The Master, Wardens and the Court Assistants invited the Liverymen of the Company to attend Common Hall at Cutlers' Hall on February 11th 2016. This was a very special occasion, because it not only marked the start of the celebrations marking the 600th anniversary of the first recorded Master, Thomas White, but also the launch of the Company's history, 'They Built London', by Dr Penelope Hunting.
The Master opened Common Hall with the Company prayer, followed by apologies for absence. He welcomed Dr Penny Hunting and Professor James Campbell.
The Upper Warden, David Szymanski, reported on the state of the Company's finances. We were pleased to learn that the Company is solvent and makes a small operating surplus each year. However, the Charities make donations of £200,000 and in 2014, only 44% of the liverymen made donations. We were asked to consider this.
The Master followed with his report, highlighting the events of the year. Many thanks were given to Dr Hunting, the Deputy Master David Cole-Adams, and Liveryman Michael Ash for their wonderful work on the book. The full report can be seen on our website.
Dr Michael Holliday gave a presentation on the Company's website. Much has been done to make this easier to use, and it is hoped that soon members will be able to update their own details, and hopefully, sometime in the future, we will become paperless!
The new Court Assistants, Professor John Schofield and Richard Uzupris were welcomed.
The Master invited questions from the floor and they were answered and acknowledged by the top table.
The Master closed the meeting of Common Hall.
Prior to the dinner, there was a reception, followed by the launch of the much anticipated history, 'They Built London', introduced by Professor James Campbell. This was a fascinating insight to our Company and promises to be a good read.
Dinner followed with delicious food and plentiful wine, after which we were invited to join the Master for Stirrup Cup, when those who subscribed to the Book Appeal were able to collect their copies, signed by the Master and Dr Penny Hunting.
It was, as always, a very friendly and enjoyable evening, and an excellent start to the 600th celebrations.