Dear Fellow Lightmongers,
The New Year started with the wonderful Master & Clerks’ Dinner hosted by our good friends the Plaisterers’ Company at Plaisterer’s Hall. The Clerk, and I were entertained at a magnificant January feast, followed by wonderful music played by a musician who only had the use of one hand on the piano but had us all enthralled with his fantastic playing. Such a great way to start 2019.
On 11th January, the City New Year Service was held at St Michael Cornhill, a church dating back to Saxon times, where the Drapers’ Company has been been its patron for 516 years. The service was a traditional service with the lesson being read by the Governor of the Bank of England and the Lord Mayor, but all those who attend will long remember the inspirational sermon given by David Suchet CBE.
HMS Illustrious Association
I was delighted, together with our Clerk, to represent the Lightmongers at St James Garlickhythe Church on 17th January for their annual Service of Remembrance conducted by Rev Ray Jones RN (former Chaplain HMS Illustrious V). This was followed by Lunch at Vintners’ Hall.
The Annual Sercy City Luncheon on 30th January hosted by the Vintners’ Company was a special occasion, where the Master, Dr Sir Andrew Parmley, extends a special friendship to our Company who had supported him during his year as Lord Mayor.
New College Worcester
On 6 th February myself, Deputy Master Barbara Harding, the Clerk Phill Hyde and Past Masters John Harding and John Otten were privileged to be invited to NCW to see The Princess Royal’s visit to our affiliated school for the blind. She was there on a visit of more than two hours and toured the school to see the facilities and meet the pupils and staff.
During the tour the Princess Royal met the Lightmongers group and was clearly interested, as a Liveryman and Past Master Butcher herself, to hear of our support for the school. NCW are very appreciative of the support they receive from the Lightmongers.
I was surprised and somewhat overwelmed to be invited to the Worshipful Company of Arbitrators’ Spring Luncheon on 8th February, held at Brewers’ Hall, a venue that I had never visited before. The guest of honour was His Honour Nicholas Hilliard QC, The Recorder of London.
The Recorder of London is an ancient legal office in the City of London appointed by the Crown on the recommendation of the City of London Corporation with the concurrence of the Lord Chancellor. The Recorder is the senior Circuit Judge at the Central Criminal Court (the Old Bailey), hearing trials of criminal offences.
A memorable occasion where I was surrounded by Judges and QC
450 th Anniversary of the Basketmakers
To celebrate their anniversary, the Worshipful Company of Basketmakers held a Trade Fair at Guildhall on 19th February. The fair was opened by Her Royal Highess the Duchess of Gloucester GCVO. The hall was filled with numerous stalls displaying the craft of basketry.
Tacitus Lecture World Traders Guildhall
The 32nd Lecture on 28th February, was given by Christine Lagarde, Managing Director and Chairwomen of the IMF, titled Redefining a Broader Sense of Purpose. This year’s Tacitus Lecture sprinkled a little magic dust over a packed Guildhall as the speaker delivered an uncompromising but deeply human and engaging analysis of the financial services industry in 2019. The audience included Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, heads of some of the UK’s financial institutions, the international press, Tacitus sponsors, World Traders and their guests.
London Postal Museum
I was delighted to join the large group of Lightmongers who visited the London Postal Museum on 4th March, arranged by the Events Committee and our wonderful organiser Jamie Berry.
A historic and informative journey through time on the delivery of letters and post followed by an exciting journey on the Mail Train. Thank you for a great afternoon in such good company.
City Guides Lecture St Lawrence Jewery
The 16th Derek Melluish Lecture was delivered on 28th Feburary by Richard Griffiths entitled ‘Old Buildings, New Architecture’.
Honourable Company of Master Mariners Court Luncheon
The Master Captain Robert Booth welcomed myself and our Clerk onboard HQS Wellington for their Court Luncheon on 6 th March.
EDA Annual Awards Dinner
Sixteen high performing individuals from across the UK’s electro-technical wholesaling sector were celebrated at the EDA’s 2019 Education and Training Awards evening om 7th March at the InterContinental Hotel.
I was so excited to be present to enjoy the evening as a guest and to propose the toast to the Queen.
I also must thank Margaret Fitzsimons for such a memorable evening which included meeting one of my cricketing heroes!
Construction Livery Group Awards
What an enormous pleasure it was to be at Carpenter’s Hall for the presentation of the Annual City CLG Awards on 11th March with the Lord Mayor.
As Master I presented our three outstanding CLG Award Winners with their certificates.
Lance Corporal Gary McGlynn from Royal School of Military Engineering, Lightmonger Apprentice Award to Conor McCathy from Darke and Taylor, Lightmonger Masters Certificate to Dr Geoffrey Cook.
Dr Geoffrey Cook, The Master Lightmonger, & Lance Corporal Gary McGlynn from Royal School of Military Engineering.
The Master Lightmonger, Conor McCathy from Darke & Taylor with the Lord Mayor.
It was also very special to see Walter Balmford MBE being honoured and receiving from the Lord Mayor his Fellowship from The City & Guilds – Honoris Causa (HonFCGI).
I was very proud to hear the wonderful citation from the City & Guilds, of our fellow Lightmonger being recognised and rewarded for his contribution to Education and Training. I was also able to join Walter later at Charterhouse for a celebratory drink.
Annual Security Lecture
The Worshipful Company of Security Professionals hosted their Annual Security Lecture on 13th March at Barber–Surgeons’ Hall.
The lecture was due to be given by Sir Mark Sedwill. KCMG Cabinet Secretary and head of the Civil Service, but unfortunately, he was unable to attend because of the Brexit vote in Parliament.
In his place and at very short notice Madeleine Alessandri Deputy National Security Advisor presented a picture of the security issues being faced by Britain today. It was a concerning and daunting challenge for the future we face in these uncertain times.
Modern Liveries Dinner
The Senior Warden and I attended the Modern Liveries Dinner on 18th March at Watermans’ Hall. We enjoyed the good company and hospitality of the Modern Livery Company.
Master & Clerks’ Lunch Tallow Chandlers
The Clerk and I received a wonderful welcome by the Master John Baxter at their Master & Clerks’ Luncheon on 21st March. This is an important event each year and with Tallow Chandlers being our spiritual home and it is so rewarding that the Master and Members of their Company value their association and friendship with Lightmongers so highly.
Water Conservators Lecture Guildhall
On 21st March I attended a lecture at Guildhall Members Club on the eve of World Water Day.
The first speaker was Richard Thompson OBE Professor of Marine Biology Plymouth University talking on Marine Litter. 70% of all marine litter is plastic and 17 million tonnes are deposited into the oceans each year.
The second speaker was Dr Lynette Dollar who gave the example of plastic litter stating that 100,000 cotton buds pass through screens at sewage works. In summary she stressed to reduce plastics in the water environment, it was important to look at potential use and waste streams at the design stage of all products.
Lightmongers Livery Dinner 22nd March at the Clothworkers’ Hall
Can I please express my thanks to all Lightmongers and their guests for making our Annual Livery Dinner at Clothworkers’ Hall on 22nd March. It was such an outstanding and successful evening!
160 of us enjoyed wonderful food and wine in such a fantastic hall and witnessed the marvellous singing of the Military Wives Choir.
I also had the honour to present our Military Awards to three outstanding service personnel with my personal thanks to our generous sponsors.
On 27th March I joined the Lord Mayor and other Livery Masters on a visit to Treloars School to witness the amazing achievements that are delivered by the staff for the pupils who attend Treloars. The school was founded in 1907 by the Lord Mayor of London and is now a charity named the Trealors Trust which provides education, care, therapy, medical support and independence training to young people with physical disabilities. As a charity with annual turnover of £19 million it needs to fund raise £2 million each year. Much of this is only possible with the support of the Lord Mayor and the Livery movement.
On the 28th March I attended a dinner to the Masters, Prime Wardens and Upper Bailiff of the Livery Companies of the City of London at the Mansion House.
Each Lord Mayor hosts this event to celebrate and cement their partnership with the City Livery Companies and to return some hospitality received during their Mayoral Year.
I was one of the 300 plus guests who were crammed into the Egyptian Hall to dine on this occasion.
United Guilds Service
Ten Lightmongers attended the United Guilds service at St Pauls Cathedral. The sermon was given by the Bishop of London, The Right Reverend and Right Honourable Dame Sarah Mullally DBE.
HMS Queen Elizabeth Portsmouth
At the invitation of the Captain, Past Master David Rowden and I joined HMS Queen Elizabeth from 1 st April to 3rd April to sail from Portsmouth to Rosyth Scotland, where the ship was returning into dry dock for maintenance. The other invited personnel were the Right Honourable Lord Lieutenant and Lord Provost of Edinburgh, The Master of the Royal Company of Merchants Edinburgh, two Members of the City of London Corporation and His Honour Simon Coltart with two Members of the Worshipful Company of Grocers.
The Lord Mayors’ Big Curry Lunch, Guildhall
On 4 th April the Clerk and I attended, on behalf of Lightmongers, the Big Curry Lunch at Guildhall, in support of HM Armed Forces and Veterans, where fundraising and the auction hoped to raise in excess of £2 million to support whose who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Upcoming Events 2019
9 th May – Annual Lightmongers’ Charity Golf Day, Royal Automobile Club, Woodcote Park – further details to come. DETAILS ISSUED applications open – SPONSERSHIP AVAILABLE
19th May – Lost London Dock Walk – applications open
24th June – Election of Sheriffs (Liverymen only)
5 th July – Annual Summer Banquet