Thursday, 6 July 2017

175. Thank you and Farewell…………….

Earlier today Fiona and I handed over the reins of our Company to Mike and Sandra Williamson.

We have had a fabulous year and we hope that you have enjoyed reading our blogs which have traced our path of events throughout the year. We have done our best to lead and promote our Company and I believe we leave it in good heart.

We wish Mike and Sandra every good wish for a successful and enjoyable year and thank all of you who have helped make our year so enjoyable. It was great fun.

We look forward to seeing you at future events. 

174. Installation Court Meeting

My last task as Master of the Company for 2016/17 was to Chair the Installation Court Meeting at Draper’s Hall.

During this meeting, I had the very pleasant task of installing my Bailiff, Dylan Barker, as a Court Assistant and I presented him with his badge and clothed him in his Court Assistant’s gown.

Following the normal business of the meeting, I adjourned the Court to enable us to move to an adjacent room for the Installation of the Master and Wardens for 2017/18.

Photograph shows the Master and Mike Williamson (Thames Warden), Simon Catford (Fleet Warden) and Mark Lane (Walbrook Warden) as the Court Meeting was adjourned.

Monday, 3 July 2017

173. Master’s Gift to the Company

It has become a tradition of the Company that at the end of his or her year, the Master presents a gift to the Company in recognition of the very enjoyable twelve months of events and leadership.

I have decided to make a gift in silver. The Master and Wardens have a silver goblet for their wine at our formal lunches and dinners. Until now, the Deputy Master has not had a goblet, so I have agreed to put that right!

After much searching, I found a lovely antique silver goblet. It was made by Henry Atkin in Sheffield in 1898 and this morning I collected it from the Silver Vaults in Chancery Lane.

If you have never visited the Silver Vaults they are well worth a visit – whether to browse or buy! What is now the London Silver Vaults was originally opened as The Chancery Lane Safe Deposit Company in 1876 – they rented strong rooms where Londoners could safeguard their silver, jewellery and personal documents.

The original building was bomb-damaged during World War Two. It was rebuilt as retail units at the request of many of the silver dealers who had previously rented space there, and opened in its present format in 1953. Now world renowned, it houses some 30 specialist shops within its walls.

I will present my gift to Mike Williamson (our 29th Master) at our Installation Lunch on Thursday 6th July. It means, of course, that I will be the first to use it!

Photographs show the entrance to the underground Silver Vaults and the goblet I will present to the Company.

Friday, 30 June 2017

172. Summer Charity Concert – Medici Choir

Some of you may know of the Medici Choir which is well known for performing classical concerts in London, having been founded in 1951.

The Consort to the Master Architect (Richard Brindley) is a longstanding member of this choir and in support of the Lord Mayor’s Appeal this year, she organized an excellent concert at St Margaret’s Church, Westminster Abbey earlier this week. (Photograph shows the tower of the Church in the grounds of Westminster Abbey).

The concert was well supported with many livery company Master’s, Consorts and Guests present. The Programme, which lasted for two hours (including work by Bach, Purcell and Faure) was brilliantly performed by the 60 strong choir, the organist and eight musicians. (See photograph of the Programme).

The church is beautiful, with lovely stained glass windows and an intricately carved timber ceiling – see photograph of one of the stained glass windows.

The concert successfully raised substantial sums towards the Lord Mayors three identified music charities and he managed to fly back in time from his business trip to Poland, the Czech Republic and Romania (see my blog no 168) to see the end of the concert and to give a vote of thanks.

It was a beautiful summers evening as we arrived and the Palace of Westminster and the Abbey looked great against a clear blue sky – see photograph of Big Ben.

Many thanks to Nicola Brindley for organizing this excellent event and for including us.

171. Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy

Fiona and I were fortunate to attend the Summer Exhibition earlier this week at the Royal Academy in Piccadilly. This exhibition is one of our favourite events in the London Summer Calendar. (Photograph shows the outside of the Royal Academy building).

For those of you that have never been the exhibition is an eclectic mix of paintings, sculptures and models chosen by a panel from the Royal Academy – anyone can enter a piece of art for consideration so there is a mixture of famous and unknown artists and sculptors. Most of the works are for sale and we have bought some interesting pieces over the years.

This year, the centre piece in the Central Hall was a converted motor scooter with long arms and glass containers for carrying liquids (see photograph). It did occur to me that if we ever get fed up with the Bouget (an ancient way of carrying water) that is an integral part of our coat of arms and regalia, then maybe this could be a substitute!

The exhibition runs until 20th August and if you are in London it is worth taking a look – tickets can be purchased on-line in advance. (Photograph shows the List of Works on display, complete with prices).

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

170. Meetings with CIWM and CIWEM

Some of you will recall that Court Assistant David Richards has been leading discussions with Professional Institutions, CIWM and CIWEM, in seeking closer co-operation going forward.

I reported earlier on a meeting with CIWM CEO Dr Colin Church. A draft simple document which would provide, amongst other things, Fellows of the Institution the opportunity to apply to join our Company. This document is being considered by both organizations.

More recently, David met with CIWEM’s CEO, Terry Fuller at their London HQ and discussed a similar proposal to that discussed with CIWM. This met with considerable enthusiasm and David is hopeful of reaching agreement over the summer.

This is great news for our Company and could enhance our status within the Institutions and provide potential growth in our membership.

Well done David!

Photograph shows the London HQ of CIWEM.

169. Follow up with City, University of London

As some of you might recall, I have been cultivating a relationship between our Company and City, University of London.

I am delighted that The Water Conservation Trust has already agreed to sponsor a post graduate student, but there may be other ways in which we can help our potential engineers and scientists of tomorrow.

Earlier this week, I met with Allison Platt who is the Development Manager in Development & Alumni Relations at the University. We discussed, amongst other things, assisting with their student hardship fund and ways in which our Members could get involved with the University’s mentoring programme. More details to follow in due course.

Photograph shows the very smart new Nespresso Café (the first of its kind) in Cheapside in the City, where I met Allison.