Firstly let me say, I feel as proud and honoured now to be the Master of this great Ward Club as I did almost exactly a year ago. Wearing the badge and representing you to formal events, Fishmongers, Guildhall, Mansion House, City Club, Bishopsgate and Aldgate, Ward Club Civic Lunches (Rosanne stood in for me at Langbourn) were all very special and will not be forgotten, nor will attending the AGM of the Recorder’s Fund at the Old Bailey (a really excellent charity).
However based on my experiences in the year I do have a request. That all of you who are in Livery – support the Ward Club corner sometimes, not just us but Ward Clubs in general. I was not surprised but disappointed at the attitude of some Liverymen , I repeat some, when they found out that I was Master of a Ward Club.
We have our place in the City and can I remind you that there are 110 Livery companies but only 24 Ward Clubs – it is the wards that elect our Common Councilmen and Alderman – not Livery and that even though we are only 69 years old, we would rank as number 80 in terms of when we were created. as compared to recent Livery.
Over the year we have held a range of diverse events all of which have been very well supported and what is particularly gratifying is the range of members that have come out to something. It is always good to see a new face or a face that we haven’t seen for some years.
So what were the events.
Installation Dinner at Fishmongers Hall celebrating not just becoming Master but my 50 years of working in the City. A really good speech from an old friend, Dominic Christian CEO of AON UK
Members Evening – in the Vault of Midland Bank in Leadenhall Street (Also called Revolution). Definitely now one of the highlights of the year – simple, relaxed fun. We hope to see you at this years event.
Red Cross Tin Shaking
On a wet and windy day a gallant team raised £240 around Lloyd’s – date this year is 8th May. I will be seeking a few volunteers.
Then 2 visits to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and supper in the Pol Roger Room of the The Clarence – the Hon Sec had only one complaint – no Pol Roger .
This was followed by our Spitalfields Walk.
Our Annual Church Service was very well attended with those there being treated to some beautiful singing by Rebecca Milford (a neighbour’s grand daughter) This was of course followed by our Civic Lunch at Guildhall – a really full Old Library, Pikemen and Musketeers in attendance.
A Sheriff who told the toastmaster “We aren’t in a hurry – this is great fun” – (not sure that Nicolas Woolfe necessarily agreed re the timing but so be it).
2 excellent speeches from Robert Hiscox and Sheriff Adrian Waddingham
the Wallace Collection and a superb Champagne and Burgundy tasting by Metzendorf
And onto my Charity fund raiser. An“entertainment”, a really good fun evening .
With regard to the Charity.
Strong support from some generous friends, Ward Club members and the Ward Club itself, meant that John Scurr School in Stepney Green sent was able to send 50 10/11 year olds to the West end to see Roald Dhal’s, Matilda. A really special treat that I know opened their eyes to what an individual can achieved. In total I raised over £2,500 and the additional funds are being used to purchase some specialist equipment for the school.
On the subject of Charities The Hon Sec and I were invited to attend the Lord Mayors Big Curry event supporting the ABF (Army Benevolent Fund), When being presented to The Duke of Gloucester the Lord Mayor was heard to state “Ward Clubs are a force for good”
Having been asked whether to come a gallant 2nd or actually go for a win Immediate Past Master Vernon Ashford and his team, Mags Ashford, Samantha Bowman, Tim Willens, Wendy Kiernan and Neil Roberts did as instructed – they won! – Many congratulations to all of you.
We will be hosting the quiz on 9th September at St Botholph’s Church Hall.
In my opening speech last year I mentioned my belief that Ward Clubs should not just operate in isolation – with the support of the club we instigated the first, informal Ward Club gathering. No hidden agenda just what it said on the tin, a chance for the officers of various ward clubs to get to know each other better. We had an excellent turnout and very positive feedback – we are hosting a repeat on 6th May and possibly one more at the end of the year and then hopefully it will have its own momentum. It didn’t, no one else wiling to run with the idea, shame.
Talking about my plans for the last year, another was to try to promote us within the Lloyd’s environment – I think I will call that work in progress. We have now a regular slot within the 3 Rooms Club Magazine Quill and later in the year I will be making a presentation within the Lloyd’s environment on The City and its Civic structures for the Insurance Institute of London – we will persevere. Any ideas please let me know.
A day at the Lord Mayor’s Show, followed on in November. Being able to watch the coach and the horses being prepared, watching the Aldermen waving the Lord Mayor off on his way, the show itself and then an excellent lunch after.
The Leadenhall Lights – I suddenly found myself i/c of a lead with a cute dog on it – the Lady Mayoress’s dog name of Nala (Alan backwards)The Lord Mayor offered me the role of official dog walker 6.30am and 10.30pm, I declined as The Lord Mayor was not able to offer accommodation at the Mansion House.!
Then our very popular Carol Service with delightful singing from James Milner of John Scurr School and of course The Choral from St Mary the Virgin, North Shoebury thanks to them and to John Tuff for encouraging them to come.
Many thanks are also due to Roland Hughes, Stanley Lui and Chris Otter for providing the liquid refreshments) and of course to Mrs C for preparing the majority of the food and bringing it up on the train.
My year ended with 2 events in 2015. Our Annual “City Matters” – this again has become a very popular annual event, this year, a total sell out –with Retired Sword Bearer Richard Martin telling all (well some) of his life and times in that role. A really enjoyable and interesting evening.
The year finished last week when some of us visited to the City of London Distillery (also called the COLD Bar), the first Gin distillery to be created in the City of London for over 200 years – fun, informative, excellent Gins and a great end to my year.
Although the badge will not be out – I have also been asked as Master this year, by Sheriff Fiona Adler to join her at the Old Bailey for lunch shortly with the Old Bailey judges and sit in on a trial in the afternoon – a great privilege.
I will continue to represent the Ward Club on the Red Cross Fair Committee and in my spare time endeavour to get the website fully up to date so plenty to do in 2015………. in reality not fully achieved until 2020 when a new Platform was introduced and a complete review of every year carried out!!
At a social level as Master and Lady we were privileged to be asked to two Mansion House Dinners firstly by Past Master Vincent Emms (The Glassellers) and by Past Master Robert Woodthorp Brown when his company – The World Traders received their Royal Charter.
I was very honoured to be asked to attend the Court Lunch at The Worshipful Company of Leathersellers this year the first time that a Master of Lime Street Ward Club has been invited.
On a different topic
At a Committee Meeting in November three quite important things were proposed by me and supported
Firstly a name change – in future the Events Sub Committee will be known as the General Purposes and Events Sub Committee – the title just reflects its actual role in being there to support the main committee “as and when”.
Secondly it was agreed that as a Ward club we seek affiliation with one of the Armed Forces Units, if possible, somewhere close to the City. I am currently talking with HMS President to see what might be possible but if any of you have any ideas please get in touch.
The third item was the rule change reflecting what we are today – we have dealt with that.
We are almost there;
At present we are a very successful club, we are active, have a very supportive membership and have a really good relationship with our CC’s. I hope this will continue into the future but to do this we need the next generation of positive Committee Members to drive us forward , not just joining a Committee to become Master in X years time.
If you are interested in helping the Club develop, either by joining the General Purposes Committee or The Main committee please chat to Daphne.
I will close by thanking you all for your support in the last 12 months, Past Master John Tuff and John Bristow for “getting me hooked”in the first place, Past Masters, Ann Benson, Roland Hughes, Alastair Basset Cross, and Stanley Liu who all encouraged me to get involved in various projects which came to fruition successfully and definitely Chris Otter and Michael Breknall for keeping us on the Financial Straight and narrow.
Last but of course not least I will thank the Hon Sec and Mrs Cave , on everyone’s behalf, for all her selfless hard work that she puts in for the Club and each Master. If any one thinks it is an easy role and just takes a few minutes, think again. Without D none of my events would probably have happened, and certainly would not have happened with such style……..