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City Blog


Welcome to our Civic City Blog

Being a Modern Livery Company, we are continually building our role and involvement within the Livery and Civic City as each year passes. The Master regularly represents WCoMC, but many of our members are also involved through their work in the Civic City, such as the City Values Forum or the Financial Services Group. Being Master of a Modern Livery Company is not all it may seem at first glance and taking over the reins can be quite challenging. Some Masters have used this blog to report on how they mixed their Civic City responsibilities with some other activities (such as abseiling down City buildings) that certainly would not appear in the Master's job description (if there were one). Others have not made many entries - it is quite a personal thing.

Now it is time for a wider group to join the conversation! So our revised aim of this blog is to capture as much of our Company involvement as we can and not just that of our Master. Updates will therefore be sporadic!

Please read on ...


A Company First: The Pancake Race – The Whole Story!

Pancake Day in Guildhall Yard showed the Livery comprises people with a good sense of fun! The many Companies that entered brought along supporters and the Yard was loud with cheering!

A Happy Customer

At the end of the Tacitus Lecture in Guildhall (an official invitation and the reason I wasn’t at our own Education Seminar!) I was approached by someone who had heard I was in WCoMC. She introduced herself. Some years ago she had been a WCoMC pro bono client. She asked after PM Allan Duguid who had been her mentor.

It was a pleasure to hear her tell me how valuable Allan’s advice had been. She asked to be remembered to Allan, and hoped to be in touch with him again.

Evenings Out – Brain Engaged!

One of the more unexpected parts of representing the Company is the invitations to other Companies’ Lectures.

These are invariably interesting. I reported on the Marketors’ Lecture in my blog of 26/11/13, when the CEO of Saatchi and Saatchi worldwide talked about the VUCA and now Super VUCA worlds we live in. (Vibrant, Unreal (idea driven), Crazy, Astounding of course!)

500 Years a Livery Company

The Company of Watermen and Lightermen are celebrating their Quincentennial! This is half a Millennium. Now that is organisational longevity!

Getting Good at Doing Good!

Our Company has a tradition of promoting ever more professionalism in the charity sector.

Our Charitable Fund sponsors the Charity Talks at the Cass Business School. The next talk, on Wednesday 29 January, is on “Managing and Motivating Staff in Your Team”, and includes the CEO of Leeds MENCAP. Hard enough anywhere, but Charity CEOs have a doubly hard job because the conventional motivations – advancement and remuneration – are not really available.  If you want to go along, contact Matthew Guest at or on 020 7040 0901 !

Watching My Language!

I greatly enjoyed Lucy Kellaway’s weekly column in the FT on 6 January. Lucy was giving her annual awards for the worst use of English in management communications. Lucy wades in to the turning of nouns into verbs, eg “to solution”! Chief Obfuscation Champion award goes to the CEO who wrote “As brands build out a world footprint, they look for the no-holds-barred global POV that’s always been part of our wheelhouse”!

Happy New Year!

Delightfully, it seems to have been a long holiday season this time! I hope you all enjoyed it!

We plan a busy year for the Company, so keep an eye out for the announcements. I also hope you will think who among your friends and colleagues might be interested in our various activities and opportunities, and introduce them to the Company! They will have a warm welcome!

With all your hopes and plans for 2014, and on behalf of myself and the Wardens, I wish you all success and an excellent 2014!



A Busy Year End!

Signing Christmas Cards to all in the Company gave me much pleasure. So many memories with so many friends came back to me. It underlined how our Company is a social organisation – the goodwill and fellowship lies at its heart.

I would like especially to thank Jackie Johnson in the Office for her hard work at a busy time in preparing the materials for despatch. 

On the Runway towards Christmas!

Does Christmas really start earlier each year? Our Company is usually the first off the mark, although comedian Jeremy Hardy said the other day that Christmas always started early when he was a kid – his mother put the sprouts on in September!

Christmas Party of the Professional Network

Thanks to our on-the-ball Professional Network organisers PM Ian Daniell, Fourth Warden Gia Campari and Assistant David Johnson our Company get going in late November. So it was that we gathered in the Cheshire Cheese last Thursday for our Thanksgiving Christmas party!

A First for the Company?

Twenty or so of us went to the St Cecilia Festival in Westminster Abbey. An awesome occasion with glorious music in a fabulous setting! The choirs of the Abbey and St Paul’s and Westminster Cathedrals all took part. The Festival is a service to celebrate music for the Musicians Benevolent Fund.

Many members, with partners and friends, joined the party. I’m sure more would have come if we’d been able to give more advance notice. After the service we went off to one of my secret restaurants for a lunch of great sociability! Not secret any more!


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