Each year, the Master holds a luncheon to entertain the Masters & Clerks of companies whose trades are related to ours or with which the Master has close personal connections. This year, the Master entertained the Masters & Clerks of the Masons, Glaziers, Joiners & Ceilers, Paviors, Plaisterers and Framework Knitters companies. These occasions are relatively small and slightly less formal than our traditional dinners, allowing us to use Halls that would not be large enough for evening use. On this occasion we were at Brewers’ Hall, just off London Wall. The Brewers were one of the first Guilds to build their own hall: it was lost in the Great Fire and its replacement was in turn lost in the Blitz but our visit to the third Hall, completed in 1960, was the first by the Tylers and Bricklayers for several years. Appropriately it was designed by Sir Hubert Worthington, the third generation of a well-known Manchester architectural dynasty and a name well-known in brewing circles. Although quite plain externally and with a slightly cramped entrance and stairway, the Livery Hall on the first floor is impressive and welcoming.

The Master proposed the loyal toast and the toast to the Lord Mayor and the City of London Corporation, after which the Junior Liveryman, John Gorman, proposed the toast to the Company and the Master. The Master, in a commendably warm and succinct way, proposed the health of our guests underlining the friendly nature in which mutual co-operation had long been a feature of the good relations between those companies. In response the Master Mason, Andrew Bowles (making about his last appearance before handing over to his successor at the end of his year in office), showed similar skill at imparting his message with brevity, praising us for our efforts to nurture our trades and to recognise their achievements through our annual and triennial awards.

It was a delightful occasion, emphasising our place among other Livery companies.