MEETING TO DISCUSS ANNUAL LECTURE: 18 JANUARY 2018
I first met Professor Mala Rao in her office in Hyderabad, India where she was the Founding Director of India’s first Institute of Public Health. Mala, who is now an Assistant on the Court of the Plumbers’ Company, has kindly agreed to deliver this year’s Annual Plumbers’ Company Lecture on 21 May 2018 and I meet her today at the British Medical Association’s premises in Tavistock Square with Liveryman Graham Setterfield to carry out some preliminary planning on the title and content of Mala’s lecture. We have a wide-ranging and useful discussion which I am sure will lead to a good Annual Lecture.
GROCERS’ COMPANY LIVERY LUNCHEON: 18 JANUARY 2018
After a quick journey on the Hammersmith and City Line, I arrive in time for the reception prior to this event in the magnificent Grocers’ Hall. When I first attended an event here, I noticed a preponderance of camels in the Hall and wondered what the link was between these ships of the desert and grocery. The answer was quite simple- the Grocers started as pepperers or traders in spices and the camel was the usual mode of transportation. The Hall has been based on the current site since 1426 and at lunch the Master Grocer explained that the Bank of England (across the road) is built on what was once the Grocers’ Company orchard! The event, which has been arranged to showcase the facilities offered at the Hall, is very enjoyable. I leave having noticed not only the camels but also the cloves which appear on the carpets!
On Monday 26th February 2018 the Plumbers’ Company’s Social Committee has arranged the first of this Livery Year’s visits – a fascinating trip to the Thames River Police Museum at Wapping for a unique insight into the history of the world’s first Police Force including a fine collection of their everyday “Hardware” from handcuffs to cutlasses. For more details and booking click here
The ninth blog from the Master records a good start to 2018 - an Epiphany Lunch with the Masons' Company was followed in the evening by a Masters and Clerks dinner. In the next few days the hard work of our own Office Staff was recognised and a planning meeting was held with the Clerk. Read more by clicking here or for Blogs 1 - 9 here.
MASONS’ EPIPHANY LUNCHEON: 9 JANUARY 2018
After a break over Christmas and New Year, it is good to attend the Masons’ Company Epiphany Luncheon today in Mercers’ Hall (my third visit to this Hall since Installation). The Luncheon, which is attended by Court members and Liverymen of the Company along with only three visiting Masters (all from construction-related Livery Companies) is good and we hear a rather inspirational after-lunch address by James Timpson OBE (CEO of a well-known high street company) who talks about the company’s approach to its staff (known as colleagues), 10% of whom had been recruited from prison. This is a moving and encouraging address which makes a mark on those in attendance. This is my second Masons’ Company event and I am impressed, once again, by their magnificent Company tie, which must be one of the most colourful examples on the Livery circuit!
PLAISTERERS’ MASTERS’ AND CLERKS’ DINNER: 9 JANUARY 2018
After my “holiday” from Livery meals, the year starts in earnest with lunch AND dinner on the same today. Tonight, I return to Plaisterers’ Hall, near the Museum of London, for their Dinner for Masters and Clerks. If ever a Livery Hall showcased the craft of its Livery Company, then Plaisterers’ Hall is one of the finest examples. During the evening, the Master, Richard Hanney, encouraged the large number in attendance to focus their attention on the beautifully plastered ceiling which was the focus of a light show.
This evening, representatives of the Plaisterers’ Company are joined by no fewer than 51 visiting Masters/Prime Wardens/Upper Bailiff and other guests. An excellent after dinner address is given by the Prime Warden of the Goldsmiths’ Company (and that Company’s first lady in that post), Mrs Judith Cobham-Lowe OBE and we are entertained by the talented music quintet, Apollo 5 (which is supported by the Company). Add to the mix excellent company at the reception and the dinner and the feeling on departure is that the Plaisterers have heralded in the New Year in style.
LUNCH WITH PLUMBERS’ COMPANY STAFF: 10 JANUARY 2018
The Plumbers’ Company is served by a small, but dedicated team of staff and when we see them all together, they are usually busy at one of our Company events. It is therefore good today to meet them all over a relaxed post-Christmas lunch. The Mistress and I enjoy our time with Pieter the Clerk, Peter the Beadle, Sharon and Debbie.
CATCH-UP WITH CLERK AT COMPANY OFFICE: 11 JANUARY 2018
Although it is possible to do most of the business associated with my role as Master by email and phone, it is always useful to have an occasional face-to-face meeting with the Clerk and I visit the office this morning to have a catch-up, including discussing the arrangements for the Court meeting which will take pl ace on Wednesday 24 January 2018.
Liveryman Richard Murdoch passed away on Thursday 4th January. Richard became a member of the Livery in 1980 and had been an active member of the Company Museum at Singleton for some years before he joined the Livery. He remained an active and leading volunteer at the Plumbing Museum until ill health forced his retirement from the PMWT a few year ago. It is hoped that Richard's outstanding service to the Plumbing Museum will be recorded in a suitable memorial on the Weald and Downland Living Museum site. Richard was a recipient of the Company St. Michael Medallion in 1996.
Richard's widow, June, would like members of the Livery to attend both the funeral and the reception. The details are - funeral service at Guildford Crematorium on Tuesday 23rd January at 12.00 midday, followed by a reception at the Weald and Downland Living Museum.
Guildford Crematorium, New Pond Road, Godalming GU7 3DB (If using Sat Nav, you may need to enter New Pond Road, Compton, GU7 3DB or B3000, Godalming, GU7 3DB.)
Weald & Downland Living Museum, Singleton, Chichester, PO18 0EU.
The New Year is here. Diaries not yet full. Go to July 10th and enter Windsor Castle Cricket. The Plumbers' take on the Royal Household Cricket Club in the private Park of Windsor Castle. Places will be limited so watch out for the flyer.