What do we know about Robert Burgon, our Master for the next year? Well he is a Scotsman, married to a charming wife Sheila, is a church organist, enjoys jam and chutney making and is an expert at cryptic crosswords. Now you may well ask are these the attributes for the Master Plumber?
The real answer is in his biography written for the member’s section of this web site. Click here for details
The Master’s Biography penned by himself.
“My whole career was spent in the plumbing industry.
After graduating BA (Hons) (1977) and Master of Letters (1978) in Business Organisation from Heriot Watt University (where I specialised in industrial relations and vocational training), my first role was Assistant Industrial Relations Officer with the Scottish and Northern Ireland Plumbing Employers' Federation (SNIPEF) in 1978. After various promotions, I became Director and Secretary of SNIPEF in 1988. At the same time, I was appointed as Secretary and Pensions Manager of Plumbing Pensions (UK) Ltd- the trustee company of the Plumbing and Mechanical Services (UK) Industry Pension Scheme.
I retired from my position as SNIPEF CEO in May 2016 and as Pensions Manager at Plumbing Pensions (UK) Ltd in November 2016.
In 1990, I was involved in the creation of the British Plumbing Employers' Council (Training) Ltd (BPEC) on the withdrawal of plumbing from scope to the Construction Industry Training Board and subsequently served as Secretary, Chief Executive and Director of the organisation. With the establishment of Sector Skills Councils to replace National Training Organisations, I participated in the establishment of SummitSkills and served as the first Company Secretary of that organisation. I was also Company Secretary of the Construction Licensing Executive Ltd, an overarching licensing organisation for the industry in Scotland, having being involved in the creation of that organisation. I was involved in the development of the WaterSafe Installers' Scheme and served as a Director until early 2016.
On the international front, I represented SNIPEF for many years on the European organisation for plumbing and heating contractors (GCI-UICP) and am a Past Chairman of that organisation's Secretaries General Committee. I was first appointed to the Executive Board of the World Plumbing Council in 2002 and completed my three year term as Chairman in September 2011. I have spoken at conferences in several countries including Australia, New Zealand, China, India, South Africa, Canada, USA and Germany.
Having been introduced to the Company in the early 1990s as a regular guest at the Annual Banquet of Past Master Robert Clephane (Master in 1972), I became a Liveryman in 2004 and was honoured to be invited to become a Court Assistant in 2010.
In addition to my plumbing industry activities, I was appointed as a Trustee of the Church of Scotland Investors Trust in May 2013.”
The World Plumbing Council (WPC) is an international organization which aims to develop and promote the image and standards of the plumbing Industry worldwide. The WPC mission statement is: “To promote the role of plumbing in improving public health and safeguarding the environment, by uniting the World Plumbing Industry, for the benefit of all. The World Plumbing Council recognises that plumbing plays an important role in the health, safety and sustainability of our community.
Past Master Geoff Marsh MBE was the first Chair of the World Plumbing Council and a recipient of the Council's Distinguished Service Award. Our present Master, Robert Burgon, served as Chair of the WPC for the 2008 to 2011 period, following six years of service as a member of the Executive Board. Liveryman Andy Watts MBE, also a a recipient of the Council's Distinguished Service Award, has been the Council’s Secretary and Liveryman Kevin Wellman continues our Company involvement as a Council Director.
Hot off the Press
The Master and Mistress were joined by a congregation of over 90 at the Plumbers` Carol Service at St. Magnus the Martyr Church on 12th December. As ever the mulled wine flowed and the food was plentiful and a thoroughly enjoyable evening was had by one and all.
At the Service there were seven lessons read. The carols included those old favourites, "Hark! The herald angels sing", "O little town of Bethlehem", "While shepherds watched their flocks by night" and concluding with "O come all ye faithful".
The St. Magnus Singers enthralled us with their rendition of "The Shepherd`s Farewell" by Berlioz which they followed with "Infant holy, infant lowly".
However the tour de force was the Master playing a medley of carols on the Church Organ. Can he be persuaded to play for us again?.
Some clever plumbing solves a water crisis in Ladakh, the northern most region of India, in the high Himalayas. Read all about it by clicking here.
Inter Livery Clay Shoot 2018 at The Holland & Holland Shooting Grounds, Duck Hill Lane, Northwood, HA6 2ST
A date for your diary for the above event, which is to take place on Wednesday the 16th May 2018.
Many companies’ have already intimated their intention to attend this popular event. If you would like to help form a Plumbers' team please let the Clerk know ASAP. To avoid disappointment early notification would be appreciated, as team places will fill fast; there is a ceiling on numbers attending.
Further details on the web site InterLivery Clay Shoot
Ray Pearson, the Mistress, the Master and John Denton
Starting with the Royal Navy, buying Christmas Gifts in the Guildhall, visiting the home of Chelsea Pensioner Ray Pearson, finding out how as a Scotsman facing difficulties in London can get care and finally music and wine with the Mercers' Company. Read more about the Master's week by clicking here or get a composite of all the blogs by clicking here.
Thirteen of our Past Mistresses enjoyed a special dinner at Furniture Makers’ Hall on the evening of the Ladle dinner - 21st November 2017. The event is held annually and this year was organised by Past Mistress Jane Hodkinson. Furniture Makers’ looked after our consorts extremely well where they enjoyed some excellent food, wine and good company. It provided a good opportunity for those who attended to reminisce about their happy memories of the year they spent in support of the Master.
Click here for larger photo.
Read the latest edition of CityView. Click here. In this issue: Work to improve air quality, Bank Junction project update, improving safety for all road users in the City and a look back at this year's Lord Mayor's Show.
Lunch with the Wardens and the Clerk, serving soup at the Ladle Dinner, music in Westminster Cathedral, Livery Companies lectures, an industrial visit - all in a week. Read more by clicking here or get a composite of all the blogs by clicking here.
Liveryman Luke Peters presents the Immediate Past master Brian Wadsworth with his Ladle
The Master serves soup, PM Hodkinson, IPM Wadsworth
Immediate Past Senior Steward Ian Paddock with the Senior Steward Ian Smith
At the Ladle Dinner, held in Cutlers' Hall, the IPM Brian Wadsworth received his Past Master's Ladle from new Liveryman Luke Peters.
The evening started with the present Master serving soup to the top table. Past Master Hodkinson related how the Immediate Past Master had ably led the Company during the past year and proposed the toast to Brian and Anne. Brian replied, after receivng his ladle. The proceedings finished with the Chairman Senior Steward Ian Puddick welcoming this year's Senior Steward Ian Smith.
All hands to the pump
Well at least our living demonstration of lead at Singleton is. Whilst the Company will maintain a static display of Plumbing artefacts at the Weald and Download Museum at Singleton our live demonstration of lead craft will be moving to the living museum a short distance away at Amberley in West Sussex - click here.
Work has already started on the move and the Plumbing Museum Trust are planning to have the facility up and ready in March for opening of the 2018 session at Amberley.
PM Edward Hopkinson and the Master
We look forward to supporting Lord Mayor Charles Bowman during his year as the 690th Lord Mayor of the City of London.
Cannon Street Railway Station
Remembrance, Thanksgiving, Ironbridge Memorial Lecture, Plaisterers' Awards and the Horners' Lecture. A busy week and the Lord Mayor's Show still to come. For details click here and for the composite Blog here.
It is with sadness that we report that Liveryman John Godfrey Mann, who joined the Company in 1960, passed away peacefully in Woking Hospice on the morning of the 2nd November after a fall and a short illness. The funeral service will be on the 20th November at Woking Crematorium at 11am.
Following an enjoyable visit to The Magic Circle in London last September, (click here for the report), there were several disappointed Liverymen and guests who were unable to attend due to a limitation on numbers. If there is sufficient demand, it is proposed to arrange a further visit early in the New Year.
If you are interested, please e-mail Sharon at the office with numbers by the end of November
CAROL SERVICE TUESDAY, 12TH DECEMBER
The Master and Mistress Plumber, Robert and Sheila, look forward to welcoming you to the glorious setting of our Company Church, St. Magnus the Martyr, Lower Thames Street, to celebrate the coming of Christmas.
Click here for details and booking.
Liveryman Anthony Lowe and Liveryman Don Munro receiving their champagne from our captain, Past Steward Richard Harvey.
The Golf Society has now completed the 2017 programme.
In September, we held a competition at Wildernesse Golf Club. Rain was threatened but it held off until late during the round and it did not spoil the enjoyment of an outstanding course. Liveryman Anthony Lowe won the best score and Liveryman Don Munro the nearest-the-pin
prizes. An additional impromptu event was held at Croham Hurst Golf Club, where Liveryman Danny Flowers is captain. He invited us to play a match there. The golf ,which ended in a tie, was followed by an excellent lunch. It is planned to repeat this next year and it may become an annual fixture. A lovely course.
The current Golf Secretary, Liveryman Don Munro, is retiring after about 9 years in office. He is handing over to his son, Liveryman Michael Munro, who will be assisted by captain Richard Harvey and committee member David Hannam. Please give them your support. For the main 2018 programme click here.
Next year's programme is beginning to take shape. The main dates are:-
26th July the Plumber's Golf Day at New Zealand Golf Club
17th May Prince Arthur Cup at Walton Heath
2nd July Inter-Livery Ryder Cup at Verulam
It is planned to publish the full 2018 programme early in the New Year.
In an on line British Medical Journal editorial Prof Jamie Bartram, the Company lecturer in 2015, together with co authors calls for investment in resilient water services in light of increasing threats due to climate change. The editorial reflects on the transformative sanitation advocacy work of physicians in the 19th century and calls for the health sector to take a similar lead on lobbying for investment in climate resilient water and sanitation. (We would add that good plumbing is an essential part of any such programmes.)
Read the editorial by clicking here.
Did you know that you can find some Plumbers’ Company history in Cutlers’ Hall? In their museum room on the 1st floor, there is a glass topped case containing the Past Master¹s Badge for Alderman, Sir Thomas Vezey Strong. Not a Past Master Cutler, but a Past Master Plumber. Alderman, Sir Thomas Vezey Strong was Master Plumber in 1904, 1909, 1910, 1911 and 1912. He was also Lord Mayor of the City in 1909-10.
The badge was presented to Alderman and Ex Sheriff Thomas Vezey Strong Kt, with his Colleagues’ warm appreciation of his able Mastership in 1904-5.
Why the Cutlers’ have the badge is not known but it pays to be observant when in the City!
Join Livery Companies in sipporting the Red Cross. Get into the festive spirit with the sights and sounds of the Guildhall Christmas Market this November. The market is open for one day only on Tuesday 28 November. However, there are also limited tickets available for a preview event the night before, and a special Syrian supper with Loyd Grossman and the Aleppo Supper club. All proceeds will go towards the lifesaving work of the British Red Cross both in the UK and overseas.
For details click here.
Do you love good food and drink in a traditional Christmas setting? The British Red Cross Guildhall Market will have a Weihnachtsmarkt in the Guildhall yard where you’ll be able to sample some fantastic treats:
· Gluhwein and bratwurst
· Flammkuchen – a delicious German-style pizza
· Waffle bar with both sweet and savoury toppings
· You Gouda pay a visit to the cheese truck!
· Pretzels and schnitzel from Austria’s Speckmobile
· Homemade gingerbread hearts from the European Embassies
· Spicebox – delicious vegan curry
· Award-winning treats and desserts from Fab Fairies and Wicked Tarts
· The oriGINal FIZZ company – combining their two loves – gin and prosecco!
On Saturday 11th November, a grand spectacular that mirrors many aspects of City life can be seen in the form of the Lord Mayor’s Show. Many Livery Companies, although not the Plumbers’ this year, will have floats. There will be bands, military detachments, voluntary organisations and lots of fun. The climax will be the new Lord Mayor, Alderman Charles Bowman, in his golden coach.
Why not make a day in London with your family? Click here for the programme of the day.
Michael Lynn , Stewart Brown and Geoff Westall, CIPHE National President at the presentation of the J B Wilkinson Shield Award at New College Durham
The oldest award associated with the Plumbers' Company is the Wilkinson Shield, awarded annually to a college in the North East. It is a joint award with the CIPHE. This year, the winning college was New College Durham and the winning student was Stewart Brown with Michael Lynn as the runner-up.
The Wilkinson Shield has, for over a century, recognised excellence by the colleges of the North East and the apprentices they train. John Bell Wilkinson, a Past Master, recognised the importance of the proper training of apprentices in plumbing and in 1913 first presented the JB Wilkinson Apprentice Merit Shield Award. Experienced and qualified members of the Newcastle and District Branch of CIPHE judge the winner and this year the presentation was attended by Geoff Westall President of CIPHE and Liveryman Stephen Bilclough from the Worshipful Company of Plumbers.
We congratulate the organisers but above all the college tutors and the winning apprentice.
The Master and Wardens
The new Master is congratulated by the outgoing Master Brian Wadsworth
New Liverymen - Lloyd Searson, Bernard Billson, Anne Timpany and Luke Peters with the Immediate Past Master Brian Wadsworth
Tuesday 24th October was a busy day for the Company. Beginning with a Court meeting, three Liverymen took the Oath of Admittance as Court Assistants and four new Liverymen were clothed in the Livery. Then we processed to the Company church for the ceremony to install our new Master and new Wardens. This was followed by the Installation Service. The new Master then led the Court and the congregation to Vintners’ Hall for a reception and Installation Lunch. Read all about it by clicking here.
The Court Meeting - Admission of three Court Assistants - Sandra Raine, Prof Mala Rao and Janet Rivers. The clothing in the Livery of four Freeman - Bernard Billson (Company Director, Berkeley Square Ltd), Luke Peters (Hospitality), Lloyd Searson (Gas Safe Plumber: "Staunch & Flow"), Anne Timpany (Director, On-Tap Plumbers),
The Installation of the New Master and Wardens - Having duly affirmed the Oaths of Office, Robert Burgon was installed as Master, Dame Fiona Woolf as Upper Warden and Dr Peter Rumley as Renter Warden. The ceremony took place in the church of St Magnus the Martyr in the presence of the Court of Assistants, Liverymen, family and friends.
Installation Service - The service was led by Rev Dr David Graham, the Master's minister in Scotland. We remembered our Chaplain, Father Philip Warner who is currently undergoing medical treatment.
Installation Reception in Vintners' Hall - At the pre-lunch reception, the Immediate Past Mistress pasted the Mistress's Broach to Sheila the incoming Mistress. The Mistress thanked the Immediate Past Mistress for all she did for the Company during her year of office.
Installation Lunch - Following a very enjoyable lunch the Master made a short speech thanking his predecessor for his successful year on behalf of the Company. He then continued and stressed the importance of the craft of plumbing and the need for good training. The full speech can be read by clicking here.
If you wish to see more photos of a very high quality that capture the spirit of the day click here
At the Installation Lunch, the Master presented Liveryman Phil Mead with the Company Heritage Award in recognition of his unstinting work at the Company's Museum and Workshop at the Weald and Downland Museum, Singleton. The award is in memory of Lilli Sara Barber and recognises a person who has made a significant contribution to the skills associated with this industry’s heritage. Phil helped with the creation of the workshop and continues to demonstrate leadwork skills to students and visitors. The results of his skills can be seen in lead planters presented to Her Majesty the Queen, Honorary Liveryman HRH Duchess of Cornwall, the Lord Mayor of the City of London and in small planters purchased by many liverymen.
Dan at work
The UK's competitors at WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017 have claimed seven medals, including a bronze medal for Dan Martins, 20, from Northampton. Dan was the Company’s Gold Medal winner earlier this year. Click here
The Master, and all the Company, send congratulations to Team UK and especially to Dan.
Some 3 in 10 people worldwide, or 2.1 billion, lack access to safe, readily available water at home, and 6 in 10, or 4.5 billion, lack safely managed sanitation, according to a new report by WHO and UNICEF.
As a result, every year, 361 000 children under 5 years of age die due to diarrhoea. Poor sanitation and contaminated water are also linked to transmission of diseases such as cholera, dysentery, hepatitis A, and typhoid.
Find out more and proposed international action plans by clicking here.
The renowned architect Ken Shuttleworth addressed Corporate Members and their guests in the second of the series of lunch debates, which tackle the challenges and opportunities facing our industry.
Over thirty Corporate Members gathered in Founders Hall on the 12th October, together with Corporate Ambassadors drawn from Past Masters, the Upper Warden, Court Assistants and Liverymen. The presentation and debate identified the drivers and future for London’s property development from a MEP (mechanical, electrical and public health) services perspective. The lessons to be learned from the Grenfell Tower tragedy and the opportunities from Brexit were all debated.
The Worshipful Company’s Corporate Membership is restricted to just 25 companies, further details of which are available by clicking here or from the Clerk in the Plumbers office at firstname.lastname@example.org
Two invitations to support SSAFA, a charity that supports all of our armed forces. The first event is on 17th October at Spencer House, a private exhibition showing vintage pieces including dresses worn by Diana, Princess of Wales. Note this is for groups of 10 or more. Click here for details
The second is a Christmas Carol Concert on 6th December at the Guards’ Chapel. Click here for details
Liveryman Howard Marshall from Royston in Hertfordshire passed away on 22nd September 2017. He was clothed in the livery in 1982. We have no further details at present.
The latest edition of the CIBSE journal states "Good plumbing design and installation is essential to ensure public safety, particularly when it relates to hot water". It is reported that the British Plastics Federation (BPF) Pipes Group has published new guidance on discharge from unvented hot-water storage cylinders into plastic sanitary pipework systems (soil stacks). (On page 53)
This is also a reminder that plumbing has moved on from lead pipes and indeed in many instances also from copper pipes. What has remained constant is the need for fully trained plumbers who can design and install safe water systems. Our Livery Company promotes training and can provide bursarires for trainees. For further details click here.
The Master with Liverymen of the Plumbers Company who are members of Bridge Ward Club, with their invited guest Carl Jørgen Sundet Flaen. Carl is the Club's Norwegian Business Student for 2017.
35 Liverymen and Guests joined the Master and Mistress Plumber for the 9th Plumbers` Table at Ironmongers` Hall. A sparkling wine reception was followed by a sumptuous Lunch with a choice of wines and coffee. There was sufficient wine left over that we were able to party on with a stirrup cup reception until gone 3.30pm. A good time was had by all and hopefully we can repeat this event in the not too distant future.
This highly successful luncheon was organised by Steward Clive Sofaer.
Master Brian and Mistress Anne
A valedictory message of thanks to all Liverymen from the Master as his year nears its end. Click here.
Dear fellow Liverymen and friends,
A Master’s year is truly a kaleidoscope of experiences, evolving at a bewildering pace. There are familiar milestones marking the way – such as our Court meetings, our banquet at the Mansion House, some festivals and services which fall at the same time every year. When Michaelmas brings round the Election of a new Lord Mayor and the annual service for the Feast of St Michael and All Angels at St Magnus, the Master is reminded that his end of term is nigh.A Master never walks alone. Upon my Installation Day, I said that the Mistress Plumber and I would work as a team throughout my year – two for the price of one. There is no aspect of my year in which Anne has not played an enthusiastic and hugely important part – to my benefit, most certainly, but more importantly to the advantage of our ancient Company. Thank you, Anne, for being such a superb Mistress Plumber in every way.
I have also been very fortunate throughout my year to have the support and counsel of two outstanding Wardens, Robert Burgon and Alderman Dame Fiona Woolf. I shall be proud to install Robert as our next Master at the church of St Magnus on 24th October, knowing that our Company will enjoy an excellent year under his guidance, ably supported by Fiona and by Peter Rumley, our Upper and Renter Wardens Elect, and of course by his most charming wife Sheila. I wish all our ‘team apparent’ a very happy, successful and rewarding year to come.
Our Company enjoys strength in depth; on our Court beyond and below the Chair, in our friendly and diligent team of Stewards and right across our Livery as a whole. Anne and I could not have wished for warmer or more supportive fellowship during my year in office. The greatest gift of a Master’s year is that fellowship merges into friendship and becomes a steadfast companion on one’s pathway through life, long after the Master’s jewel is handed on.
My most sincere thanks go also to our splendid, hard-working and committed staff; to Pieter, Sharon, Debbie and to Peter our Beadle. They are all tremendously important members of our Plumbers’ team. Whenever credit may be due in any Master’s year, it is very much theirs to share.
A mere twelve months divides the thrill of anticipation at Installation from reflection on what one may leave behind. The experience in between is far too rich and diverse to summarise here, but remains a treasured memory for years to come. As for a legacy, Matthew 25:23 says all that needs to be said. I have aspired to be a good and faithful servant of our Company, neither less nor more. With Anne’s unstinting help, if I have come close to that ideal during my term of office, I leave the Master’s chair contented. It will be a great pleasure to see you at Installation on 24th October and as outgoing Master and Mistress, Anne and I offer once more our profound thanks and very best wishes to all of you who share with us the warm fellowship and friendship of our ancient and distinguished Company. That is what it means to wear the Plumbers’ Livery.
Alderman Charles Bowman.
The Upper Warden (Master Elect) and the Master at the post election luncheon.
Yesterday, Michaelmas Day, was the day of the election of the new Lord Mayor of the City of London, the leader of the City of London Corporation, in the so-called “Common Hall” in the Guildhall (*). According to equally long-standing tradition, the new Lord Mayor will formally assume office, in the so-called “Silent Ceremony”, on the Friday before the second Saturday in November; and the Lord Mayor’s show will take place on the following day. The succesful candidate who will be Lord Mayor for 2017-18 was Alderman Charles Bowman.
After the election of the Lord Mayor, lunch was held in Painters Stainers Hall. Some 170 Liverymen and friends from 12 Livery Companyies were present . The reception, food and wine was excellent.
Our previous Clerk was a volunteer!
Visit to The Magic Circle
When the Master first discussed his ideas for social visits for 2017 with me, I knew that a visit to the Magic Circle was literally going to be magic, no pun intended.
All 27 Plumbers and friends met in the reception of the magic circle for teas and coffees in friendly fellowship surrounded by very expensive collectable posters of world famous magicians from the past. Read what happened next by clicking here.
Our host for the visit was Kevin, a warm and jolly magician who sat on the infamous ‘examination board’ actually checking the quality and standards for those wishing to become members of the Magic Circle, the world’s oldest and most prestigious professional body, in fact Kevin reminded us several times that Magicians were the 2nd oldest profession in the world. As Historians have discovered that magicians were prominent as far back as the ancient Egyptians.We then travelled downstairs to the Museum, each cabinet was filled with magician’s tools, devices and stratagems used to deceive trick and outwit an audience. Items once used by Houdini to the current new kid on the block, magician Dynamo showed us how Magic in principle had changed and adapted with times.
Kevin kept the room entered throughout with stories experiences and anecdotes, including how Prince Charles had become a member and how the Eiffel Tower was sold by fraudsters using magician tricks.
After the Museum we travelled up to The Devant room, all to be bamboozled with close up magic tricks. The magician was only feet away, he made £20 notes appear and disappear in front of us in slow motion. Past Clerk Paul Nash made an helpful assistant to our magician and conceded in the end that he didn’t have a clue ….when asked which cup the ball was hidden under…..nor did the audience.
Finally we were all treated to a magic show on the top floor in their own intimate theatre, a watch was smashed to pieces and moments later turned up wrapped in a gift box !
The day wasn’t quite over, the Plumbers walked round the corner to Brizzi, a family owned Italian restaurant, were we all enjoyed fine food and wine.
One last surprise…..
Gold Inner Circle member of the Magic Circle, Magician Zap joined us for a surprise close up magic treat, making a large wine disappear in front of our eyes and ensuring that any Liveryman that lent Zap some money for a trick …..Eventually got it back, even if it was hidden inside a Kiwi ☺
Starting to learn to some plumbing
A Plumbers' Candelabra being presented by College Lecturer Liveryman Peter Cheesman to the Master. Left to right are Peter Lang of Croydon College, the Clerk, the Upper Warden, the Master, Liveryman Peter Cheeseman and the Renter Warden.
On Wednesday 27th September the Master and Wardens were guests of the Construction Trades department of Croydon College, where they were given an insight into the wide range of vocational training available by Tom Collins, Assistant Principal for Employability & Apprenticeships and our own Liveryman, Peter Cheesman. The visit included a fascinating tour of the training workshops and provided a great opportunity to meet some of tomorrow’s plumbers hard at work learning their trade. It was clear that there is a growing need for skilled plumbers and the College is doing its best to provide them.
Click on title above or here for more pictures
For more pictures click here.
You may ask “How do I read his Tweets?” It is easy click here or type in Robert_Burgon into your search engine then click on Robert Burgon (@Robert_Burgon) · Twitter.
For future use Bookmark his Twitter web page.
Note that Robert will be posting regular fascinating bits of information before and during his year as Master.
The judges and the winner. From left to right - Jamie Harris (Bristan), Christopher Sneath MBE (Watersafe), Drew Styles (2017 UK Plumber of the Year), Richard Redfern (Wolseley Plumb Centre), John Schofield
Drew Styles, from Wigan, has been crowned the UK Plumber of the Year 2017, in the nationwide competition run by JT, Bristan and Wolseley Plumb Center. Past Master Chris Sneath was one of four judges representing WaterSafe and he reports that Drew is a worthy winner.
For full details click here
The 2017 competition saw hundreds of plumbers enter from all over the country, receiving a record number of applications, which only makes Drew’s success even sweeter.
Initially, the official competition judging partner, WaterSafe, selected fifteen plumbers from applications based on their skills, qualifications and experience in the industry. The lucky fifteen then went head-to-head to win public votes, from which the five with the highest number of votes went through to the final stage.
In the final stage, which involved in a 30-minute interview with the judging panel at Bristan HQ in Tamworth, Drew managed to impress with his love for the trade and his views on the future of the industry. As a fourth-generation plumber, Drew embarked on his career at the tender age of six, when he accompanied his grandfather to work. His work ethic and the quality of his services remain at a very high standard today and he is devoted to improving his work in any way he can, with his customer feedback showing his propensity to go the extra mile.
Along with his title as UK Plumber of the Year for 2017, Drew also wins his share of £10,000 worth of prizes, including JT, Bristan and Wolseley Plumb Center products, plus pizes from Proper Job Beer, Rothenberger, CK Tools, Salamander, Filplastic, First Stop and BigWipes.
Now in its third year, the competition called on plumbers nationwide to enter in a bid to be crowned Britain’s finest. The competition takes place over the course of six months, and is designed to reward and recognise the remarkable talents within the UK’s plumbing industry and ask entrants to demonstrate their plumbing, service and business skills.
Other finalists in the competition included Tom Jenkins from Treorchy, Paul Maguire from Glasgow, Thomas Foster from Dundee, and Gareth Lloyd from Hereford.
Speaking of his win, Drew said: “I’m really thrilled to be crowned Plumber of the Year 2017 – I’ve had a blast in the competition and I’m really thankful to all the people who voted for me!
“I definitely recommend the competition as something plumbers should get involved in. The support has been overwhelming and the prizes are just the cherry on the cake. I always try to make sure the service I deliver is the highest quality and to receive recognition for that is amazing!”
John Schofield, Sales and Marketing Director at JT, added: “We’d all like to congratulate Drew on his win – it was well deserved. The standard of the competition rises each year so he should be really proud of himself as all five of the finalists were extremely impressive. Drew’s passion for the industry really shone through when he was discussing his work, and that really resonated with the judging panel.
“On behalf of JT, Bristan, Wolesley Plumb Center and Watersafe, I’d like to thank everyone that entered and say well done to all the finalists. We’re looking forward to seeing what the 2018 competition has to offer!”
Marcus Rink, Chief Inspector of Drinking Water and the Guest Lecurer at our Annual Lecture this year, in his latest Drinking Water Report comments on the importance of good plumbing (and by inference good plumbers). In the section on the failures of tests on tap water in consumers' properties he reports that while not all failures detected in tap samples are due to consumers’ plumbing, just over 24% of failures in 2016 were attributed to consumers’ domestic systems.
One water company investigated reports of discolouration and an abnormal odour from a single business property. Results of samples taken as part of the flushing programme in response to wider discolouration in the local area, identified bacteria of faecal origin. Consumers and commercial premises (3,648 properties) were advised not to drink their tap water. The company carried out plumbing and fittings inspections on all properties within the industrial estate. A factory was identified with a recently installed mains-fed hot water system, which had been installed without notification as required by the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations 1999. This hot water installation was a sealed system, and the company’s water regulations inspector was unable to confirm that the mains supply into the premises was protected from backflow from the system by an appropriate air-gap or other backflow protection arrangement. The factory was disconnected from the public supply network and a Notice was served on the premises requiring the installation of a check valve to the hot water system and a double check valve on the incoming main. BBC report click here. There were also other infringements including four cross connections.
A charming letter has been received by the Master from H.R.H. The Duchess of Cornwall thanking our Company for our birthday gift of a lead planter. She has described it as “a perfect birthday present!”. The Duchess of Cornwall’s 70th birthday was on 17th July. As a fitting birthday gift from our Company, Liveryman Peter Cheesman made an elegant lead planter bearing our Coat of Arms. It measures 19in high by 13in
Yes on Tuesday 24th October Robert Burgon will be installed as the new Master Plumber. Why not take part in this ceremony? Details and a booking form can be found by clicking here.
What is 250 metres long ( 6 meters longer than Tower Bridge), weighs 130 tonnes, is the same weight as 520,000 packets of lard or 11 double decker buses?
Click here for a better view of the picture and how to find the answer
The answer can be found by clicking here.
Election of the Lord Mayor and Lunch at Painters’ Hall– Friday 29th September 2017
Eligibility for election as Lord Mayor requires candidates to be an alderman, and to have served the office of the sheriff. Typically there will be just three or four such qualified candidates, and all liverymen (who have been liverymen since May the previous year) are eligible to vote for two of them, at Common Hall in Guildhall on Michalemas Day (29th September). The Court of Aldermen then decide which of the two will be the next Lord Mayor, to take office the following November. The Court's position on the Mayoralty for 2017/18 is already clear . At the election of the Lord Mayor this year, if Alderman Charles Bowman is one of the two Aldermen whose name is returned by the Livery to the Court, then he will be elected.
As a liveryman you can take part in the elction if you have were admitted to the Livery before September 2016. For booking form and lunch reservation click here
The BBC reports that "John Lewis to sell plumbers". Is this something that an ancient Livery Company should request a share of the profits?
Enjoying an Ironmongers' lunch in 2016
Monday 2nd October
Its back after eight amazingly successful “Plumbers’ Table” lunches at Ironmongers’ Hall (over 25 attended the last one) we are organising a ninth . A great opportunity to invite partners, friends, business aquaintences and potential Liverymen. Click here for details.
Which tank fills first?
Click on A plumbing test above to see a larger picture. Click here for answer
The Plumbers are well known for being near the mark but sometimes miss. (Click on Plumbing News above to see a bigger picture) It is reported that the plumber involved was not a liveryman, is thankfully no longer in the plumbing business, has been elected to public office and is now serving in the government.
Our team at the Lord Mayor's Charity golf day. Liverymen Don Munro, Michael Munro, Tony Peters and David Hanna
Liveryman Michael Munro receives his award from the Lord Mayor, Alderman Dr Andrew Parmley
Past Steward Richard Harvey presents the winner's ladle to Liveryman Tony Walters
Past Steward Richard Harvey presents the Nearest -the-Pin award to guest Stuart Lindsay
The Plumbers' Company Golfers have again had a successful season. Read the illustrated report from Liveryman Don Munro by clicking here.
The Golf Society has had an active summer. It began on the 3rd May with an informal day at Brookmans Park Golf Club where our members had a round of golf, followed by lunch. It was an opportunity to get together to start the season. Several members were unable to join us because of injuries (broken bones among others), but those who were fit had an enjoyable day.
On May 18th, we participated in the Prince Arthur Cup at Walton Heath along with about 50 other Livery Companies. Our golf was undistinguished but it was an outstanding experience - 36 holes of golf and a 4 course lunch on a famous course, superbly organised by the Livery Companies Golf Society.
On July 3rd, we entered a team in the Marketors' Livery Ryder Cup event at Verulam Golf Club. About 18 Livery Companies took part and it was followed by an excellent dinner. Another chance to mix with other Liveries at a well known course.
July was busy with the highlights of our programme. On the 17th, the Lord Mayor's Charity Golf day at Burhill Golf Club, a hot sunny day at a club with superb facilities. The Lord Mayor joined us for lunch and presented the prizes. Liveryman Michael Munro won the nearest-the-pin competition. Photo no.1 shows our team (l.to r.: Liverymen Don Munro, Michael Munro,
Tony Peters and David Hannam) Photo No.2 shows Michael being presented his prize by the Lord Mayor. Another magnificent occasion which raised funds for the charities.
Finally our own Plumber's Golf Day on July 27th - 36 golfers assembled to enjoy a successful event. The only disappointment was that the Master was unable to reach us for lunch. He spent two hours trying to negotiate traffic out of London but was thwarted by a complete logjam and had to turn back. Our Captain, Past Steward Richard Harvey, took over the presentation of prizes.
The winners were :-1st. Liveryman Tony Walters with 37 points 2nd. Liveryman Michael Trott of Gratte Brothers (Corporate Members) 34 points. Guest prizes were won by Steve Barton and Dennis Woods. Nearest -the-pin was won by guest Stuart Lindsay and Longest Drive by guest Ben Davis. 6 members of the Fuellers’ Company took part, including their Immediate Past Master, John Ingham.
Photos no.3 and 4 show Richard presenting the trophy to the winning Plumber and a bottle of champagne to the winning guest.
We would like to thank Gratte Brothers for their contribution to the cost of the wine we enjoyed with our lunch.
If you are a member of the Livery who plays golf and would like to join the Society (a bargain £10 annual subscription), contact Liveryman Don Munro (email@example.com) to be included in the golf mailing list. You will be very welcome.
There will be a Celebration of Life in memory of the late Past Master Jack Jeffery on Monday 9th October at 2.30pm. It will be in the King's Hall of the UIniversity of Newcastle. A map and directions can be found by clicking here. The hall is marked with a red arrow and is number 22 on the campus map.
Gillian Jeffery invites anyone who knew Jack to join her and the family in remembering his life. At the end of the formal procedings there wiill be a tea and in order to assist the catering please let Sharon in the Office know if you intend to attend before the end of September.
For those who wish to stay the night in Newcastle the Royal Station Hotel next to the station was used by the CIPHE for a function a couple of years ago and was very satisfactory. Hotel web site click here.
It is with sadness that we report the death of Peter Hutson who passed away on 25th July. His funeral is next Tuesday 8th August at 12pm at New Southgate Crematorium N11 1JJ ( Travel directions click here). All who knew him will be welcome.
Peter joined the Livery in 2006.
Read the July briefing from the Livery Committee by clicking here. Why not attend a City Briefing and learn more about the City? Details at the end of the July Livery Briefing.
A report from Liveryman Peter Adkins
"I was cycling in Norfolk recently and decided to visit Sandringham. I was pleased to find the lead planter the company gave to the Queen on her Diamond Jubilee in pride of place by the entrance, planted up and in full bloom."
Have you got any plumbing pictures? Remember plumbing is not just to do with water pipes. Indeed in 1365 it was decreed in our ordinances that working a clove of lead for gutters, or for roofs of houses, he shall only take one halfpenny; and for working a clove for furnaces, tappetroghes, belfreys, and conduit- pipes, one penny.
The Magic Circle, hidden behind an anonymous blue door in a cobbled backwater near Euston Station, is the world’s most renowned society for professional magicians. Formed in 1905, its Clubrooms are the regular meeting place of the leading magicians of today. Join the Master and Mistress Plumber for their final ‘disappearing act’. Now you see me as I am…. Soon I shall appear transformed….
The response for tickets has been magical but you can join the waiting list by clicking here and filling in the LIST FULL booking form.
David Robinson, Elise Maynard, The Master, Robert Mason and Jonathan Waggott
At the Court meeting in July Robert Mason (Director of Sol Air Environmental Service), Elise Maynard (Owner of Elise Maynard & Associates LLP), David Robinson (Rtd Consultant to The International Power Utilities) and Jonathan Waggott (Marketing Manager of New Business Creation) were clothed in the Livery.
A reminder to Liverymen in the Company - Have you read the Master's Letter in the members' only section?
A trio from the RASPO Steel Orchestra
An evening of fun was enjoyed at our Summer Festival attended by Alderman Charles Bowman and his wife Samantha, as our principal guest and speaker.
Mr Pete Curtis, Dan Martins the Gold Medallist, The Master, Corporate Liveryman Duncan Benedetti
The Master presented the Company’s Gold Medal to Mr Daniel (Dan) Martins, who is 20 years old. He has won several national contests against strong competition to secure his place as the UK’s representative at the Plumbing WorldSkills 2017 competition on 14-19 October in Abu Dhabi (UAE).
Dan, who will he competing against 30 other countries in the finals, is part of a 34-member team who will be going through rigorous 'Olympic-style' training in preparation. When Dan heard that he had been selected for the WorldSkills final he was over the moon to be chosen he expects the experience to be “unbelievable”. Dan is currently employed by one of our Corporate Members, Briggs and Forrester in Northampton and was accompanied today by his line manager and supporter Mr Pete Curtis. Briggs and Forrester Group have also supported Dan throughout, allowing him the extra training time that he has needed to take away from work. Pete Curtis from the group said: “We are extremely proud of Dan and what he has achieved. We have supported him throughout the process because we could also see his potential and it gives a great feel around the company, which encourages other apprentices to push hard to achieve their own goals.'' He received his training from EAS Mechanical Limited, also in Northampton, who entered him in the regional heats after seeing his great potential.
Dan was admitted as an Honorary Freeman of the Company before the presentation, which was also be witnessed by Corporate Liveryman Duncan Benedetti.
The Duchess of Cornwall’s 70th birthday was on 17th July. As a fitting birthday gift from our Company, Liveryman Peter Cheesman has made this elegant lead planter bearing our Coat of Arms, with the involvement of Past Master Steve Hodkinson. It measures 19in high by 13in square at the top and weighs approximately 120lbs. The Duchess of Cornwall was delighted to see these photographs of our gift and has requested that it be delivered to Raymill, her private home near Chippenham. The Company will wish to note this thoughtful gesture to our Royal Hon. Liveryman, which reflects well on our Company and splendidly represents our ancient craft.
The Master goes rowing
Read all about a very enjoyable visit to Henley on Thames, an enjoyable lunch and a cruise on a steam river boat by clicking here.
Henley-on-Thames is famous for its rowing, particularly the annual Henley Royal Regatta, its links to the River Thames, and its history (the town having received a Charter from Queen Elizabeth I in 1568). All three themes were presented at the River and Rowing Museum, which was our first call. Our knowledgeable guide covered a wide range of subjects, from Greek Tririmes, mediaeval log boats, Doggett's Coat and Badge, the Oxford & Cambridge Boat Race, the Olympic Games, Swan Upping, Henley’s role as an important inland port for goods carried by water to and from London, and even modern plumbing.
We then crossed the river to have an excellent lunch at The Little Angel Pub, recently voted as one of Britain’s top 30 summer pubs. Crossing back across the bridge we boarded the Consuta steam launch for a delightful trip along the Regatta course to Temple Island and back. We were fortunate that our trip coincided with the Thames Traditional Boat Festival, featuring the largest display of traditional boats in Europe as well as Dunkirk ‘Little Ships’ and Her Majesty’s rowbarge ‘Gloriana’. We were equally fortunate that the sun emerged just in time.
The launch was commissioned by the Henley Royal Regatta Committee in 1898 for umpiring the rowing races. The boat builder developed a new construction method using four skins of mahogany stitched together with copper wire and used the Latin word ‘Consuta’, meaning sewn together, for this patented construction method. The launch was rescued in 1975 for restoration and is now preserved and maintained by a charitable trust. The friendly crew answered all our questions about the Consuta.
Landing back at the museum there was time for a final look at the fascinating galleries - your author relived his childhood by viewing the ‘Peter Rabbit: Mischief and Mayhem’ exhibition - before saying our farewells.
Did you know that in 2015, 29% of the global population (2.1 billion people) lacked safely managed drinking water services – meaning water at home, available, and safe. 61% of the global population (4.5 billion people) lacked safely managed sanitation services – meaning use of a toilet or latrine that leads to treatment or safe disposal of excreta? Data on handwashing were too few to make a global estimate, but in sub-Saharan Africa, 15% of the population had access to a handwashing facility with soap and water.
The 2.1 billion people without safely managed drinking water services includes 1.3 billion people with basic services, meaning an improved water source located within 30 minutes; 263 million people with limited services, or an improved water source requiring more than 30 minutes to collect water; 423 million people taking water from unprotected wells and springs, and 159 million people collecting untreated surface water from lakes, ponds, rivers and streams.
The 4.5 billion people without safely managed sanitation services includes 2.1 billion people with basic services, meaning an improved sanitation facility which is not shared; 600 million people with limited services, or an improved sanitation facility which is shared; 856 million people using unprotected latrines or bucket toilets, and 892 million people collecting practising open defecation.
In June 2017, Lincoln Cathedral hosted the City of London Livery Companies for a two day festival. The Heritage Skills Festival celebrated the fine craftsmanship that keeps our built heritage alive today. To view some of the craftsmen on Youtube click here. For some photos courtesy of Lincoln Cathedral Works Department click here.
Geoff Westall EngTech MCIPHE RP was elected as National President at the Institute's AGM, which took place on 30 June at United Insurance Brokers Ltd, in London, while Tracey Richardson EngTech LCGI MCIPHE RP was voted in as the Vice President.
Geoff has been a long-standing CIPHE member, joining way back in 1981. He has served as CIPHE branch secretary for Lincolnshire and Area Co-ordinator for Midlands, as well as supporting outgoing President Paul Williams during the previous year in his role as Vice President.
In his address, Geoff spoke of his involvement with the CIPHE's Education and Training Group and the importance of the new Plumbing & Domestic Heating Technician Trailblazer Apprenticeship Scheme. He also spoke of his desire to see the establishment of a Building Services & Water Management degree courses in plumbing and heating engineering – a project being worked on in conjunction with Hong Kong and Heriot Watt universities. He said: "It will give plumbing professionals the opportunity to achieve Chartered status and thus raise the profile of the industry in line with architects, surveyors and civil engineers."
After touching on the 'Proud to be a Professional' campaign and the skills of head office staff, Geoff finished his speech by raising the matter of industry collaboration, saying: "It would be good to work closer with other organisations such as the APHC and Professional Engineering Institutes. While we all work in the same domain we all have our own speciality and could contribute a great deal in helping the industry move forward.
In this issue: The Bank on Safety scheme comes into effect; City election results; mental health awareness in business; a preview of the Londinium season; and big plans for a cultural hub. Cick here for your copy.
Sanitation for 7 million people in the next 7 years by Silvina Perriello, Directora de Relaciones Institucionales en Agua y Saneamientos Argentinos S.A There should be plenty of jobs for plumbers. Click here.
Liveryman Graham Settlefield, Assistant Peter Rumley - Chairman Technical Committee, Marcus Rinks - Chief Inspector DWI, The Master
Marcus Rink, Chief Inspector of the government’s Drinking Water Inspectorate presented a highly informative and very enjoyable Plumbers' Company Annual Lecture at the Royal College of Physicians on 3rd July. Read more by clicking here.
Marcus Rink, Chief Inspector of the government’s Drinking Water Inspectorate, began the Plumbers’Annual Lecture by illustrating with data from the WHO the tremendous variability of drinking water supplies and sanitation facilities throughout the world. Even in Europe there are sections without regular supplies of tap water. He underlined the importance of safe drinking water for a healthy existence.
In England and Wales, most of the drinking water is supplied by water companies although in rural areas such as Cornwall and parts of Wales there are many private supplies that do not have the same regular quality monitoring as the water companies.
The quality of the water company water is very high with over 99.5% compliance with the regulations. Neverthe less, every year incidents occur that are a cause of concern for the regulator. Most of the incidents are as a result of a human failing. In one incident due to remedial pipe work a water pipe was connected to a sewage pipe. Problems may result in illness among consumers or may have major financial implications for companies. In one example a food company used water from a private supply contaminated by trichlorethane. Their product needed to be withdrawn from the market at a cost of £1 million.
Marcus stressed that the aim of all those associated with drinking water was to help protect public health and maintain public confidence in drinking water through effective and proportionate assessment and management of the quality of drinking water supplies.
The role of plumbers in providing a high standard service within buildings was recognized although in answer to a question, statutory regulation of plumbers was not supported.
This annual lecture of the Plumbers was once again highly informative and very enjoyable.
A bear walks into liquor store. Once the bear was in the store, it got on its hind legs and began walking toward the candy rack, located near the door. The bear then ran away next-door to Harri Plumbing & Heating.
Was the bear really a plumber who entered the wrong shop first? For more click here.
Plumbers cruise Foss Dyke (circa 120 A.D.)
The Master led a highly successful and enjoyable visit to Lincoln. The three day programme was blest with fantastic weather and covered a grand selection of visits, activities and fine dining. Read a report by the Master by clicking the header above. Click here for some photos
Some fifty Liverymen and consorts visited Lincoln and Lincolnshire from 20th to 23rd June, in the company of the Master and Mistress Plumber. The event began with a relaxing short cruise along Foss Dyke. Begun by the Romans around A.D. 120 it connects the River Witham, which runs through Lincoln to The Wash, to the River Trent. Dinner at nearby Washingborough Hall Hotel, just to the south of Lincoln, rounded off the evening.
A full day in Lincoln followed, taking in the charming social history Museum of Lincolnshire Life, the magnificent high Gothic Cathedral and the Castle, begun by William the Conqueror, which houses the Magna Carta Gallery and a fascinating – if rather sobering – Victorian prison. The Gallery is now home to the Cathedral’s copy of the Magna Carta – one of only four originals to survive – and the Charter of the Forest of 1217, of which only two copies remain. It was an unexpected bonus to find the Domesday Book displayed, on loan from the National Archives. Dinner followed at Hemswell Court, an RAF officers’ mess to the north of Lincoln which was used as a set in the film “The Dambusters”.
From the City on Wednesday to the Lincolnshire countryside on Thursday: the Plumbers journeyed out to East Kirkby to see the preserved WW2 airfield kept by the Panton family as a memorial to one of three sons who lost his life in the ill-fated Nuremberg raid in March 1944. East Kirkby is home to “Just Jane”, one of only three mobile Lancaster bombers to survive which can still move under her own power. The Panton family are painstakingly restoring her to flying order and the Plumbers were treated to a close-up inspection and a riveting talk by a 71 year old whose father flew on Lancaster missions during the war.
Lunch was served in the charming country town of Woodhall Spa and the afternoon was full of contrast, with a visit to Dogdyke Pumping Station outside Tattershall, home to historic diesel and preserved steam pumping engines. It is directly under the flight path of RAF Coningsby and our visit was punctuated by frequent low passes of Eurofighter Typhoon jets on training circuits – an impressive and very noisy experience. Rounding off the visit was a black tie dinner with the Dean and Dean’s Verger of Lincoln Cathedral in the magnificent Chapter House – begun around 1190 and used as a set for the film of the Da Vinci Code – a rare privilege.
For more photos click here
Lincoln Cathedral is one of just a tiny number of places in the country where full-time lead workers practise the traditional craft of plumbing – to maintain the vast Cathedral roof. Plumbers from the Cathedral’s Works Department were joined by Plumbers from our Company: Peter Rumley, Allan Anderson and his team, Peter and Debbie Cheesman and the Master in the Company’s fabulous marquee exhibit at the Heritage Skills Festival organised by the Works Department for 23rd and 24th June. On both days hundreds of visitors were fascinated to see the traditional skills of lead fabrication, casting and joining demonstrated in front of them, while the Master delved into his repertoire of market trading techniques to sell some 164 cast lead Imps (the symbol of Lincoln and its football team) in support of the Cathedral’s fabric fund. Peter Rumley very kindly donated two Georgian pattern lead urns which raised £1,400 at the final auction. All in all, the Plumbers’ Company contribution was one of the most interesting and successful amongst the 25 participating City of London Livery Companies.
The Festival was a great success, showcasing traditional Livery trades and others and attracting thousands of visitors from far and wideSurrounded by interested onlookers, Peter Cheesman inspects his sand casting mould on the Plumbers' stand at Lincoln Cathedral's Heritage Skills Festival, held on 23rd and 24th June. The lower photo shows the finished piece. Click here.
It is with great sadness that we record the death of Past Master Jeffery (1995-6). Jack passed away earlier this week. He had a terminal illness and was undergoing treatment but suffered a stroke about 6 weeks ago. it is understood he was reasonably comfortable up to the end, even going out at the weekend for a lunch. The funeral will be a quiet family affair. There is likely to be a celebration of life event later in the year, perhaps in October, probably at Newcastle University.
Jack wrote the following notes on his life for the Plumbers' web site. "Recently married Gillian, my former wife, Deborah, having died suddenly in April 2009. Formerly Chairman & MD of North Surrey Water Company, Chairman of Tendring Hundred Water Company and Deputy Chairman of Three Valleys Water Company and Sutton and East Surrey Water Company. Was also Chairman of the Water Companies Association from 1987-1990 during the passage through Parliament of the Water Bill. Also Past President of the Freshwater Biological Association, Past President of Institute of Water, Past Chairman of the Royal Institute of Public Health, Past Chairman of the World Humanity Action Trust and director of several companies. Member, MCC and Forty Club "
We were privileged that he served as our Master.
The WHO and WHO in conjunction with UN-Water have just produced two fascinating and informative repoprts on Water Safety Plans and on WASH (Water, Sanitation, Hygiene and Health). For further information and access to the reports click on the heading above.
These reports provide some backgroungd information to the work of the Plumbers' charity in helping to support Village by Village to provide safe sanitation in Ghana. Click here for more detail
The WHO has just issued a report on the progress on Water Safety Plans worldwide. WSPs are being implemented to varying degrees in 93 countries representing every region of the world, with 30% of countries at an early adoption stage and others implementing on a national scale. Safe drinking-water and sanitation are crucial to human welfare, by supporting health and livelihoods and helping to create healthy environments. The consumption of unsafe water impairs human health through illnesses such as diarrhoea, and untreated sewage can contaminate drinking-water supplies and the environment, creating a heavy burden on communities. Click here for report
All this requires money and a joint report from WHO and UN-Water sets out the present situation across the world. Despite being a key determinant of public health and economic development, the WASH (Water, Sanitation, Hygiene and Health) sector faces major obstacles in attracting sufficient resources to meet its investment needs. In the GLAAS 2013/2014 cycle, during the MDG era, 80% of countries reported that financial resources were insufficient to meet national targets established for drinking-water and sanitation, despite increasing domestic budget allocations. More recent global estimates show a tremendous gap in financing to achieve the water supply, sanitation, and hygiene SDG 6 targets, with capital investment needs alone three times higher than current investment levels. Click here for report.
On 14th June the first Rivertime Accessible Regatta was held in glorious sunshine at the Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre, near Marlow. 350 children with moderate to severe disabilities and a wide range of special needs had a wonderful day on and beside the River Thames. The Mistress Plumber was much involved in its organisation and our Plumbers’ Charity gave ten portable pergolas, to be re-used at future events (the next Regatta is already scheduled for July next year). The Regatta was attended by HRH The Princess Royal, seen here visiting one of the Plumbers’ pergolas, and by several Olympic and Paralympic athletes, including Dame Katherine Grainger. It was widely covered by BBC Television and on local radio. A special moment was when one of the severely disabled children participating told the Princess Royal “this is my best day, ever!).
At our Charity Luncheon in January the Guest Speaker was Dr Claire Guest of Medical Detection Dogs. Claire very kindly agreed that our Company could name and sponsor a dog. The Master is pleased to report that “Plum”, having spent her first few weeks with mum, has now started socialising training with a loving family, which is the first phase of the journey to become an accredited Medical Alert Assistance dog. The photograph shows Plum last week. We shall receive regular ‘pupdates’ on Plum’s progress, once every six months or so, and a fuller report when Plum is accredited and matched with a family in medical need. The reports will appear on this web site.
Liverymen who were admitted to the Livery before 31st May 2016 and who wish to vote for the Sheriffs and other Officers should note that you are summoned to meet at the Guildhall on Monday 26th June 2017 by 11.45am. The Lord Mayor will take the chair at 12 noon precisely. Tickets will be required for entry to the Guildhall and these are available only from this office on receipt of a completed proforma below. (Please note the Guildhall may not keep seats for later-arriving Liverymen and to ensure that you get a decent seat, you are strongly advised to arrive no later than 11.15am)
The Worshipful Company of Fletchers has kindly invited us to join them for lunch afterwards on the 26th June in Farmers’ and Fletchers’ Hall.
For tickets and luncheon booking please click here.
Some of the Crew
Past master Antony Paterson-Fox with Louie Neocleous the skipper
Cowes saw Liverymen gathered for the Annual inter-Livery Regatta. This year was the 48th when Company yachts crewed by Liverymen competed for the Lord Mayor's Cup. Although winners in past years the Plumbers had to be content with 5th position this year. Our yacht, Julia, was a Beneteau Oceanis 55 skippered by Past Master Chris Sneath's grandson. Although finishing third, when the handicaps had been applied we took the 5th position. For full results click here.
Fo a full freport by Past Master Mike Samuel click on the title above.
The Inter Livery Yacht Race took place in Cowes on the weekend of 20 May. It was well attended by liverymen and wives.Our party was by far the largest with 23 people plus Leena and baby Tristram in support. We were honoured to have the Master and Anne at the event, which they greatly enjoyed. We were very lucky with the weather, there was no rain and a lively force 4/5 wind which made for some exciting sailing. Unfortunately this year we did not win a Cup. The committee is considering some changes to the format of the racing for next year's regatta and I am involved in the working party to discuss this. My hope is that the event will remain essentially the same
For the last two years we have been privileged to have had the use of Julia a 56 foot Beneteau yacht skippered by Louie, Chris Sneath's grandson.Thanks to them again for the use of the boat and crew, which has been at no cost to the Company. It has been a wonderful experience but the boat is off to the Caribbean to do a number of regattas so we cannot use it again next year.
We need to put our thinking caps on about a boat and what to do next year and I would welcome any comments maybe a small action committee could be formed. If there are any plumbers out there who are interested in sailing and would like to be involved please send me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org I thank all those who attended the weekend. It is always a great event and shows the fun and fellowship of the Plumbers at its best.
Many liverymen will have met Maud who was the wife of Liveryman Ivan Whitting, Maud Whitting passed away on 10 May. Both she and Ivan were keen supporters of the Bridge Ward Club and there will be a service of remembrance and thanksgiving at the church of St Magnus the Martyr at 1:30 pm on Friday 2 June.
If you wish to attend please notify Andrew Dyke of the Bridge Ward Club at email@example.com
No flowers but donations (if desired) to Cancer Research UK, c/o W Uden & Sons, 19 Chatsworth Parade, Petts Wood, BR5 1DF
On the 3rd of July at the Royal College of Physicians in London, Marcus Rink, Chief Inspector of the Drinking Water Inspectorate, will deliver the Worshipful Company of Plumbers 2017 Annual Lecture. This will be followed by a drinks reception and an excellent dinner . The evening will end at approximately 9.30 pm.
The Drinking Water Inspectorate was established in 1989 to regulate public water supplies and is responsible for assessing the quality of drinking water in England and Wales. The Inspectorate is responsible for assessing the quality of drinking water in England and Wales, taking enforcement action if standards are not being met, and taking appropriate action when water is unfit for human consumption.
Marcus Rink has nearly 30 years of experience working in health, environment and the water industry, he has been with the Drinking Water Inspectorate since 2002. From 2008 to 2015 was responsible for the operational regulation in England and Wales as Deputy Chief Inspector. He is also the UK member of the European Microbiology Expert Group and chair of the Strategic Board of the Standing Committee of Analysts.
A marvelous opportunity to introduce colleagues and friends to the Worshipful Company of Plumbers. Click here for further information and booking form.
The Plumbers' Party
Have you guessed where the Master and twelve accompanying lioverymen and their wives visited? The Parson-Naturalist was Gilbert White, the English novelist Jane Austen and the Antarctic explorer Lawrence Oates. The party visited Chawton and Selborne in Hampshire where these luminaries of English history are remembered. Click here for futher details.
On a sunny May morning the party gathered at the home and now museum remembering the life and literary works of Jane Austen who lived form 1775 to 1817. She was an English novelist known primarily for her six major novels, which interpret, critique and comment upon the British landed gentry at the end of the 18th century. The house was full of amazing memorabilia from her lifetime. It was noted that her writing table may have been near an electric socket but was barely large enough to hold a laptop.
Following this part of the visit there was an enjoyable lunch in the Greyfriars Pub opposite the Jane Austen house. Then it was in cars for a short journey to Selborne and Gilbert White's House that also contained the Oates museum Gilbert White FRS (1720-1793) was a "parson-naturalist", a pioneering English naturalist and ornithologist. He is best known for his Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne. The photo of the Plumbers' party was taken in the library containing White's own manuscript to the very mant versions of the famous natural history treatise.
The upper part of the building contained the Oates Collections remembering tywo famous members of the Oates family. Frank Oates (1840–1875) who was was a British naturalist, explorer and uncle to Antarctic explorer Lawrence Oates. He was one of the first Europeans to see the Victoria Falls. Captain Lawrence "Titus" Oates (1880 – 1912) was an English army officer, and later an Antarctic explorer, who died during Scott's South Pole Expedition. Oates, afflicted with gangrene and frostbite, walked from his tent into a blizzard. His death is seen as an act of self-sacrifice when, aware that his ill health was compromising his three companions' chances of survival, he chose certain death.
A fascinating day exploring the lives behind some well known names.
The vist was organised by Steward Ian Smith.
The toilet block is now complete!.
The Luncheon following the last Court Meeting was a Masters and Clerks luncheon when the Masters (M) and Clerks (C) from the Worshipful Companies of Ironmongers (M&C), Wax Chandlers (M&C), Painter-Stainers (M&C), Masons (M&C), Innholders (RW), Blacksmiths (M&C), Basketmakers (Prime Warden &C), Furniture Makers (M&C), Chartered Surveyors (M), Actuaries(MElect), Engineers (M&C) , Lightmongers (M&C), Environmental Cleaners (M&C), Constructors (M&C) were our Company guests. This is an example of our City involvement and was an ideal opportunity to share and learn from the experiences of different Companies.
The principal guest was Mr Neil Kerfoot, the Chief executive and Founder of Village by Village. The Plumbers' Company through our charity have been assisting Village by Village to build sanitation and to provide hygiene education at Tuam Guaso in Ghana. The photo (click here for larger picture) shows that phase 1 has been finished with the completion of the toilets.
Yes, the Plumbers' Company believes in our Craft, the City, Charitable activity and Fellowship and we achieved an aspect of all our objectives in one lunch gathering. Why not attend the next Masters and Clerks Luncheon next year? It is open to all the Company.
Bletchley Park offers a fascinating insight into the most secret War; a battle of raw intelligence which the enemy never discovered, let alone suspected that Britain and her allies might have won. A party of the Plumbers' will visit on Tuesday 6th June. Flyer and booking form click here
If you still have a paper £5 note you do NOT have to take it to the bank, instead all you need to do is put it in an envelope together with a Gift Aid form for the Plumbers' Charity (www.plumberscompany.org.uk) then send it to the Clerk for our Charity.
A great way to save a trip to the bank!
The Trustees approved Bursaries for 4 students from Croydon College who were presented with a voucher for £1000 each ( of which sum half was provided by the Charity ) on 19th April at the ceremony that took place at the Plumbers’ Statue.
Awards approved were
£1,000 – Richmond Sea Cadets
£500 – Sheriffs’ and Recorders’ Fund (for ex-offenders). The Clerk will undertake further discussions with the Fund and indicate to them that the Trustees would be happy to consider any further application by them for additional funds for a scheme for training plumbers.
£1,500 – Guildhall School of Music
Liveryman Rook, The Master, Liveryman Denniss
We welcome Oliver Denniss (Solicitor) and Timothy Rooke ( Technical Director BESA*) who were clothed in the livery at the Court meeting on 9th May.
*Building Engineering Services Association
On the 8th September I am going to undertake one of the most frightening things that could ever befall a Lord Mayor – I am going to abseil down the Cheese Grater building (all 225 meters) and I am petrified of heights! I am doing this to raise funds for my Lord Mayor’s Appeal that will support LSO Discovery programme, St Paul’s Music Outreach and Music in Hospitals, educating young people, using music to develop the skills and talents that young people need to succeed in 21st century Britain.
I would really like you to sponsor me BUT PLEASE DO NOT SPONSOR ME FOR MORE THAN £10 this is really important as I would like to break some records (not any bones or individual wallets) and I know how generous you are to so many charities. What I would really like you to do is pass it on to 5 of your fellow Freemen, Liverymen or friends; there are over 30,000 Liverymen – just imagine the funds I could raise if they all donated £10! Please click on https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Andrew-Parmley
The students, college staff, Alderman Gowman, the Master and Wardens with the "Plumber's Apprentice".
On Wednesday 19th April, the Master, Wardens and a number of Liverymen were joined by Alderman Alison Gowman and the Master Skinner at the Plumber's Apprentice in Cannon Street Railway Station. The Master welcomed all those present and quoted from our 1611 Charter that stated that for effective policing of the plumbers’ trade, the Master and Wardens were empowered to “make and exercise at all convenient times the supervision, scrutiny, correction and government of all and singular persons whomsoever, for the time being Freemen of the Art or Mystery of Plumbing of the City….” He then called upon Past Master Peter Brunner, as Chairman of our Charitable and Educational Trust, and John Collier, Chairman of Monument Tools, to congratulate and present our Bursaries to four very deserving students from Croydon College, who have shown special diligence and achievement in their studies - Megan Brown, George Hurworth, Gavin Levy and Zain Mohammed. All are currently studying at the College for the qualifications which will enable them to practise the Art and Mystery of plumbing and to begin their careers in plumbing. They were accompanied by Tom Collins, Assistant Principal for Employability and Apprenticeships at Croydon College and Liveryman Peter Cheesman, Lecturer at Croydon College.
Alderman Gowman welcomed the Plumbers to Dowgate Ward and reminded those present of the importance of plumbers in rmaintaining the cleanliness and health of London.
(For the text of the Master's and Alderman Alison Gowman's speeches click here)
On Tuesday 9th May the Master, Wardens and Court of Assistants will host our Company’s first Masters and Clerks luncheon at Carpenters’ Hall, to which we have invited the Masters and Clerks of other Livery Companies with whom we enjoy a particularly close relationship and who kindly extend invitations to our Master and Clerk during the year.
This will be a splendid opportunity to meet and socialise with many of our fellow Livery Companies. Neil Kerfoot from Village by Village will be our guest speaker and will provide an update on our Charity’s good works in Ghana, bringing fresh water, basic sanitation and hygiene education to remote villages.
Click here for flyer and booking.
This year’s UK Plumber of the Year will launch on 3rd April, where the search begins to find the finest plumber of 2017 and recognise the remarkable level of talent from plumbers across the UK, with another huge prize fund awarded to the worthy winner. Past Master Chris Sneath will sit on the final judging panel. The competition was first launched in 2015 where our nationwide search found Josh Colbert, a multi-skilled plumber from Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire, as the worthy winner of the inaugural UK Plumber of the Year competition. Last year, Shaun Scott from Aberdeen picked up the crown and is the current holder of the UK Plumber of the Competition.
The UK Plumber of the Year 2017 has announced WaterSafe as the official judging partner, with Chairman Chris Sneath MBE sitting on the judging panel to choose the worthy winner. WaterSafe, the national register for approved plumbing businesses in the UK, will review all the entries submitted and select a shortlist of 15 plumbers based on their expertise. Chris Sneath MBE will then join the panel to judge the five finalists later in the year.
This year’s UK Plumber of the Year will launch on 3rd April, where the search begins to find the finest plumber of 2017 and recognise the remarkable level of talent from plumbers across the UK, with another huge prize fund awarded to the worthy winner. The initial round of nominations asks plumbers to put themselves forward for the award by showcasing one job from the past year outlining their outstanding skill and professionalism. From the initial round of nominations, WaterSafe will shortlist the fifteen stand out entries in July which must then campaign to gather as many votes as possible to reach the final five.
The UK Plumber of the Year 2017 will then be chosen from the final five entries based upon their professionalism and skill by a panel which will include WaterSafe Chairman Chris Sneath MBE.
WaterSafe Chairman, Chris Sneath MBE, added: “It’s a great honour to join the UK Plumber of the Year competition as the official judge, we are looking forward to recognising the remarkable level of talent and professionalism that plumbers up and down the country have to offer.”
Jane Austen’s House in Chawton was where she lived with her mother and sister, Cassandra, from 1809 to 1817. Here she revised some of her earlier novels and then wrote three more including Emma. This year is the bicentenary of her death. The 17th century house is laid out as it was in Jane’s time and includes many artefacts of hers and her family.
Click here for more details and the booking form
Read Andrew Broadbent, chair of the National Misconnections Group in WRAS News
The Worshipful Company of Plumbers, the City of London Livery Company for the plumbing industry, is a community of like-minded people in the forefront of the industry.
In addition to individual membership — the Plumbers’ Company is open to companies involved in or with the plumbing industry in the UK and overseas. This Corporate Membership enables a member company’s senior executives to participate fully in most of the Plumbers’ many activities. The Plumbers’ Company is the catalyst that has brought the whole plumbing industry together. Manufacturers, merchants, contractors, designers, academics and the suppliers to the industry: every facet is represented.
We offer a totally neutral networking environment in which everyone can and does talk to anyone about anything. The benefits of these informal contacts have proved themselves time and again. And with our own significant social calendar, we have the ready-made events in some of the best venues in the City of London.
Corporate Membership may be applied for by any company, whether British or international, which is engaged in or with the plumbing industry in the United Kingdom and overseas. Click here for more details.
The Worshipful Company of Plumbers Corporate Members May 2017
Briggs & Forrester http://www.briggsandforrester.co.uk
Briggs & Forrester has established itself as a leading player in the building services market providing a range of engineering design, consulting, installation and maintenance services to the construction industry.
Essex Services Group http://www.esgplc.com
ESG are a progressive, multi-disciplined MEP (Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing (engineering services)) business, originally founded as an electrical services contractor in 1975 by John Sampson. The company began by offering contracting services to the retail industry, clients still working alongside us forty years later, and following expansion into the emerging banking and commercial sectors the business integrated mechanical services delivery in 2003.
One of the UK's leading independently owned building services companies. Gratte Brothers aims to be the UK’s leading building services company by providing a high standard of service throughout all its business processes.
John Guest http://www.johnguest.com
The John Guest Group of Companies is a manufacturer of push-in fittings, pipe and plastic plumbing systems to a wide variety of industries and applications such as Drinks Dispense, Plumbing, Pneumatics, Compressed Air Systems, Water Purification, Drinks Vending, Automotive and Telecommunications.
Lorne Stewart http://www.lornestewartgroup.com
Lorne Stewart design, build and maintain a vast array of buildings with our reputation built on high quality technical delivery, backed by financial robustness. They combine this technical and engineering pedigree built over the last 100 years with a growing need for energy conservation, innovation and environmental awareness.
Michael J Lonsdale http://www.michaellonsdale.com
Michael J Lonsdale is one of the leading services contractors in the industry, offering a committed and enthusiastic approach to the installation of multi-discipline building and engineering services through the UK.
Parker Bromley http://www.parkerbromley.co.uk
Mechanical and electrical contractors providing domestic central heating installation, commercial boiler installation and electrical services.
Phoenix ME http://phoenixme.co.uk
They specialise in the complete installation of Mechanical & Electrical to all work sectors including quality office developments, commercial and public buildings, data centres, retail, health, education, leisure, hotels, residential and pharmaceuticals.
T Clarke http://www.tclarke.co.uk
A nationwide building services contractor delivering the full range of mechanical, electrical and ICT services. Our strong teams across the country cover the whole lifecycle of the building from concept and design through construction to lifetime maintenance.
Skanska, one of the UK’s leading contractors, is an inclusive and responsible business that is helping to build for a better society. Known for major projects, such as the Gherkin and Crossrail, they are building, upgrading and maintaining the country’s infrastructure.
BPEC work closely with a UK wide network of colleges, private training centres and industry stakeholders to enable them to offer a range of qualifications, assessments and learning materials. BPEC are dedicated to providing education and lifelong learning to all who work in the Building Services Engineering (BSE) sector.
The Freedom & Livery Committee have instructed a small Working Group to redesign the Company’s website and improve the functionality. You may be aware that the present website creaks on occasions and some functions do not work. For example, do NOT try to use the Forgotten Password function - it does not work. If you have difficulties please contact the Webmaster on firstname.lastname@example.org
The need for water is universal. It is as necessary as air to sustain life in all its forms. During lent and on and around the UN's World Water Day, cathedrals and churches worldwide will draw attention to our obligation to care for God's sustaining gift of water. As part of this JustWater initiative, St Paul's Cathedral will be organising a series of activities including art exhibitions, an event on water conflict, film screenings and Evensong sermons on Sundays in Lent.
This includes the four works in the nave by Pablo Genoves, Tides, which explore what St Paul's would look like if water levels rose in London and affected people as they are in parts of the world today.
For more information visit www.justwater2017.org
3.15 pm Evensong during Lent
2nd April The Tree and the Water of Life The Right Reverend James Jones, KBE, Assistant Bishop, York
9th April Just Water: God in Ordinary The Right Reverend Nicholas Holtam, Bishop of Salisbury
Leaving StPaul's Cathedral
The Lord Mayor, Dr Andrew Parmley, read the parable of the Good Samaritan at the United Guild's Service at St Paul's Cathedral. The Right Reverend Christopher Chessum , Lord Bishop of Southwark, reminded us in his sermon that being a good Samaritan was as relevant today as in the time of Christ. He recalled how in the terrorist attack at the Houses of Parliament passing public rendered immediate assistance. Many nationalities were involved - race, creed and gender were irrelevant, a fellow human being needed immediate help. We all need each other and the good works of the Livery Companies show how this has happened over the centuries and is not time expired.
St Paul's was full of Liverymen, clergymen and officers of the City in this the 75th Service of the United Guilds of the City of London. If you missed this colourful and moving service put Friday 16th March 2018 in your diary now.
Following the service the Plumbers', Gardeners', Tylers' and Bricklayers', Builders Merchants' and the Guild of Entrepreneurs took lunch with the Carpenters' in their hall. Click here for more.
The Origins of the United Guilds' Service
At a meeting of the Masters and Prime Wardens of the Twelve Great Companies, held at Goldsmiths' Hall, on J" February 1943, it was decided to hold a service in St Paul's Cathedral for the Livery Companies and Guilds of the City of London. The idea behind the service was to help lift the spirits of the City following the Blitz during the Second World War. Having regard to the religious origins of the Companies, Thursday 25°· March 194 3, Lady Day, was selected as the date for the Service, being the first day of the year according to the Julian Calendar. The Right Honourable The Lord Mayor of London, Sir Samuel Joseph, attended along with the Sheriffs and Court of Aldermen and the Right Reverend The Lord Bishop of London, Dr G. F. Fisher, preached the sermon. As far as records show, this was the first occasion on which all the Livery Companies and Guilds of the City combined to hold a religious service. Since then, it has become an annual event and remains one of the few occasions in the calendar at which the Livery Companies and Guilds of the City can gather together as a whole.
Prem Goyal clothed in our Livery.
The Plumbers' Company heartily congratulates Prem Goyal OBE, on being elected as a Common Councilman for Bishopsgate Ward. Prem is a JP and founder and CEO of Global Markets Consultants (GMC), a management consultancy firm providing services to the financial industry.
He joins Sylvia Moys as the second Common Councilman in our Company. We remember that supporting the City is one our Aims & Objectives
The next of the RSPH's Watery Wednesdays is on ‘WaSH and Safe Healthcare’. The speaker is Prof Jamie Bartram, Director of the Water Institute, Gillings School of Global Public Health,University of North Carolina. He presented our Annual Lecture in 2015. The webinar will be chaired by Dr David Cunliffe, who is a water quality specialist with the South Australian Department of Health. He has over 30 years experience in dealing with public health aspects of water supplies
The free webinar will be taking place at 11pm on Wednesday 5th April BST but will be available for up to 48 hours afterwards. To register for this webinar and for more information, click here.
There is no silver bullet; no simple, single solution to urban sanitation challenges. We must develop locally relevant and innovative solutions along the sanitation service chain that put customers first and focus as much on service management as on technology. Some reasons why the Plumbers' Company charity helps sanitation projects in Ghana.
Read a short but very informative blog from the World Bank by clicking here.
Open water - Competition for supplying water services in England
From April 2017 1.2 million more non-household customers for water and sewerage services will be able to choose their supplier 7, in a bid to increase competition.
Arrangements for this overhaul of national water services and its implications for the Water Fittings Regulations are outlined. Click here
Since privatisation in 1989 most premises have been supplied with drinking water and sewerage services by the local water company in whose region they are located. Only business customers using more than 5 million litres of water annually (50 million litres/year in Wales) might have used a different supplier.
From April 2017, England follows the lead taken in 2008 by Scotland to introduce greater competition. Eligible non-household premises will be able to switch suppliers of drinking water and/or sewerage services in a similar way to switching energy suppliers at present.
Benefits are greater competition and lower prices, fewer bills and simpler tariffs for businesses, which have multiple sites and better customer service, especially through added-value services such as water efficiency advice.
WATER FITTINGS REGULATIONS
In contrast to most other customer-facing duties, enforcement of the Water Fittings Regulations and Byelaws is retained by the wholesaler, and the responsibilities of owners, occupiers and installers are unchanged. The wholesaler’s prior consent of plumbing proposals is still required via notification. Inspection of plumbing in new and existing premises will continue.
However, in the case of planned inspections, retailers will have the option of attending. Retailers will be informed about the outcome of all inspections.
A list of potential retailers of water and waste water services is available on the website of Open Water (www.open-water.org.uk/for-customers/find-a-supplier).