A Gastronomic Treat in the Celebrated Escoffier Room! Wednesday 8th February
The Westminster Catering College on Vincent Square is one of London’s tastier secrets. Home for many years to a flagship vocational training school for professional chefs and restauranteurs, it has some rather famous alumni – Jamie Oliver and Ainsley Harriott amongst them.
For the incredible price of just £45.00 we shall enjoy a sparkling wine reception, a four course themed gourmet meal prepared by third year students (and served by second year) with half a bottle of wine (or soft drinks), tea and coffee. The price includes VAT and service.
Details and booking click here
After the service fellowship
The Master and the Chaplain
PLUMBERS HERALD THE CHRISTMAS SEASON
The Plumbers' Company held its traditional Carol Service in the Company Church, St Magnus Martyr on Tuesday 13 December 2016. The service was attended by a good number of Liverymen, partners and friends and was led by the Company's Honorary
Chaplain, Cardinal Rector, Reverend Father Philip Warner.
Congregational singing was interspersed by lessons read by the Master, Upper Warden, Renter Warden, Senior Assistant, Senior Steward and Clerk and the choir sang two festive carols. The service concluded with a magnificent rendition of David Willcocks' Postlude on Hark the Herald Angels by organist John Eady.
Following the Carol Service, the congregation enjoyed a lovely buffet and mulled wine which had been arranged by the Company's Stewards.
The Company's Carol Service has been described as the " best way to start off the Christmas season" and this year's service certainly fitted the bill.
Congratulatiions from the Worshipful Company of Plumbers to Daniel Martins, a plumbing and heating apprentice at Briggs and Forester and trainee at EAS Mechanical, who has placed fourth in the plumbing and heating category at Euroskills 2016 in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Taking place over three days, EuroSkills tested the limits of 500 young workers from 28 countries across 35 different skill categories.
Mr Martins placed fourth, not high enough to earn a gold, silver or bronze medal but good enough to receive a Medal of Excellence for his efforts. Eamon Wilson, managing director at EAS Mechanical, said: “The work he had to carry out was extremely technical. All bends were assessed to the degree, there was a 2mm tolerance on clips and pipework, and absolutely no leaks permitted.
“If you asked for more pipe than you were given, or extra fittings then you would be deducted points. The work was to a seriously high standard and Mr Martins should be extremely proud of himself to have competed with 10 other Europeans in his division.”
Mr Martins now has the opportunity to travel to Abu Dhabi for WorldSkills 2017 with Team UK, if he can impress his coaches.
Source HVP eNewsletter
Things are changing in plumbing and the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering has now made its journal available on line. Click here for access and learn about how he craft continues to advance and the educational activities that are availble at all levels. Our Company has always supported the CIPHE and we are proud to continue to do so.
Grand Charity Luncheon
At Skinners’ Hall on 26th January we shall welcome a very special guest, who will join our Company as an Honorary Liveryman. Further details will follow early in the New Year.
This special occasion will have a strong charitable theme. Thanks to very generous sponsorship, we are inviting Liverymen and guests attending to make a £95 donation that will directly benefit the deserving causes supported by our Charitable and Educational Trust. Your attendance will help us to support young people in education, relieve the suffering caused by homelessness and save children’s lives in Ghana by providing fresh water and sanitation. You will learn about Medical Detection Dogs - an extraordinary charity which we shall also be supporting. We hope you will remember this special day for years to come.
Numbers are limited and applications will be dealt with in order of receipt. Be sure to respond as soon as possible in order to be part of this very important event.
Closing date for booking Wednesday 18th January.
You do not have to be a plumber or associated with the industry, applications are invited from those who are not members of the CIPHE and with an interest in public service and a passion for excellence who can demonstrate:
• Leadership skills gained in the community, business or workplace.
• Strong communication skills – working closely with a wide variety of organisations including Government.
• An understanding of how to set clear objectives and monitor performance.
• The ability to contribute to the formulation of the Institute’s strategic direction.
The Lead Sheet Association is seeking to appoint a new Tutor/Technical Officer to support its small team of experts based at its Technical and Training Centre at East Peckham in Kent. This is a new role, required to meet increased demand for our services, and as a result the LSA is happy to consider employing either a trainee or fully qualified person for the position. Duties will range from teaching the LSA’s lead and hard-metal courses to responding to technical enquiries about the use of Rolled Lead Sheet from specifiers, contractors and property owners.
As winter approaches it is time to make sure both the plumbing in your house and and you are well prepared. WaterSafe, a scheme that works to improve water quality and plumbing standards is strongly supported by the Plumbers' Company and is working with the Met Office in taking a lead with their Winter Campaign to help home owners cope with adverse winter weather conditions. Click here to read about the campaign
A recent feature in the digital Heating Ventilating & Plumbing Magazine reports on how WaterSafe, the register for approved plumbing businesses, is supporting the government’s Get Ready for Winter campaign, hosted by the Met Office.. Melanie Harrowsmith, Head of Civil Contingencies at the Met Office said: “With winter looming, now is the key time to take some basic steps to ensure that you, your home, and your possessions are protected from whatever winter weather brings. A little preparation now can help your family stay safe - and avoid costly repairs or inconvenience that can result from winter-related issues and accidents.” The WaterSafe web site gives practical and comprehensive advice on maintaining good water quality, including how to turn off your water in an emergency and protecting against frozen and burst pipes.
Wrap up pipes and water tanks with lagging
Fix dripping taps – even a small trickle can result in a frozen pipe
Find your home’s stop tap and make sure you can turn it off – most are under the kitchen sink
Leave the heating on low if you go away
Check your central heating boiler has been serviced
Keep the name of a plumber handy – type in your postcode at watersafe.org.uk to find the nearest accredited plumbing business.
The Company's Carol Service on Tuesday 13th December
What better way to hail the season of goodwill? Join the Master and Mistress Plumber in the fabulous setting of St Magnus the Martyr, the truly splendid choir and organist, the warm welcome of our Chaplain, the Reverend Philip Warner, and the chance to add your voice to our full-throated congregation. Guests of all ages welcomed. This is a truly family occasion.
Click here for details and booking
Fillievres British Cemetery
Liveryman Aubrey C F Hill (Photo submitted by a great-grandson Mike Webb.)
Many Livery Halls display memorial plaques listing members of their Company who died serving their country in these conflicts. We have no such memorial, raising the question “did any Plumbers serving in these wars die and if so who were they?”
This has now been researched and the findings can be found by clicking here.
The Plumbers’ Company during the Two World Wars
The present Master’s year in office extends roughly from the centenary of the final phase of the Battle of the Somme in October/November 1916, to the conclusion of the Battle of Passchendaele a year later. These two battles alone accounted for nearly 1 million British and allied forces deaths.
The July Court this year was held at Pewterers’ Hall, where there is an oak panel in the Court room bearing the names of Liverymen of the Pewterers’ Company who lost their lives in both World Wars of the 20th century. Similar memorials can be seen in many other Livery Halls.
We have no memorial. Was this because we were fortunate enough to be spared casualties in either World War 1 or 2?
The Master posed the question and undertook a review of past lists of Company members, both pre and post wars, including the second edition (1923) of F. J. Waldo’s history of our Company. He was pointed in the right direction by Past Master Peter Brunner and assisted by diligent examination of family records contributed by Past Steward John Carnaby. They ascertained the following.
World War 1
72 names in all appear in the Plumbers’ Company’s Livery lists for 1911 through 1915 (consolidated). Of these, 31 are missing from Waldo’s 1923 list. A rapid internet search eliminated four prominent names as having been too old for service during the Great War. A further four were eliminated as having disappeared from the Livery list before the war began.
This left 22 names requiring further investigation. A variety of sources were consulted, including early Census records and the casualty lists published on the internet by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
We now know that the Company sustained one ‘direct’ casualty during the Great War.
Aubrey Charles Finch Hill of “Rotherfield”, 23 Drewstead Rd, Streatham, by profession a builder and contractor, died of pneumonia whilst on active service in France, on 24th October 1918, aged 43 (in fact during the outbreak of Spanish Flu). He was a Captain in an RAF Aerodrome Service Unit and is buried in Fillievres British Cemetery.
Additionally, there were Liverymen who lost sons in the service of their Country during the Great War:
Caleb Henry Adams was killed in action between 20th and 22nd September 1917. Having no individual grave, he is commemorated on Tyne Cot Memorial. He was a 2nd Lieutenant in the Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regt., 1st Battalion, and was 27 years old.
Private Edgar Lainson Adams of the 28th London Regt, Artists Rifles, was killed in action on 27th September 1918, aged 21, and is buried at Sucrerie British Cemetery.
Both were sons of Liveryman John Adams, who by 1915 was resident at 21 Addicombe Grove, Croydon. He was a pawnbroker and jeweller with business premises at 25 Borough High Street, Southwark.
Frederick Brighton, a Private in the 1st Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment, was almost certainly the son of Frederick Brighton of 15 Hampden Rd, Hornsey, London, N. (listed as a Liveryman in 1914/15) and his wife Annie. He died on 23rd April 1917 and is buried in Cojeul British Cemetery.
Lieutenant John William Freer of the 10th Battalion, Leicestershire Regiment died of wounds on 29th June 1915 at Mudros in the Empire of Turkey and is buried in East Mudros British Cemetery. He was 27 and the son of Liveryman William Freer of our trade (referred to below), who died in 1944 at the age of 81.
This may not be a complete list of family casualties in the Great War. Only those Liverymen whose names disappear from Company lists between 1914/15 and 1923 have been researched (the primary aim being to discover whether any Liverymen themselves died in the war). It is possible – perhaps likely – that there were additional losses of family members amongst Liverymen whose names appear on both pre and post-Great War lists.
World War 2
149 names appear in the Plumbers’ Company’s Livery lists for 1936-38 (consolidated). 35 of these are missing from the earliest available post-war list, 1947. Excluding those considered to old for active service, the initial list of 35 missing names was reduced to 24 requiring detailed investigation.
As a search of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission records for all 24 names produced no matches it can be concluded with some confidence that no serving Liveryman of the Plumbers’ Company was killed in action in the Second World War.
The Immediate Paster Master Erica Stary
Established in 1345, the Grocers comprise one of London's Great Twelve City Livery Companies. The stunning Grocers’ Hall, therefore, was the perfect venue for the Plumbers’ Ladle Dinner. This annual event is unusual in the Plumbers’ social calendar, this is for two reasons, the event focuses on the Immediate Past Master's year and the event is chaired by the Senior Steward.
This year we met to commemorate the year of the Immediate Past Master Erica Stary.
The evening started with drinks in the reception, all Past Masters upon arrival handed over their silver ladles, which would be handed back to them later after the meal, when they would have to line up in order of least precedence, meaning junior first. New Liveryman Richard Jordan presented Erica with her silver Ladle, a long held tradition that marks the end of the Master’s year.
Pianist Philip Mountford played the gentle sounds of Handel's 'Scipione' which provided the perfect backdrop to the evening's event.
New Master Brian Wadsworth served the top table their soup using the Ceremonial Ladle. After dinner, the four loving cups were shared around the room. There were the traditional toasts to the Queen, Royal Family and City of London Corporation followed by 'The Silent Toast'.
Past Master Nick Gale 'judged the performance' in detail of Immediate Past Master Erica Stary (former Judge and Solicitor), describing Erica as infectious, enthusiastic and lots of fun. Reaching his verdict, Nick summed up Erica's major contribution to the Plumbers Company, the trade and City of London. Nick stated that Erica fulfilled her position as Master with 'commitment, passion and distinction'. Erica was Master 418. In her reply, Erica expressed her huge thanks to the Company Family and the Secretariat for their steadfast and loving support of her not only in "her year" but also during her bereavement.
Senior Steward Michael Cooper thanked everybody for supporting the event and handed over the stewardship to new Senior Steward Ian Puddick.
Beadle Peter encouraged everyone to move from the dining room to the reception where they could share the Stirrup Cup with the chairman and the Stewards.
Senior Steward Ian Puddick
The Ladies - Beryl Smith, Sylva Moys, Wendy Hamilton, Gillian Jeffery, Elizabeth Sneath, Debbie Gale, Anna Cartwright, Diana Paterson-Fox, Jane Brunner, Jane Hodkinson
Following a tradition started by Past Master Rae, every year the Ladies of Past Masters meet for lunch. This year was no exception and the occasion, organised by Debbie Gale, was held in Innholders' Hall. Following a tour of the Hall there was a champagne reception hosted by Past Master Gale. He then departed and the Ladies sat down for an enjoyable lunch and a time for reminiscing.
The Mistress and The Master
Brian and Anne Wadsworth
Brian was born in London and grew up on the Lancashire coast and subsequently in western Canada, where he went to University. He returned to England in 1973 and has lived in Westminster for many years, with his wife Anne.
From the late 1990s Brian was Finance Director at the Department for Transport and subsequently Director of Logistics and Maritime Transport, covering the whole of the freight transport brief across modes. During the Thatcher years he was involved in several major privatisations, from British Airways to British Rail. For six years he chaired the European Commission's Maritime Safety Agency in Lisbon. He has also served as an adviser on railway reforms to the World Bank and worked in the world of private business at British Airways and BOC.
Brian today provides policy, strategy and management consultancy advice to a range of private clients. He also runs the Road Ahead Group, an alliance of private businesses advocating reforms to roads funding and motoring taxes. Brian is a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Carmen, which he had the honour to serve as Master in 2009-10. He is member of the United Wards' Club and a member of Castle Baynard Ward Club.
As a Liveryman in the Carmen's and Glovers' Companies, a Freeman of the Musicians' Company and a member of the Ward of Cheap Club, Brian's wife Anne is also very active in the City, as well as extensively involved in charitable work. A recent highlight of their lives together was Anne's investiture in July 2014 as an O.B.E., for her services to charitable giving in the U.K. Anne will also become a Liveryman of the Musicians’ Company on 19th October 2016, the same day Brian will be installed as the Master Plumber.
In their spare time Brian and Anne enjoy travel and cruising the world's oceans (undeterred by Brian's maritime safety background), as well as music and opera. Brian also has a persistent affliction with classic cars, which Anne is gracious about.
At the impressive Ceremony of Installation held in the Company Church of St Magnus the Martyr on Wednesday 19th October, Erica Stary relinquished the office of Master and installed Brian Wadsworth as our new Master. The two new Wardens were then sworn in – Robert Burgon as Upper Warden and Alderman Dame Fiona Woolf as Renter Warden.
This ceremony was followed by the Installation Day Service led buy one of our Liveryman and our Chaplain, Cardinal Rector Reverend Philip Warner.
The Master and Court then processed to Vintners’ Hall for a reception and lunch. In his speech the Master said “It is a privilege and a pleasure to serve our ancient Company in the office of Master. I thank you all most sincerely for your confidence and support The Master is the servant. We are all part of one team and we thrive on mutual fellowship.
I look forward to the unalloyed pleasure of sustaining our good fellowship, nurturing our links across the many and diverse Livery Companies of the great City of London, celebrating our distinguished heritage and helping, when and where I can, to advance our charitable works, which are such a key aspect of Livery life today.
I am fortunate indeed to have the loving support of my wife Anne, whose help and advice as Mistress Plumber will be invaluable throughout rny term of office. Ours will be a team effort, to be sure.”
David Adams, Air Cdre Paul Nash
At the Installation Court meeting David Adams and Air Cdre Paul Nash were sworn in as Court Assistants.
Leonard Yeoell, Richard Wernick, Richard Jordan, The Master ( now the IPM), James Cross, James McElroy, Neal Green
The final task of Erica Stary in her position as Master was to conduct the ceremony in which six new Liverymen were clothed in the Livery - Leonard Yeoell a Ret’d Policeman, Richard Wernick a Chartered Tax Adviser, Richard Jordan, Director of a Transport Company, James Cross a Banker, James McElroy an Army Officer and Neal Green a Building Consultant. We give them all a hearty welcome.
Well, at the time of writing it is all coming to an end in about 15 hours’ time and this week has in part been spent on preparation for the handover to the new Master at St Magnus around about noon. Before that, we have a court meeting at which some 14 of our Past Masters are expected to be present in addition to officers and assistants. I have today spoken to or left messages with all those unable to come; at least one is, alas, not well so best wishes have been sent for a speedy recovery, and another is working hard at a conference. We will be swearing in two new court members and 6 new liverymen, which is very good news indeed.
The rest of the time has been spent in part in first attending the Plumbers’ lunch at Ironmongers, where there was a good attendance and good discussions with fellow liverymen and their friends; secondly, I went to Furniture Makers Hall where their IPM gave an excellent lecture about furniture before and after the Great Fire. Of course, so much was lost in the fire and as people were rehoused they needed new furniture to replace that lost. Previously it would have mainly been in oak, but after there was competition for the Carpenters from the Joiners and Ceilers who began to use lighter wood, such as walnut. The speaker’s erudition and enthusiasm has whetted my appetite and I will be going to the Geffrye Museum in the new year, probably with the current Master Chartered Surveyor, for more in-depth study.
As you are probably aware, our clerk Paul retires tomorrow and will be replaced by Pieter Cox, whom I know some of you have already met. Please give him and our new Master, Brian, a rousing Plumbers’ welcome and all your support. Paul has done outstanding work as clerk and we have persuaded him to come onto the Court, so that we won’t lose sight of him, which is very good news.
I have had a really enjoyable, if hard-working, time as Master, and I would like to thank all of you for your support in making this a really memorable year.
A composite of all the Blogs can be read by clicking here.
On 17th October the second visit of the year for the Plumbers` Table took place at Ironmonger`s Hall. The Master was joined by some 25 Liverymen and guests. As usual the Roast Beef and Cheese Board proved very popular and the lovely wine on offer slipped down with great ease. The Master thanked everyone for supporting this event and also for all the support she has received from Liverymen during her Master`s year. The next lunch at Ironmongers` Hall is scheduled for Monday 23rd January and our new Master has already signed up for it.
Committees, Rehearsal, Woodwork, Water, Lion Sermon, Abseiling, City of London School for Girls and finally Richmond Sea Cadets Centenary Party. All in a week's work for the Master. Click here to read all about it
The week started with committees in our offices at Carpenters. Then we went to St Magnus to rehearse the swearing in of the new Master and Wardens. After a couple of runs through I wouldn’t say we were word perfect, but at least we know what we have to do! The Turners have had a wonderful exhibition “Wizardry in wood” at Carpenters this week and I was invited, with many other Masters to a reception to celebrate its opening. The workmanship is absolutely stunning – it is not just the skills with the lathe and various tools, it is also the eye to make the piece artistically pleasing. The exhibition is run every 4 years, and this year they had specialist museum items on display, some from Kew. I went back again later in the week looking for presents (and found them).
I was invited to a very interesting session at DEFRA where the speakers were Therese Coffey, who is, ia, DEFRA’s parliamentary undersecretary. She spoke about the 25 year plan they are writing to ensure that water is in the right place at the right time despite population shifts, and weather pattern change. We also had a talk from a Scottish civil servant who told us how they were focusing on obtaining a better share of the £500bn world-wide water industry work by using small focused specialised groups in their carefully targeted overseas visits. Finally, Judith Bachelar from Sainsburys gave a fascinating talk on how her firm is using green methods worldwide in order to cut down on fuel and water consumption whilst at the same time ensuring the product is good and the workers have guaranteed work. One example was the Kenya rose growing industry – apparently it used to take 20l water to produce each flower but with new methods the rose now only needs 8l.
The Master Chartered Surveyor and I went, on our own initiative, to St Katherine Cree for the annual Lion Sermon. If you have not heard of this, the background is that John Gayer, a merchant adventurer, found himself without his companions in the Syrian desert where he met with a lion, but his prayers to God resulted in his surviving the night unscathed. Much later, he became Lord Mayor (1646). In due course, he set up a fund for an annual service to commemorate his escape. The service this year was attended by some 60 people, the choir was from Lloyds, the readings inevitably included Daniel in the Lions’ Den, an excellent sermon was given an invited speaker, and there were lots of jolly hymns. Afterwards we celebrated with wine and sandwiches.
The week finished very busily. First there was my abseil for the Lord Mayor’s charity down the tower at St Lawrence Jewry. Whilst I had a somewhat shaky start (I have never abseiled before) and the wall down was full of pitfalls, such as ledges, a clock face, and baffles from the bell tower, it has to be said that the most difficult bit was climbing the 171 steps up the tower to get to the jump-off point. Once back at the bottom we were handed generous libations of gin and tonic!
Secondly, I went to the City of London Girls’ School prize day at the Guildhall (having changed out of scruffy jeans, etc) where the girls played beautiful music, there were excellent speeches and clearly the girls had done very well during the year. Finally, I went to the Richmond Sea Cadets’ Passing Out Parade evening. It is wonderful to see what the volunteers for the Sea Cadets do by way of enthusing, teaching and encouraging the young. Richmond has been doing extremely well – it seems that most regattas and competitions they enter they either win or at least take a place. Some of them have also taken exams in powerboat driving this year. One of the older cadets told us that the training had enabled him to qualify to teach other people how to sail and how he gives back by helping in the summer at Welsh Harp with the training of other sea cadets. They are very grateful for our support and have just celebrated their 100th birthday.
The 2016 golf programme has now been completed. There were a total of eight golfing days which were all successful and fortunately helped by decent weather. The final event was held at Wildernesse Golf Club on September 2nd jointly with the Painter-Stainers and the Firefighters. A lovely course and an enjoyable day. The Firefighter's numbers were depleted by the fact that the date clashed with the 350th anniversary celebrations of the Great Fire of London.Our new captain, Past Steward Richard Harvey, presented the prizes. Liveryman Barrie Corfield won first prize after a countback with Bruce Cox of the Painter-Stainers. Liveryman Danny Flowers won the nearest-the-pin competition and Bruce Cox won the longest drive. The programme for 2017 should be published in January and all members of the livery are welcome to join the Society. Don Munro will be retiring after eight years as Secretary and his place will be taken by his son, Michael. This is planned to happen gradually so that Michael is not suddenly dropped into the deep end!
New members should realise that they are not expected to take part in eight events but only those which interest them. There is a variety of choice. If you are a golfer come and join your fellow Liverymen and broaden your contacts. Hoping for an enjoyable 2017 season.
The major Plumbing event of the week was the visit to Gateshead to present the Wilkinson Trophy and Award, which was reported here in full last Thursday. The other events were livery company functions. I was invited to a splendid Mansion House banquet with the Glovers who managed to capture not only the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress, but also the two Sheriffs. Secondly, I attended the installation of the Master Constructor at St Lawrence Jewry and later at Grocers. This was a very happy relaxed event, where the Late Sheriff Christine Rigden, a Past Master Constructor, gave an entertaining speech about her wonderful year as sheriff. I was particularly impressed at how much the Sheriffs raised for the Lord Mayor’s Charity at their ball - £94000 (you may be interested to know that the two bottles of Plumbers’ 650 anniversary whisky I gave sold for £500). They also raised over £20,000 for the Sheriffs’ and Recorder’s Fund in their ride round Livery Halls. The third livery event was a Masters and Clerks luncheon organised by the Lightmongers at Tallow Chandlers Hall. This too was a joyous event. The Lightmongers have a very close relationship with the Tallow Chandlers and have given much assistance on lighting updating at the Hall.
Apart from those events, I have been updating the advisory booklet we have for those aspiring to join the Court or become a Steward, and generally dealing with queries from the office, and attended the Goldsmiths’ Fair again (and spent too much money again).
Paul Williams (President of CIPHE), Daniel Gowland, The Master
The Shield with Daniel Gowland and College Staff
The Wilkinson Shield prize for 2016 has been awarded to Daniel Gowland, an apprentice at Mears and Gateshead College, in a ceremony at the college. He has been also recognised by the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE) for his hard work and expertise in his field. Mears and Gateshead College won the college shield.
The award was created by John Wilkinson and first awarded in 1914. John was a well-known plumber in the North East who trained many apprentices in his time and was the Master of the Plumbers’ Company in 1922-23. His vision produced a prize which combines the teaching skills of the college with its best pupil for the year. Up to 12 colleges in the north of England region qualify - they have to be in Cumbria and the North East.
Those attending the ceremony included the current Master of the Plumbers’ Company, Erica Stary, the President of CIPHE, Paul Williams, representatives from the college, and members of the local CIPHE branch.
Daniel, the award recipient, is now studying for NVQ3. He is clearly thrilled to have had his hard work recognised. The college has won the award 4 times, the last time being two years ago.
The college authorities kindly provided the venue and reception. Many local senior members gave freely of their time to enable the award to be competed for.
Our deep thanks to them.
Read more about John Wilkinson by clicking here.
Members of the Company celebrated the feast of its patron saint, St Michael, by attending the Eucharist at St Magnus the Martyr on Sunday 2 October, which was celebrated by the Rector and Company Chaplain, Liveryman Fr Philip Warner. As liverymen will know, the parish of St Michael Crooked Lane was united to that of St Magnus in 1831.
The Master read the first lesson, the story of Jacob’s ladder from the Book of Genesis. Appropriately the sermon was preached by Fr Owen Higgs, Vicar of St Gabriel’s Pimlico. The feast of Michaelmass is celebrated as St Michael and All Angels by the Church of England and as Sts Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, Archangels, by the Roman Catholic Church. 2 October is also the feast of Holy Guardian Angels
The Mass setting was by the mid-19th century Czech composer Robert Führer and the anthem was Bach’s ‘O Christ the King of Glory’. Führer may be little known today but was very popular in his day, not least because of his ability to compose a beautiful melodic line. However, he was dismissed from his post as Director of Music at Prague Cathedral for selling the cathedral’s valuable Stradivarius violin to support his extravagant lifestyle.
The service was followed by sherry and a delicious lunch in the crypt, prepared by members of the congregation. Chicken Beaujolais was followed by a selection of home-made desserts and cheese. In thanking those who had prepared the meal, the Master said that it was the best food of the livery year! Fr Philip announced that the south courtyard of the church had won a ‘silver’ in the 2016 City in Bloom competition. The church was now aiming for ‘silver-gilt’ or even ‘gold’! Conversation over lunch concluded that a lead planter made at Singleton with the Company’s coat of arms, complementing the existing Fishmongers’ Company’s benches, would greatly enhance the courtyard. This is perhaps an idea for the coming year!
Michael Cooper, Senior Steward
As seen at the Autumn Festival. Why not give one or more as a Christmas Gift? Click here for details and order form
An important event at St George’s the Martyr Church in the Borough on Thursday 20th October between 6pm and 8pm.
St George’s is an ancient church, though twice rebuilt, most recently in 1736 and has had long connections with the City. We also have a very important, historic organ, which is badly in need of restoration. To begin this process, Dr Andrew Parmley (who will I am sure be well known to members) has agreed to give a short organ recital here on 20th October. The Bishop of Southwark, the Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, has also agreed to be present.
Click here for details
The main events have been the Autumn Festival and the Lord Mayor's Election. A huge amount of work goes into planning and organising livery functions starting with the Hall booking many months before. Menus have to be agreed, speakers have to be found, guests have to be decided and then invited, prices have to be negotiated, table plans arranged, flowers to be organised, pour memoires sent out and so on. The list is endless. I decided we should have a pianist I have been watching for some years so I arranged that but we had to structure the timing carefully. The Festival being a family event, on finding our speaker's wife was unable to be present, we asked if there was anyone else he would like to bring. The rabbit he pulled out of his hat turned out his co-sheriff from his shrieval year whom he persuaded (with my agreement having sworn me to secrecy) to share the billing. Those who were there will agree that it produced an excellent result. And our pianist was superb. You could have heard a pin drop from the audience which was spellbound with her wonderfully commanding playing.
Click here for the rest of the Blog and all the previous Blogs
The Election Day started for me at Guildhall at 8am where I joined other Masters, Members of the Livery Committee and others for a splendid breakfast organised by the Chef and Butler. Shortly before 10 I went down to the Crypt to meet Peter our Beadle who helped me with the gown and badge. Then we were lined up in reverse order of precedence and walked to the service at St Lawrence Jewry. After we had been settled in, the City Dignitaries arrived and the service took place. Then it was time to go back to the Guildhall for the Election, etc. Afterwards we, the Plumbers, lunched at Painter-Stainers with some 9 livery companies. Yours truly gave the speech of thanks and toast to our hosts. A very happy event.
This week has also been the 1st week of Goldsmiths' Fair. If you've never been you' ve missed a real treat and there is another week to go of 75 more jewellers and silversmiths - including some very affordable items. It is fascinating to see the wonderful designs and workmanship
The Master greets Paula and Ken Whitcombe while the Master Elect tries to catch Greg's eye. The Master is accompanied by John Brown.
The Plumbers' Company is well used to seeing Greg the dog who guides Liverymen Ken Whitcombe. Greg retired last year but there were some problems with his replacement. Being an "Honorary Plumber" ( a title bestowed by the Web Master!) Greg could not leave his Master Ken dogless. So he eagerly came back into service and received his usual welcome at our Autumn Festival.
Well done Greg!
Plumbers who were at the election of the Lord Mayor Alderman Dr Andrew Parmley in the Guidlhall on Thursday 29th September. Lunch was taken in Painters' Hall. The Master elect and his lady were also present but had to leave the lunch before the photograph was taken. Taking part in the elections of the Sheriffs and the Lord Mayor is an important privilege open only to Liverymen.
Click on title above to see a lerger picture and some information on the Lord Mayor Elect.
Alderman Dr Andrew Parmley, who spoke at the Company’s Autumn Festival on 27 September 2016, was Sheriff in 2014/15 and will take office as Lord Mayor in November. The 2016 Lord Mayor's Show will take place on 12 November 2016. In proposing the toast at Painters’ Hall, the Master Plumber made reference to the long history of the Mayoralty and the unique traditions of the City, as well as the kind hospitality of the Painter-Stainers’ Company in inviting members of nine other Companies to their Hall for lunch.
Dr Parmley’s career has been in education and music, and he has a wide interest in culture and the creative industries including as International Ambassador for the London Symphony Orchestra. In the world of education he is Principal of The Harrodian School in West London and has a range of international commercial interests. He has also recently joined the Prime Minister’s Apprenticeship Delivery Board. In the world of music he is a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists and of Trinity College, London, and an Honorary Fellow and Visiting Professor of the Guildhall School of Music. For more than 30 years he has served as the organist of St James Garlickhythe. He is a Past Master of the Parish Clerks’, Musicians’ and Glass Sellers’ Companies and Renter Warden of the Vintners’ Company. His wife, Wendy, is a Warden of the Information Technologists’ Company, having been Principal of a South London Technology College.
Alderman Dr Andrew Palmley, Late Sheriff Fiona Adler, The Master, John Brown, the Master Elect, the Immediate Past Master and the Renter Warden prepare to process into Dinner.
The magnificent Stationers' Hall was the memorable venue for this year's Autumn Festival, and it is one of the few ancient livery halls that remain in the City of London. In 1403 the Mayor and Aldermen of the City of London approved the formation of a fraternity or Guild of Stationers (booksellers who copied and sold manuscript books and writing materials and limners who decorated and illustrated them). This was the last formal Company occasion for our Master Erica Stary.
After reception drinks we were all invited to take our seats only to be greeted with a gift, a small souvenir tin of British Biscuits commemorating the Great Fire of London. The Master started the evening with a very warm welcome to everyone.
After a very enjoyable dinner, we were entertained by Clare Hammond a concert pianist, who is also part of the Odysseus piano trio performed. She filled the Stationers Hall with delicate sounds from five études by Chopin, Op. 25 Nos. 1(The Harp), 2, 6, 9 (The Butterfly) and 11 (Winter Wind).
The Loving Cups were shared following which the Renter Warden, Robert Burgon, formally welcomed all the guests and on behalf of the Company proposed a toast to them. In reply with what can only be described as the most humorous of recollections of City life and experiences by our esteemed guest Alderman Dr Andrew Parmley, who two days later was looking forward to being elected Lord Mayor, and the Late Sheriff Fiona Adler, a qualified Master NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) Practitioner.
International development charity WaterAid has launched its first virtual reality documentary, Aftershock. The film immerses viewers in the unique challenges faced by hill-top communities in Nepal to restore access to water in the aftermath of last year’s devastating earthquakes. Shot in the village of Kharelthok, Aftershock uses the power of film to engage viewers as they follow plumber Krishna Sunuwar, 58, taking on the challenge of repairing the community’s damaged water system. See below how to view the trailer and film.
“Virtual reality gives us the opportunity to take people closer to our work than ever previously possible,” said Catherine Feltham, WaterAid film producer. “By using this new medium we hope to engage supporters in the reality of where we work and the challenges we face as well as inspire them by proudly showing how we work alongside fantastic community members and project partners. The beauty of this medium is that it allows the viewer to be fully immersed and we look forward to seeing the reactions of people all over the world as they are transported to Kharelthok.” Across earthquake-affected areas in the region, nearly half of all water supplies were destroyed leaving thousands of people without enough clean water and vulnerable to disease.
From the Lightmongers' Company
The World famous Jonathon Porritt is addressing members of our company and our Lighting students on Tuesday 27th October in the lecture theatre at the London Transport Museum in Covent Garden.
Being such an important speaker the Chairman of our Education Committee would be delighted to offer a few of the available spaces to members of the Plumbers' company.
Click here for a flyer along with an application form to assist in booking. Please return your form to Phill Hyde , Clerk, The Worshipful Company of Lightmongers, Clerk@lightmongers.co.uk
I was Master of the Ironmongers' Company in 1989 and over the last few years, with assistance from all the Great Twelve Livery Companies, I have prepared a history of the Londoners’ period in Ireland. This has copious illustrations and is beautifully produced. It is an extraordinary story, which is not well known, and the Livery Company involvement is set within the context of Irish history. A synopsis is provided in the attached Flyer. Click here.
It was The Irish Society, still in existence, which supervised each of the Companies in managing its own estate. The involvement of each is explained in some detail, highlighting the legacy of fine market towns, buildings and churches that were provided. Most significant perhaps are the walls of Londonderry, paid for by the Companies, which still protect its historic cathedral, despite the ravages of three debilitating sieges. The book explains the current charitable role of The Irish Society and does much to outline the background to the conflicts that have lingered on as an endemic part of the Ulster psyche.
Robert Stedall Master Ironmoner 19898
This week I started with an Ironmongers’ lunch where I met up with a number of past masters from other companies. Then we had a classic committee Tuesday with meetings all day, but fortunately I did not need to be at the first one which deals with next year’s social events. I gather there were some celebrations there as empty champagne bottles emerged….
On the Wednesday I went with my ward club for a tour of St Pancras station, ending with a splendid afternoon tea at the hotel. I didn’t need to eat anything for the rest of the day! In fact, we nearly all took doggy bags with us. Despite not needing to eat I then attended a really interesting event at the Lancaster Hotel, courtesy our liveryman Prem Goyall, where awards were made to those who had made outstanding contributions in the charity area over the previous year.
My week ended with an escape to Guernsey for a long weekend, this time as a guest of the After 8 group of Past Masters. The weather stayed fine, we toured the island, ate extremely well (and often – I think diets of bread and water are called for in a few weeks time), took a boat to Sark where we (inevitably) travelled round by horse and cart, visiting beautiful gardens, and a museum of artifacts collected from the occupation during the 2nd world war. We also visited an alleged hospital facility which the occupying forces had built, largely by slave labour, underground in the hard rock of Guernsey – it was cold and damp, it is impossible to imagine that anyone might get well in there. Rather sinisterly, the records on the reasons for its creation are being withheld till 2045. A good time was had by all and I have returned refreshed for the final onslaught before handing over on October 19. Don’t forget to come to the installation….
Summer is over! After a jolly month in the country, I returned to Town for the Great Fire anniversary weekend. The first event was a reception organised by Artichoke (which laid on the spectacular commemoration events over the weekend) at the Royal Exchange. Here they outlined the excitements to come, which included tea at the Mansion House, courtesy of the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress, the following day. There were then street events over the weekend, including the ceremonial burning of a model of old City buildings, including Old St Paul’s, as the last event on the Sunday evening. In case you missed it, here is a link to watch it click here.
[For the remainder of the Blog click on the header above]
I also had fish and chip lunch with my regular group of other Masters on the Friday and was treated to lunch at Ironmongers on Monday by the Stewards, a most noble and generous gesture, which was much appreciated. I was even given a splendid bottle of gin from Ian Puddick’s Old Bakery which we sampled at the weekend – mmmm -- excellent!
I was treated to two lectures – the first a brilliant talk on energy from Steve Holliday now retired from being CE at the National Grid, arranged by the Fuellers, and the second a fascinating evening at the London Museum where we first went round the Great Fire exhibition, which is on till April and is well worth a visit or two (I shall probably go back later in the year), and then had a talk from one of the Museum curators on glass, especially glass recovered from the fire, and on display at the exhibition. That was organised by the Glasssellers and I discovered (but you probably know already) that lead glass was promoted and developed by Ravenscroft in the 1600s in Henley on Thames and sold exclusively to the Glasssellers.
I also went on another Great Fire Walk, arranged by my Past Masters’ group. That apart, I have been getting ready for the next round of committees, been into the office, and also attended a meeting at the Tax Advisers.
5 more weeks to go, then we have a new Master – something to which we should all to look forwards.
See below for all the Blogs
On 14 October I am hoping to do my very first abseil - to support the Lord Mayor's appeal. It would be wonderful if you were to support me. Obviously I want to raise as much as possible but my basic target is £500. Please help me raise money for this great cause by donating directly to their fundraising page -click here.
JustGiving sends your donation straight to The Lord Mayor’s Appeal and automatically reclaims Gift Aid if you are a UK taxpayer, so your donation is worth even more. If you would rather send me a cheque or CAF voucher please post it to me at 19 Keystone Crescent London N19DS
Thank you for your support!
Erica, The Master Plumber
NOW DONE see Master's Blog 32
The Senior Steward and Stewards invite all Liverymen of the Company to join them in entertaining the Master and Wardens and in honouring the Immediate Past Master, Erica Stary, at the 2016 Ladle Dinner and thanking her for all she has done in her year. We are fortunate to have the opportunity to dine at Grocers’ Hall, next to the Bank of England and a short walk from Bank Tube Station.
Click here for details and booking.
“Walks and Talks - About the City, in the City, and by City Guides” Details and booking click here.
Liveryman Owen Barnes with the newly cast treble bell at the Whitechapel Bell Foundry in November 2008. He is accompanied by the then Master, Rodney Cartwright
It is with much sadness that we have to announce the death of Liveryman Hubert Owen Barnes who passed away on 12th August 2016 having suffered a stroke at Christmas. Owen was 87 years old and had been a member of the Company since 1993. He will always be remembered for sponsoring the Treble Bell at St Magnus the Martyr in memory of his wife Sheila when the church’s new ring of 12 bells were cast in 2008/2009 and were consecrated by the Bishop of London, the Right Reverend Richard Chartres on 3rd March 2009. The first public ringing was on Easter Day 2009.
Owen’s funeral will be held at Redditch Crematorium, Bordesley Lane, Redditch, Worcestershire B97 6RR on Monday 5th September 2016 at 2.00pm.
Start your Christmas in the Guildhall where The Royal British Legion invites invite you to begin the festive season in style and glamour. Soak up the atmosphere of London’s great Guildhall and sing in the magnificent Great Hall. The programme includes a reception with our celebrity guests who will regale you with Christmas poetry and prose. The concert has classic carols, spectacular song and music from the world-renowned Bach Choir, the Legion’s own Central Band, and other outstanding musical performers. Click here for details and tickets.
Enjoy the concert and reception for £40 per person, including wine and soft drinks. Or choose our concert and dinner package with champagne reception and delicious black-tie three-course dinner in the historic Old Library (Tuesday 6 December only) prior to the concert and wine afterwards, at £195 per person.
Location: Guildhall, Gresham Street, London EC2P 2EJ Concert starts at 7.00pm
Select a date to buy your tickets now or get in touch with Rebecca Pride on 020 3207 2272 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Sir Jon Day CBE will deliver a lecture on the history of the Battle of Newbury (20th September 1643), which featured the notable involvement of the Honourable Artillery Company and the Trained Bands of London (predecessor of the London Regiment). Sir Jon is the author of “Gloucester and Newbury 1643” and a Trustee of the Battlefields Trust. His analysis is informed by his background in the security services and he is best known as a former Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee.
The lecture will be given at 12.30pm-2pm, in the Officers’ Mess of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, HM Tower of London. The cost is £25pp (includes a modest lunch). To book please visit the organiser’s page HERE
For more information, please contact Freeman Entrepreneur Frank Baldwin email@example.com
Beautiful and amazing original works by over 70 of the world’s greatest contemporary woodturners, Meet the craftsmen – learn more about their Art and Craft, Admire the Beauty of works from one of the world’s largest private collections, Marvel at the Mystery of exhibits from the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, Enjoy live demonstrations of the craft, Take part in a short guided tour of the exhibition
Collect, Give, Buy – many items will be for sale
Be your own judge of the entries to the Turners’ Company 2016 Competitions
Where: In the spectacular and spacious Carpenters’ Hall in the heart of the City of London.
When: Wed 12 – Sat 15 October: opens 10am each day. On Wed 12, Thur 13 & Fri 14 October: closes 6pm, last entry 5pm. On Sat 15 October: closes 4pm, last entry 3pm.
More information and how to buy tickets today at Early-bird prices Click here ** Early-bird offer ends midnight Wednesday 31 August **
The answer is found in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 6 which recognises importance of safe drinking water and effective sewage disposal for all. Clean, accessible water for all is an essential part of the world we want to live in. There is sufficient fresh water on the planet to achieve this. But due to bad economics or poor infrastructure, every year millions of people, most of them children, die from diseases associated with inadequate water supply, sanitation and hygiene. Water scarcity, poor water quality and inadequate sanitation negatively impact food security, livelihood choices and educational opportunities for poor families across the world. The answer requires improved plumbing which in turn requires trained plumbers and education in water hygiene. We support our craft and those who practise it wherever there is a need. For more click here
• 2.4 billion people lack access to basic sanitation services, such as toilets or latrines
• Each day,nearly 1,000 children die due to preventable water and sanitation-related diarrhoeal diseases
6.1 By 2030, achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all
6.2 By 2030, achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defecation, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations.
To read more about the UN Sustainable Developmet Goal 6 to Ensure access to water and sanitation for all click here
A new toilet block
To provide the local school with sanitation facilities, rain water harvesting facilities whilst also addressing the behaviour of hand washing to support a life-time impact in the village of Oboase Wawase, a remote rural village in Ghana.
During 2015 - 2016 we targeted the children and teachers of the village of Oboase Wawase and using resources and education we ingrain the washing of hands with soap following toilet use and before food preparation. The project began with a three page written agreement between our local staff, teachers in the local school and the community of Oboase Wawase. Then with the help of our local & international volunteers, who work alongside our team of Ghanaian builders we built a three toilet block within the school. Together we had a vision of what the village school of Oboase Wawase could be and with your support we transformed a village school in poverty to a place where a child has a much better chance of staying healthy. The success of the project is seen the now healthy village children. To read the full report click here.
The organisers state "We would like to thank the Worshipful Company of Plumbers for sponsoring this amazing project."
If you wish to find out more about out charity and make a donation however small please click here.
A hurdle or a high jump?
On Saturday 3rd September, 26,000 breezeblocks will tumble their way through a 7km route in the City of London. To achieve this monumental project we need 600 volunteers – yes, 600! We are also on the look out for volunteers to take part in London’s Burning, a festival of arts and ideas at the centre of the Great Fire 350 season of commemorative events.
We would love for livery members to get involved and be part of history as we mark an extraordinary moment in the life of the City.
To find out more please visit: http://www.visitlondon.com/greatfire350
Monday 17th October • NOTE THE DATE HAS BEEN CHANGED•
It's back after seven amazingly successful “Plumbers’ Table” lunches at Ironmongers’ Hall (over 40 attended the last one) we are organising an eighth. Open to all liverymen, their business and private guests, wives and partners. Remarkable value and no need to book weeks in advance! but please do book by telephone: Direct with Paulina Sowa at Ironmongers’ Hall (020 7776 2302) or On-line at: Paulina.Sowa@ironmongers.org – by Wednesday 5th October For downloadable details click here and scroll down
The Master Elect, Brian Wadsworth, writes "Another splendid Plumbers’ year has flown past and on 19th October I shall be installed as Master for the ensuing year in St Magnus-the-Martyr Church, Lower Thames Street. Robert Burgon will be installed as Upper Warden and Dame Fiona Woolf DBE, DL as Renter Warden. We all look forward to the honour of serving our ancient Company. Following the Installation Service, my wife Anne and I would be delighted to welcome you to our Champagne reception at Vintners’ Hall, Upper Thames Street, which will be followed by a three-course luncheon with wine in the historic main hall."
Click here for the programme and booking form
The Service of veneration to the Patron Saint of the Company, St Michael the Archangel, will be held this year at 11am on Sunday 2nd October 2016 at St Magnus-the-Martyr Church, Lower Thames Street, EC3R 6DN. The Master hopes that as many Liverymen as possible will wish to join her and bring their families. This year there will be a guest preacher, the Reverend Owen Higgs, Vicar of St Gabriel's Church, Warwick Square, Pimlico.
Following the Service our Company Chaplain Cardinal Rector the Reverend Father Philip Warner has invited us all to join him, the guest preacher and the congregation for a 2-course lunch with wine in the crypt.
Details & booking click here.
We are now able to confirm that the guest speaker for our Autumn Festival at Stationers’ Hall on Tuesday 27th September 2016 will be Alderman Dr Andrew Parmley, who if elected two days later, will be the next Lord Mayor of the City of London. He will be accompanied by his wife Wendy.
If you have not booked your place click here.
This year’s election of the Lord Mayor will be held at the Guildhall on Thursday 29th September 2016 and Liverymen who were admitted to the Livery before the 31st May 2015 are eligible to vote. Alderman Dr Andrew Parmley the guest speaker at our Autumn Festival on 27th September is standing for election this year. If you wish to attend Common Hall in the Guildhall to vote to approve his election as Lord Mayor you will need a pass for entry to the Guildhall and these may be obtained in advance only from the Company office. Following the election, the Painter Stainers’ Company has invited us to join them for lunch in Painters’ Hall and have 20 places available.
For details and booking click here
Sunday 4th September The Adelphi Theatre
The Plumbers' can help Variety, the Children’s Charity, in its work for children in every part of the UK who are sick, disabled and disadvantaged by taking advantage of an exclusive discount for tickets for an event which is very special indeed and which will be a novel and unusual part of the commemoration of the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London.
This is a wonderful opportunity for Variety, which has been generously nominated by the “Bumblescratch” company to be the beneficiary of a début gala concert version of this extremely exciting new musical by Robert J. Sherman (son and nephew of the legendary Sherman Brothers, creators of classics including Mary Poppins and The Jungle Book).
Book now. There will be 20% off all tickets for Livery Company bookers Quote: VARIETY at point of purchase. For details click here.
It does not quieten down in the Summer. Read all about it by clicking here.
Master’s Blog 27
Here’s what I have been up to since the return from the IOM. We started with committees and also several sessions with Paul on various admin matters, then a court meeting – this was the Election Court, and as a result we now have a Master Elect – Brian Wadsworth, Upper Warden Elect as Robert Burgon and Renter Warden Elect, Fiona Woolf. So I see the end of my year is looming rapidly!
After the end of the court meeting we held a court dinner at Pewterers’ where our principal guest was the Non-Aldermanic Sheriff, Christine Rigden. Christine is also an aleconner, and I persuaded her to do an ale con as well as a speech. I had bought beer especially from the IOM for this purpose, and Paul borrowed a backless bench from her (essential, as the beer needs to be poured onto it before she sits in it for a while to see what the results are). Fortunately it stayed fine that evening so we were all outside in Pewterers’ garden to watch the procedures, which she also explained, giving also the historical background.
Other events include my regular date with other Masters in 2016 at the City Livery club for the table d’hote lunch and exchange of views, and attending speech day at St Paul’s Cathedral School where the pupils played and sang brilliantly, as well as winning lots of prizes. I was also invited to Sandhurst, which we visited via Bisley for lunch in the Artists Rifles Clubhouse. It was a very hot day but really interesting to make the visit – the Master Glover is a former lecturer at the Military College. I later discovered that a PM Fueller had been shooting in the competition being run that day at Bisley. We had seen them in the distance and had wondered what was happening.
The Plumbers’ and Constructors’ city church walk for fellow Masters and Clerks has also now taken place – again a very hot day. We visited 10 churches in two groups (the 11th elected not to be open, despite having assured our guides that it would be – another time perhaps). Our guides were very good indeed, and we also had an excellent lunch at St Lawrence Jewry.
I have had two visits to the Old Bailey, both of which were essentially as the guest of the Non-Aldermanic Sheriff, Christine Rigden. The first was an excellent small dinner and the second was a sabrage event – you will have seen the picture of John Carnaby decapitating a bottle of champagne with a cork – well, lots of others there did the same, including yours truly. It makes drinking champagne even more fun!
I enjoyed another alcohol-based session this time at Vintners, courtesy Distillers, where I attended an excellent Master Class on Armagnac, and then was let loose on some 171 bottles of various spirits all of which had won gold medal awards for 2016. There were some 250 of us there, mainly Masters and IPMs plus other halves and clerks. Most interesting event and I learned a lot - and no, i didn't try all of them, suspect if i had i would not be here to tell the day!
The final two events to report were first the 4th in the series of lectures organised by the Chartered Architects on rebuilding London which in this lecture concentrated on rebuilding since WWII and second the Plumbers’ golf day at New Zealand Golf Club. The golfers had arrived early in the morning for their rounds of golf and I arrived around lunchtime. They had all had a very good time and it is even possible that we will have some new members as a result. All credit to the organisers.
I am now in the country for August, when by and large little happens in the City, though there are at least 3 installations – Carpenters, Tylers and Bricklayers, and Wax Chandlers. So back in September for the final six weeks before I hand over. Have a very good summer everyone.
Champion Richard Harvey and Runner Up the Clerk, Paul Nash Outgoing Captain Past Master Chris Sneath and the new Captain. this year’s Champion, Past Steward Richard Harvey
Master and Golf Society Secretary Liveryman Don Munro Master and Nearest the Pin winner, Liveryman David Hannam
The golfers have had a very busy July, with Liverymen being involved in four competitions culminating in the Plumbers' Golf Day. Read what was achieved by clicking here.
July has been a busy month for the Golf Society.
On the 4th, we entered a team of four in the Livery Ryder Cup Competition organised by the Marketors.We came 9th out of 23 teams.It is an annual event on the Verulam course at St Albans. Always enjoyable. Liveryman Michael Munro won the chipping competition which raised almost £1000 for the Lord mayor's charities.
On the 6th, two members joined the Painter-Stainers at Sunningdale Ladies Golf Club for a relaxed round of golf followed by lunch.
On the 11th, we entered a team of four in the Lord Mayor's Charity Golf Day at Stoke Park. This prestigious occasion raised several thousand pounds for the charities. The Lord mayor was in the Far East but four Sheriffs joined us for dinner (2 current and 2 newly elected). We finished 7th out of 18 teams but won nothing other than raffle prizes! A wonderful experience.
On the 29th, 34 golfers gathered at New Zealand Golf Club for our Plumber's Golf Day. A little rain did not dampen our spirits and the morning's golf on an excellent course was enjoyed by all. The Master joined us for lunch and afterwards presented the trophies and prizes. Many thanks to her for sparing the time.
The winners were:
Plumber's Trophy - Richard Harvey with an outstanding 43 points; Runner-up - Paul Nash; Guest Trophy - Steve Halfpenny; Runner-up - Dennis Woods; Nearest the Pin - David Hannam; Longest Drive = Daniel Judge
Notable guests were the Master Fueller and our first lady golfer at this location. We plan to repeat next year.
Our Captain, Past Master Chris Sneath, is now retiring as captain and will be succeeded by Past Steward Richard Harvey. Thank you Chris for your helpful support during your period of captaincy.
Our final event of 2016 will take place at Wildernesse Golf Club on September 2nd. All Livery golfers welcome.
Leading Engineering Technician Robert Dannatt and Senior Aircraftsman (Technician) Stewart Barlow,receive their awards from the Master.
The Master presented awards and Freedom of the Company to Leading Engineering Technician Robert Dannatt, the best trainee qualifying in metalwork at The Royal Navy, HMS Sultan at Portsmouth and to Senior Aircraftsman (Technician) Stewart Barlow, the best airframe technician who during further training receives Engineering Skills and Hydraulics at The Royal Air Force at RAF Cosford.
Simon Richard Brazier (Investment Banker), Roger Carl D’Silva (Retired Plumber), Graham Shreeves (Quantity Surveyor), The Master, James Christopher O’Byrne (Group Director Consulting Engineers), Andrew Neil Grant (Housing/Business Consultant)
At the Court meeting on 26th July, Simon Richard Brazier (Investment Banker), Roger Carl D’Silva (Retired Plumber), Graham Shreeves (Quantity Surveyor), James Christopher O’Byrne (Group Director Consulting Engineers) and Andrew Neil Grant (Housing/Business Consultant) were clothed in the Livery. We look forward to meeting and greeting them all.
In 2009, the Master (now the WebMaster) felt very honoured at the dedication of the new bells ceremony in St Magnus the Martyr Church to name the treble bell, Michael, in response to a question from the Bishop of London, Richard Chartres. The Bishop, who is well known to many Livery Companies, has recently announced his retirement. Richard Chartres became the 132nd Bishop of London in November 1995. The Bishop has written to clergy and parishes across the Diocese of London to share the timetable for his retirement, with his last public engagement as Bishop of London being Candlemas at St Paul’s Cathedral on February 2nd 2017. The Bishop, who has held the post for over twenty years, will continue his work and engagements as normal until Christmas and will continue to hold the post of Dean of HM Chapels Royal until the appointment of the 133rd Bishop of London.
The Worshipful Company of Plumbers wishes him well in his retirement and thanks him for all his leadership and work within the City of London. To see the picture more clearly click on the header.
Practising Sabrage. Past Steward John Carnaby practising his skills with a sword on a bottle of champagne at the Old Bailey,
The St Michael Medallion is made to a person who, or organisation which, has made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of Plumbing. John was recognised in 2010.
St Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall, Orkneys
St Magnus Church Egilsay
This lovely Wren Church in Lower Thames Street is the spiritual home of the Plumbers' Company. It is here that we are a Worshipful Company and where our year starts with the installation of a new Master every October. Who, however, was St Magnus? If you click here you will find the answer and learn about the connection with the Orkneys.
The church web site is www.stmagnusmartyr.org.uk/
The Master is on the right
The City then the Isle of Man including a trip round the TT course on a Trike. Click on header for full blog.
The last fortnight has been a busy one, which mainly involved ensuring that the weekend in the IOM worked well. However, that was not everything….
I attended a jolly party on HQS Wellington to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Figaro Past Masters’ group. Amazingly, in this rainy summer, it was fine so our barbecue went well.
Jailed and bailed also occurred – this involved turning up at the Mansion House for an apparently relaxed drink with convivial company, which was invaded by the sheriffs and various other officers. The sheriffs then charged each of us with various heinous offences and we were each wrist-chained and “dragged” to the Tower of London. The ball and “chain” are now in the offices. At the Tower, the visitors were clearly puzzled at the sight of some 25-30 people strangely-clad in middle ages garb and badges being abused by apparent police officers – several of us are now on various selfie pics! Once installed in the Tower, we were called up one by one to be told we would be freed if the bail were sufficient – fortunately mine was, thanks to various liverymen and friends. Overall the event raised some £34-35k for the British Heart Foundation in a hugely fun way.
Several of us attended the GSMD end of year gala at the Barbican (attendance was organized by Paul) which not only gave us an excellent dinner but also allowed us to see a really slick production by the boys and girls. A super evening.
I also went to the exhibition of work from the Building Crafts College, which was at Carpenters. A really excellent exhibition. And I did enjoy being able to chat to the students about their work and why they had chosen the particular field they were specialising in.
After that I went to the IOM. In part this was to tidy up all loose ends (and there were several) but also to attend the annual Tynwald Day ceremonies on Tynwald Hill (an artificial mound in St John’s). In essence, the objective is to tell the public what laws have been enacted over the previous 12 months, but the event also gives an opportunity to present petitions, and several were. It is attended by all the members of the Tynwald legislature together with the Deemsters (judges) and other important officials including the Bishop. The day starts with a church service in a charming little church, and then there is a procession to the Hill, the legislation is read out, the petitions (if any) are presented and then they process back again to a meeting where the Acts passed are now finalised with the appropriate assents. It was, fortunately, fine and that certainly helped the fair which sprang up for the day’s celebrations. I bought home-made fudge as part of my presents to those coming on the trip.
The tidying up involved trips to Peel, Laxey, a pub by the quayside in Douglas and another restaurant in Douglas to settle the timings and arrangements for lunch and/or dinner and pay deposits; to Manx Inspirations from whom I had ordered some commemorative mugs (several times as there were a number of problems attached mainly concerning breakages due to the way they were packed); arranging taxis for groups of people arriving at the same time; endeavouring to pin down the timing of and the tickets for our trip on the electric tram up to Laxey, and so on. Finally, all was done and I awarded myself a trip on one of the trikes which, ia, take you round the TT race course with full commentary en route. Super fun. Then the party started and the report has been made elsewhere.
Water Safe has highlighted the need for proper planning programmes to safeguard our drinking water. Other countries do not have the stimulus of the Worshipful Company of Plumbers but the WHO and the International Water Association are working hard on Water Safety Plans. Read about their work by clicking here.
The Master led a highly successful and enjoyable party to part of the British Isles outside the EU. The Isle of Man is fiercely independent with the oldest continuous Parliament in the World. Read about the trip by clicking on the header, More photos to follow.
For this year’s annual adventure weekend, the Master took her band of intrepid liverymen, their partners and friends to the middle of the Irish Sea for 3 days of Celtic history, Victorian transport and kippers.
The Regency Hotel on the northern end of the Promenade in the capital Douglas was basecamp for our explorations around the island and the staff there went above and beyond to make us feel at home. The great Celtic god of the sea, Manannan, was not so welcoming with the weather unfortunately, giving us the rare opportunity to experience at least three of the four seasons the Isle enjoys, but neatly compressed into 72 hours. Indeed the sea fog was so thick on the Thursday night when several of the party were due to arrive, that several were delayed, diverted, or in one case, sent all the way back to Gatwick for the night.
By Friday lunchtime however the majority had made it to Man and we set off for the first event - a guided tour of the Tynwald. This seat of Manx power is the world’s longest continuously operating parliament (albeit only relatively recently democratic).
We were welcomed by The Speaker of the House of Keys, the Honourable Steve Rodan and Geoff Corkish, Member of the Legislative Body. Over the next two hours they gave us a fascinating insight into the workings of this ancient government, personally showing us around the three chambers - the House of Keys, the Legislative Council and the Tynwald Court - making the Tynwald the only operating tri-cameral parliament in the world. Our welcome dinner that evening was held at L’Experience, an excellent bistro just next to the Hotel that did a sterling job wrangling a gaggle of travel-weary Plumbers.
Saturday saw the weather close in again with Irish sea mist blending seamlessly into Manx hill fog. Undeterred we donned stout footwear and even stouter anoraks and traipsed the short distance to the Electric Railway - a Victorian tramway with 130 year-old rolling stock that still managed to stick to a timetable better than Southern Rail. This wound us around the north coast to Laxey, home of the Great Laxey Waterwheel: “Lady Isabella”, and the Laxey Mining Trail. The following hours allowed us time to explore this historic site, going down into the mine entrance, peering into the gloom of 500m access shafts and riding on “Ant”, one of the small steam locos that used to haul ore from the working faces. The technically nerdy amongst us had much fun working out the mechanisms behind the series of water channels that fed the wheel, and transfer rods that provided power back to the mine pumps.
After a relaxed lunch at a newly rebuilt restaurant owned by the founder of the island’s largest plumbing and building business, a few intrepid souls took the mountain railway to Snaefell Peak where we enjoyed the views stretching literally yards into the distance as the force 4 gale swirled the thick fog around us.
Dinner that evening was taken on the move aboard the island’s historic steam Dining Train pulled by 1910 loco ‘No 13 Kissack’. With an African theme, the 3 hour leisurely ride from Douglas to Castletown and back was steeped in the nostalgia of a bygone era of rail travel. As the sun set and the mists descended once more, we tucked in to ostrich steak and wild boar, toasted with South African wine and, whilst enjoying the scenery that raced past at up to 15 miles per hour, hoped to catch a glimpse of the feral wallabies that apparently now bounce free across the fern-clad hills.
On Sunday the group split, with around two thirds opting to bus it to Peel Castle for a day of rummaging around ruins, with the remainder choosing a guided tour of the famous TT track around the island.
The Peelers finally managed something resembling July weather and there was plenty of time to discover the secrets of the castle, learn more about the island's Celtic history at the award winning Manannan Museum, or potter around the quiet, quaint town.
The TT enthusiasts started with a video Close to the Edge, following one rider's preparations for the event with many historical film clips inserted. After lunching at a local pub, they were met by the engaging "Milky" Quayle who took them on an exciting ride around the racetrack. Milky is one of only 3 Manxmen who have won a TT race and his knowledge of the road, its bends and bumps is phenomenal. Everyone felt they were really on their own bikes risking knees, elbows, bones and lives as they went round the circuit at breakneck speed - at least it seemed like it though actually took about two and a half hours instead of 16:53.929 minutes - the current lap record for the 37.73 miles. Phew!
Our final farewell dinner was taken back at the Regency, in the company of our Tynwald hosts, Geoff Corkish and the Honourable Steve Rodan, and their wives. In response to our Master's speech of thanks and gifts of rare and exclusive malt whisky and hand printed company scarves, they entertained us again with further stories of island life. Finally the Master was herself presented with a gift of a late Victorian paraffin blow torch; a tool, she has promised, she will demonstrate the use of as soon as the opportunity arises.
Although the official activities were from Friday to Sunday evening, a number of liverymen took advantage of the opportunity to come to the Island and stayed an extra day or more either side of the weekend. Overall, it was for many of us a chance to explore a part of the British Isles (although most definitely NOT the UK as we were frequently reminded) that perhaps had not been on our Trip Advisor wish lists. Time moves slower and the pace of change is definitely a gear or two down, but given what is happening on ‘The Adjacent Isle’ at the moment, that is perhaps not such a bad thing. It was also, as always, a terrific opportunity to catch up with fellow liverymen and meet new friends.
Many thanks Master.
Ready for her Master's Weekend!
The Royal Society for Public Health announces their next free water webinar is coming up on Tuesday 6th September at 1.00pm BST entitled 'Legionnaires Disease & Legionella Guidelines: A Global Update?’
Speaker: Dr Susanne Lee, Director of Leegionella Ltd
Chaired by: Dr Birgitta de Jong, Senior Expert, European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control
Registration is open at: https://event.webcasts.com/starthere.jsp?ei=1106127
Find the face. (Click on the header to enlarge) More to follow. Remember this coming Friday is the start of the Master's Weekend
Liveryman Harold Glover receiving the Légion d'Honneur from the French Consul at a recent ceremony in Chester. The award- the highest France has to offer- was in recognition of his part in the liberation of France. Note he is wearing the Company tie.
We all send our congratulations to Harold on this well deserved honour.
* A memorial service (evensong) will be held for the late Sir Robert Finch at St Paul’s Cathedral on 21st September at 5pm.
* Shrieval Chain Appeal 2016 from Alderman Sir Michael Bear, Chairman, Alderman William Russell Shrieval Chain Appeal
"How delightful to see Alderman Peter Estlin and Alderman William Russell elected as Sheriffs for the coming year at Guildhall on 24th June. As Chairman of Peter’s Chain Appeal, it gives me pleasure to invite you, in line with City tradition, to contribute towards the cost of his Shrieval Chain of Office and I attach the Appeal letter." Click here
My girls (Wife Sue, Daughters Jo and Pippa) and Pippa's boyfriend Sam are attempting PLOD - a 40 mile hike in the South Downs on 17th July (Sue's birthday!) starting at midnight on the 16th July. It's going to be quite a challenge and it's in aid of Action Medical Research for Children. I'm the support team to provide food, water, blister plasters! etc at each of the check points en route. The team is called the M and N's (one Morris and 3 Nash's!).
If you would like to support us and the charity they are supporting please go to the website page www.action.org.uk/sponsor/MandNs .
Legionella risk assessments increase in rented properties, says APHC
The number of landlords arranging for essential legionella risk assessments and monitoring to be undertaken in their rented properties is on the increase, according to the Association of Plumbing and Heating Contractors (APHC). Who does the risk assessments and monitoring? PLUMBERS. Click here.
Commonly found in freshwater areas, legionella is a bacteria which can sometimes enter into artificial water supplies. When people come into contact with the bacteria by inhaling water droplets, they can contract the often fatal lung infection Legionnaires' disease.
By law, all hot and cold water systems within any property that has a commercial use, or is open to public access, must be assessed for risk of legionella. This includes residential properties that are let by private and social landlords, care homes, schools, sports facilities and changing rooms, and APHC has observed a growth in the number of risk assessments undertaken on these types of buildings. One reason for this is an increased demand on landlords by estate agents to have risk assessments undertaken, in line with regulations in this area.
APHC’s dedicated scheme, Legionella Risk Assessment and Disinfection, allows property owners to meet their obligations by sourcing and working with plumbing professionals who satisfy the scheme’s criteria.
John Thompson, chief executive at APHC, said: "We've been pleased to observe a steady increase in the numbers of legionella risk assessments being undertaken on rented properties. Landlords have a responsibility to protect the welfare of their tenants and at APHC there has certainly been evidence to suggest that the legislation in this area is working to achieve this."
Building crafts college end of year show
This is currently showing at Carpenters' Hall from 10-6, until July 2. It shows work from both year 1 and year 2 students. The trades covered include stone masonry, carpentry, turning, even plumbing. It is a stunning show of exacting careful and brilliant work and is well worth a visit. Do go if you possibly can.
Past Steward Mike Horwood has reported "I completed the course in 6hrs 50 mins, albeit 5.5 miles longer [118.5 miles] because a number of us were misdirected! I really hope we can raise a decent amount for our charities." He was competing in the Lakesman Triathlon (click here) in order to raise money for the Plumbers' Charity. If you have not already supported him you can find details on our web site by clicking here. Please support this magnificant effort by Mike.
Show your support for Mike by sending to the Clerk a cheque payable to Please pay to The Worshipful Company of Plumbers Charitable and Educational Trust or by BACS to The Royal Bank of Scotland of 62/63 Threadneedle Street, London, EC2R 8LA (Bank Sort Code: 16–00–15) for the credit of The Worshipful Company of Plumbers Charitable and Educational Trust (Account number: 23161802). Please reference either as Mike Horwood.
Armed Forces Flag Raising Day
Lead planters, Great Fires, a Court of Law, York Minster, Shrieval Election and the APHC. Click here for the full narration.
Tuesday was a busy day - fortunately fine as we spent most of lunchtime in the Guildhall internal courtyard where we had, as you will have seen elsewhere, a lovely time representing Fiona with the beautifully-crafted lead planter made for her by Phil and Peter at Singleton, which planter she in turn presented to the City. In the evening, some 18 of us went to Bakers' Hall for dinner and a play specially written to commemorate the Great Fire which as you know was started by the oven at the King's Baker's house in Pudding Lane. The play was great fun and largely based on Samuel Pepys' diaries but with specific references to those livery companies represented that night (the play ran for 5 evenings). It started in the reception, then broke whilst we went for our first course, and so on. They played, then we ate, all great fun
Wednesday I attended at the Mayor's and City court, which is just off Guildhall Yard, in order to watch the now annual event of the Lord Mayor presiding in the court, which, as you will have guessed from the title, used to be his. The Mayor's Court is ancient in origin and was an inferior court of record. Many years ago it was amalgamated with the City of London Court (formerly the Sheriffs' court) to create a county court for the City but now, in the view of many, sadly the court is no longer independent but subsumed into the general county court structure and currently run with all the other London County courts with the Central London County Court as its leading court. The current procedure for the Mayor's day is that he arrives and is greeted by the local judges, in their chambers, then they all troop into court no 1. The senior judge makes a speech of welcome, as also do the barrister and solicitor specially invited for this purpose, then the Lord Mayor replies. After that, the case is heard. It is always a case where the parties have sent the court a proposed agreed settlement for the court to approve. The barrister and solicitor put the case forward, the LM and the judge "confer" and the judge seals the order. After that, the court is closed and there are celebrations at the reception outside in the public area of the courthouse.
After that, I went to our offices for further discussions with the working party on the proposed new website.
Thursday saw me up early and on the train to York. I had been invited by a past master of the York Merchant Adventurers to this year's rendition of the York Mystery Plays. This year they were held in the Minster which had had a stage installed along with high rise seating. It was excellent. As usual, all parts bar one were played by members of the local community, the one being a professional. There are many small mystery plays (48) and if one did them all it would be very long, so the producers each time choose those they would like to include. Essentially, the different plays cover scenes from the Biblical creation through to the Day of Judgment. The plays were I understand originally written and played on pageant wagons which were taken round the old city by the various York guilds of whom there are now about seven left at least one of which was revived in the last century. In recent times, the plays have mainly been held in the Museum gardens.
Friday saw me on the train at 7am in order to make sure i would be in good time for the Shrieval Elections (and I was). I met up with our new clerk Pieter afterwards in Guildhall yard and we walked together to Farmers' and Fletchers' for lunch, where I also met his brother Paul. After lunch we returned to the Yard to watch the Armed Forces flag raising ceremony before the Lord Mayor. A rousing event.
The weekend found me at the APHC president's dinner in Billesley. This was a very happy event at which I was made most welcome and our Renter Warden was presented with an award for his outstanding long service to our craft and industry.
* Read the lates Livery Briefing from the Livery Committee by clicking here.
* Join the Launderers' for their Annual Lecture on Monday 19th September by Kevin Maynard, Station Manager of the RNLI Tower Lifeboat Station It is FREE. Click here for details and booking form.
* Consider membership of Broad Street Ward Club, our Ward Club. Click here to find out about the Ward Club
* Join Liverymen from other Companies in the City Livery Club. Details click here.
* A memorial service for the late Sir Gavyn Arthur, 675th Lord Mayor of London, will take place at 2.45pm on Monday 17th October 2016. The service will be held at Temple Church. A Choral Evensong is being held in memory of the late Sir Richard Nichols, on Thursday 30th June at 5pm at St Giles Cripplegate.
City Events that you may be interestded in
6 July City BeerFest http://www.citybeerfest.org/
14 July HAC and Royal Yeomanry Concert Guildhall FREE More here
The Golf Society's programme is now underway. Already three events have taken place : our members' day was at Brookmans Park on the 5th May. We entered teams in the Prince Arthur Cup at Walton Heath, where 54 livery companies competed in this prestigious competition, and at Porters Park in a day organised by the Pewterers. All were very enjoyable.
The season continues with inter-Livery days at Verulam, Sunningdale Ladies and Wildernesse. Our own major
Golfing Day at New Zealand Golf Club is on July 29th where we hope to have at least 30 competitors. The Master plans to join us for lunch and present prizes. ( We do eat as well as play golf.) All members of the Livery are welcome to join the Society and New Zealand and Wildernesse are still open to new members. If interested, please contact the Hon Sec, Liveryman Don Munro. We have also entered a team in the Lord Mayor's Golf Charity Day at Stoke Poges on July 11th. This is being organised by The City Livery Club Golf Society on behalf of the Lord Mayor's Charity Appeal. It also celebrates their half centenary as an independent society. Unfortunately it coincides with the last day of the Master's Weekend. The diary is rather crowded at this time of year. There are three golfing days within a period of eight days. If you are a golfer, come and join us. Follow the example of our latest recruit, Liveryman Albert Chinn, who is 83 years old and a liveryman for 25 years. He plans to join us at New Zealand Golf Club.
Renter Warden, Robert Burgon, Upper Warden, Brian Wadsworth, The Master, Erica Stary, Alderman Dame Fiona Woolf, Chief Commoner, Michael Welbank MBE, Chairman Open Spaces & City Gardens, Graeme Smith, City Chamberlain of London, Dr Peter Kane, the Remembrancer, Paul Double and the Clerk to the Chamberlain’s Court, Murray Craig.
At a special ceremony on 21st June 2016, the Master Plumber, Mrs Erica Stary, formally presented a lead Planter to Alderman Dame Fiona, who in turn presented it to the City of London. It was received by Graeme Smith, Chairman of the Chairman Open Spaces & City Gardens for the City. Also present for the ceremony where the Chief Commoner, Michael Welbank MBE, the City Chamberlain of London, Dr Peter Kane, the Remembrancer, Paul Double and the Clerk to the Chamberlain’s Court, Murray Craig.
On 30th September 2013 the Liverymen of the Worshipful Company of Plumbers took great pride in helping to elect at Common Hall the then Alderman Fiona Woolf CBE, one of our own Court Assistants, to become the second female Lord Mayor of the City of London. She was duly appointed at the Silent Ceremony on Friday 8th November 2013. Fiona enjoyed a hugely successful year; she gave so much to the City of London as indeed she has for many years. It came as no surprise that her selfless devotion and dedication to her duties were rewarded by her appointment as a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 2015 New Year’s Honours List.
The Worshipful Company of Plumbers also wanted to acknowledge her year in office and our Museum and Workshop Trust at the Weald and Downland Museum in Singleton, West Sussex designed and cast a splendid lead planter, which we presented to her during a visit to the Museum on 27 July 2014. The planter was designed and built by the two main volunteers and demonstrators at the Museum Workshop Trust, Liverymen Peter Cheesman and Phil Mead. Fiona, in her usual selfless manner donated the planter to the City of London and following completion of some restoration work at the Guildhall, it is now sited in the Guildhall North Courtyard. Also present at the ceremony were the Upper Warden, Brian Wadsworth, Renter Warden, Robert Burgon and IPM Steve Hodkinson, together with Past Masters John Rae, John Lockyer, David Hamilton, Antony Paterson-Fox and Nick Gale, Past Steward Michael Cooper and Liveryman and Common Councilman Sylvia Moys. Liverymen Peter Cheesman and Phil Mead were also able to attend the presentation.
The Plumbers are delighted that there is now a permanent commemoration of Dame Fiona’s Mayoralty for all to see at the Guildhall.
It is with much sadness that we have learnt of the death of Past Master John Jones FRIBA. His widow Gloria has left a short message to say that he passed away on 29th May 2016. The funeral has already taken place and it was a quiet family affair.
John joined the Company in 1971 and was Master in 1994
On a bright Sunday morning, twenty four Liverymen and guests met at The Monument to begin a walk with an experienced London Blue Guide, Sarah Fordham, along the route taken by “The Great Fire of London” in 1666, which started at a bakery at nearby Pudding Lane and ended close to Smithfield Market. It was the enormous physical destruction of London during the Great Fire of 1666 that helped end a vicious plague and initiate a much-needed radical rebuilding of the City with results much in evidence still today. Thanks largely to the genius of master-planner and architect Sir Christopher Wren, the post-fire City has left us such a rich historical vein to explore. The tour traced the all-consuming fire's route from the Monument to Leadenhall, Cheapside and St Paul's to consider its greatest legacy landmarks, with the guide stopping at all of the significant locations, giving a detailed resume at each. The tour finished where the conflagration ended: at the edge of the City walls at Smithfield where more than one building just managed to escape the flames. Sarah’s detailed knowledge of “The Fire” led to a thoroughly interesting visit, which was followed by an excellent traditional Sunday Lunch at “Smiths” (no relation!!) in Smithfield.
Plumber's Workshop, Blists Hill
Our Annual Lecture, The Ironbridge Weekend. Livery work and a trip to Edinburgh. Read all about it by clicking here.
During the course of the last 10 days, the main event must be our lecture. Held at the Royal College of Physicians, it was well attended, though it would have been nicer to see more liverymen there.... The speaker was superb and you will have seen the report elsewhere on this website. Those of you who did not go missed a real treat. We are hoping we might be able, in due course, to visit the 8.5m diameter tunnels (before they are put to use, you will be delighted to hear) once they are built.
Another great event was the Livery Masters' weekend in Ironbridge. We drove up on the Friday, taking care to ensure we were north of Birmingham before 1pm. As a Northerner, I know only too well how congested the M6 gets on a Friday, as, even if you use the toll road, you don't avoid the jams either side. The hotel was just off the M54 at Telford. There we found others had already arrived so we settled in for a convivial afternoon before going to get dressed for dinner. We were then coached to the venue, which was at the Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron and Enginuity [sic]. Here we were able to play with some fun machines whilst we had a pre-supper drink. I was told that we would be more successful at them if only we were well under 20! After an excellent meal, it was back for bed. The following day we were divided (randomly) between 4 buses which went round the various sites on our agenda in different orders. Ours started at the Iron Bridge itself, after which we went to the Iron Museum and the first furnace where the iron was smelted. Later we visited the china and porcelain museum, the tile museum, and Blists Hill was where we finished our day of sightseeing before changing for our evening meal. Some of us stayed up afterwards till 3 or more in the morning..... One said in the morning "my head is ok, but my body definitely is not"! (And, no, it wasn't me.) After breakfast, the first item of the day was meet up to organise our year group and elect its first chairman and a basic starting committee. Then it was either return home or make one's own way to the costumes museum before lunch and return home. A great weekend. And well worth a visit (or several).
Paul and I have also been guests of the Painter-Stainers' Court for dinner. A most convivial and relaxed and happy occasion; also of the Livery Committee, which held its friendly function at Trinity House (with its marvellous views of Tower Bridge and the river).
I also went to the Tax Advisers' civic and charity lunch at Armourers', had a working lunch with Paul and the Upper Warden to discuss committee makeup for the following year, attended a Livery education conference at Staple Inn (courtesy of the Actuaries) where we had some excellent talks and discussions about the different ways the livery can help schools and young people prepare for life. We were seated at round tables with a mix of livery people and school staff for discussions. A most interesting and informative morning. Another lunch was at my club, which runs 3-4 livery events each year. Most of my spare (?) time seems to have been spent chasing up people and information for our IOM weekend.
Finally, I spend Friday and Saturday in Edinburgh for Fiona's Master's weekend for the Solicitors. It is the last item for her year as Master Solicitor as the AGM was a few days ago at Tallow Chandlers' Hall. We had a very good timing visiting Holyrood, Scottish Parliament, Signet Library, Museum of Scotland, as well as more general sightseeing, and had a very interesting whisky tasting at the Scottish Malt Whisky Society. And on Sunday it appeared to be Plumbers' day at Glyndebourne. I went with PM John Lockyer and Anita, and we also met the UW Brian and Anne. I remain unsure as to how I kept awake for the opera, which was the Meistersingers (and for those of you who don't know Wagner's prolixity, very long), having risen at 4.30 am to catch my flight to Gatwick. But we agreed it was a very good way to spend a Sunday afternoon and evening.
PS I must be going mad, or something. I managed to fail to tell you about the Sheriffs' and Recorder's Fund fashion show at the Old Bailey to which I went last week. This took place in the evening after the courthouse had closed. We started with a champagne reception kindly funded by the Aldermanic Sheriff. It enabled us to look at other work done by the prisoners. Let me explain, all the work on display was created by prisoners - fine embroidery on silk clothing, fine cell work creating items such as bags, cushions, aprons, clothes. The work is all done during their prison sentences and gives them a huge sense of pride and self-worth when they see the beautiful things they can create. They are taught by experienced volunteers in groups and then do the bulk of the work when they are back in their cells. It enables them to earn money and acquire basic skills they can build on when they leave prison. The clothing then shown on the catwalk was stunning - from beach clothing to evening wear and in a wide variety of textiles including leather. There was a raffle for several prizes none of which I won, but the Master Pewterer did, amongst others. There are over 30 prisons and 500 prisoners taking part in the various projects supported by this fund-raising event, and it has been shown that this support significantly reduces recidivism following release. In addition to the S&R Fund, the other charities were Blue Sky and Fine Cell Work. After I left, the taxi driver taking me home jokingly asked me if I had just been released (!) and, on telling him what we had been doing, proceeded to tell me all about the work his brother does in Bristol in the prison there. So there is a lot of volunteer support helping prisoners up and down the country.
Thames Tideway Tunnel Project Team
The Chairman of our Education Committee has received this communication from Past Master John Rae.
"Thames “Tideway” In his excellent lecture C.E.O. Andy Mitchell stressed their urgent need for 300 apprentices and trainees to assist in the completion of this grand project. The Thames can hardly be closer to us traditionally, by coincidence. In accordance with our declared policy of influence in this key sector, has he not brought to this Company’s attention a fine opportunity to mediate and help supply youngsters through our teaching, corporate membership education and other unrivalled contacts in the plumbing and water industries? A real demonstration of the leadership we are proud to claim from a unique vantage point. It would surely be much to this Company’s credit and satisfaction to play a practical role in bringing together trainee supply with the declared need in this significant case. I should be interested to learn your view, and how one might proceed if agreed."
Have you any ideas or suggestions as to how we can respond? Please send them to the Clerk.
PM Nick Gale CIPHE Board Chairman, PM Rodney Cartwright, Terry Stephenson CIPHE President, Kevin Wellman CIPHE CEO
Past Master Professor Rodney Cartwright has had the title of Honoray Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering conferred upon him. This the highest award of the CIPHE and is in recognition of his contribution as the Chairman of their Technical Committee and then as Board Chairman. The Board also acknowledged his contribution to public health both in the UK and abroad. The Plumbers' Company adds their congratulations to Past Master Rodney Cartwright.
The Thames of the future
The Big Float on the River Willamette, Portland Oregon
Andy Mitchell CBE, who delivered our Annual Lecture, shared with us a cartoon showing potential uses for a clean River Thames. Wishful thinking? Not really "A sewer runs through it: The Willamette River in the 21st century" was the description of the River Willamette in Portland Oregon yet has been cleaned up and is now used for recreational purposes. Click on the header above for the cartoon and the Willamette today. To download cartoon click here.
Andy Mitchell CBE, Chief Executive Officer of Tideway, the company designing and building London’s new super sewer delivered the 32nd Annual Lecture of the Plumbers’ Company in the magnificent setting of the Royal College of Physicians. Click on the header above for a summary.
He reminded us that in the 19th Century the Thames was known as the Great Stink due to it being an open sewer. The solution then was provided by Sir Joseph Bazalgette who was responsible for the magnificent interceptor sewers that are still the backbone of London’s sewer network today. Rebuilding and separating this system, using modern methods, would cost £50-60 billion at today’s. Not only were 318 million bricks laid by hand but the sewer was covered by what we now know as the Embankment.
Since this clean up of the Thames the population of London has continued to grow – 1860 2 million, 1920 4 million, 2014 8 million and in 2160 16 million projected. Bazalgette’s system is struggling and raw sewage frequently is discharged into the Thames. The solution is being provided by Tideway. They are upgrading London's sewerage system to cope with the demands of the city well into the 22nd century.
After years of study, construction work for the new 25 kilometre interception, storage and transfer tunnel running up to 65 metres below the river, known as the Thames Tideway Tunnel, will start in 2016.
Starting in west London, the main tunnel generally follows the route of the River Thames to Limehouse, where it then continues north-east to Abbey Mills Pumping Station near Stratford. There it will be connected to the Lee Tunnel, which will transfer the sewage to Beckton Sewage Treatment Works.Andy shared with us their ambition not only to clean up the river, but also to reconnect Londoners with the River Thames for both business and leisure. The Tideway Legacy programme is making this aspiration a reality.
He challenged us to consider what could be done with a clean River Thames and showed us a cartoon with a multiple of ideas. (Click here for a copy that you can add to and colour in.)
Following the lecture a dinner was enjoyed in the College dining hall.
The two Sheriffs of the City, Alderman Charles Bowman and myself will be touring the City on horseback on 27th July, and raising funds for the Sheriffs’ & Recorder’s Fund in the process. This very worthwhile cause provides small grants to London ex-offenders, helping them into work and changing their lives.
Wearing our full Shrieval kit, complete with swords, we will have a mounted escort of officers of the HAC Light Cavalry, and City of London Police. It should be quite a sight and, as a complete novice on horseback, I am learning to ride for the occasion - I need all the support I can get!
Charles and me would be really grateful if you would sponsor us – we suggest a donation of just £10. This can be done via our Just Giving page– http://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/sheriffs, or by texting to CBCR66 £10 to 70070
Very many thanks indeed for your support.
With all best wishes,
Christine (Dr CH Rigden, Sheriff of the City of London, Central Criminal Court, Old Bailey, London EC4M 7EH)
Past Steward Mike Horwood is asking you to give extra support to our Charity by sponsoring him as a participant in the Lakesman Triathlon. Click on the header for more details.
He writes "I am 600 miles down on cycling mileage compared with last year but am going quite well now and should be ok by June. The event I am aiming for is the Lakesman Triathlon on Sunday 19th June. I am part of a three man relay team competing in the 112 mile bike discipline. You may be fully aware of these "Ironman" events [I certainly don't profess to be one however!] but if not, it is as follows:
The Swim is 2.4 miles in Derwentwater, Bike 112miles to the West of the Lakes, the Marathon 26.2 miles and is centered on Keswick. When the Swimmer finishes I do my ride and hope the Runner doesn't have to wait too long for me! I did a 75 mile ride yesterday in very windy conditions and felt ok, so am on track. Have also been doing some 5K running races so that is helping. In have had a week in Spain and a month later a week in France, both riding in the mountains, that was good preparation."
There is a website if you would like more information : http://www.thelakesman.com. Show your support for Mike by sending to the Clerk a cheque payable to Please pay to The Worshipful Company of Plumbers Charitable and Educational Trust or by BACS to The Royal Bank of Scotland of 62/63 Threadneedle Street, London, EC2R 8LA (Bank Sort Code: 16–00–15) for the credit of The Worshipful Company of Plumbers Charitable and Educational Trust (Account number: 23161802). Please reference either as Mike Horwood.
The Master, Mrs Erica Stary, is delighted to invite you, your partner and any other guests you would like to bring to join her for the Autumn Festival Dinner to be held this year in Stationers’ Hall. The Stationers’ Company is one of the oldest Livery Companies of the City of London and was founded in 1403.
Details & Booking Form click here.
The Stationers’ Company is one of the oldest Livery Companies of the City of London and was founded in 1403. Six hundred years ago most craftsmen in London were itinerant. However, the manuscript writers and illuminators decided to concentrate their efforts and set up stalls or ‘stations’ around St Paul’s Cathedral. Because of this they were given the nickname ‘Stationers’ and this was the obvious choice of name when they were established in 1403. When printing came to England in the late 15th century, the Stationers had the good sense to embrace it. The technology may have changed from pen and inks to print and on-line links, but the name has always remained the same. The original Stationers’ Hall was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666, but by Autumn 1673 the new and current Hall, although not quite finished, opened. Various additions and alterations have been made over the centuries and it suffered damage in 1940 in the Blitz, which was restored by 1957.
Details of our guest speaker have not yet been finalised and there will be some lovely musical entertainment. It promises to be a wonderful evening.
The Lord Mayor Alderman the Lord Mountevans invites The Worshipful Company of Plumbers to support some of the exciting events that are coming up over the next few months in aid of the Lord Mayor’s Appeal. These events will help raise money and awareness for the Appeal’s two primary beneficiaries – JDRF, the type 1 diabetes charity, and the Sea Cadets – both of which do tremendous, life-changing work. Click here for details.
Please note bookings to be made direct and not through our office.
Party in the Park
Thursday 23rd June in Kensington Gardens
Enjoy an exclusive preview of the world-famous Art Antiques London fair at our glamorous champagne reception hosted by the Lord Mayor and Mayoress on the evening before the general fair opening
Tickets £75 each
Friday 23rd September at Guildhall
Join the Sheriffs for a nautical themed fun evening of dining and dancing to The Chance Band in the grand surroundings of Guildhall
Tables of ten guests £2,000, individual tickets £200
Friday 14th October at St Lawrence Jewry by Guildhall Yard
A unique opportunity to abseil down the clock tower of the historical St Lawrence Jewry church following the lead of the Lady Mayoress
Registration fee £35, minimum sponsorship target £500
The youngest person on the list is 21-year-old apprentice Gary Doyle from Armagh, who receives a British Empire Medal (BEM) after taking gold at the World Skills event for his "extraordinary plumbing and heating prowess".
The Plumbers' Company congratulates Gary.
Great Fire 350 is an umbrella season of events marking the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London.
At the centre of this is London’s Burning, a festival of arts and ideas produced by Artichoke. Running from 30 August to 4 September 2016, it is supported by founding sponsor the City of London Corporation and with an award from Arts Council England’s Ambition for Excellence programme.
For details click here.
Wining, dining, sailing, debating, planning, worshipping, visiting the Queen and all of it supporting and publicising the Plumbers' Company. Click here to read what our Master has been doing for the Company.
Master's Blog 24
There has been a lot happening in the last couple of weeks, hence no blog last week. We started our work on revising and updating the website and its facilities - a working party with two very good liverymen, Dusan Hamlin and Paul Roche, to assist.
Then the Solicitors had their annual Saint's Day (St. Yves) service at the Chapel Royal of St Peter ad Vincula in the Tower, followed by a meal at Trinity House. The chapel is well worth a visit. It has two saints (Thomas More and John Fisher) buried there along with three queens (Anne Boleyn, Jane Grey and Catherine Howard) and other historically important persons, and the choir and music are sublime.
We had one of our regular committee days - that is several different committees meet at different times throughout the day. We also had a WET 10 committee.
I've been to two lectures, the first with the Marketors at the Shard where the lecturer was the chairman of, ia, B&Q, who gave a brilliant talk, and the second at the Leadenhall Building was organised by the Architects. That topic was essentially about planning in the City, sightline protection and the City strategy relating to skyscraper buildings. It was fascinating.
Four of us had lunch (courtesy PM Charles Yuill) as a pleasant way of discussing ways of enhancing our charitable activities and encouraging the young.
I dined at Pewterers' where, ia, the late Lord Mayor, Sir Alan Yarrow, spoke about his year in office, attended an excellent lunch at Armourers with the Environmental Cleaners, also a superb dinner at Fishmongers with the Joiners and Ceilers.
Finally, on the eating front, I was invited to help celebrate the Guild of Young Freemen's 40th Anniversary at the Mansion House. So it has been a good time for cementing our links with other liveries and guilds.
In addition to all of the above, I spent a splendid afternoon at a Buckingham Palace garden party. We made it even more fun by lunching at the Athenaeum with several other Masters and their consorts and we finished our day with a civic reception at Pewter Live, which is the Pewterers' annual exhibition of modern pewterers showing their craftsmanship. There were some really stunning items there and I succumbed to temptation with two or three purchases.
The Royal School of Military Engineering at Chatham held its annual reception and beating retreat. We are invited because of our links with the plumbing section where we present an award each year. The ceremony, on the parade ground, was stunning: precision marching and beautiful playing. We were made extremely welcome.
Finally, there was the joyous weekend in Cowes for the Inter-Livery Yacht Match. Our arrangements are organised by PM Mike Samuel. Our entry this year was skippered by the grandson of our PM Chris Sneath, who very creditably pushed his crew into crossing the line second (though we were not in the top three places on handicap) and a cup was awarded for his efforts. It would be good if he were to return to join us next year with his beautiful yacht.
From the 25th issue (2016, no.2) of the London Metropolitan Archives quarterly electronic newsletter.
The Great Parchment Book of the Irish Society records the landholdings allocated to the Great Twelve City of London livery companies involved in the 17th century Plantation of Ulster. Each company was associated with many smaller companies which could not afford to manage an allocation in their own right. While the Great Parchment Book itself makes no mention of these smaller companies, other documents reveal the tremendous burden of the Plantation on them. Dr Patricia Stewart has been looking at the archives of the Plumbers' Company, an associated company of the Vintners, which found the Plantation to be a bottomless money pit.
Plumbers and building engineers may wish to know that the new government guidance on design, installation, commissioning, testing, monitoring and operation of water supply systems in healthcare premises has recently been released. To read it click here
Did you know that the Great Fire of London was started by a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Bakers? The Bakers’ Company has commissioned a new play to commemorate its 350th Anniversary. Enjoy a special evening of entertainment and discover in a light hearted way more about the history and events surrounding this catastrophe. The Plumbers’ have managed to secure some seats and places are very limited, so if you would like to come along and enjoy a very exclusive evening, book as soon as possible.
Click here for details and booking.
It was a good race and very close. Weather conditions were much better than expected with a fair wind - it could have been a bit stronger for us which would have favoured our boat, very kindly loaned to us by Chris Sneath's daughter and son-in-law. We crossed the line second and after all the handicaps had been worked out, no prizes for the Plumbers. The Stationers and Marketors were first, Innholders second and Dyers third. However, we were awarded the Lady Libby Trophy at the discretion of the Commodore for having the youngest skipper, Chris Sneath's 17 year old grandson, who did a cracking job marshalling his crew!
PM John Rae
A Senior Past Master was spotted reliving his youth ( or buying a new car!) at the London Motor Show.. Who was it? Click here
Bart's Great Hall
A week of charities in the City - Sons & Friends of the Clergy, Sheriffs' & Recorders Fund and the Red Cross plus work for our own Company. Click on the header above for a full account..
The week started with a visit to Wilton’s Music Hall, courtesy of PM Lockyer who invited me to join the Actuaries’ trip. A fascinating place set in the East End close to the docks and Commercial Road and in the liberty (that is free of the jurisdiction of the local Lord of the Manor, in this case the Bishop of London) of Well Close. Definitely well worth a visit.
Then I had a meeting to discuss possible designs for new badges for the Assistants, Stewards and Consort (ie a male mistress which we are likely to have when Fiona takes over in a few years’ time). Inevitably, these cost money so I suspect there will be much scratching of heads over them. But the designs look super and are a considerable uplift from the current scruffy bits of felt behind our livery badge. So, fingers crossed, money will be found for them. Our new clerk, Pieter, also came in to chat to Paul about various aspects of the job.
I have been to two services this week, one at St Paul’s for the Sons and Friends of the Clergy and the other at Barts, for the Barts View Day celebrations. Our preacher at St Paul’s was no less than the Archbishop of Canterbury and at Barts the Bishop of London. So we were treated to two exceptional and thoughtful sermons. We were clearly luckier than Samuel Pepys in 1669, who commented “a dull sermon”. We also had good hymns and thus good, rousing singing. The Masters, etc, of the Liveries attending, are part of the procession at the SFC event which has been on-going for 362 years and was started in order to find funds to support those of the clergy who lost their livings due to having supported the wrong side in the Civil War. It is an event I love attending and have been several times. Barts View Day has also a long history going back to 1546 following the refoundation of the hospital by Henry VIII (this was after he had sacked the monasteries there). Afterwards, there was a reception in the magnificent Great Hall at the hospital and a limited opportunity to view which I eschewed.
I also attended a Sheriffs’ and Recorder’s Fund reception (at Rothschilds’ Sky Pavilion in St Swithin’s Lane) which was held in conjunction with the Worshipful Company of Needlemakers. The views from the building were wonderful, but alas not photographable as there are mechanisms to stop the sun coming in and whilst I tried to take photos they are messed up by the screening. I was lucky enough to be introduced to the Royal guests who tried to work out the livery from our badge and recalled our statue at Cannon Street. The S&R Fund is a small charity which helps former prisoners following their release, and is a charity very worthy of support.
There was also a dinner at Skinners, for the Tin Plate Workers als Wire Workers (they have a joint charter, hence their name). A good evening, where those with strong heads apparently stayed till about midnight quaffing champagne before moving on elsewhere – oh to be young and foolish again!
I also spent quite some time in preparing for next week’s committees and putting some of the finishing touches to the weekend in the Isle of Man,
Finally, I dragged myself out of bed on Friday morning to get to Fishmongers, begowned and badged, by 7.15am in order to collect money for Red Cross. My bus journey which usually takes about 50 minutes to get there, lasted a mere 12 – it’s amazing how quickly one can get around before the traffic begins to build up. I did my stint outside London Bridge station. It is quite interesting to see just how invisible one becomes when holding out a charity bucket, also there are fascinating dynamics – it is clear each does better if there is more than one collector at the same place as the second emphasises and encourages giving. We were rewarded with bucks fizz and a belated breakfast
Your Master has been forewarned that on June 29 she will be jailed in the Tower of London and only bailed (released) on payment of a fine amounting to at least £1000 in favour of the British Red Cross. In the hope of support from the livery and of being set free relatively quickly, she is asking you if you would kindly make a donation on http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/masterplumber
Read the latest Livery Briefing by clicking here.
Trial of the Pyx
Two weeks of representing the Company as well as lots of work within our own Livery. Click on the header above for a fascinating read.
Two weeks to report this time. The first week opened with enthusiasm! Lunch with the Founders’ Court and dinner with the Glaziers. Both were super events which I attended with Paul. We had our April court on the 26th and, ia, approved the appointment of the new clerk Pieter Cox; and swore in four new liverymen. After the meeting, we had a splendid lunch at Carpenters to which we had invited liverymen on a more general basis than hitherto, because Carpenters’ is so much larger than Wax Chandlers’ where numbers perforce had to be severely limited. Our speaker was the Queen’s Remembrancer who gave us an excellent outline of the many arcane areas of her post and how they came to be lodged in the hands of one person.
Then some 26 of us joined a group of Tax Advisers (and three judges) at the Players’ Theatre for an evening of great fun, much singing, lots of innuendo, a brilliant illusionist, etc. I think it fair to say we all had a jolly good time there.
On the Wednesday a group of us visited Lancaster House, extremely well organised by our steward Daphne and you will have seen the report elsewhere.
Thursday was “catchup” day until the evening when Paul and I attended the Paviors dinner at Fishmongers’. And on Friday I was lucky enough to have been invited to the conclusion hearing of the Trial of the Pyx (which trial had been started in February when a selection of our coinage had been handed to a jury of assayers to test), at Goldsmiths’. The Queen’s Remembrancer having been read the report of the jury declared the coinage met (more or less) the standards laid down but in doing so gave a splendid peroration linking the testing of the coinage with Shakespeare and his anniversary. Afterwards we were treated to an excellent luncheon and speeches from the Prime Warden and the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
The second week has been quieter and sadder. I travelled down to Shaftesbury on the Tuesday to attend the funeral of Jim Guyton., a long-term liveryman It was extremely well attended, and easy to work out why. Jim was generous with his time and skills in all walks of his life, be it family, the Plumbers, the college where he taught, Singleton. There were three moving tributes to him, including one from our own Phil Mead. Several of our colleagues were in attendance.
I also had an invite from the Tax Advisers’ clerk (who happens to be a PM Cook) to the Cooks’ dinner at Innholders’. Since their Hall burnt down (for the 3rd time) in the late 1700s, the Cooks determined not to rebuild (cooking clearly being dangerous) but instead to let out the land which they retained. They currently live at Innholders’, an obvious choice since the two liveries are very closely related in terms of the provision of hospitality. Plus, the added attraction of a Michelin-starred chef. It was an evening where some of the Cook apprentices have also worked in the kitchens to gain experience, then come out to chat to the livery in the reception – I found that fascinating. The Cooks wine and dine in style and we were rather late in leaving…..
My last item to report was a wonderful visit to the Mansion House to view the Dutch and Flemish paintings bequeathed by the late Harold Samuel (he who founded Land Securities). Our guide was one of the Guildhall team from the Gallery there. Normally, when one goes to the MH, one is at a function and there is little time, or space, to view the works of art on the walls. But they really do deserve attention, and they were extremely well described to us.
Join The Master on Friday 3rd June for "Fish & Chips" in the Little Ship Club. For details click here.