April 2023

Company of Watermen and Lightermen Master & Clerks’ Lunch

20th April 2023

My last hurrah as Master, and Shaun’s as our Gallant Clerk, took place at Watermen’s Hall for the Company of Watermen and Lightermen of the River Thames Master & Clerks’ annual lunch. Watermens is unique in being a company incorporated by Act of Parliament (in 1514) rather than a Worshipful Company of Liverymen, and is, therefore, not recognised in the order of precedence.

A delightful lunch was followed with a welcome given by the Master Waterman, and former Lord Mayor, Alderman Sir David Wootton, in which he referred to Shaun standing down as our clerk on the following day, and wished him well in his upcoming retirement. Charles Spicer, Prime Warden of the Fishmongers, replied on behalf of the guests.

Brigantes golf day at Lindrick Golf Club

19th April 2023

A strong contingent of Framework Knitters took part in the annual Brigantes (City of London Liverymen of the North) golf day at the former Ryder Cup venue at Lindrick Golf Club just south of Sheffield. Myself, together with Past Master George Turner and Liverymen Adrian Keene and Mike Piper took part with mixed results.

George was a member of the third placed team and Adrian took the nearest the pin on a Par 3 prize. However, the most fortunate was Mike who won the charity raffle prize. This was a Master’s Cask Aged Scotch Whisky, which was presented to the Brigantes by the Worshipful Company of Distillers and which normally retails at around £200. Past Master Baker, David Bentley, presented the Lindrick captain with a cheque from the raffle proceeds towards his charity of the year.

Visit to Hinckley & District Museum

17th April 2023

I was invited by the trustees of the museum to come and officially open the two display cabinets, donated by our Educational Foundation. I was joined by the Chairman of our Charity Committee, Assistant Susan Jagelman and soon to be Under Warden, Assistant Peter Corah.

We were shown around the neat and interesting museum by trustees, Ann, Philip and Ken, which is contained in an original Framework Knitter’s cottage, dating from the 17th century. Our two new cabinets looked stunning and a huge improvement from the old ones they replaced. Both had a plaque in them indicating that they were acquired with funds donated by our Livery Company in November 2022.

The museum has many educational visits from local primary school children and the building was originally owned by one of the oldest hosiery companies in the world Atkins Bros Ltd, which was originally formed in 1722. This was the year that Robert Atkins obtained his Freedom from the Worshipful Company of Framework Knitters, which enabled him to start his stocking manufacturing business.

Worshipful Company of Feltmakers Spring Livery Dinner

3rd April 2023

This was the last dinner scheduled to be attended by myself and the Gallant Clerk, Shaun, before the end of my year as Master. Ironically, it was held at Apothecaries Hall which was where I was installed as Master Framework Knitter, almost exactly one year ago.

I was fortunate enough to be a top table guest and was personally welcomed by Assistant John Horn together with three other Livery Company Masters. The principle speaker, after an excellent dinner, was Alan Bird, Headmaster of the City of London School, which has associations with the Feltmakers going back several hundred years.

The Master Feltmaker responded and being a former rugby union international player himself for Scotland, who also played for the Harlequins, he referred to the fact that I was a Leicester Tigers supporter and that he was disappointed the Tigers had held the upper hand over Harlequins in their recent fixtures.

The lovely evening ended with the traditional stirrup cup before departure for home.

March 2023

The Lord Mayor's Big Curry Lunch

30th March 2023

One of the largest fundraising events of the year was held at Guildhall to support all members of his Majesty’s armed forces. As is now tradition, the Framework Knitters laid out a stall selling several different sorts of knitted cashmere and woollen garments, all of which had been made in the UK and donated gratis for us to sell, to raise funds for this particular charity of the Lord Mayor’s year.

Our intrepid sales team, working like a well-oiled machine, consisted of Assistants Jonathan Pears, Janey Martin, Peter Corah, Catherine Fuller and Susan Jagelman, ably assisted by our Clerk-in-Waiting Russ Gleeson together with my consort Mary and I looking on.

Almost uniquely, the Framework Knitters are permitted to give some personal gifts to the royal visitors, who this year were Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester. Individually parcelled gifts of knitted “goodies” were presented to them both, including a specially designed and packaged pair of socks imprinted with a facsimile of Westminster Abbey, which Jonathan rather cheekily suggested could be worn by the Duke at the upcoming Coronation ceremony in May.

All four sittings for the excellent curry lunch were sold out for the first time ever, meaning a total of 1,600 covers were eventually served in the Great Hall. At the end of a very long but enjoyable day, our stall sales totalled a record £2,324, being also the total profit to go to the Armed Forces Charities, for which the Lord Mayor, The Rt Hon Nicholas Lyons, had set a tough target of raising the huge sum of £325,000.

Service of the United Guilds of the City of London

24th March 2023

This is the largest gathering of the Livery Companies in the calendar year and the Framework Knitters were represented in St Paul’s Cathedral by myself, my consort, the Upper Warden, the Gallant Clerk and Clerk in waiting together with nine other of our Liverymen and guests.

The origins of the United Guild Service go back to the Second World War when to lift the spirits of the City following the Blitz, it was decided to hold a service in St Paul’s Cathedral for the Livery Companies and Guilds of the City of London. Lady Day, 25th March was the date selected, being the first day of the year under the Julian calendar.

The Lord Mayor, Sheriffs, Court of Aldermen, Masters of the Great Twelve and the Bishop of London all processed into the Cathedral as required by tradition, before the religious service including a sermon from the Dean of Westminster, and superbly supported by the Cathedral choir.

After the service, the Framework Knitter contingent departed for Stationers’ Hall, together with twenty other Livery Company representatives, where an excellent luncheon was consumed by all in the lovely surroundings of the recently refurbished 1673 hall.

Dinner to the Masters of the Livery Companies of the City of London

23rd March 2023

This is one of the highlights of the year where the Lord Mayor invites all the Masters, Prime Wardens and Upper Bailiff of all the Livery Companies to attend a dinner at his Mansion House home. My consort Mary was unavailable, so I was accompanied by our Gallant Clerk, Shaun, in representing our Company.

After a sumptuous dinner, with musical accompaniment by the excellent HAC Band, the Lord Mayor welcomed all the guests. This was responded to by the Masters of the Mercers and Grocers Livery Companies, being number one and two in the order of precedence, as demanded by tradition.

The Clothworkers’ Company Masters’ and Clerks’ Dinner

1st March 2023

The Gallant Clerk and myself represented the company for the annual Masters’ and Clerks’ Dinner at Clothworkers Hall. This was to be the last Livery function to be held there before the bulldozers move in to demolish the hall and then re-develop the site. This will then be known as 50 Fenchurch Street and the project will create a new Livery Hall alongside a commercial tower and new public realm. It will be a net-zero development that should mitigate air and noise pollution while improving biodiversity.

After a superb four course dinner, with all the produce used sourced in England, the Master Clothworker gave a witty speech before handing over to the principal speaker, Nina Lockwood, who spoke about her career and experience in Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, especially within the transport industry.

The evening was completed with a performance by Mariachi Las Adelitas, a unique 7 piece female band. It is apparently the only Mariachi band in Europe, the music having originated in Central America.

February 2023

Inter-Livery Pancake Race

21st February 2023

Our competitive team comprising of myself, Assistants Janey Martin, Jonathan Pears and Simon Burrows took on representatives from 37 other Livery Companies in the 19th Inter-Livery Pancake Race in Guildhall Yard on Shrove Tuesday. As usual, the event was expertly organised by the Worshipful Company of Poulters and raised significant funds for both their own charity and those of the Lord Mayor.

The four categories of races were over two lengths of the yard, where competitors had to be dressed in gown, badges, gloves and chefs hat, which should not fall off, otherwise a two second penalty would be applied. A frying pan containing a pancake also had to be tossed in the designated area, both on the first lap and again on the second, without being dropped.

I started off and qualified for the Masters final, in which I then managed to scrape home first by a short head, to claim the coveted engraved Poulters Pancake Frying Pan. Simon went next and qualified for the Liveryman final where he eventually finished an excellent fourth place. Janey Martin finished second in her heat in the Ladies competition, but just missed out on the final by a couple of seconds.

Last but not least, came our own Jonathan dressed as William Lee from 1589, to compete in the fancy dress competition and race. Unfortunately, he didn’t win either event, but as usual he represented our company with his customary good humour and panache. Finally the Victor Ludorum race was run with the fastest five runners overall from each category competing. Liveryman Gary Dixon representing the Entrepreneurs as Master, should have been running in this but didn’t realise he had qualified and so had got changed and missed the race. I eventually finished second in this to a very young looking female Furniture Maker who deservedly took that trophy.

Launch of the Lord Mayor’s Big Curry Lunch

14th February 2023

I attended the above event on behalf of our company, at the invitation of Rt Hon Lord Mayor. The main purpose of this gathering, in which over 50 Livery Companies were represented and all dressed in their gowns and badges, was to launch the commemorative garden. This temporary garden is placed in the corner of Guildhall Yard and will remain there until the evening after the Big Curry Lunch (BCL), due to be held on 30th March 2023.

Mr Michael Hockney, Chairman of the BCL committee, welcomed those present, including HRH The Duke of Kent, who officially opened the garden. Members of the armed forces were also in attendance. The Lord Mayor, Alderman Nicholas Lyons, then explained that the stunning garden had been designed by an award winning designer and would be open to the public for the next few weeks. The Lord Mayor also informed us that he had set a target of £325,000 to be raised from the BCL to be split between the three national service charities, but he was hopeful that eventually that sum would be exceeded.

The Worshipful Company of Needlemakers Dinner at Mansion House

8th February 2023

My consort, Mary, and I attended the Needlemakers Dinner at Mansion House which was held there by kind permission of the Right Honourable Lord Mayor. After the usual champagne reception on arrival, there followed a delightful four course dinner, capped of by the playing of the Post Horn Galop and passing around of Loving Cups. These sensibly contained wrapped chocolates rather than the pre-pandemic norm of mulled wine.

The Master gave a short but witty speech before the Right Hon. Lord Mayor, Alderman Nicholas Lyons, responded expertly on behalf the guests. The Junior Warden, while welcoming the other official guests, made reference to the uniqueness of the Needlemakers and Framework Knitters, being the only two Livery Companies to have two Charters. The principal speaker was Dr Heather Melville OBE, Banker and currently Chancellor of the University of York and she gave an inspiring talk about her career and her role as a diversity and inclusion leader.

The Master presented an engraved leather pouch containing beautifully engineered needles to my Consort to conclude an excellent evening.

January 2023

Hazel Littlewood's 100th Birthday Party

31st January 2023

A morning party was held in Corah Hall at our Cottage Homes site to celebrate the 100th birthday of our oldest resident, Hazel Littlewood. This was attended by residents, Management Committee members, Karl and our Homes Manager Nettie, who arranged everything perfectly.

I said a few words of welcome, congratulations and then presented Hazel with a bouquet of flowers together with a card and some Marks & Spencers vouches from the Livery. Christine Kilbourne, on behalf of the residents, handed over a beautiful Camellia tree to Hazel as their present to her. Coffee, tea and cakes were heartily consumed by everyone before the party finished around midday with a final champagne toast to Hazel.

Worshipful Company of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales Dinner

23rd January 2023

Shaun and myself attended the annual Masters’ and Clerks’ dinner at Chartered Accountants Hall. This is a dinner that our Master and Clerk would not normally be invited to, but because I am a Chartered Accountant myself we were asked to attend along with Chartered Accountants who are current Masters of other Livery Companies.

We met for reception drinks in the splendid Members Room before proceeding upstairs for dinner in the stunning Old Council Chamber. We were welcomed by the Master and proceedings were completed with a talk by the guest speaker, Guy Rigby, who told us of his world record row across the Atlantic Ocean in 2021 which raised over £750,000 for charity.

Worshipful Company of Upholders Livery Dinner

19th January 2023

I represented our company, together with our Gallant Clerk, at the Upholders Livery Dinner at the Innholders Hall. After reception drinks, we took our seats and had a superb dinner cooked and prepared by the famous Austrian, Herbert Berger, the only chef based in the square mile to have a Michelin Star behind his name.

After an excellent musical interlude, the Junior Warden welcomed the guests and the Master responded before handing over to the principal speaker His Honour Judge Mark Lucraft KC. Mark is currently the Recorder of London which includes being the senior Judge at the Old Bailey, and he gave us an interesting talk which included the history of the role of Recorder going back to the first appointment in 1298.

Court Meeting & Winter Lunch at Farmers & Fletchers Hall

18th January 2023

On a very cold, but crisp, sunny morning, we held our first Court meeting of 2023 in a new venue for us at Farmers & Fletchers Hall. Plenty of useful and important business was transacted, culminating with the induction of a new Freeman and a new Liveryman.

We then met in the lobby for reception drinks before proceeding downstairs for an excellent luncheon. The principal guest speaker was the well known Murray Craig, until recently, and for many years previously, the Clerk to the Chamberlain’s Court at Guildhall. He gave a superb and humorous talk, which I then had to follow with my speech, which felt to me very much like “after the Lord Mayor’s show”.

Earlier, I had presented the Master’s (David Bryars) Award to Liveryman Humphrey Barrett for his exceptional work on the Education Committee over many years. The event finished with guests joining myself and my consort for the traditional stirrup cup before departing.

The Queen’s Green Canopy Tree Unveiling

9th January 2023

We were honoured that our Honorary Liveryman, Vincent Keaveney, until recently the Lord Mayor of London, together with his wife Amanda, came to officially unveil the planting of our Green Canopy cherry tree at the Cottage Homes in Oadby. The Queen’s Green Canopy was a tree planting initiative to mark our late majesty’s Platinum Jubilee celebration, and literally thousands of new trees have been planted around the country to date.

After short speeches of introduction from myself and the Upper Warden, Vincent explained to the Court, Management Committee members and residents present how the Green Canopy initiative came about, before cutting the ribbon to uncover the plaque which states “The Queen’s Green Canopy-The Platinum Jubilee 2022-This plaque was unveiled by Vincent Keaveney on the 9th January 2023-Lord Mayor of London 2021”.

Vincent and Amanda were then shown around one of the residents cottages and David and Elaine Evans had very kindly volunteered to have the honour to show theirs. This was followed by an excellent lunch for our guests, Liverymen and residents in Corah Hall. The former Lord Mayor was showed around our archive museum room and was able to view at close hand his famous “knitted textile Vincent” and also see his personal entry on our board showing Framework Knitter Lord Mayors going back to 1775.

December 2022

Stationers' Inter-Livery Christmas Carol Service and Lunch

15th December 2022

I attended the annual service of lessons and carols at St Martin-Within-Ludgate organised by the Worshipful Company of Stationers supported by a good contingent of Framework Knitter Liverymen and both of our Wardens. Our Gallant Clerk, Shaun, also led the choir in a rousing and enjoyable traditional Christmas service.

After the service, the congregation all disembarked for the short walk across the courtyard into Stationers' Hall for an excellent reception and lunch, with several other Livery Companies also represented. I was honoured to be asked to give the vote of thanks after the meal on behalf of the guests to the Master and the Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers.

Cottage Homes Residents Christmas Lunch

10th December 2022

My wife Mary and I attended the annual Christmas lunch for residents held at a warm Corah Hall, Oadby on a very sunny but cold and frosty day. As well as a good number of residents, both our wardens and a fair smattering of the management committee were also in attendance, together with the Homes Manager, Nettie Ellis, and our Gallant Clerk Shaun and his wife Mary.

We had new caterers this year in Dimblebees, and they provided us with a lovely hot two course Christmas lunch with all the trimmings of course, with white and red wine also flowing. The occasion was made complete with boisterous singing of several well known carols, with Shaun then doing an encore with two Flanders and Swan songs, Mud, Mud, Glorious Mud and The Gasman Cometh, with everyone joining in the choruses.

Worshipful Company of Weavers Charter Dinner

6th December 2022

The Gallant Clerk and myself attended the Weavers annual charter dinner at Vintners Hall along with around 150 other diners. A splendid four course meal and wines was followed with dessert wine, port, Armagnac and sloe gin which led to a rather jolly journey home! The soprano from the Guildhall School of Music was also excellent singing three well known arias for us.

The Weavers are the oldest Livery Company being formed in 1130 and their uniquely named Upper Bailiff informed us that last year they donated the incredible sum of c£600,000 to charitable bodies and other good causes.

Alderman Bronek Masojada, representing the Lord Mayor, gave an excellent speech in responding to the welcome to the guests by the Upper Warden, and the Upper Bailiff rounded off the evening with his witty talk before inviting everyone for even more drinks with the traditional stirrup cup.

November 2022

Worshipful Company of Marketors Bowden Charter Dinner

30th November 2022

Our Gallant Clerk, Shaun, and myself were very pleased to represent our Company (along with Assistant Simon Burrows) at the Marketors' Bowden Charter Dinner at Mansion House. The world famous Egyptian Hall was splendidly laid out for the large attendance of Liverymen and their guests.

The principal speaker was Sheriff Andrew Marsden, representing the Lord Mayor and a Marketor himself. He responded for the guests and thanked the Senior Warden for his kind welcome. The evening was completed by the Master, Trevor Brignall, who gave an excellent response and presented a cheque to Andrew towards the Lord Mayor’s appeal.

Company of Entrepreneurs Installation Dinner

24th November 2022

It was a great honour that the new Master, and Framework Knitter Liveryman, Gary Dixon, invited myself, my Consort Mary and our Gallant Clerk, Shaun, to be guests at his Installation Dinner. This was held at the sumptuous Goldsmiths’ Hall, perhaps one of the finest venues in the City.

The Company of Entrepreneurs have not yet achieved full Livery status, although this should hopefully happen in 2024, and they should be well assisted by Alderman and Sheriff Alastair King DL who is an Entrepreneur and was present at this dinner. After a superb meal, the Junior Warden welcomed the guests and the Master then gave a very entertaining speech before handing over to the main speaker and principal guest. This was Professor Turi King of the University of Leicester and King Richard III fame, who spoke about her pathway into genetics and now considerable media work, including the recent BBC series called DNA Family Secrets.

The lovely relaxed evening was completed by the obligatory stirrup cup before our departure to carriages.

Lord Mayor’s Annual Address and The WC of Shipwrights Dinner

23rd November 2022

One of the highlights of the year is to hear the new Lord Mayor’s annual address at Mansion House and I was there together with our Gallant Clerk to hear it. All Livery Companies were represented by their Masters, Prime Wardens and Clerks in a packed great hall.

The Rt Hon The Lord Mayor Nicholas Lyons set out his vision for the forthcoming year in office and then fielded a question and answer session from the floor, along with Prof Michael Mainelli and the chairman of the Livery Committee.

In the evening, Shaun and I walked across to Ironmongers Hall to attend the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights' dinner for Masters, Prime Wardens and Clerks. There were 53 Livery Companies represented on the night and after a superb dinner and being entertained by an excellent magician, the evening was finished off with some entertaining speeches followed by the traditional stirrup cup.

EASI Showcase 2022

16th November 2022

I was a guest to the Entrepreneurs’ Award in Social Innovation (EASI) hosted by Sheriff Alastair King at his abode at the Central Criminal Court at The Old Bailey. There were five finalists, all of whom gave short presentations to the large audience present.

The winner of the £10,000 cash grant first prize was a company called Pastoral. They are focusing on providing an effective solution to the environmentally disruptive farming practices of poverty-stricken countries. The evening finished with the head of the Business School of the University of Leicester informing the assembly that they would now be the main sponsor going forward, ensuring the continuance of EASI for the foreseeable future.

Remembrance Sunday at St Paul's Cathedral and The Royal Exchange

13th November 2022

An early start was made for the drive down to London together with my wife Mary and our Gallant Clerk Shaun and his wife Mary for the Service of Remembrance with the Commemoration of the Fallen at St Paul’s Cathedral. We parked up at Stationers Hall and then took the short walk to the Cathedral to be part of the congregation for the service led by the Dean, including a lesson read by the new Lord Mayor.

Following the service, we processed to the Royal Exchange for the laying of wreaths (including one on behalf of the Livery movement) at the War Memorial there, accompanied by the superb Honourable Artillery Company Regimental Band. Shaun had a small tear in his eye (he was a former Drum Major of the HAC) as we all watched them parade closely by, after we had moved to the front of Mansion House to see them march past the Lord Mayor.

We then left for Guildhall where we consumed a superb Sunday lunch served by Cook & Butler in the delightful Alderman’s dining room, with stunning views over a now sunny City. The owner of C & B, Mark Grove, then gave us one of his typical culinary delights to finish off with his “Old Contemptible” dessert served in an appropriate army mess tin.

8th November 2022

Ladies Luncheon

My wife and consort Mary organised a Ladies Lunch at the Swan Restaurant on the south bank of the river, next door to the famous Globe Theatre. A total of 42 ladies were in attendance and this was the first such lunch since before the pandemic. There was a good mix of Liverymen and guests, with a good range of all ages.

I welcomed the ladies on arrival to the Swan and gave a brief speech but then left before the meal commenced, to go and get a sandwich for myself. Mary had arranged a guest speaker, Gaynor Nash, who was a former professional Welsh footballer and hockey international and she was due to talk about her long career in sport.

Garden of Remembrance Service and Service of Thanksgiving for the Lord Mayor

7th November 2022

It is traditional in the week before Remembrance Sunday for the Livery movement and City of London executive to lay wooden poppy crosses in the garden of St Paul’s Cathedral. Virtually all Livery companies were on show and the Gallant Clerk and myself represented the Framework Knitters. Luckily the rain held off for the duration of the service and in order of precedence I planted a cross on behalf of our Company. The moving service was conducted by the Dean of St Pauls in the presence of the Lord Mayor and Sheriffs, together with representatives of the Armed Forces.

Afterwards, a very pleasant buffet lunch was consumed at Plaisterers Hall and later in the afternoon, a Service of Thanksgiving for the Lord Mayor was held at the beautiful Wren church of St Stephen Walbrook, next to Mansion House. This stunning service was followed by drinks and canapes in the church before I left to see which train I could get back to the East Midlands, in the midst of the on/off National Rail strike.

WC of Glovers Installation Service & Luncheon

1st November 2022

The Gallant Clerk and myself attended the Installation of the new Master of the Glovers Company, which took place in a unique service at St Margaret Lothbury. This beautiful Wren church was packed with a full congregation which was treated to the glorious sound of a stunning choir and organ.

A marvellous luncheon followed in the sumptuous setting of Drapers’ Hall with over 200 Liverymen and guests in attendance. The Immediate Past Master, Renter Warden and finally the Master himself, all gave excellent speeches, with the lunch being finished off with each visiting Master of attending Livery Companies (including myself) being presented with a delightful pair of leather, silk lined gloves as a memento of the occasion.

October 2022

The Lord Mayor’s Coffee Morning

25th October 2022

Along with 24 other Masters and Prime Wardens, I attended a coffee morning at Mansion House, under the chairmanship of the Lord Mayor. The topics up for discussion were as follows:-

1.    Sustainability

2.    Philanthropy

3.    Inclusion

After a lively discussion, it was agreed that where at all possible, the Livery Company movement should work more closely together to improve all these areas and also ensure that the City of London continues to be the leader of Green Finance around the world.

Post Banquet Outing

22nd October 2022

The Social Committee organised two visits back to back on the Saturday morning, following the previous evening's Banquet, where I joined 17 other Liverymen and guests. The first excellent offering was for a guided tour around the Clink Prison Museum on the south bank of the river, being on the site of England’s oldest prison dating back to 1144.

There then followed a short walk to the Old Operating Theatre Museum, where another tour followed around the attic of the old St. Thomas’ Hospital. This included a 52 step climb up a very narrow spiral staircase, to get to see the rather gruesome but very interesting operating theatre, originally constructed in 1822.

Our rather rapidly tiring group then re-treated across the road to the Bunch of Grapes pub for an excellent energy building lunch, before everyone wended their way home after a super weekend’s entertainment.

Annual Banquet

21st October 2022

One of the highlights of my year as Master was the annual banquet, held this year at the sumptuous surroundings of Plaisterers’ Hall. The Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress, Vincent and Amanda Keaveney, were in attendance, together with Sheriff Alastair King and Masters and Prime Wardens of twelve other Livery Companies.

After a delightful dinner, Bursary Parchments were presented to nine of our student award winners by the Lord Mayor. Past Master The Hon. Liz Green welcomed the guests on behalf of the company and the Lord Mayor responded, being the 650th speech given so far in his first eleven months in his current role. I then gave a short response to the 160 attendees and then presented Vincent and Amanda with some knitted personalised gifts on behalf of the company, together with a cheque for Lord Mayor’s charity.

Music for the evening was played by the string trio, Oirr Asano, provided by Music Students for Hire, and the occasion was completed with a stirrup cup in the ante chamber, before guests wended their way home.

Civic Dinner of Worshipful Company of Woolmen

17th October 2022

The Gallant Clerk and myself attended the Woolmen’s Civic Dinner at Mansion House with the maximum permitted number of 315 diners in attendance in the Great Hall. A delightful dinner was followed by presentation of silver medals by the Lord Mayor to ten students, awarded by the Woolmen’s Charity.

Past Master Woolmen, Her Royal Highness the Princess Royal, then gave a speech re-iterating the marvellous sustainability of wool products and also mentioned the useful work carried out by the Livery Textile Group, of which both the Woolmen and Framework Knitters are members.

The Lord Mayor, Vincent Keaveney, responded on behalf of the guests, although reminding everyone, that as long as he is voted in, he would shortly become the new Master of the Woolmen. The evening was concluded by a witty speech given by the current Master, Rt Reverend Peter Hullah.

Ceremony of the Socks

8th October 2022

Together with Under Warden Matthew Ellis, and Past Masters Julian Ellis and Ian Grundy, I attended the re-scheduled Ceremony of the Socks at the Wigston Framework Knitters Museum.

On a lovely sunny, but cool, autumn morning, the Museum Chairman asked Deputy Lord Lieutenant, Peter Carr to present the Mayor of Oadby and Wigston Borough council with a pair of framed socks. This presentation is wholly symbolic and has its origins from the time when the museum belonged to the council. This was followed by tea and biscuits for all and guided tours around the framework knitting cottages and the lovely garden.

Evensong Service at St Paul’s Cathedral

5th October 2022

Despite another national rail strike, myself as Master, the Gallant Clerk and our Upper and Under Wardens all made it to St Paul's for Evensong organised by the Worshipful Company of Musicians. We all robed up in the Crypt Chapel of St Faith and then processed into the Cathedral in order of Company precedence.

The choir of St Paul's were in superb voice during the service and the Royal College of Music Strings beautifully played the Elegy for Strings by Elgar.

After the service, all Liverymen present met back in the Crypt Chapel for a drinks and canapés reception, which finished off the splendid evening perfectly.

September 2022

Common Hall Election of Lord Mayor

29th September 2022

I met up with all other Livery Company Masters in the Crypt of the Guildhall where I was helped into my gown and regalia by our Gallant Clerk, Shaun. We then processed into the Great Hall in order of precedence. The ancient ceremony to appoint our new Lord Mayor followed with the result that Nicholas Lyons was unanimously voted into the role by Liverymen for 2022/23.

Afterwards, a group of seven Framework Knitters wandered over to the newly refurbished Stationers Hall for a relaxed and excellent lunch, along with many other Companies, to celebrate the new Lord Mayor’s appointment.

The Leicester Weekend

9th to 11th September 2022

The shattering news of Her Majesty The Queen’s death filtered through to us on Thursday evening and a decision needed to be made on whether all, part or none of our annual Leicester Weekend should proceed. I took counsel with senior Past Masters and our Gallant Clerk, and I decided, with some trepidation, to go ahead as planned.

Our golf day on the Friday at the Leicestershire Golf Club was played out on a warm but cloudy afternoon, with a hint of rumbling thunder in the atmosphere. In the event though we got round relatively dry and the golf was followed by a hearty meal in the club dining room, with plenty of other Liverymen and guests joining the golfers for supper. The Howard Ellis Silver Salver was won for the very first time by a delighted PM George Turner and the Byford Trophy for the leading guest was won by Janey Heaney. Many thanks must go to Liveryman Adrian Keene and his wife Marion for organising the whole event so expertly as usual.

The following morning, the annual Ceremony of the Socks, due to be held at the Wigston Framework Knitters Museum was postponed, due to it being a public event, and the Lord Lieutenant was needed elsewhere to make official proclamations all around the county.

Our usual Court meeting was held on Saturday afternoon in Corah Hall, which was then followed in the evening by a lovely three course dinner in the Grand Hall of St Martins House, next door to Leicester Cathedral. This hall had been visited by the queen on two previous occasions for official luncheons, both organised by our own Liveryman Paul Bonnett. Several residents from our Cottage Homes were in attendance and hopefully they all enjoyed their evening which was capped off by an excellent talk by Professor Marilyn Upstone about the history of Framework Knitters and the background behind her well known book of the same name.

On Sunday morning, the Court and several other Liverymen attended our usual Framework Knitters church service at St Peters in Oadby which had even more poignancy this year due to Her Majesty’s departure. My Chaplain, Jon Tearne, took the service with great dignity and some of our late Queen’s favourite hymns were sung with great gusto by all Liverymen and Cottage Homes residents present.

The weekend concluded back at our Almhouses up the road with the famous Corah/Ellis barbecue. The sun came out on cue to cheer everyone up after a pleasant, but, for obvious reasons, a somewhat subdued weekend. The five new benches, gifted by Liverymen, looked splendid and came in very useful with help for consuming our food and beverages surrounded by lovely new pink geranium tubs, duly deadheaded by the Master.

Bakers’ Hall Luncheon

7th September 2022

I attended the Masters and Clerks luncheon as a guest of the Bakers Company, together with Shaun, our Gallant Clerk and invitees from 41 other Livery Companies.

After a champagne reception, there followed a very convivial lunch prepared by the well known city caterers, Cook & Butler. The Master Baker, Christopher Freeman then officially welcomed the guests and Margaret Boanas, Master Butcher, responded on our behalf.

Kew Gardens VIP Tour

4th September 2022

My wife Mary and I were invited on a tour of Kew Gardens, along with Liverymen from other companies, by Pollinating London Together (PLT). We were guided round by Dr Hauke Hoch whose speciality was pollinating insects, and he showed us several examples of all the different specie of bee to be found in the park. He also showed us around the famous “Hive” which is an aluminium art structure that recreates life inside a beehive, using wind, music and LED lighting.

We were joined on the tour by local residents, and Kew Garden members, PM Paul Bethel and Liveryman Claire Bethel, whose knowledge helped Mary and I learn everything more we needed to know about this superb attraction. However, the main purpose of our visit was to introduce us all to the PLT initiative and ask us to participate in the Flower Insect Timed (FIT) count using an App we were asked to download on to our smart phones. Our tour leader instructed us how to go about it, and so, after a short practice, we could then get back home to carry a 10 minute insect survey in our own gardens, which could then be unloaded into the survey results.

July 2022

Pétanque Challenge

28th July 2022

The Framework Knitters were invited to enter a three person team into the very first Pétanque Challenge, organised by the Distillers Company. Our intrepid team was made up of our captain & regular league team player, Under Warden Matthew Ellis, Cottage Homes Administrator Nettie Ellis and myself. The event was held on a lovely warm high summer’s evening at the London Pétanque Club situated in the Vauxhall Palace Gardens, where the Pimms was flowing from the very start.

There was an entry of 18 teams and these were then split into four divisions, with each group winner going forward into the semi finals. In our division, we had to play three matches against Milroys of Soho (suppliers of specialist whiskies to the Distillers), the Distillers themselves and then finally against the Dyers. I have to say that we won each match fairly easily and, therefore, took our place in the semi-final.

However, we met much stiffer opposition there in a strong Vintner’s team, and were losing 7-4 (first to 13) when the 30 minute time limit whistle went, meaning that we, unfortunately, missed out on the final, which was then ultimately won by the Vintners against the Plaisterers. Nevertheless, it did mean that we could catch an earlier train back to Market Harborough station, which was a good thing as we later found out that our scheduled 10.35 train had been cancelled and replaced by a bus journey all the way back from St Pancras!

Visit to Hinckley & District Museum

11th July 2022

I was invited to attend an exhibition celebrating the 300th anniversary of Atkins Bros Ltd setting up their hosiery factory in Hinckley in 1722. This was being held in the Framework Knitters’ Cottages museum across the road from the factory in Lower Bond Street. These cottages originally date from 1680.

I was met and shown around the museum and garden by trustees Ann Crabtree and Phillip Lindley. Despite the near 40 degree C heat outside, the museum itself was nice and cool and included several examples of knitting machines used at Atkins and an original wooden frame.

Desford Heritage Festival

3rd July 2022

My wife Mary and I, together with Under Warden Matthew Ellis, were invited by Caroline Wessel (wife of Past Master Anthony Wessel) to attend the second day of the Desford Heritage Festival. There were several heritage zones, one of which was based on framework knitting, which has a strong history in Desford village.

Outside of an old knitters cottage, several artefacts relating to the industry were laid out together with a mock up of William Lee’s wife. This was because her constant clicking knitting needles had first encouraged him to develop the mechanical knitting machine.

I made a short speech to the gathered audience on the history of our Company and the City of London Livery movement in general. This was followed by Matthew giving details of the origins of our Almshouses in Oadby and their connection with the Corah family. We were both very kindly presented with a pair of hand knitted socks with our personal initials on.

After a tour of all the different zones in the village, we were given a very pleasant lunch in the Rectory gardens after which we had the great pleasure of listening to the famous Desford Colliery Brass Band.

Visit to the Wellington Arch and Apsley House

2nd July 2022

Thanks to Assistant Janie Martin and PM Paul Bethel for arranging a wonderful post dinner outing to the Wellington Arch and across the road at the Duke of Wellington’s residence at Apsley House on Hyde Park corner. Two excellent tour guides enhanced both visits considerably by giving us a unique historical perspective into both properties and their artistic and priceless contents. This was followed by a superb lunch at The Horse and Groom public house in nearby Belgravia.

Court Meeting and Summer Dinner at Salters Hall

1st July 2022

On a lovely warm early summer’s evening, our Liverymen and their guests had reception drinks in the lovely Salters Hall garden, next to the Roman London Wall.

We all then ascended in the lifts to the fifth floor and had an excellent dinner in the recently refurbished magnificent ash panelled banqueting hall. After dinner, Assistant Martin Traynor welcomed the principal guests with a witty speech which was followed by the main speaker for the evening Alderman Sheriff Alison Gowman, who gave us an interesting talk about the latest goings on in the square mile and what her duties as Sheriff entailed. I then gave my response, before inviting everyone for a stirrup cup before their departure.

Earlier in the day, we held our Court meeting in the committee room, also at Salters Hall, where two new Liverymen were admitted to the company.

June 2022

Livery Careers Showcase

28th June 2022

After two years of on-line showcases, it was good to be back again at Guildhall in person and the Framework Knitters had a stall as in previous years, along with many other Livery companies. Past Master Paul Bethel had organised everything very efficiently and he was aided on our impressively laid out tables by Assistant Jonathan Pears (together with the usual popular Griswold hand knitting machine) and Liveryman Toni Hicks.

In addition, we had the help of two of our recent Bursary Award winners and new Freemen, Florian and Zeynep, who had a collection of their knitted designs on display. This brought large groups of secondary age school children to our stand to talk to them and ask them to give them information about their own recent career paths. Our three new pop up display boards looked very striking and gave an excellent backdrop to our stand.

Common Hall - Election of Sheriffs

24th June 2022

Despite the national rail strike, I managed to make it down to Guildhall to process in order of precedence into the Great Hall with other Livery company Masters, Prime Wardens and an Upper Bailiff.

The traditional mid summers day election of Sheriffs then took place, with both Alastair King (Aldermanic) and Andrew Marsden (Non-Aldermanic) being unanimously voted in to their new roles, commencing from 29th September 2022.

After the ceremony, I disrobed from my gown and chain and then took a short walk to the wonderful Painters Hall for a very convivial lunch together with several other Framework Knitters and Liverymen from 16 other companies.

Cottage Homes Master's tea party

21st June 2022

For the first time since 2019, a tea party was held for the residents of our Cottage Homes Almshouses based in Oadby. The outing this year was to the Church of England retreat house at Launde Abbey.

As IPM Julian Ellis couldn’t have a tea party in his year due to the Covid restrictions, it was agreed that we should share it and make it a joint event between the two of us this time.

A good mixture of residents and members of the management committee, together our administrator Nettie Ellis, had a sumptuous high tea of sandwiches, cakes and scones with cream and jam, together with many pots of tea.

After tea, on a warm sunny afternoon, we all took the chance to roam around the lovely grounds and the stunning walled garden. In addition, the mediaeval chapel was opened for us to visit and see the beautiful stained glass windows and the impressive tomb of Gregory Cromwell. He was the son of the infamous Thomas Cromwell, who had retained ownership of Launde for his own family, despite ordering the destruction of other monasteries around England following instruction from Henry VIII.

The party eventually got on the coach for the journey back to Oadby at around 5 pm, after, hopefully, having enjoyed a pleasant and relaxing afternoon.

London's Turbulent Son

17th June 2022

As part of the Becket Pageant, a musical play called “London’s Turbulent Son” was held in Guildhall Yard. My wife Mary & I attended one of the four performances on Friday afternoon, in stifling heat of over 30 degrees C. Luckily we had booked seats under cover in the shade, to watch a super performance of this specially written new musical, which was not only entertaining but also slightly moving.

Becket Pageant

17th and 18th June 2022

To celebrate the 900th anniversary of Thomas Becket’s birth, just around the corner in Cheapside, a Pageant was held in Guildhall Yard over two days. Sixteen Livery companies were in attendance, each setting up craft stalls to showcase their arts and sell their wares to the London public for charity. The FWK stall was fronted by Assistant Jonathan Pears, and he was ably assisted by Assistants Janie Martin and Susan Jagelman. Assistant Catherine Fuller was also prominent as she was in charge of costumes for the Pageant play, “London’s Turbulent Son”.

Friday was stiflingly hot at over 30 degrees C, but our stall was soon, thankfully, in the shade. A steady stream of visitors came to our stall, some of them especially curious to try out our hand operated circular Griswold knitting machine, which was over 100 years old and borrowed from the Ruddington Museum.

The Lord Mayor tries out our Griswold knitting machine

Sales of socks were constant throughout the two days, and on the Saturday the cooler, wetter weather encouraged many sales of our cut price Cashmere and Lambswool sweaters, provided for us by Johnstons of Elgin. Our very own Lord Mayor, Vincent, visited us on the Friday & had a go on the Griswold, whilst his wife Amanda bought some socks.

After two days on his feet, without a sit down, Jonathan eventually shut up shop at 4 pm on the Saturday, with sales for Charity finally totalling £888 and after stock purchases giving an excellent overall surplus of £780.

The Drapers’ Company Court Lunch

16th June 2022

I attended the Court lunch in the sumptuous Great Hall of the Drapers’ Company together with our Gallant Clerk, Shaun and many other Masters and Clerks of other Livery companies. The Great Hall was completely refurbished during the period of lockdown, at considerable cost, but looking at the final result, it was certainly worth it.

After a drinks reception in their lovely gardens on a warm sunny day, an excellent lunch was followed by a speech by the Master and afterwards came the London Youth Choir singing three classical pieces beautifully before everyone left with a smile on their face.

Horner’s Golf Day at Ashridge Golf Club

14th June 2022

After coming equal first in last year’s competition, our FWK team unfortunately brought up the rear, but there were extenuating circumstances. The requisite team of 4 was reduced to only 3 by the late withdrawal of Janey Heaney due to Covid and this put us a significant disadvantage with only 2 scores to count on each hole.

Nevertheless, Messrs Turner, Piper and Jarvis put up a game show, on a lovely warm summer’s day in Hertfordshire, on a magnificent golf course in superb condition. The famous horned trophy was eventually won by the Plumbers, with an excellent overall score of 97 points.

Masters Livery Weekend

10th June 2022 to 12th June 2022

Around 200 Masters and their consorts met up at the Mercure Hotel in Sheffield on the Friday evening for start of the Livery weekend, hosted by the Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire.

A full programme of events had been laid on for us and five coaches provided to take us to interesting venues around the city. On the Saturday we visited the following:-

Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet

Kelham Island Museum

Persistence Works (Yorkshire Art Space)

MetLase (Unipart/Rolls Royce JV)

AMRC-factory 2050 (University of Sheffield)

Dinner on Saturday evening was held at the sumptuous Cutlers Hall, where we were welcomed by the Master Cutler and the Lord Mayor, Vincent Keaveney, responded on behalf of the guests.The Livery Year Group inaugural meeting was held first thing on Sunday morning and it was eventually agreed that the name of our group would be “Platinum”.

The weekend concluded with a visit to nearby Wentworth Woodhouse House where we were given an excellent presentation by the CEO and then after lunch had a private tour of the amazing Grade 1 Listed house and grounds.

Finally, I understand that next year’s Masters weekend will be held in Edinburgh, as the Livery Committee wish to rotate these weekends between different venues around the country each year.

Cottage Homes Jubilee Tea Party

3rd June 2022

My wife Mary and I had the pleasure of attending the residents' Jubilee Tea Party. Dry but fairly cool weather led to the party being held in Corah Hall rather than outside in the beautiful grounds, but this did not affect everyone’s enthusiasm for celebrating the Queen’s platinum anniversary.

Upper warden Elizabeth Fox welcomed a mixture of residents and management committee members to the party and we all then tucked into beautifully prepared sandwiches, scotch eggs and a scrumptious selection of cream cakes. A glass of fizz was provided to everyone to close proceedings together with a rousing loyal toast to the Queen.

May 2022

367th Festival of Clergy Support Trust

24th May 2022

Past Master Liz Green and myself represented the company at St Paul’s Cathedral for a superb festival of prayers and music, which was provided by the three choirs of St Pauls, Southwark and Liverpool Cathedrals.

The Masters and Prime Wardens of each Livery Company processed in their gowns and jewels into the Cathedral in reverse order of preference, so I was stationed pretty well in the middle at number 64.

After the stunning service, a post festival dinner was held at The Merchant Taylors’ Hall where speeches and moving presentations about the history and current workings of the Clergy Support Trust were given to those present. A fairly late finish meant that I missed my intended train and instead caught the late stopper to Market Harborough, eventually reaching home at 1 a.m.

Court Meeting at the Ruddington Museum

21st May 2022

Due to the exceptional number of new Freemen applications we had received, it was decided to have a unique Court meeting in the wonderful surroundings of the newly refurbished Ruddington FWK Museum. Immediate  Past Master Julian Ellis pointed out that this was probably the first FWK Court meeting to be held in Nottinghamshire for over 200 years!

After calling the Court, out on the lawned garden, our Gallant Clerk read out the Declaration and Oath to the eight new Freemen in ancient form and they all said “I do”. I then presented each one with an envelope containing their Freedom certificate, details on how to proceed to become a Freeman of the City of London and our latest newsletter, before Shaun asked them to “sign the book”.

After the ceremony, we all returned to the museum for a very nice relaxed sandwich lunch with soft drinks laid out in the old chapel. Afterwards, our new Freemen and their guests were given a tour of the museum, which included a demonstration of knitting with the original wooden frames given by Matthew, the resident expert and tutor.

The whole event was a great success and it is clear that we should use the Ruddington venue again in the very near future.

Inter-Livery Golf - Prince Arthur Cup

19th May 2022

The Framework Knitters again entered a four person team in the Inter-Livery Golf competition at Walton Heath in Surrey. We were competing for the prestigious Prince Arthur Cup over 36 holes of foursomes against bogey, on the superb Old and New Courses against 36 other Livery Companies.

Our teams comprised of myself playing with Mike Piper and Past Master Liz Green playing with Adrian Keene. The course was softened by an overnight thunderstorm but was still set up as an extraordinarily difficult test of golf with the heather thicker than ever.

After the morning round on the more challenging Old Course, accompanied by members of the Carpenters and Brewers teams, we finished at a slightly disappointing -10 overall, but had our compensation in a wonderful three course lunch in the clubhouse afterwards.

We went out in a lovely warm and sunny afternoon on the New Course and improved our score slightly and finished at -8 making a total of -18 overall. We finished off with a nice afternoon tea on the terrace and watched the winners, the Leathersellers, come in at +2 and claim the cup. By finishing around half way overall we should have guaranteed that we will be invited back again next year for another crack at the trophy.

The Framework Knitters' team

Laying Up of the Guidon

13th May 2022

I represented the Company at the church service at All Saints’ Newtown Linford where the Guidon of our affiliate, the Leicestershire and Derbyshire Yeomanry was paraded for the final time. It was surrendered to the church in perpetuity and will be placed on display in its final resting place at a later date.

This was followed by an Act of Remembrance at the Frezenberg Memorial in Bradgate Park, which involved a 700 foot climb up a rocky path to arrive at the summit. A wreath was laid by Liveryman Colonel Bertie Boyle, after a short service conducted by the Rev. Richard Tretheway.

Afterwards, the congregation made its way down the hill and concluded with a buffet lunch at the Bradgate Arms in the village.

St Bartholomew’s Hospital

11th May 2022

Our Gallant Clerk, Shaun, and myself attended the View Day at St Bartholomew’s Hospital along with Masters and Clerks from many other Livery Companies. This is Britain’s oldest hospital and dates back to 1123 and so it will be celebrating its 900th anniversary next year.

The event started with Choral Evensong at the Priory Church of St Bartholomew the Greater, London’s oldest church. We then processed back to the Great Hall where there were several presentations to highlight the achievements of the last year and to learn more about the hospital’s amazing history and also its plans for next year’s celebrations.

April 2022

Mercers’ Hall Concert and Dinner

28th April 2022

My wife Mary and I were guests of the Mercers’ Company for dinner, preceded by 3 musicians from India performing unusual, but excellent, Punjabi music for the 50 Livery Company Masters, Wardens and Consorts present. After an excellent dinner, a slight dampener was put on the evening as our 10.35 train from St Pancras was cancelled due to the lack of a driver. A later train meant getting off at Kettering Station, and a bus to Market Harborough car park and home in the early hours of the following morning.

Brigantes Golf Day Royal Liverpool GC

27th April 2022

The annual Brigantes Golf Day was held this year at Hoylake, the venue of next year’s British Open. Around 40 golfers participated on a lovely mild and windless spring day, although this Championship course still offered a tough test of golf. Despite not playing well myself, our team of 4 managed to come out on top with 90 points, much to the delight, I am sure, of other attending Framework Knitter golfers, Past Master George Turner, Past Master Liz Green and Liverymen Adrian Keene and Mike Piper.

Watermen’s Hall Luncheon

26th April 2022

I attended the St George’s Day Luncheon held by the Company of Watermen and Lightermen of the River Thames, together with our Gallant Clerk. The venue, whilst fairly small, was beautifully apportioned, interesting and historic. The Master gave those present, which included Masters and Clerks from around 40 other Livery Companies, a brief history of the Company, informing us that they were formed by Act of Parliament and not Royal Charter, so they were not actually listed as a formal Livery Company, a unique situation.

Installation of new Freemen

23rd April 2022

This was a “first” for our company, in that 8 new applicants were installed as Freemen in front of a quorate Court, by Zoom. The Gallant Clerk, Shaun, administered the Charge to them in Ancient form and all agreed to accept the charges. I then welcomed them all as new Freemen of the company and informed them of the next stage at Guildhall in order for them to obtain their City of London Freedoms.

PM George Turner gave a brief history of the company and its current role in the textile and fashion industry whilst I gave them some background on our Almshouses in Oadby. Members of the Court present, gave a synopsis of their individual roles on Court & after a general question and answer session with our new Freemen the meeting closed.

Worshipful Company of Fuellers Installation Lunch

13th April 2022

My wife Mary, our Gallant Clerk Shaun and I attended the Fuellers Installation lunch at the Mansion House. Their Master, Carrie Marsh, referred in her post luncheon speech that she had knitted some squares for our Knit for the Community initiative, although she hadn’t handed them in to us yet. Former Lord Mayor Alderman Sir Andrew Palmley was the principle guest speaker and other senior guests were the Master of Shipwrights, Master Carmen and Master Security Professionals.

Social visit to the London Canal Museum

9th April 2022

Following my Installation Dinner on the previous evening, the official Company social visit to the London Canal Museum was fully subscribed, so I took a further party of my personal guests following on a quarter of an hour behind them. The museum building, a former Ice House, was situated next to the canal basin near Kings Cross station and housed artifacts of the canal world which everyone found extremely interesting. After having some left over coffee and biscuits by the official party, our slightly jaded party after the previous nights travails departed after having the ideal relaxed post dinner social visit.

Installation Dinner Apothecaries Hall

8th April 2022

After a year as Master-in-Waiting, I was finally installed as Master of the Company at the Court meeting held at Apothecaries Hall. My dinner followed in the evening, where I was joined by my wife Mary and two children, Sarah and Andrew. The picture below shows me with my Wardens, Elizabeth Fox and Matthew Ellis

The Master with tomorrow's breakfast

The welcome to our guests was given expertly by Assistant Simon Burrows and the main speaker for the evening was Past Master Baker David Bentley who gave an excellent and witty talk, which he terminated by presenting me with a loaf of bread, freshly baked in Yorkshire that day. In return, I gave him a copy of our Company history together with a pair of Livery knitted socks for himself and wife Jenny.

The other senior guests included Masters of the Apothecaries, Upholders, Glovers and Feltmakers companies. In addition, Andrew Marsden attended as a guest of PM Liz Green, he being candidate for Non-Aldermanic Sheriff. After my own, rather a nervous speech was over, a stirrup cup was enjoyed by all before everyone wended their way home.