Monday, 2 September 2013

If you can bear to action it, here is the last instalment of my end-of-term Master's Blog Report. I’ll add a few pictures to leaven it later this evening.....

The road to hell is paved with good intentions and it’s already September as I settle down to write my last updating to the blog.  Grateful Thanks to the untiring dedication of Chevalier Copping, who has tirelessly uploaded these musings. In the interest of sanity all I can to is to provide a list of what I’ve done since the beginning of July, and will be doing over the next two weeks before I’m airbrushed out of the front line.  Looking back, I’m not quite sure how I’ve done it all, but I know that I’ve mostly enjoyed it and there are many things which I know will never come again, and which I have been privileged to do.  And I’ve been fortunate in having the support of a Consort who has certainly made a positive impression at the many events we have attended together.  I’ve learned that the importance of a Master’s role lies not so much in personal enjoyment as in helping to raise the profile of the Company, particularly when the Older Companies are around: only time will tell whether I have succeeded, and in two weeks it will be Jaki Howes’ turn to pursue the same objective.  It’s also been a pleasure to work so positively with the Royal Institute of British Architects, whether it be their hosting and the Presidential imprimatur of Angela Brady on the Milo Lecture last February, or the commitment of Richard Brindley to further the  ‘London as a Global Design Hub’ with the City of London Corporation.  We had a very positive, and I hope productive meeting at Guildhall with Paul Sizeland and Peter Sissons of the Corporation’s Economic Development Office on 27th August, when Richard Brindley and Richard Saxon led the presentation.

Ironbridge - 1779

July 2013

  • MON 1: St Lawrence Jewry Annual Service 6.00pm

  • THU 4: Chartered Accountants’ Dinner, Mansion House, 6.45 for 7.30pm

  • MON 8: Sheriffs’ and Recorders Fund Reception at Old Bailey

  • TUE 9: Election Court, St Lawrence Jewry, 3.30pm

  • TUE 9:  Company Annual Service, St Lawrence Jewry, 6.00 pm  

  • TUE 9: Election Court and Dinner, Skinners’ Hall

  • FRI 12: Distillers, Glaziers and other Companies’ 375th Anniversary Reception and Dinner, Middle Temple Hall. 

  • WED 17: Actuaries’ Dinner, Fishmongers, Guest of Adrian Waddingham (Sherriff Elect)
  • THU 18: Knights Bachelor Annual Service St Paul’s Crypt, 11.00 am and Reception Apothecaries’ Hall

  • FRI 19: Lunch with Master Constructor and Wardens at Guildhall Club, 
  •    12.30 for 13.00

  • WED 24: Distillers’ Company Whisky Master Class and Tasting, Apothecaries’ Hall, 5.30 pm.

  • WED 24: The Master appears with Una Stubbs on ‘Who Do You Think You Are’, talking with her about Ebenezer Howard, founder of the Garden City Movement, her great-grandfather, 9.00pm

  • THU 25: Open Evening, Kingston University Conservation Course, 6.00pm

  • FRI 26: Michael Welbank Luncheon, Guildhall, 12.30pm

  • FRI 26: Tour of former Midland Bank HQ (Lutyens), 3-5.00 pm

August 2013

TUE 6: Court Luncheon at Carpenters’ Hall, 12.45 for 1.00pm

TUE 27: ‘London as a Global Design Hub’ presentation with Richard Brindley and Richard Saxon at City Economic Development offices, Guildhall, 11.00am

Midland Bank 1

Midland Bank 2

Midland Bank 3

Midland Bank 4

September 2013

MON 2: Michael Bailey receives City Freedom @ Chamberlain’s Office, Guildhall, 3.00pm

THU 5: HMS Belfast Charity Dinner, Constructors’ Company, 6.30pm

MON 9: Launderers’ Lecture, Glaziers’ Hall, 6.00pm

TUE 10: Ardwina Luncheon, with MM Finlandia presentation, 12.30pm

TUE 10: WCCA Committees aboard Ardwina, 2.30 pm

WED 11: Reception for Royal British Legion Poppy Factory, Drapers’ Hall, 7.00pm

THU 12: Modern Companies Dinner, Armourers and Braziers’ Hall, 7.00pm

FRI 13: Worshipful Company of Musicians, Composer’s Concert, Mansion House 6.00pm – 7.30pm

MON 16: Presentation of Adrian Waddingham’s Shrieval Chain, Saddlers’ Hall

TUE17: Installation Court and Lunch, Watermen’s Hall: MM completes year as Master

Reference to the events list above will indicate a busy few days before I am stripped of the Company’s accoutrements at the Installation Court, immediately after I install Jaki as the new Master.  She will, I am sure, plough her own distinctive furrow, and rightly too.  Before then, Ann and I are looking forward to the Constructors’ Charity Dinner on HMS Belfast on 5th September.  Tomorrow, 2nd September Freeman Michael Bailey has invited Jaki, Edward King and myself to join him and his parents at a celebratory Luncheon prior to attending the Chamberlain at Guildhall to obtain his Freedom of the City of London.  Michael has been one of our brightest students, and is rising through the ranks at MAKE, one of the most prestigious modern practices.  He was bound as a student to Edward King, under the watchful eye of Jaki (as longstanding Master of Students).  I released Michael from his indentures at the April Court, and installed him as a Freeman of the Company.  Armed with his Certificate of Freedom (written by hand on vellum), he will present himself to the Court on 17th September to be installed as a Liveryman of the Company by Jaki: wherever his career may take him he will always be a Citizen of London, with a few ancient rights and privileges (including driving sheep across London Bridge).

So now it’s time to look to the future, bid a fond farewell and Hail the New Master on 17th September.  I’ll be proud to receive my Past Master’s badge on that occasion, and to serve the Company in a more unobtrusive manner.
Grateful thanks are due to the Clerk, Ian Head (and Ann who has often been at the sharp end during Ian’s first full year in charge).  
Also to the Wardens: Jaki Howes (Upper), Geoffrey Purves (Renter) and Peter Murray (Junior); and apologies to Edward King, Deputy Master for not giving him much to do.  And, of course, it’s now full steam ahead with the ‘Great 13’ (the 2013 Masters’ clan)! 

The stalwart Ann

The Master goes potty

Mervyn Miller
Master 2012-13


  1. Thanks, Mervyn, for being the first WCCA Master to contribute fully to the editorial of this blog. For those who have not been 'The Master', it has been an interesting and entertaining journey through the year as leader and emblem of the Company. Thanks too for the focus on Sir Edwin Lutyens as a theme of the year - an important aspect of City leadership in the 'Mother of the Arts', especially at a time when Midland Bank's premises - a stone's throw from Mansion House itself - are under re-consideration.

  2. Not to forget the steady support of the Stalwart Consort, Ann!