Court Meeting and Livery Dinner
After a quiet couple of weeks in August when the City effectively closes down for holidays, it was back to business!
Our September Court Meeting and Livery Dinner was to be held at the very newly restored and refurbished Butcher’s Hall in Smithfield. I had hoped to visit the Hall early in the week, but our dear granddaughter had given us both a bug and travel to London was off the menu!
There is much work going on around Butchers Hall which makes it a little difficult to find, but a walk with Master World Trader around the area a few weeks earlier ensured I found the Hall without too much difficulty.
The stonework outside the Hall had been completely clean and as soon as I walked into the front door I could smell the “newness”! I was given a tour of the building was was now suited to the 21st Century requirements with a kitchen in the basement linked to serveries on all floors by lift. There was much use of terrazzo tiles and light coloured walls making it a light bright place. The Livery Hall had had its tapestry fully cleaned and restored, and the three chandeliers fully cleaned. A full complement of new tables and chairs made for very comfortable sitting!
The Court Meeting agenda was completed in record time, allowing the Assistants to repair to a local hostelry for an hour whilst the Wardens and I remained to enjoy a few quiet moments before the evening began.
Company guests for the event included Master Young Freeman who I had met over the summer, Master World Trader who had become a firm friend over the year, Master Environmental Cleaner who had spent his childhood in Berkshire in many of the same places as Malcolm, and Master Launderer.
Principal Guest was Suzannah Nichol MBE, CEO of Build UK, who I had known for, we think 17-18 years in my working life, and a lovely lady too!
After a delicious meal it was time for speeches. I welcomed the Guests, Suzie spoke with great enthusiasm on what a great place the construction industry is to work in. My closing speech was a mini-summary of the year and that I had hoped to show off our three crafts. I also thanked my “Prince Philip”, and all who had helped make the past 11 months so successful. Thankfully I managed to keep my emotions in control. Our personal guests had noted the crack in my voice early in the speech!