The group, minus Peter Murray, and the Purves, met the extraordinary Polish Architect, Marta Urbanska in the cellar of Hotel Niebieski. She told tales of Polish history, including Bolislav the Bashful and St Kinga.....
The nominated selection Team of the Master, Paul Finch, Peter Murray, Richard Saxon, Matt Loosely and the Clerk visited seven projects completed in the last twelve months (and two which were completed in 2012) across the City, on a beautiful day. At the end, discussion was had over who the winner of our award should be and Paul Finch has kindly written up an Assessment for the Company. The Award will be announced and a presentation made at the Election Court dinner on the 22nd July 2014.
9 April WCCA Banqet at Stationers' Hall. 130 guests. Music by the Pavao String Quartet. Alderman Sir David Wootton was the principal guest. He left the Irish State Banquet at the Guildhall to be with us, and was played in to Ilkley Moor Ba Tat. He, the Master and the Master Plumber all have strong Yorkshire connections.... so a toast "from the North" was added to the procedings.
The rest of March 2014 - one art exhibition private view, one lecture, one meeting and one lunch.
The Livery Schools Link
The highlight of the month was the day that the Clerk and I spent at Apothecaries' Hall for the Livery Schools Link. Twenty-seven Livery Companies had stalls, and many were giving practical demonstrations of their craft to some 400 visiting students from City of London schools. The WCCA stall was provided by Jerry Tate Architects. Several of Jerry's staff manned the stall, including his business partner, Rory Harmer. Quite a shock for Rory and the Master, as Jaki was his tutor at Leeds Metropolitan University before Rory went on to the Bartlett.
The Master being shown how to upholster by the Upholders, before the students arrived
The Clerk and Jerry Tate
The end with spiral addition, courtesy the Goldsmiths' Co.
Evening of 13 March. Reserve Forces and Cadets Association for Greater London, Spring Meeting and Lord-Lieutenant's Awards Ceremony at Yeomanry House. Yeomanry House is a huge hanger-like drill hall with hard surfaces. There were hundreds of people - and drummers. A surreal experience because I couldn't hear because of the reverberation and couldn't see either.
On 12 March, the day after the Middle Temple visit, was the Security Professionals' Lecture at the RAF Club. The speaker was Martin Howard CB, GCHQ Director of Cyber Policy. The subject was "Cyber Security- Risk, Impact and Protection". The lecture was delivered under the Chatham House Rule.
13 March The Worshipful Company of Builders' Merchants City and awards Luncheon at the Cutlers' Hall. Found myself seated between the Master, John Poore and the Lord Mayor's Consort, Nicholas Woolf. The highlight was the speech delivered in rhyming couplets by the Lord Mayor and her Consort - no mean feat.
This a picture of the Cutlers' Hall, taken after the Lord Mayor had departed and before the stand-up comedian. His performance was a trifle ripe or even a ripe trifle.
March started with the City of London Guide Lecturer Association 11th Annual Derek Melluish Lecture at the Dutch Church in Austin Friars. It was given by the Rt Hon, the Lord Cope of Berkeley.He was a former Conservative MP and
Government Minister and now an energetic member of their House of Lords.
He talked about his political life and the number of positions he held
during his political career. Now in his 70's Lord Cope sits in the House
of Lords and offers his wide ranging experience to the members and in
debates. Very interesting. So was the building. It was designed by Arthur Bailey and completed in 1954 in a style that I would describe as "stripped classical"
Then there was the Modern Companies' Dinner at the Wax Chandlers' Hall. The Hall is not square - this has a strange effect on one's spacial perception. The City Remembrancer was the guest speaker. He described Livery events as "protocol, alchohol and cholesterol" I couldn't possibly comment.
The following day was the WCCA visit to the Middle Temple, pictures of which, taken by Geoffrey Purves are on the last blog. This was followed by a convivial supper at El Vino.
The guide was excellent and the sheltered environment in some of the court yard spaces allow lush and tender vegetation to flourish. The garden of the Master’s Lodge was particularly attractive. At the end of the tour a short but interesting discussion took place in the Minstrel’s Gallery of the Middle Temple Hall – the training of barristers is highly competitive but relatively short; the training of architects takes much longer. The guide struggled to find diplomatic responses to the relative differences, strengths and weaknesses between two great professions – the law and architecture!
In 1883 Captain Sir Eyre Massey Shaw, the first Chief Officer of the Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB), set about the introduction of a new uniform for the firemen of his brigade.
It included a new navy-blue double-breasted tunic with brass buttons and a MFB badge, together with leather fire-boots and an axe and pouch on a heavy leather belt. But the crowning glory was the new MFB brass fire helmet.
Captain Massey Shaw designed the helmet as a more compact version of the French 'pompier' type but without projections. It had a small front peak, large neck curtain and a comb top section. This was to help protect the wearer’s neck and ears from falling debris.
This style of helmet, much copied by British fire brigades, became the Victorian symbol of a firefighter, and was to last into the 1930’s when helmets began to be replaced by the lighter cork version. Additionally, the introduction of mains electricity into buildings made the wearing of a metal helmet somewhat dangerous on occasions!
Befitting his rank of Chief Fire Officer, Massey Shaw’s helmet was made of silver, a standard copied by many other British fire brigades, for their officers.
The silver helmet on show today, whilst its origins are unknown, is typical of the Victorian period. In 2003 it was presented to the then Master of the Worshipful Company of Firefighters, Colin Livett BEM, by Liveryman Ronald Bentley. It bears the insignia 'Master' together with the Livery Company number 103.
In memory of Ronald Bentley, now deceased, it is a very treasured possession of the Firefighters Company.
The WCCA Master was allowed to wear it for a photograph at the Firefighters' Dinner on 26 February. Not very flattering to either, really...…..
Can the fire wait until I've finished this fine dinner?