Lord Reed and The Red Lion (Take 2)
After a very successful visit to the Supreme Court in March, we were very pleased to arrange a further visit for those who were unable to make the first – and what a fabulous time was had by all!
We were again treated to a talk by Lord Reed, President of the Supreme Court, followed by a tour of the Court building and library. Those who wished were also able to briefly listen in on a live case in Court 1. The visit was rounded off by a private lunch in The Red Lion’s Cabinet Room.
The Plumbers, again, joined forces with the Tin Plate Workers alias Wire Workers Livery, in the company of our Master Paul Nash and their Master and former Master Plumber, Erica Stary. We extend our thanks to Erica and Steward Philippa Stary for organising the event.
The Supreme Court is housed in a wonderful building dating back to 1913 that was originally Middlesex Guildhall. The Supreme Court has occupied the site since 2009 and hears appeals on extremely wide and varied topics falling under UK law jurisdiction – covering not just the UK but its territories, dependences, and indeed any contracts or agreements written under the UK code.
The visit started in the Lawyers’ Suite with tea, coffee, and pastries before we were joined by the current President, Lord Reed. He gave a fabulous talk on the origins of the Court and its work, before taking a number of questions from those present.
Master Paul Nash then presented Lord Reed with a gift from the Company and thanked him for his talk.
There then followed an informative tour by one of the Court’s guides, a trainee barrister, who guided us around the building, starting with two very different courtrooms. We entered first the modern-styled Court 2:
Before moving to the older neo-Gothic Court 3, home of the Judicial Commitee of the Privy Council:
In Court 2, we learned of the importance of the layout of the room and its furnishings, the design of the Court emblem (incorporating flowers from the different countries of the United Kingdom) and the key role women play in the judiciary.
As expected, there was a lot of artwork on display, from newly commissioned to enhance the renovated building, to paintings by Gainsborough and Reynolds. Also, new and old stained glass.
Finally we accessed the magnificent Justices’ Library, which is not usually open to the public, as it is an active working library.
The visit culminated with lunch at the Red Lion – the ‘Parliament pub’, a short distance away along Parliament Street. We dined in the exclusive Cabinet Room, and had a wonderful meal, before departing early afternoon.
Steward Kevin Thomas