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NL Dec 2023

 

WCoMC is a collegiate forward looking Modern City Livery Company; we maintain City traditions, share expertise and information between fellow members and give back to the community through our pro bono activities.

Christmas News

The Annual Report for 2022-23 is now available on the website. Just click here or on the cover picture below.

"My compliments on an excellent Report"- PM Sir Geoge Cox

 

 

Master  Kanan Barot

 

1W Andy Miles

 

 

2W Malcolm McCaig

 

3W Collette Stone

 

 

4W Jim Foster

 

 

IPM Chris Sutton

 

 

 

Guest Speaker - Nik Miller
 

 

 

 

New Liverymen

Andrew Marsden

 

 

Ranil Perera

 

 

Leon Macpherson

 

 

 

 

 

New Freemen

Olga Croft  

 

Sarah Jo Loveday

 
Lin Wong
 
 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 
Newsletter Editor:
news@wcomc.org

Website Support:
webadmin@wcomc.org

Issue 86:  1 Dec 2023

Masked Santa makes his last appearance here - we hope.

 

Welcome to the Christmas '23 edition of the Newsletter. There’s been a lot going on of late, including three new admissions and three new Liverymen, and these are all recorded in the left-hand column. Welcome to all the new Members and congratulations to those recently clothed with the Livery.    

With so many new Members,  this is probably a good spot to remind everyone about our LinkedIn page, where we regularly post updates about events and activities.  Check it out …. and, if you are new, please do sign up to follow us here

Congratulations and thanks to IPM Chris Sutton for steering the creation of the Annual Report this year.

Master's Musings

As I mentioned at the Installation Dinner, my journey to the Livery started with Alison Gowman and a hole in the ground in Dowgate Hill. The former came along to talk to the staff at LIFFE, where I was then working, about the workings of the City, and the role of the Aldermen and the CoLC. Hearing a request for anyone interested in getting involved in City matters to sign up, I thought I’d do just that and find the relevant people to fix the hole in the street outside the office – having always had the “get sh*t done” mentality. An admin error, however, resulted in my joining the Wards Club rather than a CoLC committee, but that then lead to an introduction to the WCoMC, with the outcome that I am now Master and writing this.

It is this sort of happy accident that has occasioned many of the turns I have taken in my life but I wonder how many people who could also add value to the City, to the Livery movement, and to our Company have not had the same opportunities to guide them to new challenges. There are many very talented individuals who, through lack of awareness or even understanding that they would be capable, do not engage beyond their immediate orbit.  Thus my theme for the year of social inclusion, and sharing the privilege. If we can even simply signpost the doors that lead in, those who are interested and able will find their way through, and all of us will be enriched.

I hope many of our members will help and support in this by speaking widely of the Company and the excellent fellowship to be enjoyed, the enormous benefit we provide through our philanthropy, and the ongoing opportunity for education and skills development. Together we can grow the Company, and through encouraging a wider pool of prospective members, look to grow our diversity of thought and experience, resulting in greater opportunities to add value back in all we do. 

Having been in office for not quite six weeks as I write this, I am amazed that it hasn’t been six months. The autumn is traditionally a very busy period for the Livery and I have certainly been rather swept off my feet – attending a huge variety of events and meeting a plethora of amazing people.  Of  note were the Lord Mayor's Show and the New Master's Reception which you can read more about below. It is clear that being Master is going to be a mix of responsibility and fun, of appreciating tradition and raising awareness, of dignified formality and social engagement, and I cannot do any of it well without the Clerk’s Office, the Events Team, and the Court and Members of our Company.  I will keep Members posted about the many and varied ways that I expect to represent our Company, both here and via our LinkedIn page. 

I thank you all for the support and look forward to working together with the same harmony over the coming months.

Installation

The Installation Dinner was – eventually – a great event, once we finished the “let’s pick a date and hope there’s no strike” game.

Held at the lovely hall of the Painter Stainers’ Company, the evening started a little differently with a champagne reception for members and guests to do some early networking, then followed by the Installation Ceremony that ushered in the new team of Master and Wardens. The highlights of this part of the evening were in the outgoing Master offering as his parting gift something specially aimed at the incoming one – a new, and much shorter, Master’s robe to allow the Master to run in the pancake race without wearing the high heels necessitated by the length of the current one! – and with the new Master thanking the IPM for handing over accounts where the credits exactly matched the debits.

The Company then retired to the beautiful upstairs room for dinner, wines and speeches. Master Kanan welcomed everyone and Nik Miller, the guest speaker, said some pithy words about management consultants adding value. Newly-installed 1W Andy Miles gave some amusing insights into the guests (including the Master of the Worshipful Company of Security Professionals, our partner for March’s Mansion House banquet) and the Master closed with toasts and thank yous, with all of the speeches being short enough not to get in the way of the enjoyment of the wonderful food and Company wines. A Loving Cup ceremony with liqueur chocolates from the Master concluded this part of the evening, with a move back downstairs for a Stirrup Cup of wine and whisky and some final networking.

A most convivial evening, as can be seen from the photos, at which we welcomed long-standing, recent and prospective members and guests, and with the only downside being in missing those who were unable to attend.

Church Service and Reception

In September the Company held its Annual Church Service at St James Garlickhythe, having processed along Cannon Street from its Election Court Meeting earlier in the day following the Company Gonfalon. During the Service PM Bob Garratt gave a moving and heartfelt tribute to his wife, and long-term Member, Sally, who died in February.

After the service Members and guests returned to Dyers’ Hall to enjoy a reception with canapés and wine from the Company cellar - a rare opportunity to visit one of the smaller, ancient livery halls. It was a great occasion as Sheriff Andrew Marsden was admitted and then clothed with the Livery of the Company, Ranil Perera was clothed with the Livery, and the newly elected officers congratulated and those standing down from Court thanked for all their service.

Sheep Drive

3W Collette Stone reports: "On the morning of Sunday 24 September the Company’s shepherds and guests gathered on Southwark Bridge along with hundreds of others from the Livery world to enact their right as a Freeman of the City to bring sheep to market over the Thames, toll free.

In medieval times, sheep farmers drove their sheep across London Bridge into the City of London to sell them at market. Freemen of the City were excused the bridge toll that had to be paid by other people crossing the bridge, in recognition of their status as local traders. The tradition probably died out a hundred years ago as the use of motor vehicles using the bridge increased, but in 2013 The Worshipful Company of Woolmen revived the Drive as a fundraiser in aid of The Woolmen Charity and The Lord Mayor’s Appeal. Various Livery Companies put out stalls on Queen Street to attract early Christmas shoppers. One of this year’s shepherds was advised that the sheep tend to go slowly when they are herded away from the hay pen situated at the end of the bridge, and pick up speed at the turn around, when lunch was in view again. The same can be said of the shepherds…"

The Lord Mayor's Show 

Saturday, 11th November saw a contingent of about a dozen Members and their guests joining the Lord Mayor's parade. Our group was led by Master Kanan Barot, who was joined by several Wardens and Members of the Court. We all enjoyed some very fine weather and Saint Paul's Cathedral looked fabulous in the autumn sunlight. Simon Engwell carried the Mace with aplomb and engaged actively with the youngsters in the crowd. Tom Pulford, son of PM John Pulford, carried our Gonfalon for the second year, ensuring that the crowds knew exactly who we were.

Umbrellas were twirled at Professor Michael Mainelli, who is now the 695th Lord Mayor of the City of London, and, it should be noted, a Member of our Company.

A good time was had by all, and we adjourned for a light lunch halfway through. Our thanks go to the Sea Cadets for allowing us to parade with them - a tradition that we hope continues for many years.

New Master's Reception

There was a very strong turnout for the New Master’s Reception held on 22nd November. Unusually, this was held at the WCIT Hall at the Barbican: a cosy and convivial venue. The evening kicked off with an Admission Ceremony when three new Freemen (Ed: surely we should be able to say ‘Freewomen’?) were admitted, together with one clothing ceremony. Congratulations to them all. Names and photos are in the left-hand column of this Newsletter.  New Court Assistants  Cosette Reczek and Steve Mayhew were sworn in and received their badges. (Ed: New Court Assitant Geoff Berridge was sworn in earlier at the Installation cermony - see picture above).

During the formal part of the proceedings, we heard from Master Kanan about her aims for the year ahead and her theme of inclusivity. We also heard from 3W Collect Stone about the developing Company strategy (more on that later) and from several speakers* about opportunities to get involved in our various activities.  (* PM Patrick Chapman, the Chair of the Pono Pro Bono Committee, 2W Malcolm McCaig Chair of the Education Committee, Nick Bush and 4W Jim Foster – Present and future Directors of the CMCE). 

Afterwards we enjoyed a glass (or three) of wine from the Company cellar.  The buffet supper was catered by our Clerk by way of M&S. Thank you Julie.  All in all, it was a very successful event and feedback afterwards seems to indicate that everybody enjoyed it.

Wine Trip to Margaret River

During October a group of Members from the Company’s Wine Club and partners enjoyed a five-day wine tasting tour of the Margaret River region in Western Australia.  The nine who made up the touring party were: Patrick and Ann Chapman, William and Maureen Barnard, Colette and Les Stone, Steve and Cathy Cant and John Blackburn.

Cathy Cant reports: "We travelled in a minibus with a dedicated driver and visited some fabulous wineries (ten in all - or was it eleven?) and met some fascinating winemakers. We learned something at every venue: about the terroir (who knew that there are “hot spots” within an individual plot of vines?), the development of wine growing in the Margaret River area (it’s a very well-defined yet small area whose history only goes back to 1967) and, obviously, about wine making. We enjoyed some interesting comparative tasting (e.g. same wine, different vintage – remarkable how they can differ) and overall it was a delight for the tastebuds and a thoroughly enjoyable example of Company Fellowship.  We tasted some “entry level” whites that were, frankly a little challenging, and some top end wines that were too good to simply taste – you just had to drink them!

In the end we tasted over 80 different wines. We visited some very prestigious cellar doors, set in majestic gardens and presented very professionally. We also visited wineries that were somewhat more basic. At our last visit, to Moss Wood, we tasted whites in the shed where the fermentation happened and reds in their museum cellar. Here we even sampled wines direct from the barrel using a “wine thief” - pictured.  (Moss Wood was the winery that kicked off our whole interest in Margaret River during the dark days of the Covid Lockdowns and Virtual Wine Tastings.)


We enjoyed one team lunch at one winery – Swings and Roundabouts – and a very posh group celebratory dinner (fabulous food, tiny portions!) at Cape Lodge.   The weather was variable: windy and cool on some days, sunny and warm on others.  In part the changeable weather explains why Margaret River can produce such fabulous wines.

By the end of day five, decisions had been made, negotiations concluded, and orders placed for wine. For the oenophiles among our readership details of the wines bought will be notified to Wine Club Members first.  Company Members will have the opportunity to savour the wines at events over the coming years. 

Congratulations and hearty thanks to those that planned, organised, and executed the trip, which turned out so well, namely PM William Barnard, PM Patrick Chapman and (back home in the UK) PM Patrick McHugh.  We have all created some great shared memories, and I’m sure we’ll be talking about this trip for many years to come.

At the end of the trip,  the group said their goodbyes in Perth and all moved on to other adventures, travelling to places such as Freemantle, Sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne in Australia, and then beyond."

Future Events

A few reminders of events in the calendar around Christmas and the New Year.  All are, or will be, available to book here: 

  • There are plenty of spaces left for our Company Christmas lunch - 11th December – at Ironmongers’ Hall
  • The Charities Supper – 30th January 2024 – at Cutlers' Hall
  • Taste the Company Wine Cellar – 7th February 2024 – at The Guildhall.

(Ed:  I look forward to seeing you at any or all of these events.)

And Finally ....

PM Bob Garratt reports that, having got home after the Church Service, he was amazed to find a message from a friend in Boston, Mass.  who had followed our Church service live!  Bob did not know that St James' broadcasts live (and stores the results).  Many WCoMC Members may be similarly unaware.   (Ed:  There’s a YouTube channel – so now you know!).   

Thanks to all the many contributors of content for this Newsletter and to you, dear reader, for getting this far. Have a great Christmas. 
 

Steve Cant

Editor

This newsletter is produced by the WCoMC Communications Group. Please let us know if you have any items to include in relation to any topics that come to mind! The opinions expressed in this newsletter represent those of the contributors and not necessarily those of the Company.
​WCoMC is a Chartered Charitable Organisation (Privy Council Reference C877) and a Company Incorporated by Royal Charter (Company No. RC000819).