27 October 2015

October has been a busy month already, and although there is another week to go, I thought I’d let you know a bit about the events I and, on occasions, the Mistress have enjoyed this month and since my last Blog.

One of the photos attached was taken at a certificate-awarding session to the latest cohort of students that experienced our Budding Brunels course run by the Construction Youth Trust. The course was held at East London University and thoroughly appreciated by nearly 30 A-level students, who as a result are much more inclined to become Engineers than they were before. While our focus remains with our London Highways Academy scheme, the results achieved by CYT and Budding Brunels are not to be forgotten. Our charitable efforts on this are hugely worthwhile!

On Saturday 10th, thanks to the considerable efforts of Mike Phillips, a Pavior admitted only last year, but a member of our Liverymen’s Committee, several of our Company (photo attached) spent a super day shooting on Great Oakley Farm near Harwich. We met for dinner in Harwich on the evening before, and stayed overnight, and paid enough each for the whole event to be able to donate well over £1,000 to the Paviors’ Charitable Fund. I know the Upper Warden hopes to organise a repeat or something similar again next year, and if anyone reading this will be as interested as those of us who went this year, please let either him or me know.

On Tuesday 13th, I had the great pleasure of meeting and listening to USA Astronaut, Dr Roger Crouch, in the Royal Society, during an evening organised and hosted by the Worshipful Company of Pattenmakers. Roger has completed two Space Shuttle voyages, and still holds ambition of being the first 100 year old man to visit the Moon! His story of the Space Programme to date, his own achievements (despite being colour blind!) and his prophesies about the future of space travel, made for a great evening. The photo attached is taken with him under a painting of Sir Isaac Newton, and we were treated at the start of the evening to see original manuscripts from Newton and other great thinkers, plus an original copy of Darwin’s Theory of Evolution brought up from the archives for a special viewing. Just as an aside, the Pattenmakers often greet the Paviors with the cry “you lot put us out of business” and you need to understand that ‘pattens’ were platforms that people tied underneath their shoes to get through the detritus on the pavements before we sorted them out! It’s a very good natured relationship these days, and this year’s Pattenmakers’ Master, Nick Andrews, has become a good mate from the first time we met at the Lord Mayor’s Banquet early in my year, through several other events when we have been in the same place! I’m sure Nick and I will continue to enjoy each others company when our year’s Past Masters’ Association “The Magna Masters” meets in the future!

Of course some Masters have already handed over to their successors and it was a mixture of past and present Magna Masters that visited Stepney City Farm on the 20th (photo of some attached). I must admit Caroline and I didn’t realise how many places like Stepney Farm still exist, not least to help teach some inner-city children where food really comes from and how to cook it. The fact that burgers don’t grow on trees is still a surprise to some!

I have attended three outstanding dinners over the last two weeks, The Cutlers’ Ladies Dinner at Cutlers’ Hall, the Chartered Surveyors’ Installation Dinner at Drapers’ Hall and the Builders Merchants’ Installation Dinner at Goldsmiths’ Hall, the first and third with Caroline. Representing the Paviors, we always get a huge welcome and recognition of all that we do and achieve. On these occasions I’ve been particularly pleased to get some very complimentary feedback from those who attended our own Mansion House Banquet on 24th September. I’m also very grateful for the positive feedback I’ve had from so many of you and your guests.

In addition to all of the above, Caroline and I have very much enjoyed the wonderful Northern Italian Wine Tasting and Dinner organised by the Paviors’ Wine Circle at the Travellers’ Club on the 8th, and the Paviors’ Luncheon Club Evening Dinner at The Don restaurant on the 21st. These separate but very connected organisations are very well run and I believe are very valuable and conducive to our ongoing successes. I thoroughly recommend membership of both to those who are interested and wish to get involved.

Until the next time, best wishes and regards