The Master reports "Not only was this the week of the Plumbers' Annual Banquet but there were also a few other official commitments as shown in the attached Blog. Next week's will be shorter (only one official engagement) and then there will be a gap over Easter with normal service returning around 13/14 April (the end of a week in which either or both of us have something to attend each day)." Read this week's Blog by clicking here.
Plumbing is an essential component of public health - this was the core of the message from the Master at our Annual Banquet held in the Mansion House. The full text of his speech can be found by clicking here. The Banquet was held in the magnificent Egyptian Hall and we were graced by the presence of the Lord Mayor Locum Tenens, who also wore the hat of our Upper Warden - I refer to Alderman Dame Fiona Woolf. She gave two concurrent speeches one for each hat she was wearing. In her welcome to the guest Masters she likened them to various species of fish causing much amusement. She also reminded us of the serious work undertaken by the Company. The principal guest was Lord O’Neill of Clackmannan who is also President of the Specialist Engineering Contractors' Group.
He reinforced the importance of plumbers and reminded us that many initiatives to improve standards in the construction industry were more applicable to large companies whereas in the industry a significant percentage of companies were small or middle sized. This should not be forgotten if real advances are to be made.
The evening, enjoyed by over 240 Liverymen and guests, combined the importance of high standards in plumbing with good fellowship.
Pictures to follow.
Join the Master on a visit to Bridgnorth Cliff Railway and locality Tuesday, 15th May 2018
The Bridgnorth Cliff Railway is England's oldest and steepest electrical operational cliff railway which has been transporting the people of Bridgnorth up and down the 111 ft of sandstone cliffs that separate High Town from Low Town and the River Severn for over a century. It is first and foremost a working railway; its importance to both the townspeople of Bridgnorth and to visitors to the town is undiminished by age. The Cliff Railway is now owned by Liveryman Malvern Tipping and his family.
Flyer and Booking click here.
Another busy week for both the Master and ther Mistress. Meetings and pomp and circumstance with the Lord Mayor's Banquet and the United Guild Service. Click here to reveal more of their work on behalf of the company
Join the Master for a trip to Wimbledon on Wednesday 18th April 2018 for a visit to Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum and Tour. Lunch will be taken at the Wingfield Cafe in the grounds.
An occasion not to be missed. Click here for flyer and booking form
To Plumbers' Liverymen from the Clerk
Following the save-the-date on the website, I am delighted to attach full details of the forthcoming Charity Cricket match at the Royal Household Cricket Club. On Tuesday 10th July 2018, at this exclusive location, the Plumbers Cricket XI will take on the Royal Household XI. A colored brochure, copy attached , has been sent by email to all the Livery. Places are limited so please use the attached to book and pay for your places. Booking and payment will secure your place on a first come, first served basis, subject only to security clearance. If you have any further questions, please direct these to the contacts in the leaflet.
Earlier today at Cannon Street railway station, the Master standing next to Bertie gave Plumbers’ Company bursaries to three apprentice plumbers - Rebecca Russell who is being trained at Croydon College; Luke Ellyatt & Theo Hines who are following a course at Steve Willis Training Centre. Each bursary consists of a voucher to the value of £1000 which allows the student to purchase tools from Monument Tools. We were pleased to welcome John Collier and Jamie Fisher of Monument Tools who had sponsored the bursaries. The Master spoke about the Company and its presence in the City for over 650 years. Alison Gowman, Alderman for Dowgate, congratulated the Company on their support for apprentices and explained how Bridge Trust, that she chaired, was working actively supporting young persons in training.
The mighty Wurlitzer
The statue will tell you himself!
The Statue of the Plumber’s Apprentice in Cannon Street Station has just been given the ‘gift of speech’.
To hear what he has to say simply swipe your smartphone on the nearby plaque, and get a call back from the statue.
Note: If you are accessing the plaque from the website, please note. You can only hear the statue speak via your mobile phone. This means you will need to put the short URL into your mobile phone browser: Speak2.co/plumber
The Plumber’s Apprentice is the latest addition to Talking Statues London whose statue voices include: Prunella Scales, Jeremy Paxman,Hugh Bonneville and Sir Patrick Stewart.
The Plumber’s Apprentice has been voiced by 21 year old Dan Martins, ‘Plumber of the year’ and a gold award winning plumber’s apprentice. It is funded by The Worshipful Company of Plumbers, the livery Company established to uphold this ancient and honourable profession.
Robert_Burgon, the Master, tweets
Excellent meeting of @PlumbersCompany Education and Technical Committees at Guildhall today with inspiring presentations about apprenticeships from Neil Weller and Pierce Ronan of @TroupBywaters Great way to mark National Apprenticeship Week 2018!
In the Nick
On 26th February Robert Jeffries, the Curator of The Thames River Police Museum, delivered a most interesting and Informative Lecture charting the history of the River Police since its foundation in 1798 as the World`s first Police Force which in time grew to a force of some 250 personnel.
The Museum is located in what was the Carpenters` Shop at Wapping Police Station where the River Police have had their headquarters for over two centuries and are currently known as the Metropolitan Police Marine Unit.
Having been released from the Police Station on our own recognisances we repaired across the road to the Il Bordello Restaurant for a sumptuous Italian Lunch including wine.
It may be possible to repeat this event later in the year
Tyrone Tash, David Gammage, The Master and John Hamilton Murray.
Plumbers in the Nick!
A week of contrasts - Recognition of excellence - the poresentation of the Master Plumbers Certificates and then Plumbers in the Nick. Read more by clicking here.
PRESENTATION OF MASTER CERTIFICATES: MONDAY 26 FEBRUARY 2018
Inspired by the development of a Master Plumber Certificate in 2001, the Master Certificate Scheme has now been developed across a range of Livery Companies and at today’s presentation of certificates in Glaziers’ Hall by the Lord Mayor Alderman Charles Bowman no fewer than 38 individuals are recognised.
As Master of the Worshipful Company of Plumbers, I have the honour of introducing the three candidates to be awarded Master Plumber Certificates- David Gammage, John Hamilton Murray and Tyrone Tash- and asking them to accept the charge which accompanies their awards before they step forward to receive their framed certificates from the Lord Mayor. It is also an honour to see one of the people behind these awards in the audience- Past Master Geoff Marsh and his wife Ann- and to hear the reference to the plumbers being the instigators of this scheme.
It is good to read the short CVs of all the candidates today- including those involved in trades such as masonry, wax chandelling, joinery and plastering. There is an incredible array of talent in the room this morning!
VISIT TO THAMES RIVER POLICE MUSEUM: MONDAY 26 FEBRUARY 2018
This is one of those days where one event runs into the next and a quick departure from Glaziers’ Hall is necessary for me to get to Wapping Police Station to join the first of this year’s programme of social visits arranged for the Plumbers’ Company as we visit the Thames River Police Museum. Not many people will know that the world’s oldest organised police force was set up on the River Thames to tackle the large amount of pilfering which was taking place in the late 18th century. Established at a total cost of £4,200, it is estimated that within 6 months the force had saved more than 25 times that amount of cargo and were so effective that the criminal fraternity organised a riot. Our guide at the museum (which is only opened by arrangement), Rob Jeffries, is an amazing storyteller and enthrals our group for the duration of the visit (which is followed by a lunch in a restaurant close by). Steward Clive Sofaer has done an excellent job in organising this trip and receives the thanks of those who attended.
FINANCE COMMITTEE MEETING; TUESDAY 27 FEBRUARY 2018
The Company’s Finance Committee meets today, and the principal item of business is reviewing the Management Accounts for the first quarter of the financial year against budget. No major concerns!
ALL PARTY PARLIAMENTARY WATER GROUP: TUESDAY 27 FEBRUARY 2018
Although I have been on the mailing list for meetings of this group for several years, this is the first time that I have been able to attend a meeting. The group, which meets in one of the Committee rooms at the Houses of Parliament focusses on the importance of water as a resource- something which is important to plumbers. Tonight’s meeting focusses on water infrastructure and the National Policy Statement for Water Resources and is chaired by Baroness McIntosh of Pickering. A distinguished panel consists of the CEO of the Environment Agency, the Director of Regulation and Corporate Affairs, Affinity Water and the Chair of Future Networks Group, Future Water Association. It is an interesting hour from which I take away a strong message that there needs to be greater consumer awareness of the value (and finite availability of water) as well as increased attempts to reduce wastage through leakage.
It is good to meet a Liveryman of the Plumbers’ Company on the way into the meeting who introduces me to the current Renter Warden of the Worshipful Company of Water Conservators (with which the Plumbers have good links).
Admin & Planning, being educated by the Chartered Architects and the World Traders, then a sample menu at Mansion House. Read the details by clicking here.
The Royal Society for Public Health offers two more FREE webinars on "Opportunistic pathogens in water systems" and "Back to Basics: Water Quality at the Building Entrance". For more details and how to register click here.
Opportunistic pathogens in water systems Wednesday 21 February 2018, 1-2pm GMT
This webinar will discuss the ever-growing list of waterborne pathogens, focusing on those that present significant risks, particularly to patients receiving treatment in hospitals. Register here.
Back to Basics: Water Quality at the Building Entrance Wednesday 14 March 2018, 1-2pm GMT
This webinar will focus on the quality of water at the point of entry and discuss some of the chemical and microbiological hazards that need to be considered when assessing the suitability of water for human consumption. Register here.
Richard Fleck CBE, The Hon Liz Green, Gwen Rhys
All Liverymen of each of the 110 City of London Livery Companies are eligible to vote in the elections both for the Lord Mayor and the Sheriffs of the City of London. While most of these elections are uncontested, it is likely that the election for the Non-Aldermanic Sheriff for 2018-2019 (which will take place at Common Hall in Guildhall on Monday 25 June 2018) will be contested.
There are currently three candidates for this position:
Richard Fleck CBE (http://richardfleck.com/about/)
The Hon. Liz Green (www.lizgreen.co.uk)
Gwen Rhys (http://gwenrhys.com)
Liverymen of the Plumbers’ Company are encouraged to come to their own decisions about which candidate to support.
We have been asked by one of the candidates, Liz Green, to make Liverymen aware of a Drinks and Canapes Reception she is holding in Carpenters’ Hall on Monday 23 April 2018 between 1730 and 1930. Anyone wishing to attend can register by clicking on the box at the top of the home page on her website: www.lizgreen.co.uk
If we receive requests from either of the other candidates to share information with the Livery, then we will do so.
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, sponsored 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. "Bertie", 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.
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.
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.