Friday, 15 April 2011
The Gift of Basketmaking
I noticed on the Menu that against the white wine it simply had 'PPW White Wine''. The Basketmakers have a Prime Warden not a Master. ''PPW'' stood for Past Prime Warden. The Past Prime Warden who owns and runs the vineyard from whence the white wine at dinner came was sitting, coincidentally, next to me. We had an entertaining conversation on the subject and I feel sure, as I have mentioned to him, that our own Past Master John Petersen will, in the fullness of time, provide the Marketors at one dinner or another with wine from his own extensive and immaculate vineyard.
The speaker was Murray Craig, Clerk of the Chamberlain's Court who will be familiar to many as the man who takes applicants through the Freedom of the City ceremony. With such a great variety of different people passing through his office to gain the Freedom he had many stories to tell. I particularly liked the one about Rowan Williams who, when the old right of driving your sheep over London Bridge came up in conversation, remarked that his 'flock' was anyway rather too big for such an event.
The evening passed all too quickly and at the end I was, with other guest Masters, called forward to receive a beautiful gift of a handmade basket from a Yeoman Basketmaker of the Company. No glue, no pins, no trickery, sheer basket making skill; it is indeed a wonderful gift.