…. at the Lightmongers Summer Banquet that took place at Mansion House on 1st July 2022.

It was Alderman and Sheriff Nicholas Lyons, the representative of the Lord Mayor, who delighted Lightmongers when he opened his speech with this universally recognised statement stressing the importance of providing light above all other goods and services.

Alderman & Sheriff Nicholas Lyons being presented with a cheque from the Lightmongers Charitable Trust for the Lord Mayor’s Appeal, presented by the Master Margaret Fitzsimons.

This was the first banquet in three years and it was clear that members and guests could not wait to dust down their white ties and ball gowns and celebrate being together once again for this, the grandest event in the company’s calendar.   The gentlemen looked dashing, the ladies elegant and the Egyptian Hall, as ever, splendid.

The guests enjoying the banquet in the prestigious Egyptian Hall

The Company was delighted to welcome guests from the world of the military:  Air Cdr Jane Middleton, HAC 606 Squadron, Lt Col Guy Cheesman, C.Eng, RE, CO RSME, Lt. Cdr Barry Crosswood RN of HMSQE and his wife Hannah and Honorary Lightmonger Brigadier Simon Stockley and his wife, Clare.

An address from Lt Cdr Barry Crosswood, RN, provided fascinating insight into the might of the Navy’s flagship vessel, HMS Queen Elizabeth, Lightmongers’ Naval affiliation. It was often difficult to grasp the magnitude of the power of this floating fortress.

Lt Cdr Barry Crossword of HMSQE giving his speech

In his welcome to the guests, Junior Warden, Peter McVeigh, also welcomed the visiting Masters and their consorts:

Junior Warden Peter McVeigh welcoming the Guests to our Banquet

Master Vintner Anne Hill and Consort Keith, Master Plumber Nick Jones and Kala, Upper Bailiff of the  Weavers Paul Morris and Rosemary, Master Pavior Neil Sandberg and Millie, Master Feltmaker Nigel McDonald and Maggie, Master Coachmaker Sarah Sillars OBE and John, Master Fanmaker Jonathan Bewes, Master Builders Merchant Andy Williamson, and last but not least, Master Constructor Arthur Seymour and Tina.

The London Banqueting Ensemble thrilled guests with their music and the Post Horn Galop and Echo was a particular highlight. The gallery in Mansion House could not provide a better location and acoustics for the duelling post horns, whose musical performance, laced with humour, was truly exceptional.

There were a few poignant moments as the Deputy Master Fr Peter Harris called for a moment’s silence in memory of our recently deceased Clerk, Phill Hyde and Master Margaret Fitzsimons paid tribute to her predecessor, Fr Peter who had not had the pleasure of hosting his own banquet due to the Covid Pandemic.

There was thunderous applause for Interim Clerk Christine Cook and Assistant Clerk Abbie Jones who did such a wonderful job of pulling all the pieces together to deliver a truly memorable evening, filled with laughter and light, a Notice of which was published in the Court and Social section of the Daily Telegraph on Saturday 2nd July.

The Master thanked the sponsors of the banquet whose generosity was appreciated by all; Junior Warden Peter McVeigh, Chairman and MD of Status International, Freeman Chris Ashworth, MD of City electrical Factors, Liveryman Tom Jones of Kempston Controls and Liveryman Mike Roof of Kew Electrical.