On Friday, 26th October Wing Commander Peter Thorbjornsen, Officer Commanding 101 Squadron was delighted to invite the Master and members of the Livery to his Squadron based at Brize Norton. The highlight of the day was a flight in the Voyager aircraft, an A320 airframe with A340 wings, on an air to air refueling sortie. The pilot was Flt Lt. Jim Cornish and his co-pilot, who organised the event, was Flt Lt Steve Caryer. Flt Lt Dan Jones was the liaison officer for the day.
The October dinner this year was held at Grocers’ Hall (by kind permission of the Grocers’ Company). Karen Watts and Peter O’Malley were installed as Assistants on the Court. Michael Carver and Alistair Marshall were admitted to the Freedom of the Company as well as being Clothed in the Livery. Ramji Chauhan and Xavier Walker were also Clothed in the Livery of the Company. Elisavet Messi and Matt Powell were admitted to the Freedom of the Company by redemption via the Trade Route. Apprentice Christopher Edgcumbe was unbound and admitted to the Freedom by servitude (master Past Master Emeritus JC Edgcumbe). Fourth Warden Brian Turner Proposed ‘The Guests’ which was Responded by The Rt Hon Lord Taylor of Holbeach, Principal Guest. The musical interlude was provided by Jack Holton (Tenor) and Michelle Santiago (Piano) (by kind permission of the Principal, Guildhall School of Music and Drama)
Our Mistress Amanda Walsham held a wonderful Consorts’ Luncheon at the Bulgari Hotel, Knightsbridge on Monday 17th September. The Lady Mayoress Samantha Bowman and journalist Eve Pollard OBE, Vice-Chairman of the Wellbeing of Women Charity’s Board of Trustee attended. Assistant Karen Watts gave another of her very interesting talks on the history of the Livery.
A great day’s golf was had by all at the GSWD’s Captain’s Day on Tuesday, 11th September. It was held at Ashridge Golf Club where Assistant Cynthia Fowler is the current Golf Captain. Gregory Wright and his team retained the Trower Trophy by just one single stroke.
On Sunday 2nd September we were privileged to have a private tour of the RAF Centenary Exhibition celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the RAF. Following this we went to the Haven Bistro for a delicious 4 course lunch given by its owner, Assistant Julius Oberegger, with all the proceeds being donated by him to the GSWD Second Charitable Trust.
The pictures were taken by Debbie Dickens of the GSWD visit to the Kent and East Sussex Locomotive Trust which was formed in 1963 and over the past 50 years has built up a collection of locomotives, coaches and wagons dating from the 1880’s to the 1950’s.
The Kent and East Sussex Locomotive Trust was formed in 1963 and over the past 50 years has built up a collection of locomotives, coaches and wagons dating from the 1880’s to the 1950’s. The engine that pulled the coaches of our train was designed in Glasgow, built in Sweden and ran in Norway before coming to the UK. Our Pullman Car Theodora took us back in time with its plush red upholstery. We enjoyed a silver service traditional roast lunch with superb deserts served by liveried attendants. We were amazed that the food was cooked on the train as it gently wound its way from Northiam, along the Rother Valley to Bodiam, then Tenterden and back to Northiam. Pictures taken by Ken Blundell
On 2nd July the Court Meeting and Dinner were held at Skinners’ Hall. Xavier Walker, Stuart Finn RN, Ramji Chauhan, and David Hedderwick were admitted into the Freedom of the Company. Patrick Davison was admitted to the Freedom of the Company by Redemption via the Trade Route. Sebastian Budd, James Howarth and Stuart Finn RN were clothed in the Livery. Liveryman Dorothy Rochester piped in the Master, Wardens and Principal Guests. Third Warden, Gordon Warren, welcomed and Proposed - The Guests with Principal Guest, Mr Jeremy Swan, Responding on their behalf with a very amusing speech.
On 1st July the Captain’s Charity Day was held at The Grove Golf Course in Hertfordshire. Various fund raising activities took place (Captain’s Challenge, Par 3 Competition, Champagne Draw) resulting in nearly £700 being raised for the Livery Charities. Peter Griggs - Nearest Pin in 2 Winner; Paul Day - Longest Drive Winner, Paul Hughesdon - Nearest Pin; Winning Team - Martin, Harvey, Paul Day and Alistair Whitehead; Paul Day - Individual Runner-up; Peter Griggs - Individual Winner. On the Thursday preceding this the annual Triangular match between the GSWD, Carmen LC and Royal Logistical Corps took place. The Carmen were third - 183, The RLC second - 196 and The GSWD first -197. The RLC will want revenge next year!!
The GSWD held a special dinner at the London Zoo on Saturday 16th June 2018, exactly 325 years to the day that we received our Royal Charter from King William and Queen Mary. That year was 1693, although some 70 years earlier in 1623 the Company had initially been incorporated in the reign of James 1. The evening commenced with a Sparkling Reception on the wonderful Penguin Beach. One of the Zoo Keepers gave a great insight into Penguins, after which they were fed their evening fish dinner. Our dinner, in the regally decorated Prince Albert Suite, built in the 1830s, began with the Master welcoming GSWD Livery members and all guests as well as 12 Masters from other Liveries who were invited to join our celebrations:- Cooper, Engineer, Fruiterer, Glover, Hackney Carriage Driver, International Banker, Management Consultant, Marketor, Plaisterer, Playing Cards, Tax Advisor and Turner. This was followed by Karen Watts, our Company Archivist giving a short talk on the history of the Anniversary which included a very amusing anecdote. After dinner dancing took place to the music of David McTea and the Swinging Magpies.
On Friday 25th May the Brigantes City of London Liverymen in the North held their Breakfast at The Royal Armouries Leeds. This year the attendance of the City of London, the North Liverymen and guests increased to 400. Our Master and Mistress with PME Ken Blundell, PM Vernon Knapper, PM Michael Powell, Lesley Blundell and Christina Knapper represented the GSWD together with our Archivist, Dr Karen Watts, a professor at Leeds University, who, in the Royal Armouries Museum, gave 160 of us a fascinating, amusing and excellent lecture on the history of Armour. At the Breakfast the Speakers were Nick Gale, Past Master Plumber; Sheriff Neil Redcliffe, Past Prime Warden Basketmaker, World Trader, Pavior; Adrian Waddingham CBE, Sheriff 2013/14, Past Master Actuary, Haberdasher; General the Lord Dannatt GCB CBE MC DL, Chairmain - The Royal Armouries, Security Professional, Builders Merchant and David Bently Past Master Baker.
The Court Dinner was held at The Farmers’ Club, which was established in 1842, on Friday, 18th May. It is a special evening for the Court with very little formality. The Master’s speech was eclipsed by his eloquent Mistress Amanda whose speech finished with a very amusing poem. Gillian Tillotson replied on behalf of the guests with a very interesting speech and she thanked the Master on behalf of the guests for his gift. She finished by proposing the ‘Toast to the Company’. A wonderful music interlude was given by Maxyne Ryan, an established, exciting and dynamic jazz singer who has performed at many prestigious venues and is currently studying a Masters in Jazz Voice at GSM&D. Accompanying Maxyne was jazz pianist Edward Rice who completed a BA in music at Leeds University and then at the GSM&D where he took a postgraduate Artist Masters’ degree. He has performed at various Jazz Festivals.
The Master’s Weekend this year was a Riviera Travel Four Night Amsterdam River Cruise on the excellent Jane Austin. The boat was first class with a wonderful staff and everyone really enjoyed life on and off the boat. The first stop was Enkhuisen, which is a quaint fishing port at the edge of the Zuidersee. Day three started with a visit to historic Rotterdam followed by a visit to the stunning windmills at Kinderdijk. In the evening The Master and Mistress gave a private reception for us in the Lido Bar prior to dinner. Day four was the cruise highlight with a visit to the magnificent Keukenhof Gardens with their world-famous floral displays. After this we returned to Amsterdam for a tour by boat of the canals. In the evening we had a delicious five course Captains dinner. Everyone thanked the Master and Mistress for all the hard work they had done which had made this trip so memorable for us all.
On Monday 9th April the Court Meeting and Master's Dinner was held at Skinners Hall. The dinner was preceded by the annual Church Service at St James Garlickhythe by kind permission of the Reverend Tim Handley Parish Priest and the Church Wardens. The service was taken by our Honorary Chaplain and Third Warden The Reverend Gordon Warren. Alderman Sir Andrew Parmley was clothed in the Livery as an Honorary Liveryman. Admitted into the Freedom of the Company by redemption were Michael Whitson and James Howarth. Admitted into the Freedom of the Company by redemption via the Trade Route were Chen Cheng and Hazel Thorn. Clothed in the Livery were Andrew Brown, Mark Hythe, Lewis Speke and Michael Whitson. Second Warden Michael Gunston proposed the Guests which was responded by Andrew Morgan, Principal Guest who proposed the toast to the Company. The Master presented a cheque to Miss Melanie Moughton CEO Felix Fund.
On Wednesday, 31 January the GSWD were treated to a private visit at the Charles Dickens Museum, Doughty Street. We had three excellent guides who uncovered for us the private world behind the author's public image. We explored his study, reception rooms and family bedchambers. We saw Dickens's desk, handwritten drafts from the novels he wrote there and his young wife's engagement ring along with furniture, portraits, etc. The event was organised by our Clerk, Mark Charles Dickens, who is the author's great great grandson. Prior to our tour he told us personal stories about the great man .
Common Hall and Installation was held at Skinners' Hall on 8th January 2018. The Master, Paul Constantinidi witnessed the unbinding of Apprentice William Colgate and then admitted him to the Freedom by servitude (master Liveryman JRL Nuttall). The Master then welcomed into the Company new Liverymen Karen Brewer, Sean Eley, Ronald Ng, Laura Warren and Alistair Whitehead before handing over the reins to First Warden John Walsham who was then installed as The Master for the coming year. Brian Turner was sworn in as Fourth Warden, The Rev. Gordon Warren - Third Warden, Michael Gunston - Second Warden and Malcolm Craig - First Warden. The Guests Toast was Proposed by Assistant Nick Sillitoe with the Response by Nigel French, Principal Guest. He then Proposed the Toast to the Company with the Response by The Master, John Walsham.
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 Tuesday 21st March 2017 a GSWD party of almost 40 enjoyed an excellent tour of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, which was given by our two amusing Chelsea Pensioner guides. The tour concluded with a visit to their museum.
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.