The Annual Livery Dinner of the Worshipful Company of Tylers and Bricklayers took place on 10th May 2018.  The venue was Merchant Taylors’ Hall, Threadneedle Street, London.The Annual Livery Dinner of the Worshipful Company of Tylers and Bricklayers took place on 10th May 2018.  The venue was Merchant Taylors’ Hall, Threadneedle Street, London.This year’s Annual Livery Dinner was special for several reasons.  Not least is the Company’s celebration of the 450th Anniversary of its Royal Charter from Elizabeth I in 1568.  To mark the occasion the 450th Anniversary Commemorative Centrepiece was displayed for the first time.  To create this a suitable piece of silver – one intended as a mace head that dated from 1705 and valued at £7,000 - laying in the vaults unused and in need of repair was identified by Dr David Allen, the Company’s Silver Steward.  A working party of Dr Allen, Past Master Roger Westbrook and Upper Warden Lesley Day proposed its dual use as a table centre piece and as a staff of office.  Following approval from the Court work began on its design and manufacture.  The result is a very impressive piece consisting of a catafalque type of ebonised sapele mahogany with explanatory engraved plaques.  The great mace head was purchased by the Company during the reign of Queen Anne. A new staff of ebonised sapele mahogany with silver banding and steel fittings was commissioned so the mace head could once again be used by the Beadle as a ceremonial staff.
For those who were unable to attend the Annual Livery Dinner, the centre piece will be on display as part of the 450th Anniversary Exhibition in the Guildhall Library from 24th May until 31st August 2018.
Introduced by the Beadle, The Master and Wardens greeted Liverymen, Freemen and guests in the splendid surroundings of Merchant Taylors’ Hall.  A Champagne reception was held in the courtyard in the evening sunshine.  It was a chance to meet with friends old and new before an excellent dinner and some particularly fine wines.
In his opening address, the Master Jeff Fuller welcomed guests including Lieutenant General Sir Mark Mans Chief Royal Engineer, accompanied by Lady Mans; The Honourable Liz Green and Mr Peter Green; Mark Grove the Master Cook; Anthony Komedera Master of the Makers of Playing Cards Company and Tony Ward Master of the Constructors’ Company.  
Introducing his Principal Guest, the Master explained why this was a special occasion for him.  In 1981 when Michael Fuller, the Master’s father and now Father of the Company, was installed as Master his guest speaker was His Honour Judge William Kennedy.  Jeff Fuller said how pleased he was that Judge Kennedy had accepted his invitation to this year’s Annual Livery Dinner in 2018.   Later, having given a witty and informed response, recognising the Company’s commitment to encouraging young people, His Honour thanked the Master and proposed a toast to the Company and the Master.
The Master responded with thanks to guests, fellow Masters, Past Masters, Wardens, Stewards, Liverymen, Freemen, the Learned Clerk and the Beadle.   The Master spoke of the success of the Company and its many achievements in relation to the Crafts, especially the positive benefits of vocational training.  He referred to the upcoming Exhibition of the Company’s Treasures at the Guildhall Library and confirmed its official opening by the Lord Mayor on 24 May 2018.  Unlike many other Livery Companies much of our archive and possessions survived the Great Fire of London although only just, as the charred extract from the 1666 minute book bears testament.   With a section dedicated to perhaps our most famous Liveryman Ben Jonson, marking the 400th Anniversary of his long walk from London to Edinburgh, the Master commended the exhibition as well worth visiting.
He also expressed his thanks on behalf of all present to Freeman Richard Townend for providing such fine music from the organ at Merchant Taylors’ Hall.

The Loving Cup was then passed from person to person.  A longstanding tradition at City functions, the formal practice is for the person who pledges with the cup to stand and bow to their neighbour who, also standing, removes the cover with their right (dagger) hand.  their other neighbour stands facing the opposite direction and guards the drinker’s back, a traditional act of protection which is said to owe its origin to an occasion in 978 in Corfe Castle when Elfrida treacherously arranged that King Edward the Martyr be stabbed in the back while drinking from a cup of wine.  
Another very successful and thoroughly enjoyable Annual Livery Dinner came to came to a close.  
PS.  There are some excellent photographs available from   Click on Livery Companies then scroll down to Tylers and Bricklayers’ Company Annual Livery Dinner