Thursday, 17 October 2013

Installation Dinner, The Chartered Surveyors Company, Drapers Hall Wednesday 17 October

And so to the beautiful and historical Draper's Hall for dinner to meet the new Master Chartered Surveyor.  Throgmorton Street is currently undergoing renovation and it is not easy at present to negotiate the barriers and roadworks to access the Hall.  However, it is well worth the effort! There is an interesting aspect in this respect about the history of the original Guilds. As trading activities expanded members of the Drapers Guild required a Hall where they could meet to discuss and coordinate business. At first they used individual houses but in the 1420s the Guild decided to build its own Hall.  This first Hall was in St Swithin;s Lane. The present Hall was bought in 1543 from the King and had been the home of Thomas Cromwell but had been forfeited to the King on Cromwell's execution in 1540.  Destroyed by the Great Fire of 1666, the Hall was rebuilt between 1667 and 1671, rebuilt again after another fire in 1772 and later altered in Victorian times.  I can well understand the importance of the Firefighters!  It is a Hall well worth visiting on the open days in the City. The Master, installed at the Court meeting prior to the dinner, Elizabeth Edwards, has worked as a Chartered Surveyor in the banking industry for over 20 years, in particular, working for German banks. During her time as a property banker, she built up a loan book with a value of some £3 billion in a number of well known London properties. Prior to her banking career, the Master had worked for PWC on the privatisation of British Telecom. I do recall Liz when I was at BT. I was hosted by the immediate Past Master, Roger Southam, who is a member of my Past Master's Association, formed when I went to Ironbridge in June. The Master's guest speaker was the President of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), Michael Newey.  I was most impressed by the RICS Choir who sang throughout the evening, revealing in music the history of the Master's career in true Gilbert and Sullivan style!

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