What a great day. In the midst of a worldwide Pandemic and in a nationwide lockdown, Lime Street and Cornhill Ward Club were able to hold their annual Civic Lunch (albeit – at home and via Zoom ) on Monday 23rd November 2020.

Over 70 Members and their guests along with our Alderman and President Sir Charles Bowman and Vice President Alderman Robert Howard ”sat down” to our Civic Lunch .

The Lunch was held in the presence of Alderman and Sheriff Professor Michael Mainelli and Sheriff Christopher Hayward accompanied by their respective Consorts, Elizabeth and Alexandra .

As is the tradition, dress code (at least for the top half ) was hats for the ladies and Suit or Morning Dress for the gentlemen.

The Reception Hall opened promptly at 12.30pm with attendees being welcomed and announced by the Club’s Master of Ceremonies, Toastmaster Jamie Wallis .

The Sheriffs and their consorts arrived at 12.50 pm and when lunch was announced members clapped the Top Table to Lunch whilst Scipio was played. This created a few smiles, as being on 42 different Zoom screens proved difficult for members to clap in synch.

The Master David Pinkerton welcomed everyone and Grace was read by Past Master James Cross.

Members were then directed into separate rooms of approx. 10 people for the first Lunch course, giving them the opportunity to chat whilst eating with many of their friends from the Ward Club who some had not been able to meet with for many months, returning to the Main Hall for The Loyal Toast by The Master and then back to rooms for the second Lunch course.

Returning to the Main Hall , The Master gave a welcoming speech , and presented two cheques , 1 for £1,000 to Sheriff Professor Michael Mainelli for the Lord Mayor’s Appeal and the second for £250 to Sheriff Christopher Hayward for the Sheriffs and Recorders Fund .The Hon Secretary Daphne Cave, presented flowers to both the Sheriffs consorts Elizabeth and Alexandra ( all presentations being virtual as both the cheques and the flowers had been delivered earlier )

A toast to guests and absent friends was given by The Upper Warden , Mr Ivor Cook, particularly mentioning The Honoured Guest and Guest Speaker General Lord Dannatt GCB,CBE,MC,DL  Chief of the General Staff ( Head of the British Army 2006-2009). This was followed with his extremely enjoyable and entertaining speech which covered his Army Career and experiences spanning four decades finalising with a Toast to the Members on behalf of the Guests.

The lunch finished at 2.30 pm with closing remarks and kind words from our President ,wishing everyone a ‘safe journey home ”


Patricia Dinsdale