Thursday, 16 January 2014
The Worshipful Company of Plaisterers Dinner for Masters and Clerks Tuesday 14 January 2014
The Clerk and I had the ideal start to our evening with the pleasure of repairing the very short distance to Plaisterers Hall from our own Company offices directly above! I had used Plaisterers' Hall for our very well attended Bowden Dinner in October and it is the largest and one of the finest Livery Halls in London. Opened in 1972 and situated in the heart of the City of London, it reflects the grandeur of a bygone era but in what is described as 'an ultra modern setting'.The first Hall was bequeathed to the Company by William Elder, Citizen and Plaisterer in 1556. It was situated at the corner of Addle Street and Philip Lane and destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666. The second Hall was built in 1669 from the design of Sir Christopher Wren, but this was also destroyed by fire in 1882.The present Hall, opened in November 1972 has décor throughout of the neo-classical style created by Robert Adam in the 18th century. His various designs have been faithfully reproduced in great detail both on plaster and wood, some being taken from his original moulds. We were received by my good friend and the Company's first lady Master, Dee Bradshaw. Dee was accompanied by her Deputy, Gary Morley, Upper Warden, Michael Jones. Renter Warden, Bill Mahoney and, of course, our very good friend Nigel Bamping, Clerk to the Company. It was a packed hall for dinner and the response to the Master was given by Master Merchant Taylor, John Price. It was interesting to note that the Plaisterers have a tradition of their own with the Loving Cup that the person behind the drinker faces inwards towards the one being drunk to, rather than outwards, thereby pledging the safety of the drinker by shielding his back with his body and watching for any treachery by the person to whom he is drinking. It was a delightful and fun evening, with many guests for whom this was a first Livery dinner. The Clerk and I also stayed in the hall very late and it was excellent to catch up informally with the Master and Nigel. No urgency to leave! I was presented with a large floral arrangement to take home and, in our time honoured and regular fashion, the Clerk walked me to my bus and, once I was safely on board, the flowers were laid next to the driver who was most impressed.