Annual Banquet 2018
Over 240 liverymen and their guests enjoyed this year’s banquet on Wednesday 21 March in the splendid surroundings of the Mansion House by kind permission of the Lord Mayor.
The Master, Mistress Plumber, Upper Warden, Renter Warden and their partners received us at the pre-dinner drinks reception before we moved into the splendid Egyptian Hall for the banquet meal.
Our principal guest and speaker for the evening was 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. 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 Master reminded us in his speech that plumbing is an essential component of public health – his core of the message. You can read the full text of his speech.
The Lord Mayor was abroad on business so unable to join us; we were therefore graced with the presence of the Lord Mayor Locum Tenens, our own Upper Warden, Alderman Dame Fiona Woolf DBE. In her welcome to the guests she likened them to various species of fish causing much amusement. She also reminded us of the serious work undertaken by the Company.
Our thanks also go to the sea cadets from our affiliated unit in Richmond, TS Goodwin, who provided a fine carpet guard for the evening and The London Banqueting Ensemble who provided the musical entertainment and accompaniment, not least the rousing post horn gallop – round the tables!
The evening, enjoyed by so many Liverymen and guests, combined the importance of high standards in plumbing with good fellowship.