Monday, 24 December 2007

Temple Bar memorial plaque

to our occasional readers
and a successful year A. D. 2008!

Thursday, 13 December 2007

What do Livery Companies do...?

Dear All – from time to time the Fellowship of Clerks (AKA the Clerks’ Mafia) get together a collection of data about the roles of Livery Companies. This is produced in the form of a folded leaflet finishing up 120 x 70mm. I will be getting 150 copies of this leaflet in the new year and will be happy to make copies available to those wanting one. I usually have copies about my person to give those who wish to know what Livery Companies do..

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

RSS readers to notify you of new posts on the WCCA blog

How can I know when the Clerk has added a post to the WCCA web-log (= the 'blog'), without having to open up the site every time in a web browser program (eg Internet Explorer)?

As the number and diversity of web-logs has increased, it has become important to be notified when a new 'post' - a new contribution - has been made to a blog. It is rather the same with e-mail programs, which usually have a facility to inform you when a message has arrived by informing you that "you have mail". Once the particular e-mail has been read, the message disappears.

With blogs, this is best done using the RSS system. This service notices when additions or changes have been made to a blog or other internet site and automatically informs a central data base somewhere out there in the electronic ether. A RSS reader (a program one installs on one's own machine) interrogates this database automatically every few minutes, and if a change in the specified site or blog has occurred, places a notice on the individual's' computer screen. Any number of blogs and sites can be interrogated in this way, once they are registered.

The WCCA site is connected to the RSS feed system.

  • So what do I do?

Firstly you can include sites as well as e-mail addresses in you mail program.  This way you will be notified of a new post as if it were a new e-mail.  This works well with Apple Mail for example.

Or down-load a free RSS feeder program, and install it on your particular machine. Here are sites that offer these programs, the first for PC:

and the second and third for Mac OSX:

Monday, 26 November 2007

To new visitors to this blog....

One can...:

1) Make a comment on any particular 'post' by clicking on the 'Comments' button at the foot.  Your comment will be moderated - that is: checked out by the WCCA web-master to see that it's inclusion on the blog page will not be detrimental in some way -  and then it will appear at the foot of the relevant post in reverse chronological order with any other comment made.  If several people make comments, this process can develop into a sort of on-line conversation or debate.

2) One can.... send the Clerk of the Company an e-mail directly by clicking on his 'e-mail the Clerk' button at the foot of the first page.

3) The first page shows the last 12 blog-posts made in reverse chronological order.  You can peruse other older posts by clicking on the 'older posts' button at the foot of the page.  Each successive click will bring up the former 12 posts.

4) One can.... navigate through all the posts by using the 'Blog Archive' or 'Topics' buttons located a bit down on the right hand panel.  By date or subject. As more posts are made these labels will expand to include new areas of interest or organisation.

5) One can.... go to the new WCCA 'Virtual Red Book' by clicking on the  image of the real 'Paper Red Book' on the right- hand panel.  This part gives  a lot more data about the company, its origins and its current membership lists. We also have added direct links to the Travel Award pages and other current subjects of interest.

6) Clicking on any of the images opens them 'full-size' in a separate window, from which they can easily be downloaded.

7) Two tips: Firstly, click on the particular post title to make or read a comment - this action will display that particular post on a single page with its 'comments' window at the foot, and secondly use the 'Direct Connections' buttons for other parts of the website, or click on the red Temple Bar logo to return to the WCCA blog page.

8) One can....send any post to a friend's e-mail address by clicking on the envelope symbol at the end of that particular post.

The point of the blog is to keep our organisation in up-to-date contact with the public and our membership, and involve people as much as possible.  It needs YOUR participation.  If you have suggestions for posts yourself, send your ideas to the clerk or web-master by e-mail and one or the other will respond.  There are buttons to do this on the first 'splash page'; the one with the big photograph of the latest award winning project.

Sunday, 25 November 2007

Lord Mayor's Show 2007

The Lord Mayor's Show 2007

For those wondering if the Company's participation in the Lord Mayor's Show was a figment of the Clerk's imagination - something to fill up the odd corners of the newsletter - look no further. Here is proof.

Proudly declaring themselves to be Chartered Architects are the Master, the Upper Warden (who seems to have drawn the short straw pole carrying-wise), the Master of Students and the Almoner. In case you were wondering about the aged bus and the even more aged steam roller called Joan, these are simply props to add gravitas and cohesion to an otherwise disparate group of Livery Companies who combined to make up the Modern Companies entry in the Show.

Maybe there should be a modest prize for the best caption for the photograph. I personally wonder how or why the steamroller managed to miss the opportunity of flattening the last surviving building from the previous Paternoster development.

Thursday, 22 November 2007


This rather silly illustration of a sword was the only one I could lay hands on quickly to illustrate the letter which I received this morning. I post this so that you all may realize that curious things do pass across the Clerk's desk from time to time.

Who knows, one of you may just have and answer to the nice man's request - a venue for a school of swordsmanship, a burning desire to join his organization or perhaps a polite suggestion as to what the Clerk might do with this singular approach.

Sir, the nice man writes,

I write to you as a result of my contact with the Cutlers' Hall on Warwick Lane and would be grateful for a moment of your time to consider a small request. I represent an organization who’s aim is to reintroduce back into our City a discipline who long ago were represented by a guild of London that has long since faded into memory - The Company of Masters, established by Henry VIII, which represented those who taught the gentlemen of the City how to wield a sword.

Schola Gladiatoria have created three chapters around the city who not only engage in academic research into the techniques of European swordplay drawn from manuscripts that still survive from the 15th century, but also translate this effort into a competitive discipline that is slowing growing in size across Europe. As a result I now have a desire to place our discipline back into the City by coaching a small group in the very centre of London.

As a result I contacted the Cutlers' Hall in the hope that they may be able to help me find accommodations for a small group to meet. I was very grateful for their reply, but unfortunately it seems that our meets may be a little too robust in nature to be accommodated by the delicate fabric of such a beautiful old building. However, this contact has spurred me on to contact you, the other Livery companies of London, in the hope that you may be able to offer advice or suggestions on how I might accommodate a small meeting in the City itself.

We don’t need anything particularly grand to house our efforts, such as a Livery hall or a sports centre. We actually tend to reflect a certain basic old school aesthetic that really only needs a roof over our heads and a couple of hours to train per week. In fact, in the main I’ve been hunting around for more humble unused spaces such as railway arches, bridge supports, basements, or even a pub with a large function room. However, I have found that to search for such spaces in such a large city is quite the challenge.

As a result I write to you in the hope that your membership may know of any suitable spaces that I might approach to reintroduce the traditions, heritage and history of European swordplay back into the centre of our City.

Thank you for your time any advice or assistance that you can offer.

Dr Gordon Hart,Schola Gladiatoria

Suggestions on one side of a piece of paper in a plain brown envelope (or the blog equivalent) please.

Cornwallisation - the continuing saga

There is currently a theological debate raging (or perhaps not quite raging, more, underway) about the possible inclusion in the Company's forthcoming Carol Service of a couple of Cornish Carols - the Vicar of St Mary-le-Bow is not sure about the theological soundness of non-conformist carols. watch this space.

It has been a busy week for the Master and, to a lesser extent, his hard pressed Clerk. Hot on the heels of the Master's Reception the following day saw them both at Westminster Abbey along with Livery brethren from 70 or so other Companies for the annual Festival of St Cecilia.

This service, run by the Musicians' Benevolent Fund is held alternately at the Abbey, Westminster Cathedral, St Paul's and Southwark Cathedral. The music, provided by the combined choirs of the first three of these establishments, is spectacularly good. There is a tradition that an anthem is specially commissioned for this service each year. This year's contribution was a setting to music by Gabriel Jackson (1972-) of a 5th century Ambrosian Hymn. It was not universally enjoyed by those who would not list modern choral music among their passtimes on their Livery Master CV's.

A true joy of the occasion was the seating allocated to the Masters and Clerks who processed in full fig - retracing, as it were, the steps taken by the Monarch and her consort a few days earlier. We were sat facing the Abbey's wonderful south round window (illustrated above) through which the sun streamed. Even made the sermon pass quickly.

The Master accompanied by his lady, then joined several others at a lunch in the Banqueting House, Whitehall.

The following evening sees the Master as the principal guest at the Paviors' Company Dinner at Haberdashers' Hall

Monday, 1 October 2007

Friday, 7 September 2007

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution

The Waterloo pier of the RNLI gives LONDON's citizens reassurance after disasters such as 'The Marchioness' sinking.

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

RNLI Sennen Cove

After several servings of Cornish Pasties, it has been proposed that the Company should try to focus our RNLI charity efforts on this particular spectacular lifeboat station; they are on the point of getting a new £1m 'Tamar' class lifeboat. Follow the link (left) to Sennan Cove.

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

The WCCA visits BRAZIL...........

New City Architecture Award - the plaque

A rejected plaque design from 2001
The proposal suggested that the public might, as the years go by, be interested to notice the date of the construction of the prize-winning building (and with a plaque of an original design) rather than the staid enblazoned bronze roundel that was finally adopted.

The former Temple Bar

The former TEMPLE BAR by Christopher Wren reloacted....
The Company of Chartered Architects uses the Temple Bar as its logo and the centrepiece of its coat of arms. The monument was the last surviving gateway into the City of London until it was removed in 1878 to improve traffic flow. The Company has helped to secure its return and has worked with other Companies to ensure that the small room above the arch was made useable for occasional purposes. A generous financial contribution has helped meet the cost of the commissioned furniture in the Chamber.

Sunday, 1 July 2007

Tuesday, 1 May 2007

Monday, 1 January 2007