Friday, July 19, 2019

4. Annual Service of Dedication of Knights Bachelor, 18th July 2019

Crypt, Chapel of St Faith
Judy and I arrived at St Paul’s for the Annual Service of Dedication of Knights Bachelor in St Faith’s Chapel in the Crypt in torrential rain. Just as well that doorstep discussion before we left the house in Islington had led us to the conclusion that two umbrellas would be better than one! But even so, we were substantially soaked!

The service was well worth the soaking however – wonderful pageantry, soaring fanfares, the three symbols of knighthood being carried in the procession – the Sword; the Spurs; and the Pennons.

We were privileged to be able to listen to some beautiful anthems sung by the Choir as well as an excellent Address by Dame Sarah Mullally, Bishop of London.

Courtyard, Apothecaries Hall
Afterwards, we walked the short distance to Apothecaries Hall, for a lunchtime post - Service Reception. Apothecaries Hall was a splendid and historic venue for the Reception, being the oldest  extant livery hall in The City of London, with the first- floor structure and arrangement of the Great Hall, Court Room and Parlour remaining as built between 1668 and 1670.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

3. 1920's Club, 15th July 2019

The North side of Cheapside was bathed in early evening sunlight at the end of a beautiful summer’s afternoon as Judy and I made our way to Saddlers’ Hall for a barbecue hosted by the 1920’s Club.

Enjoying pre-dinner drinks in the garden of Saddlers' Hall 
The 1920’s Club is an initiative set up by Adele Thorpe, Senior Vice President of The City Livery Club, to enable those Senior Wardens in the 2019/2020 cohort to get to know each other prior to entering  their year of office as Master. It has been a most successful and enjoyable initiative which has been very useful in enabling Judy and I to get to know a range of our Livery “ contemporaries ” before my actually becoming Master.

Revisiting Saddlers’ Hall brought back many memories for me. The last time that I had been at Saddlers’ Hall was when I was an articled clerk training to become a solicitor, more than forty years ago! The firm to which I was articled had its offices at that time at Saddlers’ Hall.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

2. Annual City of London Church Walk, 10th July 2019

A lovely summery Wednesday morning saw Judy and I walking the streets of the City on the Annual City of London Church Walk organised by the Worshipful Companies of Plumbers and Constructors.

During the course of the day we visited 11 City Churches as well as viewing St Pauls Cathedral from the roof garden of One New Change. This gives a wonderful view of St Paul’s, and the glass cladding of the building is specially designed to give a striking tryptich of St Paul’s (see photo ).

A leisurely walk through the City is a great way to get to know some of one’s fellow Masters and their Consorts!

Reflecting on the day over a cup of tea at All Hallows by the Tower, I was struck by the prodigious professional output of Sir Christopher Wren – after all, we had visited during the course of the day no less than seven churches that he had designed in addition to St Paul’s !

Of all the churches visited, my joint favourites were St Mary Aldermary with its wonderful Gothic fan vaulted ceiling reminiscent of Eton Chapel, and the Chapel of King’s College Cambridge ; and the perfect proportions of St Stephen Walbrook . Although a close second was St Mary Abchurch with its Grinling Gibbons reredos.

In the evening Judy and I went to a reception at the Stern Pissarro Gallery in St James’s hosted by the  sustainability charity tve. Tve was founded 35 years ago to use the power of television to make the environment a political issue. Today this includes YouTube channels, as well as other new media.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

1. Installation Court

8th July 2019 –  My first thought on awaking was to look at an up to date weather forecast. Stationers’ Hall Garden in the rain would not be much fun! Happily, fortune smiled upon the Company, and we were blessed with perfect weather conditions.

Around 50 Members of the Company, family and friends gathered together at 11.45 for the Installation Ceremony at Stationers’ Hall. Rob Casey was installed as Thames Warden, Graham Howells as Fleet Warden and Martin Baggs as Walbrook Warden, with myself installed as Master.

The Ceremony was followed by the  Installation Lunch, where just over 100 Members of the Company and family friends and Invited Guests marked my Installation.

Our Guest Speaker for the Lunch was Professor Michael Proctor FRS, Provost of King’s College, Cambridge. His address was varied, entertaining and stimulating .We heard from Prof. Proctor that he became inspired by fluid mechanics as a student at Trinity College Cambridge, and he is still studying it today. We were introduced to two of the many heroic figures in the world of fluid mechanics – namely Archimedes, and Lord Rayleigh, a Victorian – Edwardian scientist, and first winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics. We learned about plasma on the sun’s surface, and turbulent flow, which remains one of the great unsolved problems of physics. Prof Proctor then went on to discuss the impact inter-relationship of fluid mechanics and climate changes.

I then set out my themes for my year as Master. We will be continuing in our role as a  developer of thought leadership and policy discussion on issues relating to water, waste, and the broader environment. We will be continuing with the development of our relationship with The City of London Corporation on environmental matters, and with our recruitment of new members to the Company under our H2Outreach initiative.

In the evening Judy and I were guests of the City Corporation at a lecture at The Guildhall entitled “ The Turning Tide , City and River “. This fascinating presentation was delivered by Professor Jeremy Black MBE, Professor of History at Exeter University.