A MASTER’S PROGRESS
Since my installation, a number of Liverymen have suggested to me that they would like to know on a regular basis what the Master gets up to, and so it occurred to me that I should perhaps produce a periodic “blog” (although I don’t think this constitutes what most of those who know about these things would categorise as a blog!). Anyway, here goes with my first attempt.
What’s happened so far?
Livery Companies change their Masters at different times of the year. Quite a number change in June and after that, nothing much happens for a few months because of the Summer holidays. In contrast, those like myself, who are installed in September or October find themselves caught up in a whirlwind of events – and great fun it is too, enabling a new Master to meet and get to know a lot of his fellow Masters very quickly.
There have been many dinners and lunches. I have lunched or dined with the Leathersellers, the Cutlers, the Loriners, the Pattenmakers and the Cordwainers and Helen has accompanied me to a number of these most convivial events. Two Trafalgar Day dinners have been enjoyed, one at the Historic Dockyard in Chatham and the other with the Cambridge University Royal Naval Unit, which we support, at Peterhouse College.
It was very moving to join the Lord Mayor and the Masters of all the Livery Companies at the British Legion Garden of Remembrance at St Paul’s early in November, when each Master planted a wooden cross in remembrance of those who gave their lives in the two World Wars and subsequently.
It was equally exciting, if somewhat damper, to take part with the Upper Warden for the first time for many years in the Lord Mayors Show as part of the Vintry and Dowgate Ward Club. I paraded with the Company’s banner, prepared by the Club from London Wall to the Law Courts via Mansion House and St Pauls – no mean feat!
Fortunately, the Upper Warden carried the banner on the return journey!
The Clerk and I attended the Guildhall for the Lord Mayor’s Livery Company briefing, when he set out his plans for the year and we also went to the City of London Club for the Lord Mayor’s Curry Lunch launch. Each year, this lunch is held in aid of the Army Benevolent Fund and the Curriers make an annual contribution to this most worthwhile cause from the Charity Fund.
And what lies ahead?
The Christmas season brings with it the usual array of functions and I am due to attend functions with the Broderers and the Apothecaries in the weeks ahead. I am looking forward to celebrating the 600th Anniversary of the Cutlers, with a service at St Bartholomew the Great, to be followed by a Reception at the Old Bailey, and also to a Twelfth Night celebration with the Cordwainers.
Most of all, though, I am looking forward to our own Carol Service on Friday 16th December. Our Curriers choir will be performing again and this year we will be welcoming Luisa Boselli from the London Youth Choir, to whom we awarded a Curriers Bursary recently. Sadly, we shall not be joined this year by the children of the Aerodrome School, because it clashes with another engagement on their part but I am pleased to say that I shall be visiting the school at Croydon in January.
There are still some spaces left for the Carol Service reception and supper at Tallow Chandlers Hall and this year there will be one or two innovations, notably a Mulled Wine reception before the meal to enable a little more mingling than has normally been possible at this event.
I hope to see many of you at the Carol Service, but for those unable to attend, may Helen and I wish you a very happy Christmas and I look forward to seeing you in the New Year.