Wednesday, 10 December 2008
Wednesday, 12 November 2008
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.
Tuesday, 4 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.
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
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
Thursday, 23 October 2008
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
Wednesday, 3 September 2008
Wednesday, 27 August 2008
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
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.
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
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
Wednesday, 9 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
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
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
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.
Tuesday, 27 May 2008
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
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.