Saturday, 17 December 2011

Carols at St Brides

On Monday last an unprecedentedly large number of Marketors attended the 46th annual carol service for the communications industry-and what better place than than Wren's St Brides the spiritual home of printing and the media for over 300 years and the home church now to a host of communications organisations who were all represented. The church when empty it is a place of great tranquility but for a carol service, with the St Brides choir, it is joyfully full of music.
The church is rightly famous for its choir, ( all professional singers) which was established in 1957 for the church's re dedication and which has remained more or less the same ever since. For a carol service they are in their element.
The service included many of the old favourite Christmas carols and seasonal readings. The Christmas message was delivered by Boris's sister, Rachel Johnson, erstwhile editor of the Lady magazine.
Afterwards 42 of us walked up Fetter Lane to the Grappalo Restaurant where we refreshed our throats and had a thoroughly enjoyable and convivial meal

Saturday, 10 December 2011

St Albans Coming Home

The Company were invited to send two members to join with our affiliated ship, HMS St Albans, at Lisbon for the final leg of its journey home from operations in the Persian Gulf. Hugh West and Jeremy Stern snapped up the chance to spend 6 days on board. You see them here on the left and to all intents and purposes this photograph makes it appear that they are on a windy deck of a luxury holiday cruise liner. In the interests of balanced reporting I show a photograph lower down of Hugh which makes it clear that they were on HMS St Albans.
I quote now short extracts from an interesting paper Hugh wrote about their experiences on board.
''Each department took us through a very detailed explanation of their role and many exercises were carried out to keep the crew on top form. This included fire drills, sea boat launches and firing salvoes from the main 4.5” gun managed by our excellent and patient host, the Principal Weapons Officer, Lt Cdr James Robey RN, as well as allowing us to fire their Gatling type mini gun and the general purpose machine guns personally. I declined the strong invitation to take part in the man overboard exercise which showed how efficient the crew handled emergencies.''

''The ship was over manned with additional crew and a Royal Marines detachment making accommodation rather tight. We were billeted with the Chief Petty Officers (they are very large!) and slept in a tier of three narrow steel bunks within a few inches of the raging Atlantic swell though the single-skinned hull. Showers and heads (toilets) were the deck above which proved a difficult passage when only dressed in a towel at 0600 hours!''

''After a final night we anchored in Spithead and the Second Sea Lord, Vice Admiral Charles Montgomery CBE RN, visited the ship and made a speech to the whole crew, with us at attention, and then we weigh anchor and gently glide into sunny Portsmouth harbour to be greeted with columns of water from the fireboats and the emotional sight of hundreds of excited family members on the quay waiting to welcome home their loved-ones after their six month deployment accompanied by a Royal Marine Band.

''The experience was wonderful but it is the officers and crew that makes St Albans such an outstanding ship and I hope the Marketors’ affiliation with HMS St Albans will be of long-lasting mutual benefit and being in Home Waters, until her refit in 2013, there will be plenty of opportunities for us to reciprocate their hospitality.''

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

'London 1,000 Years'

'London 1,000 years: treasures from the collection of the City of London' is the title of a newly published book written and compiled by David Pearson, Director of Culture, Heritage and Libraries for the City of London Corporation. In celebration of the 600th anniversary of Guildhall the launch, attended by the Lord Mayor and Sheriffs, took place in the Great Hall last night.
The launch was an ancillary event to the main event which was a presentation by Dr Simon Thurley on the history of Guildhall. From it's origins in 1411, built on an even older Roman site, Dr Thurley used very fine slides to compare London's Guildhall with other Guildhalls in European Cities and even old Guildhalls elsewhere in England (Norwich being the biggest one outside London) He is a masterly speaker and held captive a very large audience as he talked through the history of the Guildhall up to the present day.
He was followed by David Pearson who touched on a minute percentage of the City's enormous historical collection--70 kilometres of archive shelving just to hold what is not on display. The Corporation looks after collections on national importance going back to the Norman conquest. It even includes an original copy of Magna Carta, an original First Folio of Shakespeare and more records, paintings, books, manuscripts, gold and silver than one can easily get one's brain round. The book is a delight and a pictorial treasure trove. I would unhesitatingly recommend it to anyone.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Annual City Lecture

Last week we held our Annual City Lecture in the beautiful environment of Goldsmiths' Hall. Despite it being a Friday night it was a well attended event with the Masters of 26 other Livery Companies present as guests of the Company, with their Clerks.
Pre lecture drinks led on to a stunning presentation, using digital slides and video, from the guest speaker Jeannette Liendo. As Sir Paul Judge said in introducing her, she is Brazilian, was educated in Switzerland and lives in Paris. She is the Global Marketing Director, Corporate, for Microsoft. As I explained when I opened the evening it is impossible to have a year themed, as mine is, on the subject of Innovation without having a major speaker to talk on the subject which is the most innovative in our life time -the digital revolution. And who better than Jeannette.
An accomplishes presenter she explained how Microsoft approach innovation both in process and culturally. She then showed a video on the future of digital--the innovations that exist today but are not yet, as she put it, 'distributed' i.e in general circulation. What looked like science fiction actually now exists and will in time be rolled out for public consumption. Whether everyone in the audience fully grasped all that she said I don't know but it certainly left a terrific impression.
After a virtuoso performance we retired from the main hall to the outer rooms for a delightful supper.

Solicitors' Dinner

Last Tuesday I was at the Livery Dinner of the Worshipful Company of Solicitors held in Carpenters Hall. And a very fine dinner it was with exquisite wines. I discovered from the Past Master next to whom I was sitting that the Company buys its wine en primeur, keeps it until mature and then drinks it at dinners years later. As an en primeur buyer myself I was full of admiration at this policy.
The after dinner speaker was Lady Justice Hallet, Vice President, High Court, Queen's Bench Division. She was, unsurprisingly, eloquent and spoke of the potential hazards facing the profession from the lowering of standards, due to three emerging factors : firstly the rise of conditional fees where fees are related to outcome (ambulance chasing as us non-lawyers describe it); secondly education and the watering down of qualifications (very serious if true); and lastly Regulation, where lay regulators are applying a 'light touch'. As she herself made clear at the beginning of her speech this was not an after dinner speech full of jokes but even for non-lawyers it was very interesting.However talking defensively to her own kind one was reminded of Mandy Rice Davis's famous comment ''well he would say that wouldn't he''.

Red Cross Christmas Market

Held every two years in the historic Great Hall at Guildhall--and spilling over into the Old Library so great is it, the Red Cross Christmas Market is a tremendous event. Written up in an earlier Clerk's Notices, Marianne and I went on Monday evening to this two day event. It's enormous and enormous fun--all for charity. There are over 80 stalls selling at rock bottom prices an eclectic mix of goods from nearly new designer label clothes to bags and accessories; international foods; jewellery; fair trade crafts; books and much, much more. If you wanted unusual gifts it was a treasure trove. My credit card was damaged accordingly.
On Monday evening there was live music, endless champagne and canapes and Julian Fellows, the writer behind Downton Abbey, giving the welcome.
It was a wonderfully atmospheric experience in a magnificent setting with a unique selection of merchandise not found on the High Street. It was interesting to see a lot of members and Masters of other Livery Companies there. Indeed many Companies had their own stalls-it would be nice to think we could arrange this in future years.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

CIM Graduation Ceremony

The graduation ceremony for all those CIM students who have passed their Diploma, or Post Graduate Diploma, in Marketing was held on Friday in the superb surroundings of the Birmingham Symphony Hall. A magnificent setting for a serious occasion. Some indication of the quality of the Symphony Hall can be seen on the left, a much foreshortened photograph.
I was there, with a number of gowned academics, sitting on the raised platform as I was to give awards from our Trust to the ''Top Worldwide Professional Post Graduate Diploma student and subsequently an award to the 'Top Worldwide Professional Diploma student.
These awards came towards the end of the graduation ceremony which saw many hundreds of students come up to receive the applause and recognition they deserved. Speeches were made, a particularly fine one by Sir Paul Judge, a Past Master and the President of the CIM
The Marketors are well represented in the upper echelons of the CIM as was evidenced on the day since, as well as Sir Paul Judge, Middle Warden Sally Muggeridge is a member of the CIM Academic Senate, as is Liveryman Professor Malcolm McDonald and both the outgoing and incoming Chairmen of the Institute,who are members, were there.
I couldn't help but notice as I left, that outside the Symphony Hall, apart from a vibrant Christmas market, were banners promoting the world Trampoline and Tumbling championships, being held in the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham. Were these I wondered an analogy for the troubled Euro zone.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Are Plastics Really Fantastic?

This was the title given to the annual Horners' Company Lecture which I attended last week. The event was held in the Royal Society of Medicine's building in Wimpole Street. I can say unreservedly it is a fabulous venue. It has recently undergone wholesale refurbishment and internal reconstruction and is now offers state of the art lecture and entertainment facilities. Even the raked seats in in the super modern lecture theatre have individual microphones in the arm of every seat.
The lecture was given by the Master, a man with 45 years' experience in the plastics industry and an industry titan. He explained that he was continuing the theme of last year's lecture in explaining why plastics are indeed fantastic. Too often we hear in the media headlines : ''Ban plastic bags''; ''Pacific ocean plastic waste dump''; ''Ban PVC''; Plastic feeding bottles poison babies''. The image is one of plastics wasting valuable resources and polluting the world.
In response to such claims the speaker robustly explained the advantages of plastic with its low carbon footprint and eco efficient manufacturing. The many advantages and disadvantages were discussed . For example the the green benefits of light weight bottles over heavier glass; the myriad uses of plastic from bio degradable bags to the advanced composites in used in aeroplane construction. He stressed the recyclable nature of plastic enabling it to be used over and over again in different guises. All food for thought making plastics, he said, too valuable to be thrown away.

Livery Lecture by the Actuaries

Actuarial affairs are usually dry stuff but not so the the annual Actuaries' Lecture which I attended last week. The venue was Staple Inn Hall just off High Holborn. Never having been there before it was a pleasure to admire the hall and the stained glass in particular.
The speaker was the hereditary peer Lord Colin Moynihan who, those with long memories will remember, won a gold medal as a rowing cox in the world championships and a silver medal at the Moscow Olympics. Now the Chairman of the British Olympic Association he was the guest speaker and spoke on the subject ''2012 An Olympic Dream-Can the Games deliver a Sporting Legacy for the UK''. The answer was unlikely to be 'no'.
He spoke widely and interestingly on the topic of the Olympics, beyond the legacy, especially on an athlete's need for fanatical attention to detail in order to win. He quoted the interesting statistic that of five gold medals we won at the last Olympics the total time taken for all five events was only a little over 12 minutes. The total time difference between Gold and Silver for all five events added together was 0.514 seconds. Just over half a second separates gold winners from silver winners across five events. Wining today is measured in hundredths of a second. A sobering thought for athletes in training.

Address by the Lord Mayor

Every new Lord Mayor addresses the Livery at the beginning of their year. Alderman David Wootton did so last Wednesday at the Mansion House. It is his opportunity to say thank to the Livery who gave him the opportunity to be Lord Mayor but also an opportunity for him to set out his Agenda for the year.
2012 of course is the year of both the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics. A great year to be Lord Mayor as he observed and one which would make this country and the City in particular a centre of world attention. Against this background he explained that he intended to raise the visibility and quality of awareness of the City not just internationally but in the UK as a whole. He wants to shine a light on the City's contribution and in addition the contribution of the Livery which in the wider world is virtually unknown. To help this cause the Mercers have just published a short paper demonstrating the contributions the Livery makes and I shall be circulating this round our Company.
Like all Lord Mayors David Wootton has his own appeal entitled (well it would be wouldn't it) 'Fit For The Future' This appeal will help five charities-the primary one being Barts and the London Charity on behalf of the Trauma Unit at the Royal London Hospital. The Rowing Foundation; London Youth Rowing; Fields in Trust and Futures for Kids will all benefit.
It sounded as though he is going to have a very full year!

Tony Bellm Lunch

One of our very earliest Masters was Tony Bellm who, as can be seen from the front of the Directory, was Master in 1979. He very generously bequeathed in his will an endowment to fund a lunch each year for Past Masters, their partners, the current Master and partner and the Clerk.
The lunch was on Monday and was held in the private dining room at Guildhall, a perfect venue. 24 sat down of whom 12 were Past Masters-a good turn out.
It is traditional at this lunch that the most senior Past Master toasts absent friends and in doing so recalls some of the history of the Company. Austin Nunn did this admirably. Tony Bellm was National Chairman of the Institute of Marketing in the early seventies when Lord Mais became Lord Mayor and it was Tony Bellm who put his resources into organising the Lord Mayors show for Lord Mais. Lord Mais of course subsequently became our supporter and it is largely thanks to his good offices that we became a Livery Company.
Generous gestures such as Tony Bellm's reflect so well on the 'service to others' and fellowship ethos which underpin a successful Livery Company. He is remembered with pleasure and respect.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Remembrance Sunday

It was wonderful to see so many Marketors at the Remembrance Day service at St Brides last Sunday. Something Archdeacon David Meara specifically commented upon to me after the service. At the beginning of the service I laid the Marketors wreath on the steps before the altar, as did representatives of other organisations.
It was a beautifully constructed service and in his sermon, commenting on sacrifice, David Meara opened by referring to the war memorial on Platform 1 of St Pancras station. I stare at it every time I am in St Pancras and go past it. It is a quite superb sculpture of a 'Tommy'' in full kit reading a letter from home. It's probably the finest war memorial I know and worth a detour if you're in the area. It doesn't have the magnificence of Charles Sargeant Jagger's Royal Artillery Memorial at Hyde Park corner but it generates a more immediate emotional response.
As we walked back up Ludgate Hill to St Pauls station past the tented protesters I thought of another form of sacrifice. The protesters are protesting against Mammon not God and yet ironically the damage they are doing is to God's work (the church). The job losses and revenue losses that St Paul's Cathedral has suffered reflect the fact it is the church which has made the sacrifice.

The Lord Mayor's Show

''Three miles of fun, music, and pageantry to welcome the new Lord Mayor'' is the wording on the front of the official Lord Mayor's Show brochure. There is absolutely no doubt that the event lived up to this claim. In perfect weather 153 entrants comprised the parade and the Marketors' float was number 113.
I am advised this was only the third time in history that the Company has entered a float into the Lord Mayor's Show. We had wonderful support from our affiliated school St Dunstans whose marching band and CCF preceded the float.
The float itself owed much to the school whose students designed and constructed the structure of the float. With sponsorship from the CIM, celebrating their centenary, just as st Dunstans CCF also were, and from Unilever whose products and TV ad reel added colour and movement, our entry was one to be proud of. Here below is a photo with the organising maestro Assistant, Michael Harrison whose contribution to this event was awesome.
I was on the float waving furiously together with the Senior Warden and Jane Davies, the Head Mistress of St Dunstans, and the school's Head Girl, plus four Prefects, all waving furiously.
At the halfway point outside the Royal Courts, where the Lord Mayor has to take time out from the parade to swear allegiance to the Queen in front of the judges, I had to disembark in order to get back to the Mansion House to be one of the 22 Masters chosen to form the Guard of Honour welcoming the Lord Mayor back.
Before that I managed to drop into the Wine Tun and the Capital Club to say hello to the 220 people who had accepted our invitation to join the party. The logistics of organising 220 people and their menu choices fell to Lesley Wilson who unflappably did a superb and glitch free job.
A wonderful and memorable day was completed by Marianne joining me for lunch with the new Lord Mayor in the Mansion House.

Blessing the new Lord Mayor

Late on the 11th November, following the Lord Mayor's official installation at the Silent Ceremony, there is a Service of Prayer and Blessing for the new Lord Mayor held at St Lawrence Jewry next Guildhall. It was a simple service when the Guild Vicar, Canon David Parrot, skillfully found ways in his sermon to mention all the Livery Companies of which Lord Mayor Wootton is a member. It is probably well known that Roman Generals returning in triumph made processional entrances into the city and had at the back of their chariot a slave whose only role was to lean forward at periodic intervals, as the enthusiastic crowd waved and shouted, and intone ''remember you are only human''. A similar sentiment, more subtly and delicately put, came through the sermon via the biblical reference ''to whom much is given much is expected''
There is no doubt that like his predecessor David Wootton will meet these expectations as he gives everything he can to his role as Lord Mayor.

Presentation of Addresses Ceremony

A short while after the Silent Ceremony Marianne and I had kindly been invited by our Clerk, Adele, to witness the Presentation of Addresses ceremony which was held in the upper foyer of Guildhall art gallery. This is a very strictly 'invitation only' affair. Both Sheriffs and the Lord Mayor attend since it is to them that the 'Presentations' are made.
These are presentations of gifts of appreciation and congratulation from members representing the various Livery Companies, City Wards, or other organisations of which the Lord Mayor and Sheriffs are members. The gifts presented varied from inscribed silver trays to decanters, pens, glasses and silver photograph frames. Each gift was announced by the Remembrancer and formally presented. Adele presented a gift as President of the Aldgate Ward Club. An unusual event to be able to witness.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Silent Ceremony

Last Friday the 11th November I was in the Great Hall at Guildhall to witness the historic Silent Ceremony when the new Lord Mayor, already elected, is officially appointed. Apart from a short declaration of office by the in-coming Lord Mayor not a word is spoken. The lights are lowered for an atmospheric occasion. It is one on which the new Lord Mayor is sworn in and the retiring Lord Mayor passes on his symbols of office to the new Lord Mayor.
The principal items passed include the sword, sceptre, seal and inventory of the Corporations possessions (for which the new Lord Mayor takes responsibility) It is a ceremony full of dignity and ritual with much bowing, or 'reverences' as they are called, as the symbols of Mayoralty pass from the old Lord Mayor to the new one.
The ceremony was filmed and Stephen Fry was a guest since this ceremony will be incorporated into a TV film about the City to be aired later and he will be the narrator. Study the TV guides!

Gardening Leave

It is a privilege of the Master to be allocated by the Marketors' Trust the sum of £2,000 for a charitable donation of his choosing. I have reflected for some time on the choice. It seemed to me that such a sum would be most valued by a small charity with real focus where it would have a greater significance than if given to one of the major charities. With this thinking in mind I have given the donation to to a small, fairly new (founded in 2007) charity called Gardening Leave. The charity aims to improve the mental and physical well being of ex-service people by offering horticultural therapy in walled gardens. They provide peaceful, unpressurised environments where mentally damaged veterans can participate as much or as little as they like in the life cycle of the garden. Many who attend at the sites have difficulty making the transition from military to civilian life and also suffer from combat stress reactions. Gardening Leave offers them structure, routine, being with like minded individuals , being outside and having something constructive to do.
So it was with pleasure that I handed over the Trust's cheque to Anna Baker Cresswell, the founder, at the charity's walled garden within the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea. There are sites elsewhere in the UK and over the next 5 years the charity aims to open new projects in walled gardens throughout the country to bring companionship and reassurance to more traumatically stressed veterans young and not so young.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Garden of Remembrance St Pauls

The City's Garden of Remembrance Service was held on Monday in the Garden on the North East side of St Paul's . Unlike last year the weather was clement. I was privileged to be there.
We gathered in the Crypt to begin and after refreshments were briefly addressed by the President of the Royal British Legion, John Kiszely. Explaining that this event was very well attended, as indeed it was, he commented wittily that there were even people camping outside to try and get in. . More seriously he told us that the annual one day collection in the stations and streets of the City had raised over £400k significantly more than the £250k raised last year.
The service in the garden was short but moving with the band of the Scots Guards and the Royal British Legion Flag Bearers adding to the occasion. The crosses on the Remembrance Garden lawn were planted by representatives of almost all the 108 Livery Companies together with representatives of of other City Organisations.
The service finished with the Kohima Prayer :

''When you go home, tell them of us and say,

For your tomorrow we gave our today''

It was a ceremony that allowed all who were there to reflect and demonstrate in a small way gratitude for the sacrifices made on our behalf in the past and today

Saturday, 5 November 2011

At Home

My wife Marianne, our Clerk Adele, and I went to a very happy ''At Home'' in the Egyptian room of the Mansion House last Thursday at the invitation of Lady Mayoress Barbara Bear. It sandwiches, cakes and tea which never stopped coming. There were quite a few Masters of other Companies there whom I knew but in the main they had recently become Past Masters. It is very common that Masters' years end in the autumn.We are unusual in having a middle of January change of Master.
I was able to chat to Barbara Bear and it was the perfect opportunity for me to give her the cheque for all the money that was raised in our Prize Draw for 'Bullet Bear'. As the afternoon went on champagne duly appeared. There were no speeches, it was a simple and informal affair and all the better for that.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Miss World :Beauty with a Purpose

If you are a man you might think 'Miss World' is frothy fun with very attractive girls; if you are a woman your feminist hackles might rise with a feeling that naive young women are being exploited. Both wrong. Very wrong. At the heart of Miss World is the charity, Beauty with a Purpose, which works tirelessly across the world and raises hundred of millions of pounds mainly for the benefit of disadvantaged children. From funding cleft palate teams in South America, Russia and Sri Lanka, supporting the Nelson Mandela Trust in South Africa to fund raising for the Vietnamese Red Cross and special childrens' villages catering for abandoned and neglected children the charity operates world wide. Miss World Country representatives actively support and promote these charitable causes and raise funds in their own countries.

All this has been instigated and is run by the charming but irrepressible Julia Morley, a long standing member of the Marketors. Why she has not received public recognition for her colossal charitable efforts I do not know. She kindly invited four of us with wives to the Miss World Charity Dinner on Monday night. The 120 contestants from around the world were there, the final of the competition is on 6 November. The contestants mingled and chatted with guests before dinner and sat with them at dinner. On our table we were graced with Miss Denmark and Miss Czech Republic.

Like all the contestants these were mature and intelligent young women. None of the contestants aspire to be hairdressers. Many are studying law and medicine; some are already qualified teachers; they are bright as well as beautiful. It was a very happy dinner which with a charity auction probably raised £100,000. Beauty with a Purpose indeed.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011


There are now 17 of the 108 Clerks of Livery Companies who are female(and several Assistant Clerks). They met yesterday for lunch as they do every Halloween----as a witches coven (I'm not making this up, I was told by our Clerk). With great wit they decided that the main course which was most appropriate was grouse. 'nuff said.

For the avoidance of doubt, as my lawyer has advised me to make clear, I must state that the picture to the left bears no relation to any known Livery Company Clerks.

Monday, 31 October 2011

Helping Disadvantaged Students

One of the charities to which our Trust gave significantly this year is the Sir John Cass Foundation Lord Mayor's Bursary Scheme. A title which, as the Lord Mayor himself commented, doesn't exactly trip off the tongue. Last Friday was the official launch of the scheme at the Mansion House which the Chairman of our Trust, Trevor Brignall, and I attended. After speeches the Lord Mayor presented certificates to 19 scholars in recognition of their award of a scholarship to enable them to undertake undergraduate studies.

This scholarship scheme is funded both by Sir John Cass's Foundation and the Lord Mayor's Bear Necessities Appeal. It awards scholarships to young residents facing financial hardship, aged 18-20 from nine inner London boroughs, to pay for their tuition fees, maintenance, and other educational costs over 3 years of study. £1.5 million will be awarded over 5 years--this is not a small scheme. The students between them are going to all the major London universities to study. As he bows out as Lord Mayor, Alderman Michael Bear can take great pride in this legacy which he has created and left behind.

Management Consultants

It was a great pleasure last week to go to Carpenters Hall for the Installation Dinner of Mary Collis the newly installed Master of the Worshipful Company of Management Consultants.

The Management Consultants, at number 105, are a newer Company than the Marketors but are notably active, as are we, in pro bono outreach activity. Mary touched on this in her Master's speech; they provide very considerable external consultancy and mentoring particularly to less well off charities. Their members' commitment to such activities is very great indeed and something towards which we should aim.

The guest speaker after dinner was Sir Peter Gershon who has had an extensive career in the defence industry and at a top level in the public sector, before gathering his current portfolio of public company directorships. He spoke about industry and government relations, their interdependence and how the needs of both might be better met in our troubled times. What it requires it seems is ''Change with Wisdom''-----which just so happens to be the motto of the Worshipful Company of Management Consultants as you may be able to discern from their crest above.

Breakfast at the Old Bailey

The breakfast last Wednesday was held to promote the good work undertaken by the Sheriffs and Recorder's Fund. Serendipitously it was hosted by his Honour Judge Peter Beaumont, whose daughter went to the same school and is a good friend of my daughter, so he was not unknown to me. He talked about the workings of the old Bailey and the complicated logistics involved in the moving around of prisoners during a trial. He took us to visit the famous number one court. Whilst beautiful it is not, he explained, at all efficient as a court room not least because of the layout with the jury unable to see the witness at anything other than a sideways angle.
We also saw a more modern court, one of 18 at the Old Bailey, with its recently constructed glass screen in front of where the accused stands.Necessary he explained to prevent the accused from leaping out and rushing across the court room and punching the judge in the face as happened to an unfortunate lady judge not so long ago.
At breakfast Lady Prue Davies, Chairman of the Fund talked about the work of the charity which is focused on helping ex-prisoners get a new start in life and on relieving hardship in the families of serving offenders. It does this to help re-offending by making grants for training, tools of the trade, clothing and household equipment. One of the beneficiaries of the Trust, a reformed character, was at breakfast to pay tribute to what the Fund had done for him to help him put his life back on the straight and narrow. This is a charity not only of great efficiency but also of great compassion. I am glad the Marketors regularly support it.

Annual Curry Dinner

If, as they say, an army marches on its stomach, then our adopted Regiment 151(London) Transport Regiment must move swiftly. As indeed it does as was explained at the annual Curry Evening held at the Sutton TA Centre last Tuesday. The evening started with a macro view of the army, in the context of the Strategic Defence Review which was given by Major General Mark Poffley, the Regiment's Honorary Colonel. He explained that the grand plan would result in a single army not a Regular army and a discrete Territorial army. The single army would comprise full time and part time soldiers with an increasing reliance on the latter. The Regular army is being cut by 20%.

He then discussed theatres of war including Afghanistan where 'winning' was an irrelevant concept since the country is essentially tribal rather than a cohesive nation state.
His opening was followed by presentations from officers of 151 Regiment demonstrating the width of the Regiment's capabilities in providing all the logistical back up for the army sometimes having to fight their way through to provide the needed resources at the front line.

Speeches and presentations were followed by an excellent curry dinner and more extremely interesting conversation. about the actions of the Regiment.. At the end of dinner I was able to present Lt Colonel Adrian Lee, commanding officer of 151, with a framed Freedom of the City of London Certificate, emanating from his Freedom ceremony about which I have blogged earlier. The evening encapsulated the fine relationship between the Marketors and 151 Regiment.

Not forgetting the Bear

I suddenly realise that one of the high points of the Bowden Charter Dinner was the draw for our Lord Mayor's Charity Prize Draw---and I neglected to cover it in my previous blog. Well here is a picture of AnneMarie Hanlon, the winner of the sculpture of the Bear which was the first prize and which has been happily sitting in the Reception of Mansion House all year after Barbara Bear acquired it from the sculptor Lewis Hunter. The second prize was won by Diane Morris and third prize by Mike Barnato. Congratulations all round and our thanks to Matthew Trowbridge who masterminded the ticket sales and to all the many who participated.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Bowden Charter Dinner

This dinner renamed the Bowden Charter Dinner in order to celebrate both the Company's award of its Royal Charter last year and our founding Master Reggie Bowden was held on Wednesday last in the opulence of Drapers Hall. It was a full event due no doubt to the splendour of the venue and the attraction of the speaker.
The dinner was preceded by a Ceremonial Court where the Company admitted seven new Freemen and where I was pleased to recognise Harpreet Sethi of Cass Business school for his dissertation on smartphone apps, particularly related to near field communications--a subject on which I am sure we will progressively hear more.

My, by now well known, theme of innovation was more than adequately addressed by the after dinner speaker Syl Saller. Syl has had a glittering career culminating in her present position as Global Innovation Director at Diageo the global drinks organisation. She gave an impassioned speech relating her company's modus operandi to a single brand --Johnny Walker and its innovative evolution over time as both a brand and a product. It was a pleasure to talk with her over dinner, it was an even greater pleasure to hear her speech--and to judge by the applause the room found it a great pleasure as well. Like Mark Price the MD of Waitrose who spoke on innovation at the Installation Dinner the issue of courage was very much at the forefront of Syl's talk. In today's world you cannot stand still you have to have the courage to take the risks that innovation involves. It's a message that needs to be more widely recognised.

Freedom at last......

It is always a great pleasure to give pleasure and so it was that as the Proposer I was able to be at the ceremony in the Chamberlain's office when Marion Nunn, Past Master Austin Nunn's wife and Valerie Druce, wife of Past Master Harry Druce were both granted the Freedom of the City of London. As their husbands were two of the founders of the Company it was timely that they at last also became Freemen of the City.

The ceremony as always was handled with aplomb by Clerk to the Chamberlain, Murray Craig, who after the ceremony regailed the assembled company with stories and anecdote's of those who had received the Freedom in the past. Here you see the new Freemen with their husbands.It was a very happy occasion which continued over a splendid lunch at the Little Ship club organised by Roddy Mullin.

Aspects of the City

Because the Lord Mayor is by background and training a Civil Engineer and property developer he has a deep interest in the City not just from a development point of view but also from an historical and architectural point of view. With this in mind he instituted this year a series of three talks/presentations on different aspects of the City of London in the context of urban design . I went to the first one where the speaker was the erudite Simon Thurley CEO of English Heritage and a superb speaker, about which I blogged earlier; last week I went to the third and last of these talks having been unable to attend the second one.This third and final talk was about the City of the Future and consisted of a panel chaired by Peter Rees, the City Planning Officer; Francis Salway, the Chief Executive of the property company Land Securities; and Lee Polisano, President of PLP Architecture. They made a formidable team. The talks ranged, unsurprisingly, over inter city global competition and what this meant for infra structure and high speed links, particularly to airports; sustainability in urban planning; the management of resources; the continued growth of all cities and the practical implications. All this and much more but surprisingly no mention of of the impact of technology in its many guises.

This evening's event at the Mansion House, introduced by the Lord Mayor, came the day after a book launch at Mansion House also introduced by the Lord Mayor, and one which I attended and which launched a magnificent tome on the architecture, both ancient and modern, of the City. The City past, present and future all in two days. What more could a Master interested in the City ask.

Celebratory Concert

Last week I went to the Lord Mayor's Appeal Celebratory Concert at the Royal Festival Hall. As most people by now know Alderman Michael Bear's Appeal 'Bear Necessities' supports two charities--the children's charity, Coram and redr UK that trains and provides engineers and other relief workers to respond to world wide disasters. This concert was in support of his appeal and marked its grand finale. And what a concert. It featured a wonderful programme from EC4 Music and the choirs from four schools.
EC4 Music is a non-professional choir and orchestra taking its name from the post code of where the group was founded. It has performed sell-out concerts at its 'spiritual home' St Brides for the last twelve years. It is a very large orchestra of the highest quality amply demonstrated by a rich programme. This included a 400 strong performance of Parry's ''I was Glad''-made famous across the world by its inclusion in the recent Royal wedding. The orchestra's own large choir was boosted by the addition of 100 children drawn from four London schools.

The concert also included 'The Young Person's Guide To The Orchestra' by Benjamin Britten with Richard Stilgoe as the irrepressibly witty narrator, as well as Handel's Zadok the Priest and the slightly off the wall Belshazzer's Feast by Sir William Walton. A delightful evening finished off by a private reception where I again had the pleasure of a long chat to both the Lord Mayor and his wife Barbara.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Freedom for an Army man

Adrian Lee is the Commanding Officer of our adopted Regiment, 151 (London) Transport Regiment, Royal Logistics Corps. Our continuing excellent relationship was furthered by the Master and the Chairman of the Armed Forces Committee, together with Past Master Brigadier Roger Hood supporting him in his application to gain the Freedom of the City of London .
And so it was on Thursday last that we all, including Adrian's wife, were at the ceremony in the Chamberlain's office in Guildhall for the granting of the Freedom to Adrian Lee. As ever Murray Craig, Clerk of the Chamberlain's Court, officiated and after the ceremony regaled us with anecdotes and stories of those who had received the Freedom in earlier times. Since Adrian is a military man these related to historical figures from Nelson and on through Generals who fought at Waterloo and elsewhere.
The page of the Freedom book which Adrian had to sign showed that the immediately previous entry was for the Earl of Wessex. However for a brief time Adrian had become the ''youngest Freeman''. Something we all celebrated at a jolly lunch afterwards at the Old Dr Butler's Head in Masons Avenue.

A New Master

It is always a fascinating experience to go to the Installation dinner of a Master of another Livery Company. On Friday Marianne and I were guests at the Installation Dinner of Mei Sim Lai the newly installed Master of the Worshipful Company of World Traders at Drapers Hall.

Mei Sim had invited numerous guests particularly those from the Asia-Pacific Rim area. This is her own homeland heritage and so her guests at dinner were thus representative of Asia and Australasia and included those such as the Deputy High Commissioner of New Zealand; the Minister for Economic Affairs, Japanese Embassy; Ambassador, Republic of Indonesia; Ambassador, Republic of Vietnam, and more besides as well as some Masters from other Livery Companies. The toast for the guests was thus a formidable task but Alderman Neil Redcliffe rose to the challenge.
I show here the crest of the Worshipful Company of World Traders for no reason other than it has a motto which I like. Difficult to read here but it says ''Commerce and honest friendship with all''. It is taken from Thomas Jefferson's inaugural Presidential address.

We were fortunate in sitting on the same table as the immediate Past Master whom I know well having shared most of his year with him. On my other side sat a youthful Danish lady who, ex-Oxbridge, Harvard and Yale, is a Professor at a West coast U.S. university. On enquiring what her Doctorate was in, and hence what she lectured on, she told me it was terrorism on which she is an acknowledged expert and author. It made for an interesting dinner table conversation.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Art in the City

This picture is not a fanciful one (well it is actually, look at it) but is a reproduction from the front cover of the Painter-Stainers' annual exhibition:''Art In The City'' The Company have a Fine Art Society and take over the Livery hall for an exhibition of their work. This, I suppose, should not really come as surprise given that since its institution in 1502 the Company through the centuries has included as members a host of famous artists including Joshua Reynolds, Godfrey Kneller, Peter Lely, James Thornhill, Lord Leighton, John Millais, Alfred Munnings, Hugh Casson and many more besides. There were no painters of such stature exhibiting last night when Marianne and I went.
However wandering round, glass of bubbles in hand, there was no doubt that this was an impressive exhibition with many paintings at professional level.
The hall itself has hanging on the walls some wonderful royal portraits but the finest to our eyes was a 6 footer by Sir Gerald Kelly Past President of the Royal Academy entitled Joaquina V. I have no idea who she was but it's a powerful piece of painting. Anyway it's a pleasure to see craft skills based Livery Companies demonstrating their skills to a wider audience. Whilst I was invited to this private show by virtue of position the exhibition is open to the public. It's finished now but worth looking out for next year if like us you enjoy art.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

The Foundling Museum

Situated in a leafy Bloomsbury cul-de-sac between the British Museum and the British Library is the Foundling Museum--unlike anything else, anywhere. Last Friday the Marketors had a private viewing of this emotionally loaded museum with an expert guide

The Museum tells the story of the Foundling Hospital, Britain's first home for abandoned children.Through the tireless work of Thomas Coram, who was appalled at the number of babies abandoned every year, the hospital was set up ''for the maintenance and education of exposed and deserted young children.''There were many early eighteenth century benefactors including Hogarth and Handel. Many artists and sculptors donated work including Reynolds, Gainsborough, Roubiliac and many others. The art is still there to be enjoyed including the famous Hogarth satirical painting, worth £millions shown on the right : ''March of The Guards To Finchley'' Before the opening of the Royal Academy the Foundling Museum was the main art gallery in London open to the public

The composer Handel was a Governor and major supporter of the hospital and the museum also contains the world's greatest collection of Handel memorabilia collected over a lifetime by an avid Handel admirer and donated to the museum. The saddest part of the museum is the display of Foundling tokens (coins, a button, jewelry, a poem, half a playing card). These were given by mothers leaving their babies, allowing the Foundling Hospital to match a mother with her child should she ever come back to retrieve her offspring. Few ever did.

The charity work for children started by Thomas Coram carries on today through the Coram charity, one of the beneficiaries of Lord Mayor Michael Bear's appeal, Bear Necessities.

At the end of the visit we walked the short distance to the North Sea Fish Restaurant for a fine fish dinner and convivial conversation

Sunday, 9 October 2011

To The Barricades...........

If you are a hammer every problem looks like a nail, even if it has a slot cut across the head or the head is six sided. If you are the Director of the Society of Editors representing 450 of the main national, regional and local newspapers and magazines the answer to every problem is a stout defence of the freedom of the press. And so it was with the annual Olsen Lecture last Thursday at St Brides, given this year by Bob Satchwell the Director of the Society of Editors who talked on the topic ' An Unholy Alliance of Press, Police and Politicians' The Olsen Lecture started 10 years ago in memory of Tom Olsen a former Sunday Telegraph journalist. It has had many notable speakers over the years including David Attenborough, P D James, Lord McGregor, Matthew Parris and Andrew Marr. Bob Satchwell himself has had a long and successful career in journalism and indeed was at one point Assistant Editor of the late lamented News of The World. He took as his start point July 4 2011 the day that Milly Dowler's phone hacking was made public-4 days before the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport was expected to allow Rupert Murdoch to proceed with his bid for the shares in BSkyB he didn't already own. Parliament raged but Hackgate as it became known was not, he observed, just about journalists' ethics and behaviour, the failures of earlier police inquiries into Murdoch were exposed. As we saw and read the political classes who have been battered and severely bruised by investigative media inquiries and reporting took the opportunity to kick back. Bob went on to claim that now we have too may inquiries : the media he claimed was now the most inquired into public institution in history--we now have inquiries into inquiries.
The worry in the media now, Bob said, is that the whole hacking debacle and its ramifications has not only tarnished the press but threatens to create regulations or restrictions which will hamper a truly free press. The counter attack was to hope that the inquiries also examine the collective guilt of politicians who now say they were over-influenced by one man. (some hope!). Unsurprisingly he closed by emphasising that the Society of Editors is determined to fulfil its role as defender of the media at every level. Well he would wouldn't he.
This evening was sponsored by Kaizo PR who kindly provided endless wine and wonderful canapes at the Lutyens restaurant adjoining the church, where there was complete freedom of expression.

Geography and History

A crowd of Marketors and guests were given a masterful education in both geography and history during a memorable trip to the Royal Geographical Society. We were treated first to a fascinating talk and slide show explaining the role of the Society. Founded in 1830 the RGS is the UK's pre-eminent learned society and professional body for geography in all its dimensions. We were shown how the Society through research, education, fieldwork and expeditions advances geography as a leading discipline. With an illustrious history the Society holds one of the world's greatest geographical collections of artifacts and historical photos. which spans over 500 years of discovery and geographical science. It also holds the world's finest map collection some maps going back to the 15th Century.

After the presentation given by Alastair Macleod, Head of Collections and our guide and mentor for the evening we were taken down to the Foyle library where an amazing array of historical artifacts had been laid out for us. These ranged from Livingstone and Stanley's hats to Darwin's pocket sextant, Mallory's goggles and other possessions found on his body, the shopping list from Harrods for an attempt on Everest which, unbelievably included items such as sauce boats, and superb photographs taken on the many expeditions round the world including Scott's and Shackleton's----and much more besides. Here are a couple of photos. On the left Hillary and Tensing Norgay on the way down after conquering Everest. Below on the right we can see the unfortunate members of Scott's fated expedition; left to right Scott, Evans, Oates, Wilson, Bowers. These pictures give only the merest glimpse of the treasures in the Royal Geographical Society

At the end of the evening we were privileged to be the first to use the newly refurbished members area for drinks and canapes. Finer fare than that consumed by the early intrepid explorers whose expedition rations and cooking pots we had just seen.

Election of Lord Mayor

Common Hall, open to all Liverymen, was held last Monday 3 October in Guildhall. This is the annual event for the election of the next Lord Mayor. The event is preceded by a church service in St Lawrence Jewry, known as the Divine Service. Like most Wren churches St Lawrence has no separation or major distinction between nave and chancel. It is a quite beautiful church, well worth a visit, with a magnificent organ but one not quite as magnificent as the monumental one in St James on the South side of Piccadilly, which is truly a marvel.

The sermon was given by the Chaplain to the Lord Mayor (yes, he has a Rabbi too) based on the Reading which was Mark 10. 42-45 and I quote ''whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all''. A message perhaps not just for the incoming Lord Mayor but also for Livery Masters...........
The election in Guildhall is one where all the Masters fully gowned process in and sit close to the front-how lucky. The great and the good process in subsequently. As is now well known Alderman David Wootton was elected 684th Lord Mayor with Roger Gifford being lined up as a future Lord Mayor. The election process-open outcry- reflects the centuries old rituals and demonstrates the full panoply of the Mayoralty and Corporation at such ceremonial events.

The speeches were, of course, gracious, from all concerned with outgoing Lord Mayor Alderman Michael Bear generating the most appreciation with his continuing puns on the word 'bear'.

The Marketors present then repaired to Founders Hall to join others from different Companies for some welcome refreshment and a splendid lunch.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

A Professorial Exposition

One of the threads that runs through my year is St Paul's Cathedral, from the Loriners 750th celebration there, the United Guilds Service, the 300 year anniversary of the Cathedral, the Sons of the Clergy service and again last night for a brilliant talk by Professor Peter McCullough a Lay Canon of St Paul's and Fellow and Tutor of Renaissance Literature at Oxford University. He spoke on ''St Paul's, the Corporation, and Liveries in the age of John Donne.''

We sat, theatre style, under the dome and a warm and amusing introduction was given by Graeme Knowles the Dean of St Paul's. He then introduced the speaker which is when it started to go wrong. Peter McCullough had a lapel mike which was linked to the main sound system and the echo this produced made it incredibly difficult for everyone to understand what he was saying. Concentration was all.

He spoke eloquently on the way in which the Cathedral, the Livery and the City Corporation have been entwined for centuries. John Donne, poet, lawyer, Ironmonger Liveryman and priest was the Dean of St Paul's in the time of Elizabeth the First. This was pre-Wren when the old cathedral dominated the London skyline with its spire. In the 100 or so years before the cathedral was destroyed in the Great Fire of London it was considerably decayed and dilapidated. Professor Mc Cullough explained the very close relationship the Livery had with the cathedral in those times. Indeed more than the Guildhall chapel itself, St Paul's was one of the most important stages upon which the Lord Mayor, Aldermen and Liveries showed in a visible and corporate way their support of the crown's established church. This talk was so good that I have put a link in here so that if you have the time you can read it for yourself.

Chains of Office

The Sheriffs were elected a short while ago but this week saw the presentation of the Shrieval chains to Alderman and Sheriff Alan Yarrow and Sheriff Wendy Mead. Chains of office are elaborate, individually designed by the wearer, very expensive and very impressive. Justifiably so as Sheriffs once held the highest office in the City as the Kings representative governing the City until they were bumped off the top spot by the institution of the Mayoralty in 1189.

Wendy Mead held her presentation in Carpenters Hall where the chain was on display. Because chains are so expensive an appeal is made to raise funds and all those who had contributed are invited to the presentation. Speeches follow and the champagne flows. Beside the chain is a beautiful hand written ledger detailing the names of all those who had contributed.
Alan Yarrow had his presentation ceremony in Fishmongers Hall and it followed the same format. His chain was significantly different. This is because the centre piece of the chain is a badge containing a coat of arms designed by the College of Arms representing the interests and achievements of its owner, together with a chosen motto.

These events attract a large crowd of supporters from the City as well as from the Livery although it was a pleasure to catch up with Masters I know. We are in Master 'change over' season now so many I know are now being replaced by their Senior Warden . I have a lot more new faces to get to know.

Monday, 19 September 2011

The Sheriffs' Opera

Last Friday evening the Sheriffs combined to raise money for the Lord Mayor's appeal by staging the Sheriffs' Opera - A Bear of Two Cities-in the Great Hall at Guildhall. Dickens' Tale of Two Cities was ingeniously reworked into a musical in which a man and a bear, like the famous Dick Whittington and his cat, leave the delights of Paris to travel to London through the port of Le Havre. The trials and tribulations of the journey were reflected in the music which encompassed work by Verdi, Puccini, and Donizetti. The adapted story line was amusingly narrated by Hannah Gordon as the fictional journey progressed. This 'contemporary opera' starred the the great diva soprano Nelly Miricioiou. She was accompanied by the Chelsea Opera Group Orchestra and Chorus a body of which Fiona Woolf is Chairman and on the night a participating soprano. Surprisingly good acoustics and some wonderful singing made for a splendid evening.

All Day Walking

If you think the Marketors are an energetic lot you don't know the Environmental Cleaners. For the seventh year running on Thursday last they organised their 'Livery Halls Walk' which raises money for charity. It takes all day and participants walk to visit all 40 Livery Halls. There were 44 of us walking. The weather was wonderful for walking and those of us who had done it before wore walking boots. Novices didn't. And regretted it.

The Senior Warden and I met at the office to collect our gowns and bonnets and then walked to Armourers and Braziers, the start point. Breakfast in the form of orange juice, coffee and bacon rolls was provided.. Then the long walk. We took in several halls before arriving at Ironmongers where we were invited in for a decent size glass of dry sherry. It was just gone 10am not the time one usually starts imbibing but most fortifying nevertheless. We took in 22 halls before before a quite excellent lunch provided by the Bakers in their hall. After lunch another 18 halls were visited, including champagne at Vintners and tea on HQS Wellington with the Master Mariners.

The walk finished at Mansion House where Lady Bear was presented with a cheque by the Master of the Environmental Cleaners. All in all a very pleasurable day full of camaraderie and one which helped mitigate, in a small way, rather a lot of Livery 'hospitality'.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Becoming, Or Not Becoming, Energised

One of the pleasures of being Master is that you are invited to other Companies' annual lectures. On Tuesday I went to Drapers Hall as a guest of the Fuellers Company to listen to John Cridland, the Director General of the Confederation of British Industry, talk on the extent to which the UK's energy policy is fit for purpose. Something of a dry subject (unless you are a Fueller) one might suppose. And a little incongruous for the Fuellers whose Latin motto translates as ''Our strength is in coal.' Never mind. The reality of course is that when you have a high intellect person speaking on a subject on which they are not only extremely knowledgeable but also quite passionate, it is a fascinating experience

Energy policy needless to say is set at government level but it is business that feels the effect and John Cridland's view was that not enough consultation with business takes place. The competitiveness of energy intensive industries is, he believes, under threat because of government policy.

Worse yet, renewable energy (think wind farms) are not cost effective. Indeed sometimes they have to be shut down when it's too windy (no, really, they do). So to be told that Tony Blair, just before he was removed from office, signed us up to a European legal commitment to have 30% of all energy produced to be from renewables by 2020 is more than a little disheartening.

I met a lot of familiar faces at the reception afterwards and happily we all had enough energy to enjoy the Fuellers' hospitality.

Winning In Today's Digital World

On Monday, for the first time, the Marketors held a joint event with another Livery Company : the Stationers and Newspaper Makers. Both Companies have a shared interest in the digital world. So the Stationers Digital Marketing Group and the Marketors' Think Tank got together to put on a seminar and discussion at Stationers Hall under the title 'How Do You Win In Today's Digital World'

We enjoyed a very high class Keynote speaker, Rory Sutherland the Executive Creative Director of OgilvyOne and Vice Chairman of Ogilvy Group UK. Rory is an acknowledged expert on Behavioural Economics or 'Nudge' theory as it is known. This is the theory underpinned by the belief that the decisions which people make are hugely influenced by unconscious and non-rational factors and nudging to influence behaviour can be more productive than instruction or overt coercion-sometimes simply by making decisions easier. Rory demonstrated the use of the theory in digital marketing, particularly in terms of responses to web sites.

Daniel Finklestein, the Executive Editor of The Times talked more directly about the issues of monetoising content-content on line being something that people have historically taken for granted as being free. The Times and The Sunday Times are pursuing a paywall approach to monetising their content. The industry looks on with great interest at what many see as an experiment.

Daniel was followed by Fergus Boyd the acting Head of E-business at Virgin Atlantic. The airline uses everythting from apps to social media as well as mobile and web as well as all the traditional media, cross promoting across them. As a sophisticated user of on and off line and integration the two Daniel demonstrated the width of possibilities available for the adventurous like Virgin.

The final speaker was Professor Merlin Stone, visiting Professor at Oxford Brookes, Portsmouth and DeMontfort Universities who is an expert on customer relationship management. Ex IBM he has been a leader in e-commerce since the mid 90s. Perfectly positioned therefore to explain how customer relationship management skills can profitably migrate on line.

Questions to the panel rapidly followed the speakers' presentations. With well over 100 people in the audience we were fortunate to have immediate Past Master Venetia Howes moderating the evening, not only opening proceedings with skill but controlling the questions and bringing them to a well timed conclusion. Hospitality, as it is quaintly called, followed rounding off a very informative and successful evening.