Monday, 11 June 2012



As I approached the time when I might become Master, several Past Masters recommended that I tried to get to the Ironbridge event - a weekend away for some Masters and their partners. It seems that there was a Dinner one evening and a Ball the other and, Ironbridge being the "the birthplace of industry", the days were taken up with touring around the 10 museum in the area in this World Heritage Site. It sounded interesting and so we booked.

The reality was that in all, 98 Companies were represented at the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Livery Weekend together with the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress David and Liz Wootton plus Past Lord Mayor Sir Michael Bear and ex Mayoress Barbara. I discovered that one of the actions for the trip was the formation of a club for the Masters of this period which, to judge from previous ones, will create a long lasting relationship between us all. Not to be out done, the Mistresses, Masters Ladies and Consorts also formed their own club. Both are to be called the Diamonds.

So where to start in describing the event. The first outing was The Livery Dinner on Friday night which took place at the Covered Bays at Coalbrookdale. Four coaches took us to this spacious and historic venue at which, in addition to an excellent meal and great company, we were introduced to the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust which had organised the event.  At 9:30 the following morning our four coaches took us, in different orders to some of the museums including Coalport China, Jackfield Tiles, The Gorge, Iron Bridge & Tollhouse, Iron fine art, and the amazing Blists Hill Victorian Town. The latter is several streets with shopkeepers and tradesmen actively going about their business as they would have all those years ago. It even had a working fun fair of the time.  The day was punctuated by a hearty lunch back at the Covered Bays.

And so, in the evening, the Ball at The Engine Shop in Coalbrookdale. The reception, and the ball later, was held in the adjoining Enginuity an area full of gadgets, or what could be called boys toys. Designed as a fun way to introduce children to engineering - we loved it. The dinner was again excellent with fellowship flowing like wine.  And so, eventually, to bed. The following morning started with the inaugural meeting of both sets of Diamonds and followed with a trip to the Derby Houses and the Costume Project. As this required your own transport, and we were feeling a little jaded from the previous exertion, we decided to pass on this and start a leisurely trip back to London.

As did previous Masters, we can thoroughly recommend this outing to our successors. It was a wonderful weekend at which we made many new friendships which will, almost certainly, remain for many years to come.

John Flynn
Master Marketor  

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