On Thursday 1st October I had the privilege of being installed as Master of the Worshipful Company of Tylers and Bricklayers for the second time. On this occasion, there was not the usual pomp and ceremony of "normal times", instead, the whole Installation Service was conducted online via the ever-present medium of Zoom. Despite the long distance arrangements, I felt very honoured and privileged to be asked to serve as Master for a second term, so thank you to everyone. Although we were not able to celebrate the Installation in the usual way with a wonderful church service and lunch, we nevertheless made the best of it by raising a glass of champagne together at the end. Let us hope that things will improve in 2021, enabling us to get together for some good fellowship.
Regrettably cases of Covid-19 continued to increase rapidly during October, with the UK exceeding 1 million cases. A new 3 tier alert system was introduced in England with a 5 tier system in Scotland, just to keep us all on our toes! And on top of all this, we had the wettest day on record this month.
In the City, all functions were cancelled, including the National Federation of Roofing Contractors Awards and the Tile Association Awards, both excellent functions that were hugely missed. Also, Maureen was due to attend a luncheon with the Lady Mayoress at Mansion House, which she was very much looking forward to, but regrettably that also had to be cancelled.
However, I did attend some wonderful online events, including a fun quiz night and an inspirational event entitled 'Wizardy in Wood' hosted by the Worshipful Company of Turners, which showcased the stunning and intricate work of some of their very talented Turners. Two examples of this magnificent work are shown here:
I have continued to meet with the Wardens and Acting Clerk on a weekly basis via Zoom to discuss various Company issues and the Strategic Review Steering Committee has soldiered on remarkably well considering the difficult circumstances of the lockdowns. The Chairman, Past Master David Szymanski, is putting the final touches on the report in preparation for presenting it to the next meeting of the Court on 17 December.
The excellent and informative Company Newsletter and White Book were despatched to all Company members by post during this month. The Newsletter is a bumper issue, packed with many interesting and informative articles. It was especially nice to read how some of our fellow Liverymen running their own businesses have coped during the period of lockdown. It appears that despite the very serious setback of lockdown, they have all found ingenious ways to cope and keep running their businesses. Well done all. And hearty congratulations to Upper Warden Simon Martin and Liveryman (and Editor) David Williams for producing such an excellent Newsletter for us to enjoy.
Sadly the month ended with the announcement of yet another lockdown for England, commencing on 5 November and ending on 2 December. Watch this space!