Installation was a well-attended enjoyable event. I was particularly proud that our Honorary Chaplain’s very last service at Southwark Cathedral as Dean, was my installation.
July: along with other new Masters, I joined the City Consorts for a private viewing and tour of Theobald’s Farmhouse Gardens. is a fascinating and magnificent garden of ‘rooms’ created by Alison Green, a Wax Chandler, over a 23 year period from a 2 acre field with a rubbish dump at the bottom.
A very quiet August, livery wise that sprang into life in September.
4th September: Jensen Gin tasting. Members of our Livery Company were joined by The Guild of Young Freemen for this very enjoyable event. We were given a potted or perhaps I should say bottled, history of Gin in general and the Jensen distillery in particular. Based in Bermondsey they specialise in using historical recipes to create a unique traditional taste. We enjoyed the presentation and loved the Gin!
18th September: Renter Warden and I attended the Modern Liveries Dinner at Butchers’ Hall. The modern Livery Companies meet every six months and this dinner was arranged by the Honourable Company of Master Mariners. The Master Mariners are the oldest of the Modern Livery Companies. In March 1932 they became the City of London’s 78th Livery Company, the first since 1848.
The Master of the Master Mariners gave us a history of the Master Mariners’ Company. In 1928 King George V acknowledged the collective outstanding service of the British Merchant Navy Sea Captains by granting the recently formed Company of Master Mariners the title “Honourable”, an exceptionally rare gift, given only by Royal prerogative.
22nd September: I attended the Watermans’ Seafood Supper along with my Consort Gill, the Deputy Master and her consort Steve. An interesting evening meeting an eclectic group of Liverymen from other Companies.
25th September: Jailed and Bailed an annual event to raise money for The British Red Cross. I had to appear before one of the Sheriffs at the Old Bailey having been accused of the heinous offence of breaking the windows of Launderers’ (Glaziers’) Hall to hang out the washing!
All those accused were then transported to The Tower of London by Routemaster bus. Once there we were marched in single file through the Castle’s grounds by the Chief Jailer Yeoman Warder, to the Fusiliers Museum for lunch sponsored by Pol Roger. Champagne in silver goblets is something I could get used to very easily. Thank you to everyone who donated. During my incarceration, my Consort Gill, along with the other Consorts, were taken to the Guildhall Club for a splendid Luncheon.
27th September: I had the pleasure of attending the Water Conservators’ Michaelmas Court Lunch at Cutlers’ Hall, as a guest of The Master Martin Bigg. We and the Water Conservators are 2 of 10 Livery Companies known as ‘The Wet Ten’. The guest speaker was Sarah Mukherjee MBE, Chief Executive of the Institute of Environmental Management.
28th September: a Private tour of All Hallows by the Tower followed by informal dinner at Byward Kitchen. The church has a long and varied history, its Saxon Arch is thought to be the oldest in the City. It has a Roman tessellated floor, the Crows’ Nest barrel from explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton’s ship Quest that was used on two of his Antarctic voyages. There is also an effigy of the Reverend Phillip Thomas Byard Clayton (popularly known as ‘Tubby’) the founder of Talbot House, better known as Toc H. This was a unique rest house in Poperinge for serving soldiers near the fierce battleground of Ypres in Flanders during the First World War. The church has close ties with a number of Livery Companies. A fascinating place that is well worth a visit.
29th September: a very early start viz. 5:30 a.m. for Magical Disney Taxi Tour. This is now in its 30th year and something we are very proud to support. I was delighted to meet the driver of ‘our’ taxi along with the mother and children he was taking to Paris. The huge number of taxis and their City of London Police escort and all the AA and ambulance support vehicles made a very impressive sight as they set off.
Later the same morning I processed from the Guildhall to St Lawrence Jewry along with many other Livery Masters, for the service that takes place before Common Hall. This magnificent City church has recently come through a major restoration, it looks fantastic inside.
We then returned to the Guildhall where we lined up, roughly in order of precedence to go into the Great Hall for the election of the Lord Mayor. There are many places where you read about the details of this ancient process so I will not print it here, however, it is very special to take part in electing 695th Lord Mayor, Alderman Professor Michael Mainelli.
All this was followed by a splendid luncheon a Tallow Chandlers’ Hall.