Fellow Lightmongers,

I have just finished watching the 100 years Celebration of the RAF at Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace on TV. The sense of pride to see our Honorary Liveryman Air Chief Marshall Sir Stephen Hillier accompanied by his wife Elaine was overwhelming. We are so honoured to know that he is a fellow liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Lightmongers. I felt 10 feet tall.

RAF Centenary Fly Past

I do hope that you are all enjoying this beautiful weather. We are were extremely fortunate to have such good weather with us when 44 members joined me for my Master’s Weekend in Bristol. The weekend was really successful; we ate too much, drank too much, and laughed an awful lot. There can never be too much laughter.

Formal Dinner aboard SS Great Britain

Formal Dinner aboard SS Great Britain

The Master & Cary Grant

The Master & Cary Grant!!

All Aboard the Pines Express!!

All Aboard the Pines Express!!

River boat ride and dinner!!

River boat ride and dinner!!

Next year we are off to Malta when Senior Warden Stephen Thomas becomes Master. I do hope many of you will be there to share wonderful fellowship.

John and I attended the Annual Pilgrimage to Ironbridge in Shropshire. 100 livery companies were represented, along with The Lord Mayor and the Sheriffs. An excellent weekend again with food, wine and lots of fun and friendship.

On the 25th June Guildhall was full to capacity for the Election of Sheriffs and for the first time since 2012 the election was contested. The successful candidates were Alderman Vincent Keaveny, and Liz Green, Past Master of The Worshipful Company of Framework Knitters.

As ever following the election we enjoyed a wonderful lunch at Tallow Chandlers’ Hall.

On 6th July we held our Annual Summer Banquet at Mansion House. Our speaker this year was Lord Holmes of Richmond who was truly an inspiration to listen to. He has achieved so much and is a passionate advocate for the potential of technology and the benefits of diversity and inclusion.

It was a splendid occasion which sadly did not see enough of our members this year.

This is the biggest event in the Lightmongers’ calendar and it is an enormous privilege to be allowed to use the Mansion House, home of the Lord Mayor for our banquet. This event takes place in early July every year and I would encourage you all to join us next year. I know that you will not be disappointed.

Lord Holmes of Richmond and Lottie

Lord Holmes of Richmond and Lottie

We were very excited to hear the news that our Deputy Master Mike Simpson skippered the winning yacht in the LIA Sailing Regatta this year. I know you will all join me in congratulating him and his crew on this fabulous achievement.

winning team

LIA Regatta

LIA Regatta winning team

We were very sad to hear of the passing of Liveryman John Neill MBE who died on the 25th June 2018 as a result of a fall at home. John joined as a Freeman on the 12th June 2005 and was clothed with the Livery of our Company on the 1st October 2009. Condolences were passed on to his wife Maureen and their family.

I have attended lunches and dinners this month at the Drapers, Tax Advisors, Paviors and Constructors. These occasions are a wonderful opportunity to spread the word of The Lightmongers and what we do as a Livery Company with our education and charitable activities.

The City really is a fabulous place with so many friendly and interesting people. Being the Master allows me to enjoy all aspects of our capital city.

One of the highlights of the year so far was visiting New College Worcester, a college for children and young people with visual impairment this is one of our affiliated schools.

We visited Mary Hare School for the Deaf, our other affiliated School, earlier this year and were so impressed with the children and the staff.

New College Worcester held a concert in the morning with children who were so talented despite their disability. They sang and played a variety of instruments to an extremely high level. In the afternoon the prize giving took place, with their principal speaker John Peters. John was a fighter pilot whose plane was shot down during the 1st Iraq war. He was held prisoner in Iraq and was tortured and starved, but his message was loud and clear: we can survive almost anything if we put our mind to it.

The Lightmongers are very important to these schools. During the prize giving at New College the Head Boy and Head Girl gave an account of their final year at school. The Lord Mayors Show and our Educational Awards Dinner in May are really a highlight of their year.

On Friday the 13th of July I shall be attending Mansion House once again for a karaoke evening, complete with fish and chips. This is being held by the Lady Mayoress as part of The Lord Mayors’ Charity Appeal. I think it will be a fun night.

The Lightmongers next event is on Tuesday 17th of July where we shall be hosting The Four Liveries Lecture in Paintes Hall. The lecture will be given by Liveryman James Simpson, Lighting Visualiser at the Royal Opera House. James has worked on some very exiting projects, including The Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, Miss Saigon and Harry Potter.

This is one not to be missed.

My best wishes to you all for a happy Summer.

Barbara Harding
Master Lightmonger
June 2018

Future Events

Annual Four Livery’s Lecture – 17th July 2018 – Last Call
Election of Lord Mayor – 28th September 2018
Common Hall, Installation and Members Annual Dinner – 2nd November 2018