Court Lunch at the RAF Club

Recent events Women in the Livery (WIL)

Having a Master in the form of Air Cdre Paul Nash meant that the Worshipful Company of Plumbers was able to convene a Court meeting and lunch at the RAF Club on Tuesday, 17th January 2023.

The Officers, lead by the Beadle, climbing the rear staircase below the original stained glass window designed by artist Helen Whittaker

Rarely is one able to entered the hallowed portals of the RAF Club, because it is a closed club only open to those who have served or who are serving in the RAF and Commonwealth Air Forces. However, at the January Court meeting, the Worshipful Company of Plumbers, departed from the norm of Livery Company Halls in favour of a West End club.

Five new Liverymen took their cloth at the Court meeting:

The Company was able to welcome the following new Liverymen, from left to right: Dr. Michael Spencer, Phil Hurley, Air Cdre Barbara Cooper CBE, David Williams, and Greig Walker. Phil is a qualified plumber, having been involved in the industry for some forty years. Barbara is a retired Air Commodore and a trustee of the RAF Club.

Immediately, prior to the clothing of the five Liverymen, the oldest ever new member to join the Worshipful Company of Plumbers took her oath before the Court:

Aged 95, Eileen Tipping, mother of Senior Steward Malvern, took her oath. During the 1960s, Eileen was a director of the family plumbers’ merchants.

Nearly ninety Liverymen and guests attended the sumptuous luncheon which followed the conclusion of the Court meeting. The venue was replete with splendour, and in a slight departure from convention, pre-lunch drinks were taken in the cosy, but aptly named, Churchill Bar:

Most appropriately, the bar featured a portrait of the great man himself clad in an RAF uniform.

Lunch was taken in the magnificent Sovereigns’ Room, with its ornate sky-painted ceiling and mirrored panelling:

After lunch, a special announcement was made that Past Master Prof Rodney Cartwright had been awarded the St Michaels’s Medallion – the highest award given by the Company, it was created by the Court in 1951 to reward distinguished service in Plumbing, limited to those who have made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of plumbing in the widest sense:

A formal presentation will be made to Rodney at a later date.

The Plumbers’ visit to the RAF Club afforded to most of those present ample opportunity to savour the atmosphere and to view the art treasures of a splendid venue which would otherwise be denied to them. For this, we must thank our Master, Air Commodore Paul Nash, an RAF man through and through.

Senior Steward Malvern Tipping

The photos were taken by Marcus Jamieson-Pond, and are available to view on Snapfish allows one to download photos for free if you set up an account (although there is a limit on the number of free downloads).  It is also possible to order prints.