The Master and 4th Warden, Cynthia Fowler spent an enjoyable coffee morning on 8th October presenting a cheque for £7,000 to CEO SSAFA, Lt. Gen Sir Andrew Gregory KBE CB from the livery musical fundraising concert held on 21st May 2019. The picture also includes Major Craig Hallatt MBE the choirmaster of the "Choir Drawers"
On Monday, 7th October, the Court Meeting and Dinner were held at Vintners’ Hall (by kind permission of the Vintners’ Company). Liveryman JR Ray was installed as an Assistant on the Court. Admitted to the Freedom of the Company by Redemption were Paul Cushen, Todd Evans and Angharad Sparkes. Clothed in the Livery were the following Freemen of the Company and the City of London - Christopher Edgcumbe, Sheila Eastman, Phil Egerton, Todd Evans, Brendan Minahan, Sanjay Mody and Kritanand Nathoo. Teri Howes was admitted to the Freedom of the Company by redemption via the Trade Route. Fourth Warden, Cynthia Fowler Proposed ‘The Guests’ and the ’Response’ was given by Mr Tom McGrath CBE, Principal Guest. The Musical Interlude was performed by our bursary student the talented Filipe Manu who was accompanied by Matthew Gemmill on the piano (by kind permission of the Guildhall School of Music & Drama).
The Master arranged a spectacular, emotional and unforgettable weekend on the Somme Battlefields hosted by military historian and Antiques Roadshow specialist Mark Smith who brought the fields really to life. He was very ably assisted by Peter Whapshott, Barbed Wire Tours. We all met up for the coach at Ebbsfleet International Station early Friday morning and travelled throughout by luxury coach which was superbly driven by Gary. On Friday we visited Lijssenthoek British Cemetery, Brandhoek British Cemetery, Yorkshire Trench, Tyne Cot Cemetery Passchendaele and then Ypres. There we attended the Menin Gate Last Post Ceremony where the Master, accompanied by Peter Burke’s daughter Thalia, laid a wreath. We stayed in the Ibis hotel which is placed right in the middle of the Somme Battlefields. On Saturday we visited the Windmill at Poizieres, walked in the footsteps of war photographer Geoffrey Malins on the Beaumont Hamel Walk, saw the Hawthorne Ridge Crater and lunched in Ocean Villas and toured their museum. We then went to the Ulster Tower and the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing where our group held a Service of Remembrance with the Master laying another wreath. After this we went down into the Lochnagar Crater and visited the Devonshire Trench. Finally that day we visited the shrine for Mark Dickens Great Uncle Major Cedric Charles Dickens who was killed on 09/09/1916. In the evening we had supper at the Ocean Villas where the Mayor of Ginchy attended as Mark Dickens’ guest. The Master held a raffle and auction. He was delighted to raise almost £1,500 for the CGWC. On Sunday morning we drove to the Artois Battlefields where we visited the French Cemetery of La Targette, the German Cemetery of Neuville St Vast and Notre Dame de Lorette where our unforgettable tour ended. We cannot thank Mark Smith enough for the way he bought alive the battles and the very brave men who fought in them which none of us will forget.
The Worshipful Company of Hackney Carriage Drivers’ Magical Taxi Tour takes over 200 children, suffering from a range of chronic debilitating illnesses and life limiting conditions on a three day trip of a lifetime to Disneyland Paris. Past Master John Walsham, with his wife Amanda, deputized for the Master very early on Friday, 13th September to wave off the taxi which the GSWD had sponsored. The Master was on a coach going to the WW1 battlefields which, on leaving Ebbsfleet International Station caught up with this amazing three mile long convey consisting of 90 plus taxis, City of London Police escorts, Gendarmerie Nationale, London Ambulances, NHS Trust Vehicles and AA breakdown trucks which were all sailing on the same ferry as us. The Master met up with our taxi group on the ship.
The Master, on his birthday, accompanied the Lord Mayor, Sheriffs and 27 other City of London Masters to the magnificent Whitworth Hall, Manchester for the Brigantes Breakfast hosted by the City of London Liverymen in the North. Professional singers entertained with show songs. They were followed by two former Lord Mayors of the City of London, Yorkshireman Sir David Wootten and Lancastrian Sir Andrew Parmley, who both regaled the audience with amusing stories. The visit enabled the Master to meet one of the GSWD’s “Long Lost Liverymen”, David Howard, who admitted not attending any events for 20 years but would try to rectify his absences by attending in London before the end of the year. He was accompanied by his daughter, Claudia, who was interested in learning about the Company, especially the Young GSWD Group and hopefully could be a future liveryman.
On Monday, 1st July at Skinners’ Hall the Court Meeting was followed by a maximum attended Dinner. Liveryman Nigel Vaughan was installed as an Assistant on the Court. Sheila Eastman, Phillip Egerton, Brendan Minahan, Sanjay Mody, Kristanand Nathoo and Bradley Humphreys were admitted to the Freedom of the Company. Lucie Gledhill - Jeweller and Harriet Stiles - Embroiderer were admitted to the Freedom of the Company by redemption via the Trade Route. Bertie Troughton and Bradley Humphreys were clothed in the Livery. Liveryman Lesley Balding was admitted as a Steward. A delicious dinner followed the reception. Sabina Lima -RSN was congratulated on her prizewinning entry and presented with her award. The gathering was entertained (by kind permission of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama) by the beautiful singing of American classical soprano Alexandria Wreggelsworth, who was accompanied on the piano by the talented Jack Wu. The Guests were Proposed by Second Warden Brian Turner with the Response by Mr Mark Smith, Principal Guest. The Master then presented the following cheques:- £15,000 to Major Pete Norton GC RLC for BLESMA, £15,000 to Simon Halliday for CRY, £7,000 to Major Craig Hallet for SSAFA and to Mark Smith a cheque for the War Graves Commission.
A very special charity evening was arranged by the Master and sponsored by Engle Martin & Associates, Inc. supporting both The Orpheus Centre, which focuses on developing independence skills through performing and visual arts making dramatic improvements to young disabled adults’ lives and SSAFA – The Armed Forces Charity. During the reception The Bowfins Trio performed with Adrian Garratt on Violin, Brooke Day on Viola and Flora Allison on Cello. Musicians of Household Cavalry directed by Major Craig Hallat BA (Mus) and by kind permission of Maj Gen Ben Bathurst CBE, played from the gallery. The evening was hosted by Sean Rafferty MBE. By kind permission of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama the Lakeside Singers, Kayleigh McEvoy, Eleanor Dann, William Searle and Alex Jones accompanied by pianist Chavdar Mazgolov, sang a selection of songs. On their international debut the ‘Choir Drawers’ together with the Master sang three songs. Major Craig Hallat took it upon himself to be their choirmaster and they were accompanied by Lance Corporal of Horse Emma Wright. Following this, under the direction and accompaniment of Sir Richard Stilgoe OBE DL, there was a wonderful performance by the Orpheus Centre Students Angus Morton, Thomas Puttock and Charlotte Rowling. Everyone taking part in this amazing evening received rapturous applause.
The Master’s Dinner was held on Monday, 1st April at Skinners’ Hall. At the Court Meeting Liveryman Luis Hui was installed as an Assistant on the Court and Liveryman Karen Brewer as a Steward. Freeman David Hedderwick was clothed in the Livery and Bertie Troughton was admitted to the Freedom of the Company. Past Master Vernon Knapper was accorded the status of Past Master Emeritus. After the meeting the annual Church Service took place at St James’s Garlickhythe by kind permission of the Reverend Tim Handley who welcomed the Company and the address was given by our Honorary Chaplain The Right Reverend Dr Richard Fenwick. The music was supplied by organist - Mr Andrew Baars and the Choir of St James Garlickhythe. At the dinner The Guests were Proposed by Third Warden Rev Gordon Warren and the Response was given by Simon Halliday, Principal Guest who then proposed the toast to the Worshipful Company of Gold and Silver Wyre Drawers.
On 15th March 2019 The Master, Malcom Craig, held a very special Rugby Fundraising Lunch at the Waldorf Hotel with Jason Leonard OBE, England’s most capped rugby player and ex-President of the RFU. The Host for this event was Damian Hopley, former England rugby international and CEO - The Rugby Players Association. After the Reception and Lunch an Auction was held in support of BLESMA - Armed Forces Charity supporting Limbless Veterans to rebuild their lives by providing rehabilitation activities plus life-long welfare support and the charity Cardiac Risk in the Young - this charity supports young people diagnosed with potentially life-threatening cardiac conditions. Through the generosity of those present and those giving the Auction Lots a great deal of money was raised for these two very worthwhile causes. Major Pete Norton, awarded the George Cross for service in Iraq, received a fantastic stand-up applause from everyone there.
On Tuesday 26th February, in the magnificent Goldsmiths’ Hall, the GSWD enjoyed a special private viewing of The Goldsmiths’ Craft & Design Council Awards 2019 prize-winning pieces. The GSWD Wire Innovation Awards were won as follows:- Gold - Teri Howes, Silver - Filipa Oliveira, Commended - Liigah Thrower. The Company seeks to encourage and reward innovative design and making that incorporates original/actual wire (no casting) in all its forms across jewellery. GSWD two judges were Liverymen Jean Scott-Moncrieff and Elizabeth Elvin. Seven Jewellery and Needlework past winners also attended.
A visit took place on Thursday, 31st January to the Military School of Music at Kneller Hall, which has a long history. It was first built in 1635 by Sir Godfrey Kneller, court painter to British Monarchs. It was rebuilt after a fire in 1848. In 1857 it was taken over by the War Office as a base for Army Bandsmen and shortly after became the Royal Military School of Music. The rooms are extraordinary and the GSWD group were allowed access to the whole house. They were accompanied by Esther Mann, Curator of the Museum of Army Music and Father David Loftus, the Chaplain of Kneller Hall. The Hall has a beautiful small chapel and our Honorary Chaplain, Richard Fenwick, late Bishop of St Helena, superbly played its organ for us. After the visit an early supper was enjoyed at the Marriott Hotel.
Common Hall and Installation were held at Skinners Hall on Monday, 14th January 2019. Liveryman Luis Hui was elected as an Assistant onto the Court. The Master John Walsham admitted Kyosun Jung to the Freedom of the Company by redemption via the Trade route. He then handed over the reins to First Warden Malcolm Craig who was then installed as The Master for 2019-20. Cynthia Fowler was sworn in as Fourth Warden, The Rev. Gordon Warren as Third Warden, Brian Turner as Second Warden and Michael Gunston as First Warden. Masters of the following Companies were guests - Spectacle Makers, Pattenmakers, Gunmakers, Carmen, Haberdashers and Makers of Playing Cards. Grace was given by Honorary Liveryman The Rt Rev. Dr R D Fenwick. The Guest Toast was Proposed by Past Master Tim Fitzgerald-O’Connor with the Reponse by Mr David McElhiney, Principal Guest. He then Proposed the Toast to the Company with the Response by the Master Malcolm Craig.
The Worshipful Companies of Needlemakers - Master Anthony de Lacey Esq and Gold & Silver Wyre Drawers - Master John Walsham Esq held a combined Carol Service at St James Garlickhythe by kind permission of the Reverend Tim Handley. Honorary Chaplains were The Rt Rev Christopher Chessun The Bishop of Southwark - Needlemakers and The Rev Gordon Warren and Fourth Warden - GSWD. The Organist was Paul Gobey. The congregation bought presents to be distributed to deserving children in the East End of London by the Salvation Army on Christmas Eve.
The annual Livery Banquet was held at the Mansion House by kind permission of the Lord Mayor Alderman Peter Estlin who attended with the Lady Mayoress Lindy Estlin, Aldermanic Sheriff Vincent Keaveny, Mrs Amanda Keaveny and Sheriff The Hon. Elizabeth Green. The Master proposed the Civic Toast which was responsed by the Lord Mayor. The First Warden, Malcolm Craig proposed The Guests with the response by General Sir Roger Walker GCB CBE. The Master presented to the Livery the beautiful silver vase with magnetic gold frog made by our 2018 prize winner Kyosun Jung. The Master also presented our 2018 Royal School of Needlework prize winner Alex Standring her certificate. An Honour Guard on the stairs was formed by the Sea Cadets from TS Barrosa and St John Ambulance Cadets from Chislehurst and Sidcup. The music was beautifully played by the London Banqueting Ensemble (director Steve Fletcher) which included a marvellous rendition of the post horn gallop.