Saturday, 21 April 2012

The Spring Events


This year it was decided that we should link the Thanksgiving and Rededication service to the Spring Lunch and have a parade from one to the other. As it turned out this was the perfect choice with each part offering something new.

The service at St Brides Church, Fleet Street was led by our Honorary Chaplain, The Venerable David Meara, and supported by an excellent turnout of Marketors. The solemnity and grandeur of the event was strengthened by the performance of the amazing St Brides Choir who included in their selection Mascagni's Easter Hymn, Bizet's Au fond du temple saint from Pearl Fishers and Lloyd-Webbers Pie Jesu. However it was the Anthem at the end which finally brought the congregation to actually applaud, something they had wanted to do all along. It was Loesser's "Sit down you're rocking the boat" from the show Guys and Dolls. The choir became a West End chorus and the lead character, Nicely Nicely, was perfect.

And so, with a spring in their step, or in my case with wheel chair wheels rolling, the congregation formed up to make their way to Stationers Hall. Our police escort, while on a bike and in shorts, created one of the other memorable moments for us. As we approached the large junction of Ludgate Circus, he stopped the traffic in all directions allowing us to parade diagonally across to Ludgate Hill. A truly unique occasion.

Finally we reached Stationers Hall. It was a little chilly to have the reception in the garden as planned but there was adequate space inside this grand building. As I was unsure whether I could stand for a full welcoming line-up it was decided to forgo that and have, what could be described as, a welcome area for the Master. This worked extremely well as it gave me more time with people, and I was seated. The other items on show were our Treasures. This was a most impressive display which came as a surprise to many.

And so to the lunch. As we did not have a Ceremonial Court it was decided to make awards during the lunch. The first of these was the new Exceptional Service Award which I was delighted to present to Peter Short . His work on the Company's History Project, the Marketors Livery Golf day and the Lord Mayors Show has been exemplary, indeed his work on any one of these would have warranted consideration for this award. Next came two awards for academic achievement. First to Ben Blake and Nicholas Reid of London Business School for a project addressing pricing for TV over the internet; and then Joshua Jalloul from the University of Westminster Business School with a dissertation addressing the effectiveness of "green" advertising. Both were excellent pieces of work. 

Next I welcomed our guests which included the Masters of the Carmen, Launderers, World Traders and Management Consultants; closely followed by our guest speaker, Anthony Thomson. A Liveryman of the Marketors and an ex committee chair, he is a consummate marketer, who started his career by selling advertising space for a newspaper and went on to be the Chairman of the new MetroBank the first High Street chain to be established in over one hundred years. His presentation was both entertaining and informative to the point where some asked if I could ask him back.

So, in all a most excellent day which seems to have something for everyone. What an ideal way to return to the fold.

John Flynn
Master Marketor

Friday, 6 April 2012

Did I miss something?


Exactly one month ago to the day I went into hospital for a standard heart procedure. The success rate was 98% - what could possibly go wrong ? Well, as it turned out, almost everything. Without going into the gory, and at times hilarious, details sufice to say that I am now back home and, while a little frail, am starting to slowly get things together, including addressing the 807 emails that were awaiting me.

Has the Marketors survive without me - of course it has. Under the guiding hand of the Deputy Master, Senior Warden Sally Muggeridge, and with support from Wardens Roddy Mullins and Michael Harrison it has been business as usual; while also moving forward several key issues and major projects. And then there is "the office" with Adele and Doreen managing a wide range of important activities relating to the Company and the City. 

As the Masters Blog is by way of a record of the Company events and of his own activities through out the year, I feel that it would be right to briefly mention those events into which so much effort had been put, and which sadly I was unable to attend. First of these was the Modern Company Dinner hosted by us at Watermans Hall on the 12 March and arranged by the Clerk. I am delighted to say that the Deputy Master has provided a very thorough report in the Blog preceding this one. My only contribution was the provision of 55 coasters all bearing different ads, in which, apparently there was quite a brisk trade in swaps at the end of the dinner.

And then came, what would have been a busy day, Wednesday 14th. First was our own Private Tour of the Royal Opera House followed by dinner at Cote; all ably arranged by Liveryman Angela White Horan. A sad miss for us bearing in mind our love of the theatre. In the evening there was a invitation to a Royal Ballet School Masterclass from the Mercers Company at their Hall. Yet another theatrical event missed.

One of my big disappointments was the fact that during this time HMS St Albans sailed into London and was along side HMS Belfast, which is a few minutes walk from where I live - when I am at home. There was a visit for a small number of Marketors which included staying on board while it sailed to Gravesend. Congratulations are due to Liveryman Hugh West for organising the visit and the trip.

And so to the double event of the month The Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress's Livery Dinner at the Mansion House on the 22nd, and the United Guilds Service at St Paul's the following day. Brenda could not make the Dinner but did manage to get to the Service - a magnificent event which was followed by lunch at our second home Stationers Hall. She particularly wants me to thank our friends from both the Marketors and other Livery Companies for their kind thoughts and support throughout the day.

I was confident that The Charles Dickens Bicentenary Event on the 27th, organised by Freeman Annie Brooks, was going to be a success and, according to the Mistress, would not have been disappointed. Starting at the Museum of London, our formal City of London Guide was Stetson wearing Herb Danner, husband of Liveryman Debra Marmor. Not only did he have an encyclopedic knowledge of Dickens but also the way people lived in the area at the time.  

My big regret this month was that, because of my extended stay in hospital, we had to cancel The Masters Dublin Trip. We had a delightful message from their Lord Mayor, who was arranging a reception for us, and from the management of Guiness who were laying on a special Marketor event. And then there was the Titanic, the book of Kells, the Abbey theatre, etc. My thanks to Liveryman High West for putting so much work into this project. 

So that was it, the missed Masters month. This month, April, is comparatively quite with my retuning to the fold formally for the Spring Lunch. I do look forward to seeing as many of you there as possible. Starting with a champaign reception in the garden of Stationers Hall it should prove to be an excellent afternoon, the speaker being a Liveryman and the founder of Metro Bank the first new high street bank for over a 100 years, and already very successful. Preceding this will be a free, and optional, service of Thanksgiving and Rededication at St Brides. This will be acccompied by the magnificent Choir of St Brides who, on several occasions, will be as you have never heard them before. I promise you will be smiling as you leave. Hope to see you then.

John Flynn
Master Marketor