Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Stationers’ Hall Tuesday 5th February

Tonight in very familiar surroundings, that of our “mother” livery company - the Stationers’ and Newspaper Makers - and my first official invitation by another Company to represent the Marketors.

The event was the Court Dinner, where the Master Stationer, Wardens and Court entertained twenty two Masters and Clerks of other companies. Some fine musical entertainment was provided by the Constanza Chorus. Lady Victoria Leatham , the first female Master of the Drapers responded to the Toast. A familiar face at the dinner was the Venerable David Meara, Chaplain to both companies, and also present doing a double stint was Tom Corrigan, Past Master both of the Stationers and Marketors.
Compared to our thirty eight years, the Stationers date back an impressive 610 years, and very much built from 1476 onwards on the back of print, and effectively initially being the Printer’s Guild. However, they have not been slow to recognise that their profession is not just print but truly that of communication and content. Like many older livery companies they have fully embraced the change in technology and in the methods of delivery, best exampled by their Digital Media Group. Copyright has also been a main concern to the Company over the centuries and it is interesting to hear that digital copyright is a subject actively consuming the Stationers. Stationers’ Hall dates back to 1673, replacing a casualty of the Great Fire and remains today in much the same form as it was originally built so the company have an interesting mix of the old and the new.

Our own treasure is stored in the vaults and all our members will hopefully be using the hall ourselves for Common Hall and an inaugural Professional Dinner in just a month’s time on March 5th.

Lastly, I learnt why they are "Stationers". At a time when many vendors in the City were itinerant, the scribes and illuminators of manuscripts traded from permanent ( ie:"stationary") stalls around St Paul's Cathedral - and that's not the one I was in yesterday but the one before.



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