The Master’s Blog 21
A Busy Week After The Easter Break
MISTRESS MARINER’S CONSORTS’ LUNCH: MONDAY 9 APRIL 2018
Our first official engagement after the Easter break is for the Mistress Plumber who goes to the only floating Livery Hall in the City- HQS Wellington- for a guided tour and lunch. This is a fascinating insight into the history and activity of the Worshipful Company of Mariners and a good opportunity to catch up with other Consorts.
PAST MASTER GEOFF MARSH CELEBRATORY LUNCH: TUESDAY 10 APRIL 2018
It isn’t often that the Worshipful Company of Plumbers has been able to recognise 40 years of dedicated service to its Court. Today we travel by train to Tunbridge Wells to attend a lunch which has been organised for Past Masters and Court members to recognise the 40 years of service which Past Master Geoff Marsh gave to the Court before taking Emeritus Past Master status.
I knew Geoff Marsh throughout my working life in the plumbing industry and it is a real honour for me to pay tribute to him (and his wife, Ann) after lunch as I present him with an illuminated certificate not only recognising his long membership of the Court but also a lifetime of service to the plumbing industry (which Geoff entered as a plumbing apprentice). Geoff did so much for the UK and international plumbing industry (he was the first Chairman of the World Plumbing Council) and I just hope that my short address does him justice. It is a lovely and relaxed occasion which everyone seems to enjoy.
RICHMOND SEA CADETS’ OPEN EVENING: TUESDAY 10 APRIL 2018
Until tonight, I had never visited a meeting (“parade”) of the Sea Cadets and I am therefore delighted to be invited to attend Training Ship Goodwin in Richmond this evening to meet officers and cadets and to learn more about the work which this organisation does with young people aged between 10 and 18. After being welcomed by District Commander James Nisbet and Unit Commanding Officer John Porter, I get the chance to see what Sea Cadets do at their regular gatherings. There are visiting cadets from Kingston and Twickenham at tonight’s gathering and I enjoy chatting to them and their officers about the Sea Cadets’ organisation. At evening colours (at the close of the evening), I have the chance to thank the Richmond Sea Cadets for the smart carpet guard which they kindly provide each year at our Annual Banquet in Mansion House and I present the Unit with a cheque from the Plumbers’ Charitable and Educational Trust.
ANN PITE MEMORIAL SERVICE: WEDNESDAY 11 APRIL 2018
I join members of the Plumbers’ family in Hayes, Kent this morning for the funeral of Mrs Ann Pite whose husband, John, is a Past Steward of the Company. I have known them both for many years (John worked in the industry and we met at industry as well as Company events). Ann was a lovely lady who will be remembered for her smile and friendly word. She hadn’t enjoyed good health in recent years but there is a feeling that we have come together to give thanks for her life and all that she meant to people who knew her.
PAINTER-STAINERS’ DINNER: THURSDAY 12 APRIL 2018
James Lee is coming to the end of an 18-month spell as Master Painter-Stainer and we have met on a few occasions. Tonight, he hosts a delightful dinner for the Masters and Clerks of 10 other Livery Companies in Painters’ Hall. At the reception before dinner I meet James’ daughter, Alison, who has produced a clever caricature drawing of all the visiting Masters, including the Master Plumber. It is a lovely touch and I am delighted to receive a copy of the drawing at the end of the evening. The evening ends with an impromptu demonstration of sabrage (which involves a sword and a champagne bottle) by Master Upholder, Judy Tayler-Smith.
FUELLERS’ ELECTION COURT LUNCHEON: FRIDAY 13 APRIL 2018
Although I have attended many dinners in the Egyptian Room at Mansion House, I am there today for lunch- the Fuellers’ Company Court Election Lunch. As usual with Mansion House events, it is an excellent lunch and I enjoy chatting to the Lady Mayoress, Samantha Bowman, who is seated on my right at the table. The Fuellers’ Company had its modern roots in the 1980s coal industry and it seems poignant to witness the presentation to the Company of the last lump of coal from the last deep coal mine in Britain, which closed in 2015.