Thursday, 15 March 2012

Modern Companies Dinner

Monday 12 March.

Modern Companies events are held twice a year for the Companies formed after 1926. The Master Mariners became the first new Company to be formed for over 200 years under the Guildry of the City, receiving their livery in 1932 and becoming 78th on the role of precedence. Since then a further thirty companies had received livery with others in a pipeline, either as current Company without Livery or a Guild.
The Worshipful Company of Marketors had long been scheduled to host this event in Spring 2012 and the organisation of the evening therefore fell to our learned Clerk, who undertook that duty with her customary skill and aplomb. On the night we were sadly without our Master, still in hospital recovering from his serious heart operation the previous week.  Under our Policies and Procedures, the Senior Warden is required to step up to the plate on such occasions and act as Deputy Master.  My first task was therefore to announce that I was standing in for the Master and to arrange with the Clerk for a Get Well Soon card to be circulated and signed by all present. The Middle Warden would be delivering this to the Master.
The Modern Companies certainly appear to be well in tune with one another – sharing many of the same problems in a meeting of minds.  The conversation between Masters and Senior Wardens present, without any partners and with only two Clerks present, certainly appeared lively and robust. There was a shared belief in the importance of Outreach and charitable contribution beyond the world of City business and an acknowledgement of the recent problems affecting the public reputation of the City.
In my speech given as host I welcomed all Masters and Wardens, particularly Sir John Stuttard well known to us as a former Lord Mayor. Nigel Pullman JP, a Shrieval candidate was also present at the dinner and the guest speaker was Richard Regan, a former Sheriff and the Chief Commoner.
Last night’s event took place at Watermen’s Hall, which dates back to 1780 and remains the only original eighteenth century Georgian Hall in the City of London, providing a very elegant setting for the dinner and one of the few venues regularly used by the Livery which is not a livery hall. The Company of Watermen was uniquely established by Act of Parliament in 1555 as a City Company to regulate Watermen and Wherrymen carrying passengers by boat under oars on the river Thames. They joined with the Lightermen carrying goods in 1700. 

The only missing thing from the evening was our Master’s presence and we wish him a rapid recovery to full health and strength.

Sally Muggeridge
Deputy Master 13th March 2012

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Tax, Opium and the Olympics


And so the the last event before the big day, and to Mincing Lane which was once the world's leading centre for tea and spices trading, and in the 18th Century was the centre of the British opium business as well as other drugs - but no more. This was the sedate and entirely legal Worshipful Company of Tax Advisers Budget Banquet which took place at the spacious and sumptuous Clothworkers Hall where we are to have the Bowden Dinner in October.

Walking up the magnificent grand travertine marble staircase set beneath a majestic glass dome we were greeted by the Master Peter Gravestock and his Wardens. Following the reception, about 150 of us sat down for an excellent dinner, fine company and good speeches including the Guest Speaker Sir John Armitt, Chairman of the Olympic Delivery Authority who have been responsible for creating the Olympics site on budget and on time.There were some fascinating facts and anecdotes leaving us all eager for the opening of the Olympics in July. A stirrup cup followed and I made my way back home (over the bridge) for the last time for a week or two.

John Flynn
Master Marketor

Saturday, 3 March 2012

That was the week


This could be called the week in which nothing happened, in that there were no official duties - well not for me. But some how I was very busy dashing around sorting out speakers and events, popping to the hospital and the dentist, reviewing a musical, working on our strategy, and even getting to the Mansion House one evening, but not a formal City event. I agreed the Dublin trip which it to be the 3rd to the 6th May and will start with a reception with their Lord Mayor and then lots of Guinness. The rest of the time I spent on the day job of City Digital and a mountain of emails - or should it be a cloud.

Meanwhile Brenda attended a luncheon set up by the Stationers Mistress for the Lady Mayoress at the Stationers Hall.  For Brenda one of the delights was the tour of the Hall. We have been there so many time but she knew little of its history - now she is an expert. As always it was apparently an excellent event with delightful company.

And then the big news. On Friday I got a date for the Op, or as I call it "opening day". It is to be the 8th March at St Thomas' Hospital, with me going in on the 7th.  For those not aware I have three furred up pipes and a leaky valve, so it is just a matter of opening the bonnet and doing a repair - sort of. This means that I will out of circulation for a while but have been assured that I will be back running around within six week. What are the bets on how soon I will be back blogging. Fear not, I will spare you the gruesome details.

Fortunately, as Master, I have a great Clerk in Adele and a strong team of Wardens in Sally, Roddy and Michael, so everything will continue as usual. All have assured me that nothing will change while I am away. OK!

John Flynn
Master Marketor