Wednesday, 6 November 2013

The new Master's first message

The Installation Court and Lunch on the 17th September 2013 were a lively start to my year as Master and a great end to Mervyn’s splendid year. The newly installed wardens are: Upper Warden Geoffrey Purves, Renter Warden Peter Murray, and Junior Warden Richard Brindley. At the Lunch, President of the RIBA, Stephen Hodder set out his strategic priorities, and his hope for closer collaboration with WCCA. All very jolly and with plenty of spirited conversation.

Two days later, the Renter Warden, Peter Murray, and I participated in the annual livery walk. This is a speedy hike round the 40 livery halls and our main opportunity to contribute to the Lord Mayor’s Charity and to our own Charity Fund. After a fine morning’s walk, the afternoon turned to torrential rain. To see a very soggy Peter and me, have a look at Peter’s video on the blog.

On the last weekend of September there was a Company visit to Yorkshire, described by past Master Mervyn on our blog as ‘an astonishing cornucopia of architectural and artistic delights’. These included a guided tour of significant buildings in Leeds, led by John Thorp, the retired civic architect, and visits to the Hepworth Gallery and Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Two members of the party even found themselves in a lock-in in the oldest pub in Leeds! Our blog has the full story, with photographs by Chris Bicknell.

Over 50 people attended my reception at the Bishopsgate Institute on 15th October. Stefan Dickers, the Library and Archives Manager gave an enthusiastic and colourful history of the Institute, enhanced by architectural details from our own Peter Luscombe.

There was also a good audience for our lecture at the RIBA the following week, “The Architecture of Nowhere”, by James Kruhly, which sparked lively debate.

These WCCA events were interspersed with company dinners with the Plumbers, City Planners, Plaisterers and Chartered Secretaries, and two school prize givings. I also attended an interfaith service at St. Paul's Cathedral to commemorate the 85th anniversary of the London Taxidrivers' Fund for Underprivileged Children, including music by the London Charity Orchestra and the New London Children's Choir.

It has been a very busy and stimulating start to my year as Master. I look forward to seeing you all at the Carol Service.


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