As the Master, Simon Martin, has already expressed in his June 2022 letter to members, it was a joy to be “able to pay our own tribute and mark Her Majesty the Queen’s remarkable 70 years of selfless and dedicated service to the nation” at the Masters and Clerks lunch held at the majestic Armourers’ Hall.
The Armourers and Brasiers’ Company has occupied their site at 81 Coleman Street since 1346. By 1835 the building was costing more to maintain than it was thought to be worth and the Court decided to rebuild. the New Hall, first occupied in 1841, was designed by Joseph Henry Good, the Company’s surveyor.
We were honoured by the presence of the following Masters and their clerks:
• Architects - Philip Cooper (Clerk: Cheryl Reid)
• Plumbers - Nick Jones (Clerk: Adrian Mumford)
• Constructors - Arthur Seymour (Clerk: Kim Tyrrell)
• Masons - Martin Low (Clerk: Major Giles Clapp)
• Paviors - Neil Sandberg (Clerk: Jennifer Athill)
• Painter-Stainers - Lewis Cohen (Clerk: Christopher Twyman)
• Glaziers - Phil Fortey (Clerk: Liz Wicksteed)
• Joiner-Ceilers - Christopher Chivers (Clerk - Tanya Ingram)
Once The Master, Wardens, the principal guest, Hugo Vickers, the Clerk and the Chaplain processed into the Hall accompanied by Honorary Freeman, Richard Townend playing “Zadok the Priest” on the piano 85 of us sat down to a delicious look lunch with a Royal theme.
The assembled company and guests
The menu consisted of the following:
The starter was Salmon and Sole Balmoral with a champagne sauce.
The main course was Crown of Lancashire Grass Feed Lamb accompanied with King George Potatoes, Wye Valley Wilted Spinach and Grilled Yellow Courgette.
The theme continued with a pudding of The Queens Duo of Chocolate Perfection Pie, ATS Camberley Custard and Sandringham Estate Honey Ice Cream.
The meal was rounded off with “3 Cheers for Her Majesty”, Windsor Red Cheese, Castle of May Biscuit and, most importantly, Dubonnet Jelly.
The wines which accompanied each course were very well selected and matched each course well:
• Château Argadens 2019 with the starter;
• Château Angludet 2013 with the main course;
• Grahams LBV to finish ooff with the cheese.
The Master speaking with (from left) the Junior Warden, Mr Hugo Vickers, the Master Painter-Stainer, Mr Lewis Cohen
The Toasts that ensued were as follows:
• The Queen, The Lord Mayor and The City of London Corporation
Proposed by The Master
• The Toast to the Company
Proposed by The Junior Liveryman, Mr Clive Mathews
• Our guests
Proposed by The Master
The Response was given by Hugo Vickers, the renowned writer, broadcaster and royal biographer.
Mr Hugo Vickers speaking
Hugo gave a very interesting summary of the many achievements and milestones of Her Majesty during her 70 years as Monarch and they are numerous. This interjected with anecdotes which included Winston Churchill’s comment on the Queen coming to the throne and the ironic lesson from Phillipians 4:8 read by Boris Johnson at the Platinum Jubilee Thanksgiving Service. He gave the example of how the Queen is very much seen as a conciliator when Martin McGuiness was present at a State Dinner. The anecdote that probably received the most laughs was when Hugo regaled the story of when the Queen was with a faithful member of staff and they came across two American walkers whilst up at Balmoral. The story is too long to retell here but suffice to say that the Queen was not recognised by the walkers one of which persuaded her to take a picture of himself with the member of staff!
This rounded off what was a very memorable lunch.