President  Alderman Sir Charles Bowman

Vice President  Alderman Robert Howard

Master  Mr.Philip Somervail

Upper Warden  Dr.William Otter

Lower Warden Mrs.Teresita Cutting

Hon Secretary  Mrs.Patricia Dinsdale

Hon Treasurer  Chris Otter

Independent Examiner Michael Brecknell

Hon Chaplain Rev. William Taylor

Annual General Meeting/Installation Dinner  27th February 2023 – Trinity House

AGM- Trinity House

The Master, President, Vice President and 35 Members were in attendance at the AGM, held in the Court Room of Trinity House .

They heard a report on his year from the outgoing Master, Norman Chapman who was sad to announce the deaths of Past Master David Pinkerton and Past Master Robert Woodthorpe Brown MBE  that had taken place throughout his year . 

Treasurer Mr Chris Otter was pleased with the overall finances of the Club and confirmed that our regular donations would be continued  to:-

Lord Mayor’s Charity
St Peter upon Cornhill
Sheriffs’ and Recorder’s Fund
COLA Shoreditich Park
Lord Mayor’s Big Curry (H.M. Forces)

Master – Philip Somervail

They saw the installation of Philip Somervail , as our new Master ,  Dr.William Otter as Upper Warden and Mrs Teresita Cutting as Lower Warden.

President -Alderman Sir Charles Bowman

As the President and the Vice President had agreed to swap roles every year, Alderman Sir Charles Bowman was elected as President for the forthcoming year .

Peter Cave reported on Honorary Membership and New Members and highlighted that Charlotte Kipping – Grand Daughter of Stephen Kipping ( Lime Street Beadle) will be taking over the role of Lime Street Ward Beadle at the Lime Street Mote on 22nd March .

President Alderman Sir Charles Bowman proposed a vote of thanks to Immediate Past Master , Norman Chapman, and the meeting was declared closed by the new Master at 19.00 hours .

At the Dinner, a really warm welcome was given to our new Master, Philip Somervail by the 63 in attendance.

Norman Chapman receiving the Past Master’s Jewel.

Immediately after Grace given by Past Master James Cross, the Master made a short speech of introduction, touching on his chosen charity for the year, ”South Essex Wildlife Hospital ”and had great pleasure in presenting Norman Chapman with his Past Masters Jewel and introducing our new Upper Warden, Dr.William Otter and Lower Warden, Mrs Teresita Cutting .

Dinner was provided by Cook and Butler and consisted of :-

Tempura of Sea bass, Dill creme fraiche, Wild black rice salad, – Chardonnay 202 -IGP Pays d’Oc Domaine de la Provenquiere
Selection of Breads –

Cannon of Yorkshire Lamb ,Garden herb crust, Leaf parsley sauce, Dauphinoise potatoes, Roasted spring vegetables, – Montepulciano D’Abruzzo 2018

Mango Parfait ,Kiwi crisp, Lime sorbet – Barao de Vilar Port or Cognac

Fair Trade Rich Roast Coffee, Tregothnan Cornish Estate Grown Tea  and  Chocolate Truffles,

Speaker – Joanna Hines.

The Master’s Guest speaker, who proposed the Toast to the Lime Street and Cornhill Ward Club on behalf of the guests,was Joanna Hines, an author of fiction and non-fiction, who has published a number of acclaimed novels, including Improvising Carla which was dramatised for television in the early 2000s.  Her speech was interesting, amusing and thought provoking.

The President thanked everyone for coming to the Dinner , also to Trinity House for allowing the Ward Club to use their splendid hall,  the caterers Cook and Butler and wished the new Master well for his year.

Century Architecture  & Public Art Walk – City of London — 28th March 2023

For the first event in the Master’s year we embarked on a Century Architecture & Public Art Walk to explore some of the more recent additions to the City of London skyline. 

Our guide was once again City of London and Westminster Guide , Debbie Pearson , who has a wide knowledge of this subject , so that our Architecture and Public Art  fans were not disappointed . The Walk started outside the Monument Building on a ‘ very wet ‘ and windy morning .Therefore we congregated under the porchway of the offices surrounding the Monument until all members were present .

Debbie explained that the  City of London is home to some of the world’s most striking modern architecture. Probably the most renowned is the Gherkin (30 St Mary Axe), designed by Norman Foster in 2003 and now famous the world over, but there were many other fantastic buildings to see on the Walk . From the City’s tallest skyscraper, the Heron Tower, to the iconic Tower 42 (with restaurants in both ,  from which to enjoy fabulous views)  – plus Debbie showed us that here are more ambitious structures currently being built.  

The walk took us to  20 Fenchurch Street which occupies a prominent site in the heart of the City of London, set away from the tower cluster and overlooking the River Thames. The 36-floor ‘walkie talkie’, as it has been dubbed, features two sky gardens, one with botanical gardens and a 360 degree panorama.We chose to venture up to the Sky Garden where the rain and wind made it memorable – but for the wrong reasons.  Everyone agreed that the Roof Gardens would be an excellent venue when the sun was out .

88 Wood Street was another venue we visited . This 2000 RIBA award winner is the second Richard Rogers building in the City. Prior to construction of the infamous Leadenhall Building, otherwise known as London’s ‘Cheesegrater’. 88 Wood street echoes his earlier 1970s collaboration, Paris’ Pompidou Centre, it is notable for its bright yellow pipes and exterior lift shafts.

We discovered examples of public art by contemporary artists, and marvelled at the contrasts between ancient and modern that the City does so well.

Every one was amazed when  Debbie told us that there was a Roman Wall in Leadenhall Market – so we had to see it .!!

There is a hairdresser in Gracechurch St at the entrance to Leadenhall Market that is like no other. It appears unremarkable until you step through the tiny salon with room only for one customer and descend the staircase to find yourself in an enormous basement lined with mirrors and chairs, where busy hairdressers tend their clients’ coiffure. At the far corner of this chamber, there is a discreet glass door which leads to another space entirely. Upon first sight, there is undefined darkness on the other side of the door, as if it opened upon the infinite universe of space and time. At the centre, sits an ancient structure of stone and brick. You are standing at ground level of Roman London and purpose of the visit is to inspect this fragmentary ruin of the basilica and forum built here in the first century and uncovered in 1881.-

The weather was relentless throughout the Walk – but everyone was determined to enjoy the Walk and as it was so interesting the rain became less anoying.

After the Walk, lunch was  held in Ye Olde Watling.  Ye Olde Watling has a remarkable heritage dating to 1668. It stands on Watling Street, a Roman road leading out of the City via Ludgate. One claim to fame is that the upstairs rooms were used as a drawing office during the building of St Paul’s Cathedral. As we entered the restaurant , it was was bright and warming and we dried off nicely whilst eating our Lunch with  a few large glasses of wine .

Everyone enjoyed the event and were impressed by what they heard and saw on the Walk and agreed that London is a city world-renowned for its architecture; from old to new, traditional to contemporary, art deco to gothic, and many styles in between, there are hundreds of great buildings in the capital.

Annual Wine and Cheese Tasting – 25th April 2023

St. Botoph’s Church Hall

The second event in the Master, Philip Somervail’s diary, was the Annual Wine and Cheese Tasting event which is alway very popular,  in St. Botolph’s Church on the 25th April 23.

Once again we had our Past Master, Mark Gubbins – this year, presenting a comparative tasting of ‘ Contrasting Grape Varieties Across Continents’ 

Mark curated  and presented this comparative tasting of wines spanning the world from Europe, the Americas, Africa, and the Antipodes.

A sparkling wine was followed by a comparative tasting of two pairs of white wines followed by two pairs of red wines. It’s was a  fun and interesting exercise in comparing, inter alia, Chenin Blanc from the Loire against the same from South Africa or a French Malbec from Cahors against a similar (or not?) wine from Mendoza, Argentina!

Cheeses from Sue Cloke’s Cheese in Leadenhall Mkt .

The sourcing of the cheeses this year was  from World Cheese Award Judge, Sue Cloke of Cheese at Leadenhall within our market and a generous selection to match the wines was provided.

The evening was enjoyed by all attendees and resulted in a mixture of results with some ‘amazing faces ‘when members discovered that their preferred tasting  was not the wine they thought it was.

The cheeses chosen by Mark Gubbins for each tasting were exceptional , and fully complemented the wines.

Thank you Mark for another successful Annual Wine and Cheese tasting event .

Brother’s Tour of Charterhouse – 24th May 2023 .

Charterhouse

The Master’s next event was to the historical venue of Charterhouse where we received a 90 minutes guided tour by one of the resident Brothers .

Charterhouse –  is a former Carthusian monastery in London, located between Barbican and Smithfield Market, and to the north of what is now Charterhouse Square. Since the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry V111  in the 16th century the site has served as a private mansion, a boys’ school and an almshouse, which it remains to this day.  Residents of the almshouse are known as ‘Brothers’, which is a purely traditional term acknowledging the Charterhouse’s monastic past.

We all congregated at the entrance at 11.00 am to meet our resident guide Brother Brian who is one of the 40 residents of Charterhouse.

Thomas Sutton

The tour started in the Chapel and we saw the ornate Tomb of the founder of the Charterhouse ‘s almshouses , Thomas Sutton . Charterhouse has been a Cistercian House and we saw remnants from those days – such as a monks cell ‘s doorway and it’s L-Shaped food tunnel .

We were guided to The Great Chamber which has played host to grand royal occasions and was the backdrop to decades of Tudor plotting and intrigue. It is the only Tudor great chamber to survive in London and remains the jewel in the crown of this ancient historic site.

The Great Chamber -Charterhouse

The room was created in the 1540s as part of a palatial mansion built from the ruins of a Carthusian monastery. It was embellished around 1570 by the Duke of Norfolk, who inserted a grand fireplace and a lavishly decorated ceiling. The Great Chamber was intended as a room of splendour and prestige.

Elizabeth I met her Privy Council here in 1558 before her coronation and both she, and James I were hosted here on many occasions after that.

Everyone was amazed by the history of the Charterhouse and the architecture of the building , plus the knowledge of Brother Brian who was an excellent guide .

Afterwards we adjourned to the Old Red Cow pub nearby , for an enjoyable lunch with a few glasses of wine to cool us down as it was a  hot day . Brother Brian  accepted our invite to join us for Lunch  who continued to be the centre of attention throughout the Lunch .

Great event !

Civic Lunch – 19th June 2023

On Monday 19th June the Civic Service at St. Peter’s Cornhill , led by the Rev’d Henry Eatock Taylor was attended by 40+ Members and guests .

Our Past Master James Cross once again ,accompanied the singing of Hymns by playing the historic church organ throughout the service.

Following the very successful service, attendees made their way to the Livery Hall at Guildhall to enjoy the Civic Lunch, preceded by a Sparkling Reception .

The guest speaker was Sheriff Andrew Marsden who attended the Lunch representing the Lord Mayor , other distinguished guests being Master Leatherseller,  President of Algate Ward Club ,President of Bishopsgate Ward Club  and Chairman of Broad Street Ward Club .

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At 12.40 pm , Toastmaster Jamie Wallis made the Call to Lunch, followed by the Master’s procession to the top tables.

The meal was excellent and provided by Cook and Butler consisting of :-

Food 

Tempura of sea bass, dill creme fraiche, wild black rice salad
Cannon of Yorkshire Lamb, garden herb crust, leaf parsley sauce, dauphinoise potatoes, roasted spring vegetables
Mango Parfait, kiwi crisp, lime sorbet
Wines
Chardonnay 2020. IGP Pays d’Oc Domaine de la Provenquiere
Montepulciano D’Abruzzo 2018

Loyal Toasts were followed by the Master’s Speech with a presentation from the Master of two cheques to the Sheriff in attendance , Sheriff Andrew Marsden, the first for Lord Mayor’s Appeal, which for this year was supporting two specific charities :- National Numeracy and Mental Health Research . The second for the Sheriff and Recorders Fund and a bouquet for the wife of Sheriff Andrew Marsden .

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This was followed by a speech from William Otter, Upper Warden, highlighting attendees from other City Ward Clubs and Liveries – finalising with the introduction of the Master’s Guest Speaker, Sheriff Andrew Marsden, who gave an interesting, humorous and uplifting speech.

The President  Sir Charles Bowman gave a Vote of Thanks which concluded the lunch.

Smithfield and Barts 900 Tour – 14th September 2023.

On  Thursday 14th September our members enjoyed  a guided walking tour of the Smithfield area led by qualified London Blue Badge, City of London and City of Westminster Guide, Julie Chandler.

This event celebrated the founding of St Bartholomew’s Hospital 900 years ago, with a walk around the Smithfield area to discover the story of Rahere who founded the church and hospital back in 1123. From the founding of an Augustinian priory to a world-class NHS hospital, members explored the history of two churches St Bartholomew’s the Less and St. Bartholomew’s the Great, a meat market, St Bartholomew’s Fair, and an execution site.

Smithfield , originally known as Smoothfield, was a large open space just outside the city boundaries on the edge of St Bartholomew’s Priory. (The name meant a smooth plain – but the word eventually became known as smith, a corruption of the Saxon word smeth, which meant smooth).

In the Twelfth Century it was used as a vast recreational area where jousts and tournaments took place. By the late Middle Ages the area had become the most famous livestock market in the country.

There was also a murkier side to the area, because from the early Thirteenth Century it was used as a place of execution for criminals. Wat Tyler, the leader of the Peasants’ Revolt, was executed here, as was Scottish hero William Wallace and of course, it was the location of Bartholomew Fair – three days of merrymaking, dancing, selling and music which over the centuries became the most debauched and drunken holiday in the calendar. Even so, it lasted almost 700 years before it was eventually closed in 1855.

The Tour finished at 1pm when the group adjourned to the   ‘The Butchers Hook & Cleaver ‘pub where we enjoyed a two course lunch with wines. , a very enjoyable event .

Guided Tour of the British Musem –  ‘7 Ancient Wonders of the World ‘- 3rd October 23

In the 3rd October , members enjoyed a visit to the British Museum, meeting  on Montague Place at the back of the museum.

The guided tour was led by Blue Badge guide Vicky Bailey, with a theme of the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World.

The seven Ancient Wonders of the world being : The Great Pyramid of Giza, Egypt ,The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, The Statue of Zeus at Olympia, Greece , The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus., The Colossus of Rhodes and The Lighthouse of Alexandria, Egypt.

On this Seven Wonders of the Ancient World tour of the British Museum, we were  taken on an exploration of ancient civilisations which have shaped the world today. The dramatic structures erected in Ancient Egypt, Assyria and Greece reveal the culture and ambition of these civilisations and include stories of deities whose influence backed the rulers in power.

Highlights included the Ancient Egyptian pharaoh who, legend has it, fathered over 100 children; the very human reaction of a linguistic genius on deciphering the hieroglyphic text; the methods of intimidation used by the kings of Assyria and traces of damage on artefacts showing the end of a particular civilisation who believed themselves immortal.

Following the Tour- we adjourned to The Plough  for a very enjoyable meal with Wine. The Guide joined us for the Lunch amd provided us with further  answers to various queries based on the tour .

Members Drinks Evening – 2nd November 2023

On the 2nd November there was the re-instated Members Drinks Reception which was hosted and held in the AON Centre in the Leadenhall Building

Forty four Members applied to attend the event but unfortunately some were unable to attend due to Storm Ciaran that slammed into the UK with winds of more than 100 mph on the day , plus trains into the City were disrupted.

Members who did weather the Storm enjoyed an excellent Buffet and Wines whilst meeting and chatting with new and existing Members for a very convivial evening.

The event resulted in applications from some of the Member’s guests to join our Ward Club

Excellent feedback was received from many of the Members resulting in suggestions that the Drinks Reception becomes a regular Annual Event

Lord Mayor’s Show Luncheon – 11th November 2023.

694th Lord Mayor Of London – Michael Mainelli

As has become almost a tradition, 22 Members and Guests had an opportunity to lunch in the Guildhall after watching the Lord Mayors’ Show go past- this year in the sunshine.  An excellent venue and a very enjoyable way to spend a November Saturday. This year was made special due to the election of Professor Michael Mainelli – ( a Ward Club Member ) who became Lord Mayor .

Lord Mayor’s carriage in Guildhall Yard

This event has become very popular with our Members and the meal  provided by Cook and Butler was a four course menu with  red and white wines to compliment the meal .

The Master and Hon Secretary received good feedback from the members, some stating that they would like to attend again in 2024.

Carol Service – 5th December 2023

The Ward Club Carol Service took place at St Peter-upon-Cornhill on Tuesday 5th December- commencing  at 6.00pm.

The Ward Club was pleased to have a new choir this year, St Olave’s Singers, who joined us for the event.

The service was attended by 65 members and their guests  and as usual, wine and soft drinks and a light buffet was made available immediately afterwards, which enabled everyone to have the opportunity to catch up with old friends and make some new ones.

Members and guests brought with them gifts which were placed under our Christmas Tree in the Church.

Gifts were identified as either Male or Female plus the age group

After the Service , St Helen’s distributed our gifts to poor families on local housing estates in and around the City.

The evening resulted in many -Thank you’s from both members and guests .

The Buffett Supper was a joint effort between the members of the GPC team with some Members contributing to the supper by bringing along some home- mad dishes

Sue Willens and Louise Otter were the main organisers of the supper who both did an excellent job , with GPC members and other Ward members assisting

A large joint effort to make this Annual event successful , which resulted in an excellent evening to start off the Festive Season