This month we recorded the hottest day in the past 17 years, with temperatures reaching 36°C. Other notable events for August were the ending of free TV licenses for the over 75s and the "A" level results fiasco!
However, we did have some great news for August, which is that we have managed to appoint a new Clerk to the Company following a series of challenging interviews, both face to face and virtually. The Appointment Panel made a recommendation to the Court on 3rd September 2020 that Heather Smith be appointed Clerk to the Company and this was agreed unanimously. We had hoped to introduce Heather, in person, to the whole Court at the Installation Court Meeting, planned for 1st October, at Carpenters' Hall. Regrettably, following the recent Government advice, we have had to change the arrangements and hold the Installation Court virtually once more. Heather will meet the Court virtually, but we will have to wait a little longer for a proper face to face "meet and greet" session.
In addition to the Appointments Panel meeting on several occasions during August, we held meetings of the Craft Trust and Craft Committees and the Strategic Review Steering Group. Good progress continues to be made in all of our meetings via Zoom.
Regrettably we had to cancel the Charter Day Visit to Hatfield House, however, I did attend some excellent virtual events, including a brilliant virtual magic show and an Elvis tribute act, both great fun.
Maureen and I decided to pay a visit to the City of London this month to see for ourselves what is happening. The tube trains were fairly empty, as we travelled out of the rush hour, and once we arrived at Moorgate we could hardly believe how empty the station and the streets were. It was quite surreal to be able to cross the roads with ease and to walk past so many closed shops, restaurants and coffee shops. We walked slowly around, covering the area around London Wall, The Guildhall, St. Paul's Cathedral and along the Thames. We did stop at one of the few restaurants along the Thames which was open, The Oyster Shed, where we had a very pleasant lunch, and were even more delighted when the bill arrived as the restaurant gave us credit for the "eat out to help out" scheme as well as for the reduced VAT on food! We left the City with an overall feeling of sadness at the huge changes we had seen, but still optimistic that eventually things will revert to some form of normality, even though it might be a different type of normality to the one we have all been used to.