Thursday, 28 November 2013

Talk to Canada - UK Chamber of Commerce Thursday 28th November

Over eighty members of the very active Canada-United Kingdom Chamber of Commerce were present at the very impressive Canada House on Trafalgar Square for a networking reception at which I was guest speaker. Despite the continued noise from those singing and celebrating in Trafalgar Square permeating the substantial walls, the location of Canada House reflects the strong colonial links with the UK, the national flag with the Maple Leaf flag fluttering directly opposite the South Africa High Commission on the opposite side of the square.  Having been entertained several times at the SA High Commission this was my first visit to Canada House. Nigel Bacon, the Chamber's Executive Director, knew me from my work at the Industry and Parliament Trust and, on hearing from Roz that I was now Master of a Livery Company, he had asked her to request me to speak. It was a pleasure to speak to such a large and diverse audience and it was good to be welcomed by Brian Parrott, Senior Trade Commissioner at the Canadian High Commission.

It was one of the most active networking evenings I've attended and I distributed every business card in my possession.  In the end my cold got the better of me and I said my goodbyes.

Dinner with Solicitors Company, Clothworkers Hall Wednesday 27th September

The Solicitors Company originated in 1908, the brainchild of four solicitors practising in the City at that time.  It became the second of the modern livery companies (No.79) on 24th May 1944 and received its Royal Charter in 1957.  The Company has 391 Liverymen and 1391 Freemen.  Its sister organisation is The City of London Law Society which represents the professional interests of City solicitors and this has 56 Corporate Members covering over 15,000 solicitors working in the City.

One striking feature of the Solicitors Livery Dinner was the number of Masters present from across the Livery - about 18, together with their Clerks.  I was sat next to the Revd Canon Roger Hall, Honorary Chaplain to the Solicitors whose is Canon to the Chapels Royal within the Tower of London and a Chplain to the Queen.  He is fundraising for the refurbishment of the chapel of St Peter ad Vincula - the parish church to the Tower of London and situated within its walls.  In the past I have had the pleasure of singing in the chapel with the Parliament Choir.  It is the parish church for the Yeoman Warders of the Guard and their families - commonly known as the Beefeaters.  He was a delightful and informative companion for the evening.

The response was by His Honour Judge Brian Barker QC, the Recorder of London who was entertaining.

Honorary Freedom of the City of London for Archbishop Desmond Tutu Monday 25th November

I have had the great privilege of knowing Desmond Tutu as a close personal friend for over fifty years and in that time have seen him very many times either in South Africa, the United States or here in England.  I first met him in 1962 when he came to my church in Golders Green as a young curate and I babysat for him and his wife Leah - their daughter Mpho being born in London.
Desmond's wife Leah also tested me in some of my guide badges and did not always pass me, she was very strict and expected high standards.

Knowing I would be with him for the day on November 25th before he flew back to Cape Town I looked into the possibility of him being the recipient of the Freedom of the City of London - something which I could organise fairly easily.  I quietly mentioned this to Murray Craig in the Chamberlain's Office and the City suddenly went into overdrive - very quickly deciding that it wanted to extend the Honorary Freedom, a very rare privilege and one that had not been granted to anyone since 2002 and then only to Royalty.  The process and ceremony is altogether different and miraculously we were able to pull together a formal reception and ceremony in Mansion House to which the whole of the Court of the Marketors Company was invited.

The ceremony involves the whole of the Court of Common Council who vote on the resolution on the day.

The recipient of many awards over the years, Archbishop Tutu was very touched by the rare honour extended by the City, particularly as his close friend Nelson Mandela had received the Honorary Freedom in 1996 when serving as President.   After the ceremony I accompanied the Archbishop to Heathrow and said goodbye there.  

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Marketors Annual City Lecture Thursday 21st November

The Annual Lecture is described within the company as one of our "Great Events" and presents us with the opportunity to inform the wider City about our profession of marketing.  To this end we extend an invitation to Masters and Past Masters of all other livery companies as well as to our own membership.  The lecture is always popular attracting high attendance numbers despite several conflicting events taking place the same evening. 
Introducing the speaker - more photos to follow!

We held the lecture this year in the beautiful Wren church of St Mary at Hill. It is a very open venue and I had long been keen to introduce members and guests to some of our fine City churches other than our own livery church, St Bride's in Fleet Street.  Used to the fine architecture of the livery halls, we are apt to forget that the churches form a parallel set of long established and very historical buildings, equally suffering within their number much damage in the Great Fire and the Blitz.

Our guest speaker was Kevin Roberts, CEO Worldwide for Saatchi & Saatchi.
Kevin has developed a unique and engaging style of presentation as I have learned over the years from hearing him and I knew his message would find interest well beyond those engaged in professional marketing as a day job.
Kevin's attention is placed firmly on the customer - as he says the customer ultimately owns the brand, not the manufacturer.  He stresses the importance of IDEAS as the only saleable commodity in the modern market.  People he claims no longer simply want information - there is already a surfeit of information available. Purchases today are made at the emotional level and advertising has to find new unexpected ways of getting noticed, striking home and making an impact within an environment of information overload. Kevin spikes his presentation with well chosen clips of TV advertisements which are highly entertaining, and by UK standards fairly unorthodox in their approach - indicating that the UK may still be slow and somewhat conservative in comparison.   Most of the clips appeal directly to emotion and the wish to establish viral marketing possibilities with impactful ads that people talked or tweeted about still appeared to be mostly American. 

His main opening thesis is that we are moving from a VUCA world to a SUPERVUCA world. A VUCA world is one that is Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous. Kevin's new SUPERVUCA world is Vibrant, Unreal, Crazy and Astounding.  Ideas are the new currency and he indicates this by example of the many traditional industries which have been made largely redundant by finding new ways to meet the consumer need.

Kevin Roberts also remarked how management priorities need to change.  The bulk of management time used to be employed in assessment of alternatives and decision making.  Execution used to account for only 20% of management time.  In the new world of business all ideas are allowed to float and the customer will identify those that work.  Execution therefore now accounts for 70% of management time.
What I took away from the lecture was the need for all of us to imagine the impossible, to look beyond the current way of doing things, and in more classic language, to think outside the box.  I rather like Kevin's concept of the CEO becoming the Chief Excitement Officer, the CMO the Chief Magic Officer and the CIO the Chief Ideas Officer.  We seem to be stepping out from a safe stable world to one of great possibilities and more unpredictable outcomes.

We concluded the lecture with refreshments and the feedback received was excellent.  The lecture was entertaining as well as thought provoking and hopefully for those still working in marketing - inspiring.

The Lecture took shape thanks to people and organisations who have both taken an interest in my Master's year and also provided great support to it.
Tina Hallett, Senior Partner at PWC, inspired me with a great theme of 'Loyalty Beyond Reason'. That inspired me to use a church, thus the ideal location of St Mary at Hill, the Church for Billingsgate. Kevin Roberts had spoken for us before and is well known to me and the Company. He did say that he was never usually asked to come back! The Chartered Institute of Marketing and TOTAL kindly provided financial support. I remain grateful to everyone, especially Rev Canon Flora Winfield, Rector of St Mary at Hill.

Monday, 18 November 2013

General Synod Monday 18th - Wednesday 20th November

For three days this week I will be deeply engaged with another quite different area of activity associated with my role as the elected Lay Member of General Synod of the Church of England for the Diocese of Canterbury.
The big issue, returning once again to General Synod and still dominating discussion, is that of consecrating Women Bishops.Whilst several provinces in the Anglican Communion have already moved ahead of us in having women's progression to the episcopate, the Church of England has been in difficulty on this thorny matter, split and divided and unable to secure the necessary two thirds majority in each of the three houses: Bishops, Clergy and Laity.  The measure failed by just six votes a year ago.  It was opposed by a small number of Anglo-Catholics who perhaps see the inevitability of the move but seek alternative provision for continuity of male leadership through preference.   A revised measure is being brought to the General Synod this week and with goodwill on all sides it is hoped some fresh progress will be made.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Thursday 15 November Civic Dinner in the Chief Commoners Parlour

After a very busy week, on Thursday afternoon I attended my Ward Club - Cordwainers - traditional turning on of the Christmas lights in Bow Lane. I arrived with the Chief Commoner and The Lord Mayor and her husband, Nicholas, accompanied by the two Sheriffs. The Lord Mayor's Consort carried out the lighting operation successfully and rows of blue lights shone out into the gathering cloud and darkness. We collected some astonished looks from hurrying commuters as the Mayoralty party gave speeches in the street and proceeded on a tour of the area, apparently a regular and favourite shopping haunt of the Lord Mayor. With strange looks from a group of shoppers and passers by, the party wandered through delightful hidden narrow alleyways, each shop seeming to be a hairdressers or a beauty salon, also a tailors? At each stop there were refreshments  I had been on my way to Guildhall for a Civic Dinner and on passing down Bow Lane had been called to pause and join the party by mine host for the evening, the Chief Commoner.  Arriving eventually at  the Civic Dinner I was then formally greeted in the Chief Commoner's Parlour by mine hosts The Chief Commoner, George Gillon and The City Remembrancer, Paul Double. There were only eighteen guests and it was a splendid dinner. I was the only Master present and guests included the Head of Security at the Bank of England, the Chief Executive of the Prince's Regeneration Trust, the Chairman of the London Commitee of the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Mayor of the London Borough of Islington and the Commander of the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry.  The Chief Commoner had placed on the dining table a carved wooden box that contained the scroll of Florence Nightingale's Hon Freedom of the City of London. According to the Chief Commoner she was granted the Freedom in 1908 and by this time she was nearly 90 years of age and her memory and eyesight were fast failing her. Before her death on 13th August 1910 Florence had the satisfaction of knowing that her work had been accomplished. Guildhall is managed by the City Remembrancer’s Office which was established during the reign of Elizabeth I. All applications for using Guildhall need to be approved by the Chief Commoner on a recommendation by the City Remembrancer. It was a delightful evening in most interesting company.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Actuaries Annual Lecture Wednesday 13 November, Staple Hall

I was delighted to be a guest of The Master, Charles Cowling for the lecture and dinner. Charles and I served together on the Lord Mayor and Sheriffs Committee, Charles supporting Past Master Actuary Adrian Waddingham and me supporting Sir Paul Judge, past Master Marketor and Aldermanic Sheriff for 2013 - 2104. Staple Inn, London, has been used by actuaries since 1887 when the Institute of Actuaries was first based here. Over its history it has been as an Inn of Chancery for younger members of the legal profession and then a principal office for the Actuarial Profession, and continues to be a meeting venue for actuaries. Many actuaries around the world consider it their "home" Le Stapled Halle.The earliest reference to Staple Inn can be traced back to Norman times. In 1292 the site housed a building known as le Stapled Halle, which was probably a covered market as it means in today's French word halle.  Historic photograph of Staple Inn   
The 'Staple' derived from a duty on wool that was introduced in 1275 at the 'request of the communities of merchants' with the intention that the burden of tax should fall on the foreign buyers of wool.
It is not clear how the Society of Staple Inn, an organisation of lawyers, came into being. The evidence available suggests that it did so from 1415 when the name Staple Inn appears to have been first used by lawyers and students who formed the Grand Company and Fellows of Staple Inn. By 1586, its status was established as an 'Inn of Chancery', a medieval school providing primary training in legal practice, and a college in the 'Third University' in London, junior to the 'Inns of Court'. Staple Inn was most associated with Gray's Inn, an Inn of Court, on the opposite side of Holborn. Inside the current Hall, some early stained glass windows have features contemporary to the site's origins as a venue for merchants and to the Tudor period. Other windows commemorate early Fellows of Staple Inn, as well as Tudor and Stuart monarchs and judges. The Chartered Institute of Marketing at Moor Hall, Cookham, in delightful Berkshire, is much more modern, the CIM having celebrated slightly more than just 100 years.

I did, however, find the lecture enormously interesting, the speaker being not an Actuary but Sir Philip Craven, Chairman of the International Olympics Committee (IOC) for the Paralympics, more recently known to me when I was a Gamesmaker in 2012 and hosted Sir Philip at Eton Dorney, as well as Lord Mayor David Wootton  and our own Liveryman Theresa May, along with many lumanaries of the rowing world. Sir Philip had inspired the present Master Actuary and quips were added to the speech in regard to the actuarial skills required to run the Olympics.  How many Actuaries does it take to change a light bulb?  I still don't know as the evening concluded with a superb dinner and good conversation.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Lord Mayor's Banquet Monday 11th November

The Lord Mayor's Banquet is an important City event, if not better described as a national event in so much as it is always attended by the Prime Minister, senior cabinet ministers, the Lord Chancellor, The Archbishop of Canterbury, a great number of Ambassadors and High Commissioners, and many others doing important work across the City and wider London.

Guildhall beautifully prepared for a banquet

Whilst taking place in Guildhall it is not per se a livery event at all and indeed attended this year by only eleven Masters or Prime Wardens.  It was therefore a great privilege to be able to attend this event in my year as Master due to the Aldermanic Sheriff having the Marketors as his mother company.   It was good to see Past Master Venetia Howes also in attendance with her husband Roger, as well as our Liveryman Trevor Brignall both doing valuable work within the City. Another Marketor present was the Home Secretary, Theresa May.

It is a glittering White Tie occasion and an opportunity to thank the late Lord Mayor Roger Gifford, as well as enabling the new Lord Mayor to set out her agenda for the year ahead.  The Prime Minister also customarily delivers a state of the nation address. For those interested in reading the transcripts of the speeches given it is normally possible to download these from the City of London website.   

Remembrance Sunday at St Bride's 10th November

It is traditional for the Master to attend the Remembrance Service at St Bride's Church and to lay a wreath at the altar in Company with other Masters. 

It was a beautiful service with an orchestra and superb trumpeter to play the Last Post and Reveille.  The service included a full rendition of Faure's Requiem - always popular and very moving in a service of this type.

Afterwards, the consort and I, and the Senior Warden adjourned to Hush in Ludgate Hill to enjoy a convivial lunch with the Stationers Company.  

Then we had to bid our farewells to get down to our home village of Tilmanstone Kent where I was due to deliver a sermon at our own Remembrance Service which is always conducted as an evensong - fitting in well with my duties each year in London. 

Lord Mayor's Show Saturday 9th November

Started another busy day with a visit to our office at Plaisterers Hall to collect my Master's gown and the Master's chain of office, then to get robed.  Joined by the Wardens, Clerk and others and we left suitably gowned to visit our Marketors float parked nearby in Aldersgate Street.   And very good it looked too largely thanks to much effort by Junior Warden David Pearson. I am also hugely grateful to Tom Tuke-Hastings who acted as Event Director for the float at short notice.  With the Master, Senior and Middle Warden otherwise engaged all day in a carriage,Tom and David Pearson manned the float, along with Court Assistants Diane Morris and Peter Rees  They no doubt all attracted much attention.  Annie Brooks did a sterling job on the ground as Event Director at the Wine Tun and greeted the parents of St Dunstan's cadets and other Company members. It was a really successful team effort.   

Senior Warden, myself, Middle Warden and Clerk trying out the view from the float - we will not be here for the show this year but instead travelling by carriage

Cadets from St Dunstans College always make a huge contribution to our presence in the Show. The Headmistress Jane Davies helped man the float in the parade - with me prior to both adjourning to Guildhall 

After photographs on the float left with Jane Davies for a breakfast and coffee being offered to members of the Lord Mayor's and Sheriff's Committee and others participating in official capacities in the Old Library of Guildhall.
Soon it was time to find our carriage in Aldermanbury, discovering that it had meanwhile decided to rain - rain that was unfortunately to persist for the whole morning.

Andrew Marsden, Middle Warden joins me in the carriage
Making the acquaintance of Otto and Bullet, our trusty steeds

However the damp conditions did not affect the crowds or the sheer enthusiasm of the participants and whilst it certainly rained on our parade, the show goes on regardless. British spirit prevails.


Our float passing Mansion House - in pouring rain

And here I come, protected by Marketors umbrellas and flanked by very smart St Dunstan College cadets

The Lord Mayor enters her coach and joins the end of the outbound procession - her first stop will be St Paul's Cathedral for a traditional blessing
Lunch break and Past Master Peter Goudge entertains family at the Wine Tun

The weather improved for the return part of the show after a half time break for refreshment - the sun even came out and the sky at one point turned completely blue.  
It is a great annual pageant - a brilliant feat of organisation by the Pageantmaster Dominic Reid OBE to get everyone in the right place at the right time and the atmosphere is superb.  Even the police appear relaxed and friendly, even if always vigilant for any surprises.
The Show was followed by lunch at Mansion House with the Wardens and their partners and the Clerk.

The rain has stopped and we return to Mansion House in the afternoon

Our congratulations to Sir Paul Judge as a Past Master of the Marketors, Chair of Governors at St Dunstan's College and President of the Chartered Institute of Marketing - oh yes, Aldermanic Sheriff too.
We missed the fireworks due to having a Wedding Reception of a close friend to attend in the evening in Putney.

Another very full day for me - but even fuller for the new Lord Mayor on her first full day at the office! 


Friday, 8 November 2013

Service of Prayer and Blessing St Lawrence Jewry 8th November

This was the final event - a traditional service in the nearby church of St Lawrence Jewry at the edge of Guildhall Yard to bless the new Lord Mayor.  The Chaplain to the Lord Mayor is The Reverend Lizzy Woolf, so Fiona's ordained daughter led the service which was well attended.  Particularly good to see many members of our own Company. All the hymns were sung remarkably well and I have to say St Lawrence has a terrific organ - only installed in 2000.  I have heard the Revd Canon David Parrott delivering sermons before - they are always excellent and not without amusement.   I reflected that this church, like many livery halls, has had a difficult history - totally destroyed in the Great Fire and Wrens replacement very seriously damaged in the Blitz.

A long day and the Lord Mayor's Show in the morning!  Let's hope for better weather but the weather forecast on television as I write is unfortunately not good.  Are we finally going to get wet tomorrow having had good luck in recent years?

Presentation Ceremony Friday 8th November

This is a day of many parts.  

The Presentation of gifts to the Sheriffs and Lord Mayor is another tradition of great interest - taking part in the Guildhall Art Gallery.

Organisations linked to the new Sheriffs and Lord Mayor choose a gift to present - with some prior liaison taking place to avoid duplication.

The Marketors had chosen to present a leather bound diary, personalised by gold blocking to the Company and Sir Paul.  I presented it to Sir Paul after expressing the Company's delight in seeing a Past Master of the Company progress to Aldermanic Sheriff.  I expressed the observation that Sir Paul might have a large number of visitors to the Old Bailey.

A delegation from each organisation is called forward in turn, and the receiving Sheriff or Lord Mayor stands to receive the delegation and the gift, with congratulations passed and thanks given.  Bows are given and returned before and after.

The Silent Ceremony Guildhall Friday 8th November

The Silent Ceremony on the day preceding the Lord Mayor’s Show, is one of the most whimsical and anachronistic of the City’s traditions.  Dating back for many hundreds of years it takes place in Guildhall watched by Aldermen, the City Officers, Masters of Livery Companies and several hundred liverymen.
With much pomp and pageantry, and, in a carefully choreographed piece of theatre undertaken with a the solemnity befitting the occasion, I processed into the hall carrying a wand in my right hand along with other members of the Lord Mayor's and Sheriff's Committee.  Behind us came the Aldermen and various other City dignitiaries with Lord Mayor Roger Gifford bringing up the rear.  The Lord Mayor-elect Fiona Woolf swore her oath of office and thereby undertook to safeguard the silver and furniture at Mansion House, signing for the “plate”.  The outgoing Lord Mayor then moved to the left and beckoned the incoming Lord Mayor to her seat, the latter donning her tricorne hat at the precise moment Roger removed his  – the hat symbolising the official transfer of the mayoralty and the power that accompanies it.  It was nice to observe that our Lady Lord Mayor appears to have commissioned a more feminine lighter version of the tricorne.  
There then followed a series of presentations to the new Lord Mayor of various symbols of office all made with a series of reverences, three steps, bow, three steps bow etc..  All the symbols are presented first to the outgoing Lord Mayor and then touched by the Lord Mayor to signify receipt and transfer before being put down on the table.  The whole procedure is then reversed with another series of approaches, but this time the objects are removed with the officers walking backwards, still reverencing every three steps.  It is an ancient process all watched by hundreds in deathly silence.  The purpose one reflects is to transfer the responsibility for the treasures as well as to transfer power, each item of value being sighted by the incoming Lord Mayor.  The Ceremony concludes with congratulations being made in an orderly manner to the Lord Mayor, those doing so forming an endless chain and each shaking hands with the new Lord Mayor.  The whole ceremony lasts no more than twenty minutes but is a piece of carefully correographed theatre, reinacted every year.  
The final necessary piece of ceremony reputedly takes place totally out of sight in the Mayoral limousine on the way back to Mansion House.  The tradition is that the Swordbearer removes his fur hat and retrieves the key to the seal of Christ’s Hospital. It is handed to the outgoing Lord Mayor, who passes it to the incoming Lord Mayor, who returns it to the Swordbearer, who promises to “keep it under his hat”.  
And so after a break of thirty years, we have the second lady Lord Mayor in the long history of the City safely installed.


Installation Luncheon Mansion House Friday 8th November

The Installation Luncheon is the last function that a Lord Mayor hosts at his home in Mansion House in the course of a mayoral year.

Attended by a somewhat select group of people seated at a single long table who are involved to some extent with the organisation or ceremonies of the Silent Ceremony or the mayoral changeover it was a privilege to be one of only four Masters present.  With many activities following during the afternoon it was also the only real opportunity to obtain sustenance for those with duties.

Speeches were delivered by both the outgoing Lord Mayor Roger Gifford and the Lord Mayor elect Fiona Woolf.

We emerged from Mansion House to very heavy rain - needing to transfer ourselves as best we could to Guildhall for the preparations for the Silent Ceremony.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

And now for something slightly different Medieval Banquet Saturday 2nd November

Writing about Guildhall put me in mind of a character part I have played very recently - Catherine Howard. Or that at least was the name given to the costume.    We were celebrating my brother in law's 70th birthday in St Katherines Dock where the old Ivory House provides a splendid Medieval Banquet evening much to be recommended for anyone wanting a new experience.
Of course one should reflect that many livery companies date back well before Catherine Howard and Henry VIII.

Catherine Howard, complete with lace up corset and whalebones

My daughters Ginny and Pippa also in period costume

Livery Company Reception Milton Court Wednesday 6th November

Milton Court is a new Theatre and Concert Hall development in the Barbican built as a much needed extension of facilities at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama - my alma mater.  Its state of the art performance areas will do much to assist the educational aspects in the Arts in which Guildhall excels.
The City Livery Companies have done much to support the development financially and has included a City Livery Companies Bar.  Supporting livery companies have their names on display by the bar - including our own company.
I went to Guildhall in 1967 straight from school as an eighteen year old.  It was then situated in John Carpenter Street very close to St Bride's and the Bridewell Institute in which we performed our ballet and dance.  I graduated in July 1969 playing the lead in Antigone - a tragedy by Jean Anouilh inspired by Greek mythology. The morning after my final curtain call I got married which I recall necessitated a rapid transformation in character.  I went off to Salisbury Playhouse as one of my first professional theatrical engagements and still maintain a deep love for the theatre.  I am still a full member of the Actors Union Equity.  An Equity Card used to be an essential pre-requisite in order to work in the professional theatre.
Whilst the facilities available to drama and music students today have no comparison to the rudimentary arrangements in the 1960's, I was obliged to remind a fellow Master that students today have to pay considerable sums of money for their tuition - in my day it was not only free but we got a Grant from the local authority on which to live!

With a Master in the Alumni we just had to be seen as a livery company sponsor!

Centre Stage again after 45 years on a stage at the GSM&D

A Livery Bar with a large coffee machine and no alcohol?

Receiving a briefing on the modern technology for raising lighting and scenery - all by computer

Monday, 4 November 2013

Opening of the Garden of Remembrance at St Paul's Cathedral Monday 4th November

First thing this morning all Masters arrived at the Crypt of St Paul's Cathedral, each collecting a Cross on which was written the name of their Company. Joining us for breakfast were the band of the Grenadier Guards, The Royal British Legion Standards, the ceremonial squad of the London Ambulance Service and the City of London Schools Choir. After a briefing, we then moved to the Garden of Remembrance at the side of the Cathedral and were quickly marshalled into position in order of precedence. The service commenced at 11am, led by the Very Reverend David Ison, the Dean. The Representative Lord Mayor, Alderman Ian Luder, accompanied by representatives of his Ward of Castle Baynard and the National President and National Chairman of the Royal British Legion. All took their places, accompanied by the two Sheriffs, Alderman Sir Paul Judge and Adrian Waddingham.  Vice Admiral Peter Wilkinson, CB, CVO delivered the Exhortation.  After the Silence and the Reveille, our crosses were placed in the Garden, the Masters undertaking this in groups of three. The Kohima Prayer was delivered by Fiona Toye, President of the Royal British Legion City of London Poppy Appeal, a charity that the Marketors continues to help and support. It was, as always, a poignant service and we returned to the Crypt for warmth and to speak with many of the older members of the British Legion's men and women sections.  Fortunately the sun shone throughout and the Garden now remains open for the planting of crosses by members of the public. Always a service to remember.

Friday, 1 November 2013

City Livery Club Installation Dinner Haberdashers' Hall Thursday 31st October

The City Livery Club was founded in June 1914 to provide a home for liverymen of the City of London. It has since expanded its membership to include Freemen of Livery Companies, members of the Guild of , Freemen, Society of Young Freemen, Ward Clubs, City of London branch members of the Royal Society of St George and the City of London branch of the IoD.

The new President Alderman Neil Redcliffe installed at the AGM immediately before the dinner will therefore preside over the Club's Centennial Year.

The Club has premises overlooking the Thames (aka The Little Ship Club) which provides luncheon and club facilities for members and guests, with a Club Room and Bar.  The Club offers reciprocal arrangements with leading clubs in the UK - including the Farmers Club in Whitehall.   It offers a varied programme of social activities which complement and supplement those offered by one's own Livery Company or Ward Club.

The dinner was very pleasant socially - meeting with a number of friends from across the City and Livery, and also some fellow Marketors - including Valerie and Norman Boakes, both Past Presidents of the City Livery Club, and Trevor Brignall, Hon Secretary of the City Livery Club.

The motto of the City Livery Club is "Uniting the livery, promoting fellowship" and it seems to do that extremely well.  For further information on the City Livery Club visit the website on or contact the clerk by email