day when I will be handing over as Master to Margaret Coates, ably assisted by Wardens Stephen Gilbert and Tim Stokes. They have my best wishes for the year ahead when I will work with them as Deputy Master. On this date our Clerk of 10 years, Nigel Bamping, retires – his experience in the City as a practising solicitor and Past Master of the Solicitors Livery has helped the Plaisterers Livery grow and strengthen over the last decade. I am pleased that we have a very promising new Clerk in the role – Col Garth Manger RM OBE.
My year as Master has been disrupted but nevertheless enjoyable and absorbing. I am pleased to have engaged the Livery more closely with the City of London and will continue to work hard over the years to come to promote the best of the City, its businesses, cultural venues and the Livery Companies.