Annual Church Service and Reception 25 Sept:  Save the date
Click here for our rolling calendar or here for City events

Newsletter - Issue 87

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.

WCoMC News

Our latest City updates


New Freemen

Dannielle Haig 


Mike Hobday


Matt Lacey



Tom Rusga




Alexei Samarenko





New Liverymen

Paul Kelly



Sarah Jo Loveday




Links !

Sea Cadets Update



Lord Mayor Michael Mainelli




Next Gen 2.0



Nominations Committee update





Get to Know Geoff Berridge






International Women’s Day

Newsletter Editor:

Website Support:

Issue 87:  March 2024


Welcome to the cunningly timed Spring edition of the Newsletter.  There’s lots to cover here including the Members' Reception where we welcomed five new Freemen, (these are all recorded in the left-hand column here). Welcome to all of them and congratulations to Sarah Jo Loveday and Paul Kelly who were also clothed with the livery at the reception.  

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.

Also in the issue, Master’s Musings, the Mansion House banquet, plenty of action from the Wine Club, a Get To Know ... and even some art!  

Master's Musings

In the Christmas Newsletter I remarked that the six weeks since being installed had felt like six months. Now six months has nearly elapsed and it still feels just as busy. There's been a lot going on which I’ll try to recap here. 

The first thing to mention is how pleased and proud I was in early December to present Gordon Stoker with his Outstanding Service Medal, to go with the Certificate we had previously given him. Gordon sadly passed away within a month of this picture but he was thrilled to receive his Medal and I am so glad we were able to make it happen, even at his hospital bed. RIP Gordon, who remained an enthusiastic and interested Member of the Company to the very last.

I was also involved in interviewing the candidates for our new Chaplain and am very pleased to have Father James Titley recommended as our Chaplain. Other Company activity has included engaging on a Pro-Bono assignment (it was theatre-related, so how could I not?) and being part of one of the Strategy Working Groups, where I see great enthusiasm and some tremendous ideas for progress to be made. I also popped along to the Livery Schools Careers Showcase at Guildhall where Dr Simon Davey and the team were doing an excellent job in engaging the young people and explaining what Management Consulting is all about – often with the help of the Mace.

For Company events, we should mention the Christmas lunch at Ironmongers’ Hall, where a good time was had by all, as indicated in the images below.
January saw us returning to Ironmongers’ Hall for the Quaich Lunch, and at the end of the month we had the Charities Supper, previously reported separately here. In February, there was a very popular wine tasting event, sampling our Company’s cellar, at the Guildhall and this is reported in detail below. That was followed by Shrove Tuesday’s Pancake race. It is a tradition that Livery Company Masters take part in this annual event in Guildhall Yard, but sadly, the weather this year prevented any running and swinging of pans outdoors and all Masters had to “toss” indoors on the spot. I came a respectable second in my heat and many thanks to all those who turned out in support.

The Members' Reception – see below - has long been a popular and successful event in the Company calendar, so it is great to see this continuing.  It’s a great time to update the members on progress on Strategy and to pique the interest of those who are potential joiners about the way the Company is moving forward, not least as so many of those present have been working hard on the delivery. I’m working to garner some solid engagement from non-Court members for the strategy sub-groups ….  The feedback afterwards from our guests was overwhelmingly positive: everyone found the evening informative and entertaining.  My thanks to all those who were involved - it is so good when our Fellowship shows itself off at its best like this.

And finally, coming right up to date, there was the Celebration Banquet at the Mansion House on 26 March. It would be fair to say that planning and organising this event has been a major preoccupation for me over the last few months and I was mightily relieved that it went off so well. In fact I'm very proud of the way that we were able to collaborate with the Worshipful Company of Security Professionals and the Security Institute. We were celebrating 20 years since our Royal Charter. They were both celebrating 25 years.  This was a fantastic example of collaboration between Livery Companies and third parties and surely points the way to future events. Thanks are due to the Clerks of both Companies and to all those who contributed to ensure that the evening went off without a hitch. It was, I believe, a great success and was enjoyed by all.  Read more below.

On the Livery front I’ve been busy too, but our Editor tells me this Newsletter is getting too long so I will save those for another time. I will just mention my engagement to support various of the Lord Mayor’s initiatives that are underpinned by education and research, which are helping in raising the profile of our Company amongst the other Masters and within the Civic City, supporting one of the elements of our Strategy work.

Here’s to the next six months……..

Members' Reception

There was a very strong turnout for the Reception held on 13th March. We had 55 registrations (>20% up on last year) - and of these one-third were candidates, prospective candidates or their guests. After the admissions ceremony at which five new Freemen were admitted and two new Liverymen clothed - see the left hand column - there was a brief information sharing session hosted by Malcolm Green - Chair of the Membership Committee. Speakers included Jo Mann, Sarah Jo Loveday, Cosette Reczek,  James Markham and Steve Mayhew all spoke about their experiences with the Company.  Other speakers included the Master, PM Patrick Chapman and Forth Warden Jim Foster. The speeches were all very positive, and our thanks go to these speakers. The networking afterwards allowed all of us to engage well, over glasses of more “Chateau McHugh”. 

Mansion House Banquet - Celebrating our Royal Charter 

Your editor reports:   26 March saw our Mansion House Banquet, in honour of the Lord Mayor, Alderman Professor Michael Mainelli, an Honorary Liveryman of our Company and the Security Professionals. We were delighted that the Lord Mayor, the Lady Mayoress and Sheriff Dame Susan Langley and her consort were all in attendance.

There are just a couple of photos from the event here – quite deliberately – but there will plenty, taken by Mark Fox, available on the Company Website in due course. Shown below, all the dignatories present (top) and a dozen Past Masters (bottom). 

I will not repeat what the Master has said but it was a very impressive occasion indeed.  Over 270 attendees were welcomed to the Mansion House with an honour guard of Sea Cadets (a different branch to those discussed below) and we were entertained during the evening by the London Banqueting Ensemble who sounded great. At one point, they played a very stirring “trumpet voluntary”. Then we had two trumpeters in the balcony basically “trading licks”. Think duelling trumpets. It was hugely impressive and very entertaining.

The evening was opened by our Master Kanan who did all the welcomes and, it must be said, looked great in her Indian themed evening ware. Everyone was dressed to the nines and there were some fabulous dresses on show.  Our guest of honour was, of course, the Lord Mayor Alderman Michael Mainelli, and his address was, as you would expect, both entertaining and erudite, although he did poke fun at Management Consultants a couple of times.  The food was great and the company super.  The loving cup involved chocolate - a lasting legacy of Covid I think! The evening was rounded off by The Master Security Professional who did all the thanking. The after dinner speaker was Air Vice Marshall Mick Smeath CBE, who gave a brief rundown of his career in the military with the overarching theme of “collaboration and trust”.

This was indeed a great example of collaboration, as the Master has said, and I left the Mansion House with a Beatles lyric in my head. “A splendid time (was) guaranteed for all.”

See Cadets at Feltham

IPM Chris Sutton Reports:  "David Glassman and I had a productive visit to the Sea Cadets training evening in Feltham in early March, which resulted in a range of mutual agreements to increase our level of interaction with the cadets and the adult staff. It was good to see that the Feltham cadets have grown in numbers since our first visit last year. David handed out some awards on the night.

The Company’s relationship with the Sea Cadets goes back a long way and involves valued and very much continuing London Area activities such as the Lord Mayor's Show, Carol Service, Trafalgar Day, London Awards Ceremony and the provision of carpet guards at some of our dinners. Increasingly we will also be engaging with the Feltham unit where WCoMC is their sole livery affiliation, and we will be able to see at first-hand how our engagement and support is part of the process of transforming young lives in one of London’s relatively disadvantaged areas and building the Sea Cadets as a positive presence in the local community.
The first picture shows David with some of the adult uniformed team and trustees.

Two weeks later Lisa Preuveneers and I were back at the Feltham drill hall for its official reopening following redevelopment, in the presence of the Mayor of Hounslow Afzaal Kiani, Councillor Farah Kamran, President of Staines Rugby Club Russell Cook, Commander James Nisbet of London Area of the Sea Cadets, hosted by the wonderful trustees and uniformed volunteers. We hope that Members of the Company will have an opportunity to visit the Feltham Sea Cadets three times a year in their training centre and perhaps once a year joining in their on-the-water training activities.

Wine Tasting at Guildhall

"Thrilling secrets of the Company cellar revealed" 
65 Members, their guests and other City dignitaries spent an engaging evening on 7th February quaffing wine from the Company Cellar in the Guildhall Members' dining room.

PM Patrick McHugh (pictured top right below) the Chair of the Wine Committee who organised the event said, "From quite early in its history, the Company has sought to always serve value for money wines at its events. We have built up an enviable reputation – among the City, Members and guests alike – for serving interesting and good quality wine at our events, which has matched the selected menus well. When you attend Company events you will have no doubt enjoyed the wine but did you know that it had been carefully selected from our secret Cellar? The Tasting the Company Cellar event was a showcase for 7 of the 42 different wines held in our Company Cellar. This evening’s tasting was only the second time that the Cellar has been opened to allow Members to explore the Company’s great asset. 

Since 2011 the Company as part of its fellowship activities has been building up its wine cellar to support its objective of being known for the quality of its wine. Today the Cellar holds 1402 bottles of wine worth £20,271 at cost. Our Company is unique amongst the modern Livery in that just like the older Companies we have created our own Wine Cellar.

Seven Members of the Wine Committee hosted the seven tables of seven wines and remarkably each of those hosting a table had visited the winery where the wine was made on a Wine Club trip. Their knowledge greatly enhanced the evening. Each wine was carefully matched with a different canapé - as food and wine together enhance the enjoyment of them both. 
The Master drew raffle prizes for three bottles of Vecchio Samperi which were won by delighted PM Calvert Markham, PM David Peregrine-Jones and Gia Campari. The Clerk and Assistant Clerk ran a silent auction for 7 bottles of Vecchio Samperi which were all successfully sold above their reserve price. The event donated £350 to the Company’s City Harvest appeal. Everyone enjoyed this less formal evening with no speeches but lots of fellowship. There were many requests to repeat it next year."

More Wine Tasting !

It’s been a busy period for the Wine Club and another tasting took place on 20th March as  Third Warden Collette Stone reports:
“56 West Smithfield, a wine bar between St Barts Hospital and the old Smithfield Market in the City, was the venue for the Company Wine Club’s first foray into wine tasting under the Chairmanship of John Blackburn. John and Patrick McHugh, found this ideal place for the event. We had the first floor to ourselves, with comfy seating, and a very knowledgeable host:  Catherine pictured below.  

All the wines were from Provence, and indeed from a single Chateau. We were welcomed with a sparkling wine, before two white and four red wines.  These were accompanied by a selection of cheeses and charcuterie. At the end attendees were able to choose a full glass of their preferred wine. Those at the gathering were a 16 strong mix of Wine Club Members, friends and family, and one potential new Member - making for great conversations and lots of laughter.  Great fellowship in the conversations all evening. Views were also gathered on what wines, if any, the Wine Committee might buy for the Company’s cellar.

Unfortunately John Blackburn was unable to attend himself on the night, but, on hearing how well the event went, he wants to remind Wine Club Members to look out for the next wine tasting event - the wines of Rioja. It will be great to see the whole Wine Club ready to tackle the next flight of wines ahead of the Club’s upcoming pilgrimage to northern Spain in September ‘24.”

CMCE – Next Gen 2.0: Risky Business

CMCE are pleased to announce their latest series of interactive workshops: “Next Gen 2.0: Risky Business”. These online workshops with leading academics and practitioners will explore the fundamentals of behavioural economics, how they can be used reflectively to change how we think about business today and what they mean for how we engage with the future of technology. The workshops will be held jointly with Dr Edmond Smith, Senior Lecturer in Economic Cultures at the University of Manchester.  

Workshop One: “How Do You Make Decisions?” will take place on 11 April 2024, at 4.00 pm, Online. Much of life and business comes down to making choices. But how do you make decisions? We might like to think that we carefully collect and assess information, consider the outcomes dispassionately and reach a rational decision: but how often can that really be the case? Who hasn’t found themselves making a snap judgement based on first impressions, on gut feeling, or half-heard rumours coming down the grapevine? Rather than suggesting that this is a mistake, this session will simply accept that this is how we all reach decisions and aim to draw out the influences that shape us.

You can book, and find out about other workshops in the series here.   Even though each workshop is part of a series and CMCE would encourage participants to join all sessions, each session is designed to be self-standing and will provide useful take-aways. 

Get To Know Geoff Berridge

Liveryman Geoff Berridge is a  businessman, leader and manager with forty years commercial and public sector experience, managing his own businesses and serving as a director on the boards of public and voluntary sector organisations. He was employed by IBM in several senior roles many of which were about creating new ventures. He set up IBM UK’s Financial Services business, established IBM’s Business School, providing education and training from induction to an MBA programme and the formation of the Consultancy Practice and its offspring the Education Consultancy Business.

He was a non-executive director in the NHS. He was chair of the Community Services business in a Primary Care Trust and oversaw the merger of this unit with others into an Integrated Care Organisation. Geoff is a director of two companies working in the education, health, energy and information communication technology sectors. These businesses are involved with technology innovation, the development of software offerings, bringing them to market via business partnerships: business development and the provision of services for clients.

He coaches senior executives faced with concerns about strategy, business development and organisational change. Geoff chairs the boards of two London charities and is a trustee and treasurer of the Coram Foundation, the children’s charity. He advises several other charities regarding governance, strategies, finance and leadership. 

Geoff worked with PM Steve Cant on a review of our Charitable Fund in 2020/21 and has been working to implement the "Transforming Young Lives" strategy. Geoff has also recently taken over as Treasurer of the Fund. He was elected to the Court of Assistants in 2023 and is currently active on the work to implement the Company's long term strategy.  Geoff is a member of the Pro Bono Committee, advising charity clients and he's working with Forth Warden Jim Foster, setting up Pro Bono workshops and seminars for Company Members.

Nominations Committee - Update

It’s that time of year when a brief reminder of what the “Nominations Committee” does would be appropriate.   The current members of the Nominations Committee are as follows: 
PM Denise Fellows Easteal - Chair, PM Edward Sankey, IPM Chris Sutton, PM Steve Cant, PM John Pulford, PM David Johnson, Julie Fox - Clerk, Master Kanan Barot, First Warden Andy Miles and, by invitation Malcolm Green - Chair of the Membership Committee.

 The Committee’s major activities are:
a)    Leadership progression and development - A major part of the Committee’s work has been to identify potential candidates for progression to Court Assistant and beyond, and to ensure that those identified understand what leadership positions involve and the Company’s election process. In support of this activity the potential candidates are contacted individually by a member of the Nominations Committee. In identifying potential candidates the Committee seeks the views of the Chairs of other major Committees.  The Committee does not engage in “succession planning” and does not “nominate people for roles”.  These things are simply impractical in a volunteer led organisation. It does however encourage people to step forward and to apply to become members of the Court of Assistants and then Wardens, thereby ensuring a good supply of candidates for future leadership roles.  It does not seek to avoid elections when that supply of willing volunteers exceeds demand.  
b)    Assisting with filling specific positions within the Company:  When vacancies arise for specific positions within the Company, the Committee is sometimes asked to assist with filling them. 
c)    Awards and Honorary Membership - The Committee regularly considers candidates for Awards and Honorary Membership. An example is the Outstanding Service Medal which is only awarded occasionally for conspicuously good service. It has been awarded only infrequently but was most recently awarded to Gordon Stoker, just before he passed away in December 2023. 

For further information about the Nominations Committee feel free to contact any of the members referred to above.

Future Events

A few reminders of events in the calendar after Easter.  All will be, available to book here

  • 20th Anniversary Celebrations – 4th May. Details to follow.
  • Education Supper - 19th Jun 2024 from  6:30pm Details to follow.

And Finally ......

On 7 March 2024, and the subsequent weekend, Liveryman Misha Hebel participated in the International Women’s Day (IWD) art exhibition organised by the World Traders Livery and Goodenough College. The theme of the exhibition was Womens’ Invisibilty and an invitation went out Livery wide for contributions. Her painting "Green Nude" - below -  was one of a series that aimed to convey how women are still seen as one dimensional (invisible in some ways) such as sex object or carer.

Misha explains:  "A monochrome palette was used to reflect this single dimension. The head is not included to represent a woman’s intellect as unseen. The torso is the focus to indicate the exclusion of other aspects of a woman, leaving other parts invisible. The figure is nude to suggest both porn and openness. Nudity can be liberating but also misconstrued. The pose, whilst modest, also conveys strength. So, both visible and invisible. On reflection of course all human beings can struggle with this at some part or all of their lives. To see more on the exhibition please visit fellow artist Gail Reid's blog."

Many thanks to all those who contributed content for this Newsletter, especially prof Mark Fox for most of the pictures, and to you, dear reader, for getting this far. Have a great Easter. 

Steve Cant


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).