The Master and Wardens invite you to join them on Wednesday 21st March at our 2018 Banquet at the Mansion House, which will again be held in the glorious surroundings of the Egyptian Hall, by kind permission of the Lord Mayor. We are delighted that our principal guest and speaker for the evening will be Lord O’Neill of Clackmannan.
Martin O'Neill was Labour MP for the constituencies of Clackmannan and East Stirlingshire, and then Clackmannan and Ochil, from 1979-2005. He was a shadow Defence Secretary and Chairman of the Trade and Industry Select Committee, and was created Baron O'Neill of Clackmannan in 2005. He is President of the Specialist Engineering Contractors' Group which represents the interests of specialist engineering contractors in the construction industry (including plumbing contractors) across the United Kingdom.
Booking form click here.
The Banquet is the highlight of the Company’s year: a truly spectacular venue, with the chance to dine with family, friends and business associates at the Lord Mayor’s official residence. The evening will startwith a Champagne reception and the opportunity to have your photograph taken with your guests before dinner. Those who have attended previous banquets will know what a special event this is, with a mixture of formality and the warmth of our very convivial Company.
This is an ideal opportunity to introduce potential new Liverymen, holders or former holders of public or civic office, and professional or business colleagues. You are also encouraged to bring your partners and adult family members as guests.
Our Golf Society have a varied programme for this year. Click here for details. They can also be found under Forthcoming Events.
If you want more information about the Golf Society contact the Hon Secretary Liveryman Mick Munro
March 23rd Swinley Forest GC - Horners’ Spring Meeting
April 19th Betchworth Park GC - Pewterers’ Challenge
May 2nd Brookmans Park GC - Plumbers’ Golf Society Members Meeting
May 17th Walton Heath GC - Prince Arthur Cup
June 13th Ashridge GC - The Horners Trophy
July 2nd Verulam GC - The Marketors Livery Ryder Cup
July 26th New Zealand GC - Plumbers’ Golf Day
Sept 7th Wildernesse GC - Inter-Livery Challenge
Sept 12th Croham Hurst GC - Match v The Captain and Members
Sept 17th Moor Park GC - Lord Mayor's Charity Golf Day
Plum is the puppy, sposored by the Company, who is training to become a Medical Detection Dog. Click here to read about her progress.
Plum will have her first birthday next month and will certainly have had a busy year! Over the last 6 months Plum has been out and about as she continues her assistance dog apprenticeship.
While most year-old doggies are learning to catch balls in the garden Plum is learning the art of being a Medical Detection Dog – so far mastering superb behaviour while shopping, visiting cafés and riding on public transport. Plum has all the basic behaviours well-rehearsed and is now moving on to some of the more advanced training such as retrieving to hand, off lead control and recall away from distraction.
We are now particularly focusing on confidence in busy public access environments as this is where additional work is required. Plum is nearing final stages of public access training and is joining the socialisers with all their daily activities, whether that’s a walk in a country park, the cinema, theatre or a restaurant. Plum very much enjoys coming to training class each week.
Read more about Medical Detection Dogs by clicking here.
Pancakes in the rain! Read all about it. Click here
14TH SHROVE TUESDAY PANCAKE RACE: 13 FEBRUARY 2018
Organised by the Worshipful Company of Poulters (in collaboration with “The Cook and Butler), the Inter Livery Race was something that the Mistress Plumber and I were looking forward to. However, it was only a few weeks ago that the organisers confirmed that the Plumbers could enter a full team this year (we had not participated last year).
Unfortunately, the weather forecast proved to be accurate this morning and we arrive at the Guildhall Yard in rather damp and extremely cold conditions to be advised that there would be no running this year. For the first time in the history of the race, the “British Weather Clause” is invoked and the race around the Guildhall Yard is replaced by the alternative competition of seeing how many pancakes can be tossed in a fixed time.
The Plumbers’ team is ably led and organised by Clerk’s Assistant Sharon Sibthorpe and consists of the Master, the Mistress (who participates in the ladies’ event), Assistant Janet Rivers, who competes in the Liverymen “race” and Steward Damon Reynolds who bravely agreed to participate in the Novelty Race. Damon offered a choice of costumes (which either had to reflect the Lord Mayors’ charities or his Livery Company, both of which are shown in the photos attached. Damon is shown in the group photo as the most famous plumber in the world, Super Mario. His other outfit, which he wore in the competition, represents the “Sugar Plumber Fairy”.
It is good to report that all members of the Plumbers’ team demonstrate appropriate skill in the art of tossing pancakes (some of which disintegrate during the competition). None of us are winners in our respective groups but we all have a great time and are glad that we have had the chance to participate. It was also good to be cheered on by Past Master Antony Paterson-Fox and his wife, Diana, Steward Clive Sofaer and his wife Sheila, our Clerk Pieter and Liveryman Joe Sibthorpe.
The “Race” is followed by a lovely buffet lunch in the Guildhall Crypts.
Throughout its 653-year history, the Worshipful Company of Plumbers has valued the role of apprenticeships. The Apprentice’s Statue in London’s Cannon Street Station is a public demonstration of the part which apprentices play in the plumbing industry. On Tuesday 13 March 2018 bursaries will be presented to a number of people who are currently undergoing training to become qualified to work in the industry. Come and join us for the ceremony followed by lunch in The Vintry. For flyer and booking form, click here.
A busy week staring with a visit to Treloar's School one of the country’s leading providers of education, care, therapy, medical support and independence training for disabled young people. Next day, coffee in the House of Lords with the speaker at our Banquet (you have booked, havent you? Flyer on the web where you can also find the name of the Master's coffee host). Then on the same day, Membership Committe, reception for New Liverymen and finally a Technical Symposium. The next day was quieter - Admission Interviews for prospective members and the Ironmongers' City Dinner. To read the details click here.
VISIT TO TRELOAR’S SCHOOL, ALTON: 5 FEBRUARY 2018
Established in 1908 following a mayoral appeal by Lord Mayor Sir William Purdie Treloar, Treloar’s School and College in Alton, Hampshire has become one of the country’s leading providers of education, care, therapy, medical support and independence training for disabled young people. Today sees us both making the train journey from Clapham Junction to Alton to join the annual visit to Treloar’s by the Lord Mayor, Sheriffs and Livery Company Masters. There is apparently a record attendance by some 50 Masters, their consorts and other supporters of the School. We are introduced to the concept behind Treloar’s (the first specialist college to have been awarded “outstanding” for the quality of its provision, leadership and management by OFSTED). We have a guided tour and get to chat with staff and students, all of whom give us the impression that this is a special place undertaking really valuable work.
The visit concludes with a musical concert by students and staff and the Master Plumber was seen to participate in a bell-ringing rendition of “Greensleeves” along with students, the Lord Mayor and several other Livery Company Masters. He came in on cue (as indeed did everyone else!).
Chatting with several other Masters on the return train journey, we all agree that we have been fortunate to witness something rather special today.
My diary already includes attendance at an event in London in support of the School on 28 March 2018 and I arrange on my return to promote this event to our Liverymen as a way of raising awareness of Treloar’s. Details of the Treloar Talks now appear on the news section of the website and it would be good to meet up with fellow Plumbers that evening.
MEETING AT THE HOUSE OF LORDS: 6 FEBRUARY 2018
After a brisk walk along the River Thames, I arrive in time for my meeting with Lord Martin O’Neill of Clackmannan at the House of Lords. Martin, with whom I worked on the Specialist Engineering Contractors’ Group, is to be my guest speaker at the Plumbers’ Annual Banquet in Mansion House on 21 March 2018 and our meeting today is to discuss that role and the likely content of his speech. It is lovely to have coffee and cake in the Pugin Room in the House of Commons (and hard not to “spot” well-known politicians both there and in the corridors.
MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE MEETING: 6 FEBRUARY 2018
The Plumbers’ Company’s Membership Committee plays a key role in ensuring the ongoing development of membership, both through the recruitment of new Liverymen and the retention of existing members. Today’s meeting receives reports on current initiatives and makes plans for the future.
RECEPTION FOR NEW LIVERYMEN: 6 FEBRUARY 2018
Some time ago, the Membership Committee decided to arrange a drinks reception for new Liverymen who have become part of the organisation over the last year. Tonight, members of the Committee and Officers of the Company meet a number of these people in the magnificent setting of Carpenters’ Hall. It is a good opportunity to get to know some of our Liverymen better and to encourage them to play a full part in the organisation which they have joined.
MANAGEMENT CONSULTANTS’ TECHNICAL SYMPOSIUM: 6 FEBRUARY 2018
Having made an early exit from our new Liverymen Reception, I make the short walk to Middlesex Street to the University of Coventry’s London Campus where I attend the inaugural Technical Symposium organised by the Worshipful Company of Management Consultants. The title of the event is “Is your organisation predictably vulnerable?” and Anthony Fitzsimmons delivers a thought-provoking talk on reputational risk. The talk, which is attended by members of the Livery Company, a number of visiting Masters and University students, gives rise to many questions from the audience and is followed by a reception during which the discussion continues.
PLUMBERS’ COMPANY ADMISSION INTERVIEW: 7 FEBRUARY 2018
As Master, I help out with an interview of a prospective new Liveryman at Carpenters’ Hall today. It is always encouraging to meet the people who are likely to become a future part of the Company and today is no exception.
IRONMONGERS’ COMPANY CITY DINNER: 7 FEBRUARY 2018
The Worshipful Company of Ironmongers is one of the Great Twelve Livery Companies (number 10 in the order of precedence) and the Clerk and I are guests tonight at their City Dinner in Ironmongers’ Hall. It is indeed a City function with the Lord Mayor, Sheriffs, several other City officials, the Acting Bishop of London and the Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral among the guests. I am seated between two ladies deeply involved in the almshouse movement and learn a lot about this form of housing, about which I knew relatively little. The music is excellent (the Brass Quintet of the Band of the Grenadier Guards) and there is a particularly interesting after dinner speech by the CEO of the London Symphony Orchestra, Mrs Kathryn McDowell. The LSO is due to move in the future to a new home virtually next door to Ironmongers’ Hall, which makes her contribution all the more relevant.
Sheila and I were both moved and inspired by our visit yesterday with the Lord Mayor and some 50 other Livery Masters and consorts to Treloar's School in Alton. I am not sure that the Plumbers have traditionally done much to support the School (unlike a few other Companies whose efforts were highlighted yesterday) and I wondered whether we couldn't at least do a little awareness-raising.
On 28 March 2018 an event called The Treloar Talks will take place in Glaziers' Hall. I have been invited as Master Plumber- and will attend.
Tickets are available for sale at £30 and there is an interesting line-up of 4 speakers with the event being chaired by Alastair Stewart OBE (News at Ten). For further details click here .
CITY UNIVERSITY GRADUATION: 29 JANUARY 2018
It is some 40 years since my own graduation ceremonies (two in consecutive years) from Heriot Watt University. Apart from a couple of subsequent graduations of friends and family, today sees me at a graduation ceremony of the City University, London in the magnificent setting of the Barbican Centre.
After a delightful lunch in the Barbican’s Garden Room (an oasis on the third floor of the centre), the Livery Masters in attendance are gowned and chained and lined up in order of precedence for the procession through the gathered company of students and their families onto the stage. After seeing the installation of the Lord Mayor, Alderman Charles Bowman, as Rector and the conferment on him of an Honorary Degree, we witness the joy on the faces of almost 400 graduands as they cross the stage to receive their degrees from the newly- appointed Rector. Although I have to “shuffle” my position on the seat on the stage several times during the two-hour long ceremony to remain comfortable, I have to say that it was a huge honour to witness so many young (and not so young) people being recognised for the hard work they have undertaken during their period of study.
OFFICE CATCH-UP: 31 JANUARY 2018
After last week’s Court meeting and Luncheon, the attention of the Plumbers’ office now moves to the Annual Banquet- one of the premier events in the Livery year. This year’s event will take place in the Mansion House (the official residence of the Lord Mayor of London) on Wednesday 21 March 2018 and today sees me in the Company offices with the Clerk discussing the details of that event in order that the invitations and flyers can be issued. During our discussions, we also review a number of other future events.
Join the Master and company on Thursday 8th March for an exciting and tuneful day out at the UK’s finest collection of automated musical instruments, situated a few minutes’ walk from Kew Bridge, West London.
The Musical Museum is home to a wonderful collection of self-playing mechanical musical instruments. From the tiniest of clockwork music boxes to the mighty Wurlitzer theatre organ in the concert hall, you can listen to and learn about an impressive array of reproducing pianos, orchestrions, pipe organs and violin players.
Flyer & Booking Form click here.
Adam Nathan Cooke, Executive Director Multi Law; Brenden Kim Van Rooyen, Partner, Turner & Townsend; Rennie Dalrymple, Quantity Surveyor; John Gordon Davies, Healthcare Construction; The Master; Bradley John Ellis, Plumbing and Heating Engineer; Gary Thomas Lester, MD Morgan Sindall Prop Services
FUNERAL OF LIVERYMAN RICHARD MURDOCH: 23 JANUARY 2018
Although I don’t think I ever met the late Richard Murdoch, his was a name that I have always associated with excellence in the use of lead sheet. Richard worked for the Lead Sheet Association and helped to form the Lead Contractors’ Association in 1984. He had been a Liveryman of the Plumbers’ Company since 1980 and was awarded the Company’s St Michael Medallion in 1996. He was a very loyal and active demonstrator of leadwork at the Weald and Downland Museum at Singleton. There were many references to the Company during the funeral service at Guildford Crematorium, with one of the tributes being paid by Liveryman Phil Mead (who worked with Richard over many years at Singleton).
PLUMBERS’ COMPANY COURT MEETING AND LUNCH: 24 JANUARY 2018
As Master, I have to chair 4 Court meetings and today sees the first of these, which takes place in Furniture Makers’ Hall, one of the more modern City Livery Halls. The Court meeting discusses a wide range of issues and approves the Annual Accounts for the year to 29 September 2017. It is a privilege to see six new Liverymen being clothed as of the Livery today. This is really encouraging and is a positive move in the Company’s current recruitment drive.
After the lunch which follows the meeting, we hear from the Master Furniture Maker, Dr Tony Smart, MBE who outlines the history of his Company and pays tribute to the support which he and his Company received from our Past Master, Geoff Marsh in relation to education, training and qualifications.
COACHMAKERS’ AWARD TO INDUSTRY DINNER: 24 JANUARY 2018
As seems to be so often the case, lunch today is followed by an industry dinner and tonight sees me at Vintners’ Hall for the Worshipful Company of Coachmakers and Coach Harness Makers’ Award to Industry Dinner. Granted its Royal Charter in 1677, the Coachmakers was originally the sole governing body of the coach making trade. When the horse drawn coach was replaced by the motor vehicle, enterprising artisans transferred their skills to fashion the curved ash wood frames for cars. When aircraft burst onto the transport scene, Coachmakers again transferred their skills to the fashioning of wood in well-defined curves for aircraft.
Tonight’s award, which is presented by Master Coachmaker Tony Edwards, is given to British company Dowty Propellers Ltd which has a long and proud history and whose products are used in many aircraft today.
Dear Liverymen Plumbers,At short notice we have been allocated a place to enter a full team into the 14th Inter Livery Shrove Tuesday Pancake Race on 13th February 2018 – in the Guildhall Yard, followed by a buffet lunch in Guildhall.
There are five places: Team Leader, Master, Liveryman, Lady and the Novelty Race.
The Master and Mistress have nobly put their names forward for the Master and Lady races respectively, so I am seeking applications for the remaining three. Please let me know as soon as possible if you would like to compete, and for which event.
Additional buffet tickets are available in advance, but not on the day, at £30. Please let me know if you’d like me to book one for you.
Pieter, Clerk to The Worshipful Company of Plumbers
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.