Visit to HMS Magpie – 14th March 2024

On the 2nd of February 2023 the Worshipful Company of Tylers and Bricklayers signed a memorandum of understanding with the Royal Navy confirming their new affiliation with HMS Magpie and on the 14th of March we were granted our first opportunity to visit the ship and its crew at St. Katherines dock.


The Master and Mistress and members of the HMS Magpie Liaison Committee led by Liveryman Commander Edward Rolls RN met at HMS President and were greeted by the ship’s crew and their Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Commander Nicholas Radue RN.


Following a meet and greet accompanied by refreshments we all took part in a safety briefing before casting off and embarking on the first part of our adventure.


Alongside HMS President we witnessed the ship at work, surveying the riverbed and watched the imaging appear in real time on the ships display screens.


Rapid progress was then made up river under the control of HMS Magpie's latest helmsman, Master Chris Causer.

After a further journey upriver, we returned to the jetty and moored up just in time to witness Royal Marine raiding crafts set off as part of the historic 'Ceremony of the Dues', accompanied by a Commando Merlin helicopter from 845 Naval Air Squadron.



The ceremony is a tradition that dates back to the 14th Century when naval ships passing into London were ordered to pay a levy. Normally Royal Navy sailors carry out this task, but given the significance of their 360th year, Royal Marines were given the honour to mark their illustrious history and also their place at the very forefront of UK Defence.


With feet firmly back on terra firma we made our way to the mess at HMS President where the Royal Navy had very generously laid on lunch.

At the inaugural meeting of the HMS Magpie liaison Group, held in October 2023 and in accordance with the MoU it was agreed that an annual prize would be awarded to the member of the Ship’s Company who has provided most to the morale and well being of the crew.

The Master said a few words thanking the Commanding Officer and his crew for their hospitality and facilitating this opportunity to witness first hand the operation of one of their vessels.

The award, comprising a framed certificate from The Company together with a cheque was then presented to LETME Taylor, the ships Engineer. Following the presentations the visit was concluded and we all made our respective ways home.

The Company's thanks go out to Lieutenant Commander Nicholas Radue RN for permitting the most enjoyable visit to take place and to Liveryman, Commander Edward Rolls RN for his exemplary organisation and co-ordination.

Court Assistant - David White