The Post Office Railway, known as Mail Rail since 1987, is a 2ft (610mm) narrow gauge, driverless underground railway in London to move mail between sorting offices. It operated from 1927 until 2003. The museum within the former railway was opened in September 2017. The line ran from Paddington in the west to Whitechapel in the east, a distance of 6.5 miles and had eight stations. Special tourist trains were installed in late 2016 and the circular route was opened on 5th September 2017. Our group found the visit both interesting and enjoyable.
The Meeting and Court Dinner was held in the beautiful and prestigious Mercers' Hall. Mark Hyde, Ronald Ng, Alistair Whitehead, Robert Whittingham were admitted to the Freedom of the Company by redemption and Sebastian Budd was admitted to the Freedom by patronage. Andrew Lamb was admitted to the Freedom of the Company by redemption (Trade route). Mark Russell and Robert Whittingham were clothed in the Livery. Third Warden Michael Gunston proposed The Guests and Alderman The Rt Hon, The Lord Mountevans of Chelsea (Lord Mayor 2015-16) responded. The musical interlude was superbly given by Nardus Williams (Soprano - GSWD Bursary Student) and Chad Vindin (Piano) by kind permission of the Principal, Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
The Master arranged for 71 members and their guests to participate in a Blue Badge Walk on 13th September meeting at The Leadenhall Building aka The Cheesegrater. For the walk the party was split into 4 groups with excellent Tour de Force London guides. This was followed by a Drinks Reception with canapes hosted by Aon in their Clients Suite. Charles Bowman, who is the Alderman for Lime Ward, attended and responded to the Master's speech.
On Sunday 3rd September Robert Byng, owner of Wrotham Park and Assistant Julius Oberegger, owner of The Haven generously sponsored a Charity fundraising day, which started with Charles Dace's enlightening pre tour talk on the history of Wrotham Park, a magnificent neo-Palladian English country house, designed by Isaac Ware in 1754 for Admiral John Byng. After this visit we then were treated to a four course gourmet lunch at the Haven.
The Master's Weekend this year was to Reims, the champagne capital of France and took place from Friday 14th July to Sunday 16th July'17. On Saturday the party of 38 went on a Taittinger cellar tour and tasting which was followed by lunch at Brasserie Flo. In the evening they went to the Chateau de Rochefort where Mme de Rochefort treated our group to a guided tour of the Chateau which was followed by a black tie dinner. On the Sunday the group went to Champagne Janisson for a tour, tasting and buffet lunch. Pictures supplied by Tim MacAndrews, Walter Isler and Helen Powell
The Master's Weekend this year was to Reims, the champagne capital of France and took place from Friday 14th July to Sunday 16th July'17. On Saturday the party of 38 went on a Taittinger cellar tour and tasting which was followed by lunch at Brasserie Flo. In the evening they went to the Chateau de Rochefort where Mme de Rochefort treated our group to a guided tour of the Chateau which was followed by a black tie dinner. On the Sunday the group went to Champagne Janisson for a tour, tasting and buffet lunch. Pictures supplied by Debbie Dickens and Julius Oberegger
The Court Meeting and Dinner was held at Skinners' Hall on 3 July. The Honour Guard was provided by The Company of Pikemen and Musketeers, Detachment Commander, Ensign Richard Ward. Julius Oberegger was installed as Assistant on the Court. Laura Williams, prizewinner 2016, was admitted to the Freedom of the Company by redemption (Trade Route). Laura Warren, Mark Russell and Sean Eley were admitted to the Freedom of the Company. Alexandra Constantinidi was clothed in the Livery. The Fourth Warden, Rev. Gordon Warren, proposed the Guests and the response was by the Principal Guest, Rev Canon David Parrott, Chaplain to the City of London Corporation. Elena Thornton was presented with the GSWD prize for her award winning entries, which were on display. The musical interlude was performed by Oscar Pavey (Chorister) and Andrew Carwood (Director of Music - Piano) (by kind permission of the Headmaster, St Paul's Cathedral School).
Lincoln Cathedral hosted a Heritage Skills Festival in conjunction with the City of London Livery Companies. Its aim was to showcase the historic crafts that went into the construction of the Cathedral and those that support and enhance its daily life, together with demonstrating how all of these skills are kept alive today. The City of London Livery Companies comprise London's ancient and modern trade associations and have evolved from the very powerful medieval guilds. Training apprentices was an important part of their duties as it still is today. The Cathedral event was a unique opportunity to see these Companies sharing their skills, at the first event of its kind outside London. Our Company was represented by The Master & Mistress, The Clerk, Liveryman Liz Elvin, Trade Freeman Bella Lane and Nan Nan Liu, as well as one of our 2016 prize winners Hazel Thorn.
This year the Dinner was held at the City of London Club for members of the Court with their spouse, partner or guest. Entertainment before and after dinner, organised by Assistant Roger Carter, was superbly performed by two graduates from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, classical guitarist and conductor Michael Poll and classical flautist Rebecca Carson.
The Master's Dinner was held on Monday, 3rd April at Skinners Hall. It was preceded by the church service at St James Garlickhythe, which was officiated by our Honorary Chaplin and Fourth Warden The Rev. Gordon Warren. The Guest Speaker was Mr Peter McKinley who responded to Second Warden Malcolm Craig's speech 'Welcoming the Guests'.
On Thursday 2nd March'17 the GSWD had a private viewing at Goldsmiths' Hall of all the Goldsmiths Craft & Design Council Award Winners' entries. The GSWD two Prize Winners as well as 4 past winners and two RSN Prize Winners were present. It was followed by a very enjoyable dinner with all of our prize winners attending.
Common Hall and Installation of the new Master Paul Constantinidi took place at Skinners' Hall on Monday, 9th January 2017. Installed in Common Hall were the following - 1st Warden John Walsham, 2nd Warden Malcolm Craig, 3rd Warden Michael Gunston & 4th Warden Rev Gordon Warren. Clothed in the Livery at the Court Meeting were Christopher Day and Lesley Balding. Nan Nan Liu and Joanna Thorne were admitted into the Freedom of the Company by the Redemption (Trade Route). Liveryman Keith Chapman (Captain in the Royal Corps of Signals) received the Legion d'Honneur medal from the French Ambassador in London on Armistice Day in recognition of service during the D-Day Landings and the Liberation of France WW2. The Guest Speaker was Mr Rob Davies, CEO Hiscox Special Risks and PM George X Constantinidi proposed The Guests...
The Annual Carol Service was held at St James Garlickhythe on Tuesday, 13 December 2016 and was combined with the Needlemakers. Their Chaplin, the Bishop of Southwark, The Rt. Rev. Christopher Chessun, officiated. Following the service we all went to the Grange Hotel St Paul's for a very good and enjoyable dinner.
'FOR ALL OCCASIONS' An Evening of Words & Music Starring HANNAH GORDON with Clive Conway (Flute) and Christine Crowshaw (Piano) was held on Sunday 13th November 2016 with all the proceeds from the performance being donated to THE NOT FORGOTTEN ASSOCIATION. This Tri-Service Charity founded in 1920 provides entertainment and recreation for the serving wounded, injured or sick and for ex-service men and women with disabilities....
On 3rd November 2016 The Master presented the Company's very first Hand & Lock (Est 1767) award highlighting metallic thread and bullion used in embroidery within the fashion trade. The Hand & Lock Prize is an invaluable opportunity for new designers to showcase their finest creations incorporating fashion embroidery and textile art. This dynamic competition was conceived by their Chairman Alastair Macleod. The winner of the GSWD's prize was Annalisa Middleton and her jacket entry was selected for the award by Liveryman Elizabeth Elvin....
The Master, First Warden, Second Warden, Third Warden and Clerk together with a group of liverymen and partners, visited the RSN on 26 October'16. The exhibition of needlework featured work by our award winner Connie Wynn and bursary student Kate Barlow for 2015/16 as well as our Freeman by the trade route, Laura Baverstock. It was attended by HRH The Duchess of Gloucester, who was introduced to The Master, The Mistress, The Wardens and Clerk prior to departing.....
The Court Meeting and Dinner was held on Monday, 3rd October 2016 at Trinity House. Cdr Robin House RN Hon Liveryman retired as Clerk handing over to Cdr Mark Dickens RN. Robin House presented the GSWD with its own magnificent Livery Banner. Catherine Carr was installed as a Court Assistant, and Robert Andrews as a Steward. Richard John was clothed in the Livery.....