Thursday, 3 February 2011
At a sumputous lunch last week in Vintners Hall, surely one of the finest in the City, I found myself seated between two Clerks. On my right was the Clerk to the Broderers an ancient Livery company with its roots in the craft of embroidery. There were, he observed, not a lot of members still in the craft. But I rejoined at least you must have a strong female membership. Not so apparently, and he commented that anyway all the great embroiderers were men. He then ruminated that the finest exponents of a great many of the supposedly traditional female crafts --cooking, fashion design, flower arranging, knitting were all men. The conversation then conveniently moved away on to a very old custom of the Broderers. At every Court Dinner the Master has to sing the Broderers song. This not a short song and apparently the more out of tune the Master the greater the delight of the audience. I am mighty grateful that I am a Master of the Marketors and not the Broderers!