Thursday, 30 May 2013

Royal Garden Party Thursday 29th May

Memo to self:  Don't wear stiletto high heels to Garden Parties!

Why is it that so many women decide to wear their highest heels to walk about on grass for three hours?  I was not the only one having trouble when one found oneself slowly sinking into the Buckingham Palace turf - a bit like quicksand to the unwary and your shoes don't necessarily follow the feet when you move. 

This was the second of three garden parties planned across three consecutive weeks and the weather this time was no better than the weather on the 22nd.  Cold, dull and not a hint of sunshine.  A fairly typical English summer garden party in other words.  With several thousand attending from the great and the good it is a magnificent feat of organisation - ensuring everyone gets tea. The Royal Family and their household are expert in managing these matters.

I got to speak with the Duke of Edinburgh at some length, an honorary Freeman of our company, and he recalled coming to the Charter Event at Guildhall in 2010.  "You had a female Master back then" he said "and now I get to meet another". I replied that women are slowly taking over.

I have been to Buckingham Palace before on several occasions, including attending Garden Parties, so it was all fairly familiar - but one appreciates that people come from all over the country to enjoy the privilege of being regally entertained in the Queen's back garden for an afternoon.  Certainly a lot of Mayors and Lady Mayors sporting very hefty chains and badges of office - I realised that livery companies are really quite modest in their bling in contrast. A fair sprinkling of Livery Masters too who we will be seeing yet again in Ironbridge next week.  For avid Royal Watchers it was a memorable day but how much better had the sun shone.

A Quiet Cup of Coffee at the Mansion House....... Wednesday 29th May

Turned up at Mansion House robed and badged for a coffee with Aldermanic Sheriff Nigel Pullman and other Masters of livery companies.

By this stage of the year one is beginning to put names to faces and badges of office to particular companies and we all seemed to be looking forward to our imminent visit to the Ironbridge Gorge in a week or so.

Suddenly there were police whistles and the room was "invaded" by two burly policemen to the great indignation of our host.  All became clearer when a "detective" turned up and said he was here to make arrests in response to reported crimes carried out by the disreputable bunch present.
I stand accused

One by one we were called forward and presented with our somewhat entertaining misdeanours and despite protests of innocence and "it wasn't me" the verdict was unanimously decreed "Off to the Tower". After our arraignment at Mansion House confronted with the misdeeds of myself and others we were ordered to be lined up and presented with a ball and chain and directed to our awaiting prison van - or rather a rather ancient 1930's bus. We were driven off to the Tower and on arrival we were frog-marched much to the amusement (or was it bemusement) of the visiting tourists to the Fusiliers Museum. There we were lined up by the Beefeaters and Pikemen and offered gruel and water (actually salmon en croute and Pol Roger!) while we were "processed" - fingerprinted and bail money demanded.  After an excellent release we were allowed to leave in our full regalia and with tourists busy clicking cameras we left the tower.

Over £38,000 was raised for the British Red Cross - a record for this annual "Jailed and Bailed" account. My thanks to the Marketors Trust and to those many Company Members who donated monies to support my release. A day of great enjoyment but also food for thought as Red Cross workers had been involved in an attack the same day in Jahalibad - a reminder that work is carried out in areas of some danger.

Felons lined up outside The Mansion House


Wednesday, 29 May 2013

The Old Bailey on Friday 24th May

I arrived at the Central Criminal Court, known as the Old Bailey, via the discreet Lord Mayor's Entrance (did he need in the past to visit often and was a Lord Mayor sometimes in the dock?) off Ave Maria Lane. The building itself was ominously large and, on arrival, I was greeted by Sheriff Nigel Pullman, my host for luncheon and where the Office of Sheriffs and Secondary is also located. Here also the Recorder of London, His Hon Judge Peter Beaumont QC  and the Common Serjeant of London His Hon Judge Brian Barker QC also have their home here supported by fourteen other Judges.  Many famous trials have taken place at the Old Bailey.
After a glass of champagne we went through to lunch, which was a light one of soup, cheese and biscuits in the very large and gracious dining room.  The Sheriff and Recorders Fund is one the Marketors support, well known as a very relevant and important charity providing money and resources for former prisoners to help find accommodation, undertake training and return to gainful employment.  

After a very agreeable meeting and lunch, I learned there were no cases being heard that afternoon so I was able to give my thanks and escape early.  Is that the correct word to use?  I was offered the opportunity to visit again when one of those gripping and famous trials was underway.  It was a glimpse into a world that, for those involved, is all absorbing, but leaving by the Lord Mayor's exit and crossing the yard where the prison vans arrive and leave, I felt I had done justice to this visit!

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Institute for Government Wednesday 22nd May

Back to London on the Metropolitan Line in time to catch up with Lord Andrew Adonis launching his political account 5 Days in May.   Lord Adonis acted as a leading member of Gordon Brown's negotiating team during the shuttle diplomacy and arm twisting that took place after the inconclusive election result in May 2010.

What happened inside Coalition negotiations between the Liberal Democrats and Labour in those few days?  Andrew Adonis shared his perspective on those crucial days of uncertainty as the nation speculated just what was going on behind closed doors. Andrew was in conversation with David Laws MP, part of the Liberal Democrat coalition negotiation team, talking about the parties’ various demands and how Labour perceived the competing side of the negotiations taking place with the Conservatives. David Laws has also produced a book on the same subject - 22 days in May!

Coalitions may well be the new norm and both speakers considered what the future may hold for political parties where parliamentary majorities are increasingly hard to gain. The rise of UKIP could yield even more complex negotiations in years to come where the mathematical combinations to find a majority are more numerous.

I caught up with Mark D'Arcy, correspondent for BBC Parliament and Sir Richard Lambert, former DG of the CBI.  Andrew Adonis signed a copy of his book for me. The suggestion was made by me that nobody votes for a coalition and that there needs to be strategy for dissolving coalitions, as well as forming them.

The event was chaired by Peter Riddell who is the new Director of the Institute for Government and I had a conversation with him afterwards. On my way back along the Mall I dropped in at the ICA to see the Royal Society of Portrait Painters Annual Exhibition and briefly attend a fund raising evening taking place there for Changing Faces, a remarkable charity that I know provides superb assistance to those, young and older, who live with severe physical disfigurement (

Inter-livery Clay Shooting Competition Wednesday 22nd May 2013

Unfortunately due to the lunch commitment not able to view the clay shooting but caught up with our two shooting teams having tea afterwards at the beautiful home of Jeremy Stern in Northwood.  This was a most thoughtful gesture being close to the venue and the spread laid out would have done justice to a wedding reception.  Clay Shooting is one of the inter-livery activities that go on from year to year - always somewhat dominated in results by the Gunmakers Company but good to see two teams entered this year.
Remembered to grab a quick photo before we left - unfortunately missing Venetia and Roger Howes, Anne Curtis and John Freeman from the picture who had just left before.  Thank you Jeremy and Denise.

Anthony Fraser, the Master, Jeremy Stern, Victor Chopin-John, Andrew Cross and Rosemary Chopin-John

House of Lords Luncheon for the John Templeton Foundation Wednesday 22nd May 2013

The venue was the Chomondeley Room and Terrace which the Marketors will be using in September so quite a useful exercise in visiting for me apart from being a further celebration of the Templeton Prize. Three archbishops were present and the amusing comment was made about what a suitable collective term should be for the trio of clerics.  Somebody said "disaster" - was it Desmond?

The Terrace is a marquee erected alongside the Thames and gives wonderful views of the river, looking at tourists in a variety of craft who are no doubt looking back at us.

The host Lord Griffiths of Fforestfach collared me early on in the meal and asked me to deliver an impromptu speech at the end of the main course as a tribute to Desmond to the 100 or so present - not sure such unprepared surprises aid the digestion but all went well and recalled a few useful and amusing anecdotes.  It has certainly been a busy three days with invitations and events around the prizegiving. 

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Templeton Prize Ceremony Guildhall 21st May 2013

Guildhall filled to capacity with the great and the good to honour a wonderful man Desmond Tutu.  A full two hour programme included singing by the London African gospel Choir, Annie Lennox and the Eric Whitaker Singers.
Highlight was presentation of the Templeton Prize to Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu including the Tree of Life medallion.
Worth more than the Nobel Peace Prize, the Templeton Prize honours and encourages the many entrepreneurs trying various ways for discoveries and breakthroughs to expand human perceptions of divinity and to help in the acceleration of divine creativity.  It honours a living person who has made an exceptional contribution to affirming life's spiritual dimension, whether through insight, discovery or practical works. This years prize was worth £1.1million sterling.  Last years recipient was Tutu's good friend the Dalai Lama - and I noted that the first recipient in 1973 was Mother Teresa of Calcutta - someone very dear to my uncle Malcolm Muggeridge and who stayed with my uncle at Robertsbridge.  I have recently republished Something Beautiful for God, Malcolms best selling and ever popular book on Mother Teresa.
The Lord Mayor Roger Gifford was at the reception afterwards - very much looking forward to our Luncheon at Mansion house on 25th July.

Lunch Private Dining rooms of the Guildhall invitation of Headmaster City of London Freemen's School Tuesday 21st May 2013

The City of London Freemen’s School is a co-educational day and boarding school for pupils aged 7 to 18. Alongside excellent academic results, a new and innovative enrichment programme is at the heart of our commitment to developing the whole person.       
Based in Ashtead Park it has the facilities, staff and grounds to ensure its students are happy, secure and fulfilled. It places particular emphasis on the individual and their needs and in providing the opportunities to identify and develop their skills to flourish throughout their time at Freemen’s, and beyond.  The School has a rich history and a bright future as it shapes the minds of tomorrow’s leaders.
I was invited as a guest of the Headmaster Mr Philip MacDonald and it was interesting to hear something of the history of this school which obviously has close historical ties with the City of London. In fact the school was founded by the Corporation of London and was originally located in London to educate orphans of the Freemen of the City. It is still possible for such orphan children to be educated as “Foundationers” at the school with the costs of their education borne by the Corporation of London.
City of London Freemen’s School is set in 57 acres of Ashtead Park in the heart of Surrey, having moved from London to Ashtead in 1926. The School celebrated its 150th Anniversary back in 2004 with a year long series of events including a Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul's. Once pupils leave school they become part of Old Freemen’s Association. There is also a Guild of Scholars of the City of London, which was formed to encourage former pupils from the three ‘City Schools’ to develop links with The City of London. In addition any pupil aged 14–17, who is still at school may apply to become an Apprentice to a Freeman of the City at little cost and minimal commitment. They will then be entitled, at the age of 21, to apply for the Freedom of the City and membership of the Guild of Scholars. This Apprenticeship is intended to be of particular interest to those who wish to pursue a career in the City.
At the lunch I sat next to the Master of the Fruiterers Company and the Deputy Head of the school.  One of the key issues is getting bursaries in place to support the education of those without the means to pay for independent education. I also gathered that being a strong school academically it wished to attract the brightest and the best - not always easy in inner London.  Certainly a school with strong City links that warrants support.

Monday, 20 May 2013

Dinner with Tutu Sunday 19th May

Not strictly associated with my year as Master except that Archbishop Tutu now insists on calling me "Master" but delighted to accept his invitation to dinner at the Sofitel on Sunday.

Desmond Tutu is an old friend and I have known him since 1963 when he acted as Curate at my home church St Albans in Golders Green.   I babysat for his baby Mpho, now an ordained priest helping her father to run the Tutu Foundation. He and his wife Leah have stayed at our home in Kent and attended our 40th wedding anniversary celebrations - and I attended their 50th wedding anniversary and more recently his 80th birthday party celebrations in Joborg and CapeTown. One of my own roles is as a Patron and Founder Trustee of the Tutu Foundation UK providing help to disaffected communities under the word Ubuntu - we are only human together.

2013 Templeton Prize Winner Desmond Tutu and I enjoying dinner together
Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu has been awarded the 2013 Templeton Prize by the John Templeton Foundation and will receive a cheque for $1.3million at Guildhall on Tuesday afternoon, where I shall be present joining in the celebrations and congratulations afterwards.  On Wednesday we have a further lunch in the House of Lords.

Friday, 17 May 2013

Mansion House Banquet with Tylers and Bricklayers Company Thursday 16th May

Mansion House events are always special but remarkably the Tylers and Bricklayers, a small company under half our size managed to fill the Egyptian Hall to absolute capacity with over 300 in attendance for their Banquet. The Pikemen of the HAC were also there in force to support the event, lending a significant splash of colour, glitter and pageantry to the reception beforehand.

Sir Michael Bear acted as Locum Tenens for the Lord Mayor and it was good to see him and Barbara back in Mansion House, giving in his speech his own rather apt bear joke “Who has been sleeping in my bed?”  
I sat next to Nicholas Woolf, a liveryman of the Tylers and Bricklayers but also the future Consort to the next Lord Mayor.  On my other side was Sheriff Nigel Pullman who I know well so I was in very good company for the evening.  A rather quaint custom which I noticed confused many of those who were uninitiated was the Rosebowl.  The custom is to dip the corner of your napkin into the rose water and dab behind each ear.  It is apparently said to aid the digestion – surely an old wives tale?  Some not in the know used it as a finger bowl and I hope none thought it must be the loving cup and tried to drink it.

A superb entertainment was provided by a trumpeter and organist towards the end of the evening which I thought was extremely well managed.  The Master Tyler and Bricklayer is both a former Master and former Clerk to the Architects Company so well experienced in these matters of organisation himself, although the Clerk and Beadle of the T&B clearly had timings well under control - essential in an complicated evening of this type with a lot to fit in.    

My husband David is a liveryman of the Tylers and Bricklayers but on this particular occasion was a guest as my consort.  We often choose to sit apart at events which enables each of us to better engage with others – it is a matter of personal preference I suppose.

Altogether a good evening followed by a dash out to Terminal Five at Heathrow by taxi and the handy Sofitel Hotel so that I could catch the first morning flight to Aberdeen for a Board Meeting .  Doing this blog on the plane heading back to Heathrow with a Parochial Church Council meeting still to make in time down  in my home village in East Kent.  Such is the complicated and somewhat  crazy life of combining livery, business, and normal commitments in one’s Master’s year and looking at my diary – it does not get any easier! 

Thursday, 16 May 2013

A Boardroom Perspective on Marketing. Pewterers’ Hall Wednesday 15th May

The Think Tank is an important Committee of the Marketors’ Company providing research leadership and promoting discussion and debate between the Company, its members, other livery companies, business leaders (especially Board members and those operating in the City) and the wider marketing profession. Within the Marketors Think Tank members represent a mix of academics, current client-side practitioners (large, small, B2C, B2B, third sector) and marketing service providers, including consultants.

In addition to undertaking or promoting research projects and publishing the results, the TT organises seminars on marketing topics for Marketors and wider audiences. Current topics of interest include demonstrating quantitatively the effectiveness of marketing in growing shareholder value, and effective marketing in the financial and professional services sector.

A distinguished and insightful panel comprising Professor Malcolm McDonald, Alan MacKay, Laurie Wood and Glenn Granger had been skillfully assembled by Past Master Venetia Howes, Chairman of the Think Tank, to discuss accountability as a crucial long term issue for the profession of Marketing.  With over 70 in attendance including Masters of the Financial Services Group of Livery Companies it proved a lively evening which I opened with a general welcome and introduction.   Generous Sponsorship was received for the evening from marketingQED for which the Company is most grateful.

This was set up as the first of an annual event and there can surely be no more important issue than using marketing successfully to generate profitable growth. It is hoped all came away with added knowledge and inspiration to achieve measurable shareholder value.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

The 359th Festival of the Sons of the Clergy Tuesday 14th May

A charity founded in the middle of the seventeenth century by a group of sons of clergymen recognised that there was a need for charitable help for the families of many members of the clergy. Having largely remained loyal to the monarchy during the Commonwealth, many had been deprived of their livings and left destitute.  The first Festival was held in 1655 as the charity’s founding event and there has been a festival every year since then – making this probably the oldest service of its kind in the Anglican Communion. 
Famous for its fine music, the service was provided by the choirs of St Paul's Cathedral, Norwich Cathedral and Tewkesbury Abbey.  A further tradition is a distinguished preacher – this year the Bishop of Norwich, the Right Reverend Graham James.
The Masters, Prime Wardens and Upper Bailiff of the Livery Companies processed in, all fully robed, joined by the attending Aldermen and the Lord Mayor accompanied by the Bishop of London. A superb programme of music, hymns and anthems ensued.  In his address, it transpired that the father of the Bishop of Norwich had been considerably assisted by the charity in the course of his own Christian journey.
Services at St Paul’s Cathedral are always very special, particularly when so widely supported by the livery companies and it was good to hear the congregation in as fine a voice as the choristers in the singing of the hymns.  

Trustees of the Mansion House Scholarship Scheme Monday 13th May

Hot on my returning heels to the UK, I was pleased to visit Mercers’ Hall and meet the No 1 Master in his own hall.  The present international cadre of talented Mansion House Scholars from Kazakhstan, Turkey, Mexico and Singapore are currently studying at Cass, Oxford, Hull and Cambridge.  Also present were those past scholars now working in a variety of roles in major City organisations – from J Morgan to Royal Bank of Scotland.  Twenty three Livery Companies, including ourselves, support the Scheme which is chaired by a distinguished Board of Trustees and Advisers.  The International Bankers act as mentors to each of the scholars whilst they are in the UK.  I went away pondering the need to mentor our own potential young marketers, an idea that I know is currently being mooted within the Company.  

Master’s visit to Asia and Australia 6th -12th May

Just returned from a hectic whirlwind visit to Singapore and Sydney (6 days). I spoke to the British Chamber of Commerce in Singapore on the topic of British business, brands and the current issues relating to the economy. I was pleased to learn that since I was based in Singapore as HR head of Cable & Wireless, SE Asia, some significant further advances had been made in respect of welcoming senior women with partners (it was previously considered somewhat non-Asian for a professional career woman relocating to Singapore to expect to be accompanied by her husband and something the authorities strictly forbade until I introduced them to the modern realities of business and employment in the West and managed to change the conservative minds of the East.  Even then they continued to insist on marriage as the basis for recognising any partnership – forcing one or two C&W couples into marriage in order to relocate). I also learned that the famous Cricket Club at last admits lady members – for long an embarrassment especially with the growth of women’s cricket!  It was also interesting to return to the exclusive Tanglin Club after a number of years – traditionally the social hub of British Colonial power.  Singapore is a fast expanding city state and development continues apace with many British following successful careers there or else establishing thriving enterprises. Apart from the climate – very hot or torrentially wet – it remains a good place for Brits to do business with a supportive British High Commission and British Chamber of Commerce.

After an eleven hour stop over and meeting with former business colleagues I flew on to speak at a major conference in Sydney, whilst there appearing live on Australia's Sky Business TV who were intrigued about the City Livery Companies and their well known philanthropic approach to offering their respective skills to help other.  Also variously interviewed by the press. I also spoke to the conference on the vital topic of encouraging more senior women on to the top company Boards in the country  - .  Women can play an important role in the dynamics and thinking of Boards and relatively little success has been achieved in this area down under, even compared to the UK and Europe.  And this despite having a female Prime Minister! 

I managed to squeeze in a couple of days with my son, Freeman Jonathan Williams, who is now head of Product Marketing for Google Australia and New Zealand.  He will be returning to UK to receive his Freedom of the City of London on 16 July and to catch up with Sarah Speake, our guest speaker at the Spring Dinner, who encouraged him out to Australia in the first place! 

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Prospective New Members Evening at the City Pipe Thursday 2nd May

Court  Assistant  Diane Morris is Chair of the Marketors’ Membership Committee which sits within the Company’s fourth Aim of ’Bringing in and retaining Members, fostering fellowship and planning and arranging succession’.  Our Junior Warden, David Pearson, has responsibility for fulfilment of this Aim.
 Diane had kindly invited members of the Company to join the Master for drinks at the City Pipe – easy to find as almost opposite Goldsmiths’ Hall - on one condition: members were to bring along a colleague, friend or business acquaintance that could benefit from knowing more about the Worshipful Company of Marketors. This transpired to be no problem at all! Diane and fellow Marketors Justine Dignam, George Ryder, Brian Smith and Lesley Wilson had assembled a dozen guests between them to meet the Junior Warden, the Clerk and me.  Over refreshments we were all delighted to make the acquaintance of a group of fascinating marketers from a variety of equally interesting backgrounds - holding senior marketing roles in a diverse collection of organisations! Where had they all been until now I thought?
It was a pleasure to talk about the Company and the Livery in general to them and to answer a number of questions. Well known brands were represented, as well as legal and financial services, agencies, and major charities. Fellowship and mutual interest are key aspects of every Livery Company in encouraging potential members and we do excel at this. I was therefore delighted to see the very positive results of everyone’s efforts and we all enjoyed a very relaxed but lively evening of marketing chatter.  It does seem possible that we might look forward to an even busier Ceremonial Court on 25 July at Mansion House!  Please contact Diane on if any member would like to encourage a friend or business colleague to find out more about the Company. The Marketors is the obvious “Modern Company” for those engaged in aspects of sales, marketing or digital marketing but note there are many other companies which also seek new members covering other professions  – Solicitors, Accountants, Architects, Bankers, Information Technologists, Teachers, Environmental Cleaners etc etc – even Taxi Drivers!
It is worth noting that there are also many companies that are not restricted to seeking particular qualifications or professional involvement from potential members but able to consider applicants from a wider background – perhaps catering more towards interests and hobbies. eg: Basketmakers, Fanmakers, Needlemakers, Makers of Playing Cards, Wax Chandlers, Tallow Chandlers, Glass Sellers etc. 

If you are not in Marketing a good starting point is the full list of Livery Companies which can be obtained through the City of London website. Livery is for everyone, men and women, and there are almost 40,000 members across 108 Companies.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Rededication and Thanksgiving Service and Spring Dinner Tuesday 30th April

This is the second of our Great Events and due to the particularly early occurrence of Rogation this year and a different pattern of events we were able to combine our Annual Rededication and Thanksgiving Service with something of an innovation - a Spring Dinner.   This particular combination certainly helped boost the numbers present at the Service in St Bride's - counted at 120 with some members preferring to attend the splendid service but not the dinner that followed.

The Master of the Marketors gets the privilege of arranging the entire service, including the readings, hymns and choral works. So it was an opportunity to include some of my favourite pieces, whilst always trying to provide some variety from previous years so that each year's service is unique.  Possibly another first for the Company is for the Master to also deliver the Address - usually delivered by the Chaplain.  As an Authorised Lay Minister in my Deanery of Sandwich, a Reader in Training, and having studied Christian Theology for five years, it is not unusual for me to take Morning and Evening Services which include "Sermons".  I have also delivered major addresses from the pulpit in Chicago, Cairo and Watlington and written extensively in my role as President of the Malcolm Muggeridge Society - Muggeridge himself a prominent Christian apologist and religious writer.  So this was not exactly breaking new ground for me personally but perhaps showing another important side of my life to members of the Company.   The theme for my address was Time and Eternity, based on Ecclesiastes 3 - To everything there is a season.

The service was beautiful and I think much enjoyed by all attending.  The St Bride's choir was to its normal high standard and members are delighted to have this professional quality of service available to them annually.

The Spring Dinner was held in Apothecaries Hall and full to absolute capacity.  Apothecaries claims to be the oldest livery hall still in its original medieval design and has the great virtue of being a short five minute walk from St Bride's.   The Apothecaries are a Worshipful Society, not a Worshipful Company which is a slight oddity in the livery.  Our guest speaker was Sarah Speake, Strategic Marketing Director for Google and she delivered an exceptional speech highlighting the changing patterns of communication and selling.  I learnt what a Petabyte was and shortly we will all be as familiar to those as we are today to Gigabytes - as the world becomes increasingly digital.

I will add photos to this blog in due course.  I would also encourage donations to be made to Walking with the Wounded in support of Cdr Andrew Block RN who is participating in the Trois Etapes.  You will find his Bmy charity website by Googling Andrew Block Cycling and Andrew has committed himself to raising £10,000 - please assist this commendable endeavour.

Luncheon at the City Livery Club to meet the new President Tuesday 30th April

President Judy Tayler-Smith
I was delighted to be invited to attend lunch to meet the new President, Judy Tayler-Smith, who took up her year’s office very recently.  Also hosting us was our own Liveryman Trevor Brignall who is the Club’s Honorary Secretary.  It was an opportunity for members to learn more about the benefits of the City Livery Club and bring along guests. As we had our Spring Dinner and Rededication Service on that same date I did have to give my excuses to leave early and would like to put on record the excellent hospitality shown to me.

The City Livery Club, founded in 1914 and privileged to count the Rt. Hon. The Lord Mayor as Patron and Member, is a private daytime Club for Liverymen and members of related City organisations. They can meet, dine, and exchange views in comfortable premises overlooking the Thames. The Club is within easy walk of Bank, Mansion House and Cannon Street stations.

The Club also provides a broad programme of events both formal and informal, with various interests represented by Sections for History and Antiques, Investments, Motoring, Music, Wine, Golf, Tennis, Aeronautics, Photography, and Women in the Livery. The City Face2Face group organises informal discussions with City movers and shakers.  The Club has a number of reciprocal arrangements with other Clubs in the UK and abroad.  Apparently these are extremely popular, particularly as the Club is not available for dinner and the Oxford and Cambridge Club is one such offering reciprocity.

I find the Club Lunch very affordable. The opportunity to lunch guests with a perfect view of the river in the peace and tranquillity of the Club room and bar is a rare pleasure when far more expensive restaurants nearby in the City are generally noisy at lunch and not appropriate for quiet business discussion. I entertained the Chairman and senior colleagues from TOTAL at the City Livery Club on one occasion and the comment from them all was that it was a ‘bijoux location’ with superb ‘cuisine Anglaise’.  That is quite a compliment from our friends across ‘la Mer’.  Vive the Livery Club!

The Club also organises excellent and exclusive visits. The Junior Warden and I attended an early morning private viewing of the Shakespeare Exhibition at the British Museum earlier this year.