Wednesday, 10 December 2008

1000 visits to the WCCA blog

We have now had more than 1000 visits to the WCCA blog site.  

We hope it has been useful to the liverymen and freemen of the Company and that it furthermore allows those at a greater distance to participate in the various activities of the Company in a very 21st century way.

Keep looking in - and help us to get to the next 'order of magnitude' of visits 
- that is 10,000 visits!

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

The Lord Mayor's Show

Pictured in one of the rare sunny spells on Saturday 8 November, the new Lord Mayor of the City of London - Alderman Ian Luder - sets out from Guildhall Yard to be greeted by an enthuisiastic if damp crowd. He was supported by a wide selection of bands, floats representing an enormous cross section of activities and interests and several collections of Morris Minors - the brand seemingly celebrating its 60th anniversary. Some participants were better prepared for the rain than others.

The Master and his Wardens - pictured below before they set off for the march - took part in the procession as part of the Modern Companies' Float - a singularly apt description given the conditions.

There are, by way of explanation, some 30 Modern Companies which are those founded since 1926 - there was a gap of almost 200 years between the founding of the oldest of these Companies (the Honourable Company of Master Mariners) and the next youngest Company. This group of Companies includes organizations representing a wide range of professions and business organizations which would not have existed in medieval times.

After the outward journey the procession takes an hour break for lunch while the Lord Mayor takes his oath of allegience to the Crown (and a light lunch) at the Old Bailey. Those marching make do with a packed lunch arranged by the organizers supplemented by such liquid refreshments which may be available in the rest area. The option for Company members who were viewing proceedings was rosier - lunch was offered at Plaisterers' Hall where the Master Plaisterer had kindly organized entertainment for the children (of all ages).

Stephen Wagstaffe - a recently elected Steward of the Company - found that part of his duties included being volunteered to help performing artists on such occasions to do silly and perhaps dangerous things. With a few fellow volunteers from the other Companies present, he helped to form something of a human pyramid to allow the juggler to mount his ludicrously high monocycle before being asked to pass the artist several villianous knives which were then juggled to the consternation of both Stephen and others in the firing line.

Thanks are offered to Alan Downing for the use of his photographs of the occasion.

The Company's Travel Award 2010

The Worshipful Company of Chartered Architects (or the 'WCCA' abbreviated) exists to raise awareness of architecture in the City of London. Its Charitable Trust is a registered charity and administers its own educational scholarships. The Company is a useful social and professional network and organises among other things visits to buildings and architect's practices. New student members are most welcome.

If you are a current student of architecture, are interested in this scholarship, and would like more details, please contact:

Mrs. Jaki Howes

Master of Students

mobile: 07711 817491

Every year the WCCA offers a travel award of £2000 to enable a student (or students) that are in the first year of their Part 2 course to carry out travel research in preparation for their final year.

The WCCA TRAVEL AWARD is available to students at any of the London architecture schools, and for the second time this year, it is being administered by the RIBA.

Full details and application forms are available on the RIBA website. The closing date for an application is 26 March 2010.
If you would like further clarification after visiting the RIBA's site, please contact me at the addresses above:

...............Jaki Howes

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Temple Bar photo archive - November 2008

This photo archive of the relocated Temple Bar offers uncopyrighted images of the 17th century gateway built to designs of Sir Christopher Wren. Formerly a gate to 'the square mile' of the City of London and located on the junction of today's Fleet Street and The Strand, Temple Bar has been re-located to be part of the development of Paternoster Square, to the immediate north of Sir Chris' great cathedral.
A plaque marks the connection of the Worshipful Company with the relocation process.

Pictured right is an image of the plaque sited in the Upper Chamber
of Temple Bar which commemorates the Company's support for
the relocation of the monument and its contribution to the costs
of fitting out the Chamber.

The image files are of about 1200 pixels square-ish, in jpg format, processed for easy web distribution. They are each about 250k in size.

If you click on an image, it will open a new browser page at the larger size, big enough to seem impressive on most computer screens. From there you may down-load any individual image to your own machine.

Friday, 31 October 2008

Olympic Park - Visit to the London 2012 Site

The first of a series of visits for members of the Company and of other construction related Livery Companies to the main site of the 2012 Olympic Games has been arranged for Thursday 5 February 2009 at 2.00pm. The size of the party is limited to 30.

The visit is tio be a technical one comprising a full site tour and a discussion on the Master Planning, design and development processes. Final details are awaited.

Bookings need to be made to the Clerk by Monday 19 January to enable him to submit the list to the Company's event co-ordinator - Patricia Stefanowicz in good time for her to arrange the necessary security passes.

It is intended that this be the first of a series of visits over the coming years.

Friday, 24 October 2008


Writing a blog, like all writing, is a rather lonely activity. Each post is shot off into the e-choing e-ther when one hits the publish post button. But is anyone out there....?

FOLLOWERS are simply those who read and follow the blog. Now one can show the author that you really are there, and further, show this fact to other readers. It can build a sort of community of interest, as it also allows one to get in contact with other readers of the blog.

So how does one become a follower?
(sounds a bit biblical, n'est-ce pas?)

On the top panel on the left there is a Follow this Blog button that highlights in red when the cursor is over it. Click on it to reveal a dialogue box. It asks you to get a Google account (this is 'free'). This allows Google to connect other followers to your e-mail address, all fully protected with your own password. You can then decide to remain mysteriously private to the world, or - more confidently - have your picture added along side those in the community already displayed.
(24 October 2008 - 2 followers so far)

Go on - try it out!    You know you want to.......

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Coming Events

The Company's October Newsletter has just been sent out to members and a copy is posted above. but here are the dedited highlights concerning coming events.

There is to be a visit to St Paul's Cathedral in the company of the Surveyor to the Fabric of the St Paul's - Martin Stancliffe - a Freeman of the Company. Martin will show a small group around the ground floor and triforium areas.

The tour, commencing at 6.30pm, will be followed by a Reception in the Upper Chamber of Temple Bar which contains a plaque commemorating the role of the Company in supporting the relocation of the building and, in particular to the furnishing of the space.

Full details are set out in the Newsletter and early booking with the Clerk is encouraged as numbers are limited by the comfort capacity of the Upper Chamber of Temple Bar itself.

The Annual Carol Service is to be held on Wednesday 10 December at the Church of St Mary-le-Bow on Cheapside comencing at 6.30pm. This will be followed by a supper at Furniture Makers' Hall from 7.30 to 9.00pm. Again, numbers will be limited to ensure that seats at supper are available for all who book and to avoid the necessity of disgruntled diners depositing their dessert course onto the Clerk's shoe - presumably by way of protest at the lack of seatring accommodation!

There is to a 25th Anniversary Lunch at Cutlers' Hall on Tuesday 27 January 2009 following the January meeting of the Company's Court.

Details of all these events and others which are in the planning stage for later in 2009 are included in the newsletter along with news of the recent Company visit to Dresden - a few images of which city (courtesy of Alan Downing) are shown below.

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Monday, 22 September 2008

WCCA New City Architecture Award 2007

The plaque for this WCCA award made in 2007 has now been mounted at the foot of the new tall 'Willis' building, just next to the famous 'expresso-machine' Lloyds building.

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Visit to St Pancras Station

There is to be a visit to the new St Pancras Station Building followed by an illustrated talk by Alastair Lansley - the architect responsible for the reconstruction of the station on Tuesday 9 September - 4.00 to 6.00pm.

The visit will take the form of a meeting adjacent the newly constructed west wall of the Station followed by a walk through of the terminal building before meeting up in the German Gym on Pancras Road (almost opposite the main entrance to the International Terminal). This is where the talk will take place.

There are still a few places available for this event which is being shared with the Worshipful Company of Tylers and Bricklayers who gave the St Pancras Building their 2008 Award for Brickwork.

Please contact the Clerk if you are interested in joining the group.

Monday, 21 July 2008

Company Trip to Dresden

The Master Elect has arranged an excellent weekend trip to Dresden for the weekend of Thursday 25 to Sunday 28 September.

Costs and details of the general arrangements have been sent out but it was thought that the attached pictures taken by Ian Head on his reconnaissance trip last month might help whet the appetite.

Centrally located 3 Star hotel accommodation has been arranged and there is a choice of either rail or BA flights available for the journey.

Athough Dresden is thought of as a Baroque city (and the recently restored Frauenkirche Church of Our Lady is a highlight of a visit) the Renaissance has also left its mark. There are a number of Historicist buildings (the Staatskanzlei and the Hygiene School) and the Modernists and Post-Modernists have made an impact. Important contemporary structures include the new Synagogue (Rena Wandel-Hoefer and Wolfgang Lorch 2001), Volkswagen’s Transparent Factory (2001), the Saxon State Parliament and New Terrace, the UFA Kristallpalast Cinema (Coop Himmelbau) and the Saxon State Library. The new railway station boasts a Norman Foster roof and Daniel Libeskind changed the structure of the Military History Museum by placing a wedge through the historicist Arsenal building. For those interested in the genre, there are the Stalinist housing developments.

There is much to see and do. Dresden has some 13,000 ‘cultural monuments’ and 8 districts covered by ‘general preservation orders’. There may well be shops (for those who need to know these things), restaurants and opera houses.

Picture here are (top) The Frauenkirche; (left) Volkswagen's Invisible Factory' and (above) the Meissen frieze . Below - The Elbe River

Early booking is advised to ensure that hotel and flights are available at what is a popular time of the year

Installation Court Lunch

The Installation Court is to be held on Tuesday 16 September in Salters' Hall, Fore Street, EC2. The Hall, designed by Sir Basil Spence with interiors by David Hicks is a new venue for the Company. The lunch - the first function of the new Master's year - will also have a slightly different format in that the response to the toast to the guests will be made in the form of an illustrated talk by the noted Maltese Architect and Artist, Richard England. It is customary at this function to aim for an early finish but it was felt that the offer of the slide show was too good to miss.

Richard gained his early experience in the Milan office of Gio Ponti but has since run his highly successful practice from Malta He regards his work, substantially in concrete, as being 'evolutionary rather than revolutionary seeking connections in time and space and recognizing the importance of 'the spirit of place''.

Notices have been sent out to members and early booking is called for as the event is likely to be popular.

Thursday, 10 July 2008

And more from the Election Court Dinner

Having presented Livery and Freedom certificates at the meeting of the Court, the Master seemed to spend a considerable amount of the evening in the splendour of Carpenters' Hall (shown below) presenting things.

Firstly, he was pleased to present a donation to the Architects Benevolent Society which was received by the ABS Secretary Keith Robinson (below left)

Next up was a donation to the Tower RNLI Lifeboat Station - the proceeds from the lunchtime event held on the SB Ardwina in mid June which had been addressed by the Station Manager Janet Kelly who accepted the donation (see below)

Robert Gershoff's photographs were taken on behalf of the Architects Benevolent Society.

The Reverend Prebendary David Burgess - the Rector of St Lawrence Jewry - has been the Company's Honorary Chaplain for over 20 years. He has announced his retirement for his City post and looks forward to a quiet retirement. On behalf of all members of the Company the Master wished him well for the future and presented him with a copy of a most worthy architectural tome - 'Twentieth Century Architecture - a Visual History' edited by Company member Professor Dennis Sharp. Hopefully this will go some way to helping David feel more comfortable about contemporary buildings following his well-merited side swipe at the buildings which he has seen erected in Gresham Street since he took up his post at St Lawrence Jewry. He felt that the only survivors from 20 odd years ago were a couple of Livery Halls. David is photographed with the Master below.

The final presentation of the evening was of the Company's annual award for the outstanding contribution to the Architects Benevolent Society. This is judged by the officers of the ABS assisted by the Master from nominations received from architects and others. It takes the form of a ceramic platter decorated by a prominent architect - this year by Eric Parry RA. Two plates are decorated - one going to the winner, the other being held as part of a set by the ABS on behalf of the Company pending the time when they have somewhere to display what will be a valuable collection. The award is pictured below along with its recipient - Colin Morse receiving the award from the Master.

The citation for the award reads as follows:

'For fifty years the Architects Benevolent Society ran a model complex of sheltered housing for elderly architects at Frenchlands Hatch in Surrey. When he retired from the Management Committee Colin Morse had been a member of it for 30 years, twenty five of them as Chairman. Colin lived locally and as well as running the estate for the ABS he became deeply involved with every aspect of Frenchlands and with the people who lived there.

As well as maintaining the buildings and ensuring that the residents were all well looked after by the paid staff, Colin also oversaw the building of a number of extensions to the estate to provide flats and staff accommodation as well as the bungalows and the residential care home.

In 1971 as a young member of the Guildford Chapter of the RIBA he had organised the Guildford ABS Ball. In 2008, nearly 40 years later, he is still a Trustee of the ABS and an active member of the Case Committee.'

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Installation of three new liverymen by redemption

Simon Lincoln, Sarah Papworth and Giles Murphy are admitted to the livery at the court meeting on 8 July 2008.

Annual service and election court dinner - 8 July 2008

Cornwall in the City of London. Four fully-waved flags, courtesy of the Master for 2008, Jonathan Ball.

Canon Michael Bordeaux tells of religious revival in Russia from the pulpit of St. Lawrence Jewry.

In Carpenter's Hall, David Higgins tells of the Olympic Delivery Authority, while we contemplate the menu!

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Chocks Away

The visit organized by Stephen Wagstaffe to the North Weald Airfield Museum on 29 June was greatly enjoyed by those who made the Sunday pilgrimage to this corner of Essex. It was a great day out.

The day started with a visit to the Museum which has been installed in the former Station Office of RAF North Weald. Dubbed as the 'House of Memories' it is largely a memorial to the people - both service personnel and civilians - 'who ave lived, worked, flown, fought and died here since the airfield was opened during the Great war 1n 1916. It contains a fascinating collection of artifacts and highlights, among many other things, the role played by the airmen of other countries who played their part in the Battle of Britain and the remainder of WW2.

Stephen, who is the President of the Museum Trust, then took us on a tour of the airfield (the location for many famous films) getting us access into hangers where historic aircraft from a number of countries are being rebuilt by enthusiasts before taking us to the Squadron Flying Club for a buffet lunch.

Stephen's guidance, his driving of the community bus and his organization of what was a great day out were greatly appreciated. Past Master Michael West thanked him for all he had done.

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Saturday, 28 June 2008


Thanks to the generosity of a number of people, the Company will be able to make a healthy donation to our' link regiment - the Royal Notional Lifeboat Institution - as the result of a relaxed lunch function on Friday 13 May. The event was held on board the Thames sailing barge the SB Ardwina moored in St Katherine's Dock.

We are most grateful to the Directors of Rolfe Judd Group Planners for its use and to the powers that be for the excellent weather on the day.

The full complement (and how nice it was for the Clerk to have to open a waiting list) were treated to a generous meal and sufficient liquid refreshments to ensure good behaviour for an excellent talk given by Janet Kelly - Station Manager for the RNLI's Tower Lifeboat Station located at Victoria Embankment. Janet's talk took us through the history of the Station and its buildings, the important role they play on the Thames and the way in which the Station is both staffed and operated. It was informative and interesting and delivered with great style and good humour.

Thanks to Mark Groves of the Cook and the Butler - a regular caterer at out City functions - who provided the food and to Manager of the local branch of Waitrose who donated the drinks, virtually all the monies collected will be able to go as a donation to the RNLI which will be presented to Janet Kelly at the Election Court Dinner on Tuesday 8 July.

Thanks are also due to Michael Wilkey and David Penning for organizing the event and to Patricia Stefanowicz MW - the best barmaid in the business. A selection of volunteers were prepared to forego the charms of returning to their officers for the late Friday afternoon shift and did the washing up. For this , too, many thanks.

Thursday, 29 May 2008

A bit of controversy anyone?

Prominently displayed facing a full page advertisement for Marks and Spencer's line in ladies swimwear is the challenging headline 'Awards for best British buildings leave classicists out in the cold'. A sub headline notes that ,'The RIBA and the architectural profession are behaving like style facists'.

All this on the day that the RIBA is due to reveal the identity of the best new buildings of 2008 - effectively the list of candidates for the coveted Stirling Award.

Robert Adam notes that 'these awards are a con'. Julian Bicknell weighs in by accusing the Institute of 'self-imposed blindness' and notes that 'it is a tragedy that RIBA awards choose to ignore work done in supposedly traditional styles'.

The other side of the debate was put by experienced architectural judge Joanna van Heyningan who noted that 'there is no prejudice against classical architecture, there is a prejudice against poor architecture'.

While all this makes interesting reading for those who last the distance to page 8 in the Guardian, it does raise an interesting question. Despite the fact that most RIBA awards juries have an element of lay representation (and in my experience these representatives have not been backward in expressing opinions), are such awards too often chosen by architects and friends of architecture who are paid up members of the style facisti? Should not the odd classicist be included on the jury from time to time? Are the laity concerned that modern classical architecture is being spurned by the judges? How interested would the viewers of Grand Designs be were the subject to be a painstakingly crafted neo-classical mansion?

Your views and opinions will be welcome - I think.

Newsletter Issue 12 - May 2008

Read this doc on Scribd: may 2008 newsletter

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Scilly things in boats

When the Master suggested that there were numerous ways of getting to the Isles of Scilly for his weekend visit, not many of those who went envisaged wading ashore from a rubber dinghy.

In fairness this is a group of the more intrepid members of the party paying a visit on the final day to the only island which had escaped invasion up to that point. Most members of the party managed the travel from the mainland on more or less the appointed day but some, the Master included, found the local weather conditions, a bit trying. Once there, the sun shone unremittingly and a good time was had by all.

Included in the attractions arranged by the Master was a shore call by the St Mary's RNLI Lifeboat seen below with its crew of Company members and under the (temporary) command of Past Master Lady Stewart who, she informed the photographer, advised that 'I have always wanted to do this'. As we were definitely tied / lashed / anchored or otherwise attached to the dock the whole time, there is no question that there should be a reference in the caption to fast ladies and their boats (or vice versa).

There were numerous other attractions - a fascinating talk on the history of the islands and their antiquities, visits in an open top bus to stone age village sites, a wonderful conducted tour around the rightly famed Tresco Abbey Gardens, a lunch in the recently built Flying Boat Club on Tresco and rather a lot of excellent food and drink including a glass or several of the ubiquitous, Cornish bubbly in the back garden of the Master's house on St Mary's.

A good selection of those local personalities who have appeared in 'The Island Parish' were spotted during the weekend along with several seals and puffins - a half dozen of the latter obliged with a fly past that the Red Arrows would have been pleased with.

Profuse thanks are due to the Master and Victoria as well as to our many local hosts who made the weekend such a memorable one.

The Master, bearing an uncanny resemblance to Neptune- perched precariously above him, enjoying a quiet moment in Tresco Abbey Gardens

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Milo Lecture

The 2008 Peter Milo Memorial Lecture was given this year by British architect David Nixon a co-founder of the London office of Future Systems and currently the principal of Altus Associates in Los Angeles. He has been involved in the space field since 1984 and his office has carried out space and ground projects for clients such as NASA, the European Space Agency, McDonnell Douglas and British Aerospace. It is no surprise that the topic of his excellently illustrated lecture was 'An Architect's Guide to the International Space Station'. This gave a very clear view of the design and technical issues which had to be resolved in the setting up of the space station and presented some truly amazing statistics.

In a radical shift away from the format of previous Milo lectures and, it must be said, the majority of Livery Company lectures, the lecture was given in Drapers' Hall and was the precursor to a wider event billed as Extreme Architecture II - A Space Odyssey. Spread through the duration of a 3 course black tie dinner were further illustrated talks by David Nixon on Britain's role in space exploration and Jonathan Firth of Virgin Galactic whose topic was Space for Everyone.In this he drew heavily on the proposals prepared (as a winning competition entry) by Foster and Partners for the inter-galactic space station in the USA. He also dealt with the visionary plans from the Virgin Group to make space travel (in Sir Richard Branson's words, 'the final frontier') a realistic possibility
for anyone with an adequate bank balance in the near future.

There was to have been a third speaker - Australian Oceanographer and astronaut Dr Paul Scully-Power. Sadly, he was prevented from travelling as a result of a family bereavement. He did, none the less, allow the use of many of the photographs he took on his Challenger voyage and asked that a prepared statement be read to the assembled guests.

The evening was set up and compered by William Murray in great style.

New Blood

At the April Court Meeting held in Drapers' Hall yesterday the Master and Wardens were pleased to welcome the new Junior Liveryman - William Murray. William, a director of Wordsearch, was seen in action shortly after at the Company's Peter Milo Memorial Lecture which he organized and at which he acted as the Master of Ceremonies.

It is a fact that many of the indentured students of the Company have progressed through their respective undergraduate and post-graduate studies with seemingly uncomplicated ease. Further they have persuaded their Part 3 examiners that they are fit and proper persons to be admitted to the ranks of registered architects. This has left the Company will all too few student members. It was, therefore, a source of satisfaction to the Court to see two new students being, in the colourful terminology of the City, 'bound to their mentors for the remaining term of their studentships'.

The Master acceded to requests from Past Master Brian Waters and Assistant Dorian Crone that they allowed to introduce Dan Slavinsky and Daniel Malinki to the Company as indentured students. Both are currently working at CZWG having completed their part 1 courses at Nottingham and Kent Universities respectively.

Pictured below (from left to right) are Dorian Crone, William Murray, Daniel Malinki, Dan Slavinsky and Brian Waters under the watchful gaze (you'll have to believe me on this one) of the Duke of Wellington.