The Master2023-02-20T08:45:32+00:00


The Master is the most senior member of the Company who chairs its governing body, the Court, and represents the Paviors Company externally. The Master normally serves a one-year term of office and is elected by the Court of Assistants. He or she is supported by two Wardens who, in normal circumstances, are expected to succeed to the position. There is a four-year ladder to Master: 1) Second Warden-in-Nomination, 2) First Warden-in-Nomination, 3) Renter Warden, 4) Upper Warden, and 5) Master.

Melanie Hampton

Melanie is a Londoner born and bred but exceedingly proud of her Northern Irish heritage. Her association with the Paviors began when past master Nigel Kempner invited her to a livery dinner. She was charmed by the City’s traditions, and before she knew it, she was told to help set up the London Construction Academy. It is hard to believe that it has been nearly ten years since that first course took place and that she stands here before you as your new master. Her career in insurance started as a fast-track graduate trainee and progressed to owning and running her own Insurance Broking company. Alexander Miller has celebrated 30 years of exacting service to both commercial and private clients.

Fortunate in her business success, she does a great deal to support charitable causes. She has been a trustee of a medical response charity, lead governor of the South Central Ambulance Service, long-term school governor, an active supporter of Caius House, a youth charity in inner-city London, and Trustee of the London Construction Academy. She is also a fundraiser and says that on her tombstone, it will say RIP: “ Melanie always threw a good party.”
She was a Borough Councillor in Wandsworth for 8 years, rising to cabinet member for adult care and health and seeing the service through Covid. She oversaw two years of budget reduction whilst transforming service provision and making the department the most diverse in the council. She is an active member of the Carlton Club and enjoys the cut and thrust of politics.

Melanie has always loved ballet, and as a Silver Swan at the Royal Academy of Dance, she became the poster girl for Age UK. Her husband, Michael, loves the sea, and they enjoy many happy times on their flybridge cruiser motorboat moored in Lymington. Travel is something that she and Michael greatly enjoy, with an animal safari booked for this summer and the adventure of the Antarctic and Chile in 2025.


International Women’s Day

It is with great pride that on Wednesday, 6th March, I became only the second female Master of the Worshipful Company of Paviors in 748 years, and I am most [...]

24 April 2024

A month into the role and the Mastership is proving even more interesting than I had expected. Firstly, our engagement with Charity in the City and beyond. Lizette enjoyed her [...]

15 March 2023

The first week as Master Pavior has been a delight and a privilege for which I am extremely grateful to you all. It has also been a good introduction to [...]

27 November 2022

The 2022-23 Master and Mistress Pavior - Neil and Milly Sandberg - walked the South Downs Way over several weekends to raise £5000 for the London Construction Academy. The trail [...]

1 September 2022

It seems extraordinary that I am already six months into the role – the weeks and months have flown by. Past Master Hugh is a very hard act to follow. [...]

24 December 2020

Dear Pavior You may say that my year as Master has not turned out quite as the Mistress and I envisaged - and you would not be wrong. But we [...]

10 July 2020

​I chaired my first Court meeting last night - possibly quite often a scary moment for an incoming Master. There were 33 in attendance on Zoom! Whether or not my [...]

5 June 2020

An urban myth has it that the Chinese Premier, Chou En-Lai, when asked in the early 1970s about the historical effect of the great French Revolution, replied that it was [...]

20 March 2020

In view of very real problems being experienced on the ground elsewhere, and the many letters and emails we are now receiving about Covid-19, the Paviors Company may not be [...]

30 September 2019

​This summer has been a wonderful opportunity to spend time with our military affiliates. This started with 29 Squadron, when I visited Coningsby with my consort Maurice, and fellow Pavior [...]

31 August 2019

Common Hall, or indeed almost anything at the Guildhall, has to be a highlight of the year when you are Master. From gathering in the basement to don your gown [...]

15 July 2019

I continue my round of beautiful, but smaller livery halls, which is a particular treat as we are limited to a few larger halls for most of our dinners. I [...]

29 May 2019

Another eventful month, started in great style, when I attended the annual Kohima Dinner, courtesy of the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment’s Commanding Officer, Lt-Col Brennan Dwyer. Arriving at Canterbury [...]

6 April 2019

It’s exactly a month today since the Installation ceremony, and the time has flown by, as every Master will tell you. However, the highlight of this month has to be [...]

17 December 2018

As I sit down to write my seventh Blog since having the privilege of becoming Master, I will this week attend my 100th function of the year. Fittingly, this is [...]

5 October 2018

I very much trust you and your families had a relaxing summer and enjoyed the pleasant weather which has continued into October. After a wonderful holiday in France, I have [...]

14 August 2018

I was honoured to be invited by our Army affiliate, the Third Battalion The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment (3PWRR), to join them during August on exercise manoeuvres ‘Northern Strike’ at [...]

16 July 2018

Firstly, I must thank all of you who supported my fund-raising Walking the West Wales Coastal Path>walk along the West Wales Coastal Path. To date, we have raised a magnificent £15,190. [...]

3 July 2018

As Master of the Worshipful Company of Paviors, I am used to lots of questions about the organization and my role within it. As you might guess from our name, [...]

8 May 2018

This is my second blog and I am sitting in some discomfort and stiffness having spent a couple of days training for my West Wales coastal footpath Master’s Challenge. Yesterday [...]

26 March 2018

​First and foremost, many thanks for putting your trust in me. I will take on the honour with enormous enthusiasm and pride, and of course with a great sense of [...]

6 March 2018

As I sit here writing what is my final blog, I have now been in post for a year and three days, and have only one more event to attend [...]

22 January 2018

As I left Merchant Taylors’ Hall on the night of 30 November, our Autumn Livery Dinner, I found myself musing on what had made it so enjoyable. We had experienced [...]

31 October 2017

The last time I put pen to paper for a Paviors’ Blog, it was still summer: a faded memory now, but I know that many of you got away. I [...]

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