The Master of the Worshipful Company of Launderers has the honour and privilege to attend and host many events throughout their year. One of the most sociable and fun events is the Master’s weekend. Sometimes they are formal with a black tie dinner, sometimes they are less so.
They all take place in an area that is close to the Master’s heart, perhaps their hometown, or somewhere they have visited and loved. The previous Past Masters of the Launderers Company have in recent times, hosted weekends in France, Edinburgh, Bristol, Brighton, and this year it was Sarah Lancaster and her Consort, Steve Batchelor’s choice of the fabulously nautical city of Portsmouth.
Attendance was super with over 58 people including seven Past Masters and their Consorts. Members of other Livery companies such as Wax Chandlers, Watermen and Lightermen and Air Pilots and of course, not forgetting our own liverymen their partners, family, and friends all of whom thoroughly enjoyed themselves, making it a fabulous weekend, full of fun and friendship.
The nautically themed event began with an informal dinner on Friday at The Royal Maritime Hotel, where we gathered for a champagne reception before dining.
On Saturday, most people opted for the hovercraft ride over to the Isle of Wight and a visit to Osborne House. Luckily the weather held and at the arrival at Osborne, guests were treated to being buzzed by a light aircraft piloted by Steve, Master’s Consort who took Past Master Jack Strachan and his Consort, Liveryman Helen Demosthenou on a flying tour of the island. Those with their feet firmly on the ground at Osborne were led through the house by an exclusive guide – the Master herself! Who had been busy researching the history of the house over the past few months. She must have been satisfactory as other visitors to the house tacked on to their group!
The flagship event of the weekend was dinner on board HMS Warrior, which is moored within the Historic Dockyard. Guests were taken by guides, real ones this time and given a tour of the ship. During the champagne reception everyone was entertained by the Portsmouth Shanty Men who returned after dinner to lead everyone in a good old fashioned sing song.
The whole weekend was great fun. Master Sarah and Steve were so glad that everyone came and enjoyed themselves and it really shone a light on one of the core principles of The Livery – Fellowship.