Seven weeks have whizzed past since my first blog and life as Master is accelerating. What have I learned so far?
Two valuable pieces of advice I have been given by past masters – try to attend as much as possible because you won’t know in advance which are the good ones. And go easy on the bread and the port . . .
I have also learned that juggling my day job and my Master’s role requires careful planning particularly on travel and accommodation. I live in north Norfolk and don’t have a London pad or any close relatives to crash with, so am grateful for rooms for hire at the Saddlers and Vintners Halls and at the Guildhall.
I am also learning that the City of London and the liveries are full of history, tradition, bright people, humour and fascinating place and events.
Early in September the Livery Halls Walk took me and the Clerk on an all-day walking tour of 40 livery halls in the company of many other masters and clerks. High spot? Lunch at the Armourers’ and Braziers’ Hall and our group photos being photobombed by Italian tourists thinking we were all from Hogwarts…
I also thoroughly enjoyed an afternoon tour of John Lobb the bespoke shoemaker in St James Street. Prices start at £2,000 a pair…the hand crafting and skills are fascinating. I’m delighted that William Lobb will be coming along to some Cordwainer events – more on this soon.
The Junior Members’ event was great fun – if you didn’t manage to make it, do come along to the next one. (Pictures can be seen on our Facebook page.)
The Lord Mayor’s Election was a fascinating spectacle and a clear demonstration of the invaluable role played by the Lord Mayor world-wide. During the event I inadvertently promoted the Cordwainers to number 13 in the order of precedence, to the surprise of various other Masters. I will tell all if you cross my palm with silver for SSAFA!
At the beginning of October, the Court was delighted and surprised to receive a superb, specially commissioned silver rosewater bowl, made by Thomas Jupp and the generous gift of Past Master Sebastian Chamberlain. More to follow on this too.
Finally, the Court received notice that our excellent Clerk John Miller will retire at the end of December 2018. It may seem like a long way away, but the process to find his successor is lengthy.
As if I needed reminding, this is a privilege and hugely enjoyable!