6 June 2016

Well it’s only been five weeks since the last blog but there is a lot going on so, before the grey cells start to forget things, I thought that I would get another message out to you all. ​

It was a quiet start to May during the bank holiday week and that gave us both a chance to catch up and sort out diaries for the coming few weeks. We had a couple of meetings with Past Masters (it’s a great help having the Past Masters around to discuss issues and decisions with: they bring a calm and reflective experienced view to any manner of subjects and give a Master much needed advice). During the second week of May, things started to get back again to the usual pace.

I was very pleased to be invited by Alderman and Sheriff Charles Bowman to lunch with the judges at the Old Bailey. Having been once before at the invitation of Sir Michael Bear, I at least knew what to expect but, once again, the sheer width of experience and intelligence around the dining table was fairly intimidating (if you can believe that). The time over lunch is, I think, meant to give the judges a distraction from the cases they are sitting in the court but, as ever, discussions kept moving back to the world of law and cases that are moving through the courts. Interestingly at the current time some 60 per cent of the cases are involved with terrorism. The judges themselves are some of the most interesting people that you could hope to lunch with and, as with last time, it all ended much too soon for my liking and they returned to the courts and I to work

That evening the Mistress joined me (resplendent in one of her hats) for a service at St Paul’s Cathedral to celebrate the 362nd Festival of the Sons of the Clergy. This is an annual event that has been happening for quite a while! Masters are privileged to process in with the Lord Mayor and various bishops. It was, as always, a humbling experience and the sermon from the Archbishop of Canterbury was thought-provoking. However, for me the rousing hymns and singing in that great building will always be my greatest memories of the events I attend there. Afterwards as we had the children covered at home and there was no following event, the Mistress and I snuck off for supper on our own before travelling home.

I attended both the Marketing Committee, although disappointingly not quorate, and a well-supported Admissions Committee, where there was some good discussion on our social footprint, and four excellent new candidates were interviewed and received a seal of approval.

That same evening I attended a wonderful service in the church of St Bartholomew The Great prior to a reception at St Barts hospital called ‘View Day’. The evening is to acknowledge the many ways that the City helps in the funding and running of this great institution and was attended again by the Lord Mayor and Sheriffs. The church service was wonderful and the building itself is really worth a visit, reminding me of a monastery and clearly one of the oldest churches in the City. The Bishop of London as usual gave a really good sermon and, as a Master, I sat in a front pew of this wonderful place. It was again something that makes the whole experience of being a Master worthwhile.

The next evening (and it’s still the second week of May!) the good lady and I attended a concert in recognition of HRH The Duke of Kent’s 80th birthday and his ongoing Presidency of the Royal Choral Society. The evening was at Westminster Hall so an easy two minute walk for the Master but an hour and a half trip for the Mistress. It was a wonderful musical evening with about (we tried hard to count) 150 choristers and the English Chamber Orchestra performing a wide range of pieces. What a week!

The next week led up to the Master’s Jolly, this year in Dartmouth which is a place that Tessa and I have visited many times and love. Early in the week I attended a quick late afternoon meeting at Moor Park for the Charity Golf Day being held there on the 19th July. I have been a member at this course for many years and I am sure it will give the teams a good challenge and an enjoyable day in beautiful surroundings Then on Thursday we set off to Dartmouth with 36 members of the Court with their partners. The idea of this weekend is to bring the Court members closer together and introduce the newer members in a relaxed manner. The Master (and in my case Mistress and entire family) has all the responsibility for the weekend and, let me tell you, it’s quite a relief to get it done and, hopefully, in a way that everyone enjoyed. The weather could have been kinder but, saying that, it allowed us to be outside all the times that had been planned and did not really affect the trip too much. We had a gala dinner in the Britannia Royal Naval College on the Saturday night and we were joined by a past Commander of HMS Argyll, together with the new Commander and Executive Officer. Following a very good dinner and the subsequent dancing, I think that they may have a different view of Paviors and liverymen in general.

Tuesday of the following week back in London saw the Mistress and myself, accompanied by my eldest daughter Kellie, attend Buckingham Palace for a Garden Party. We had lunch beforehand at the Goring and found ourselves surrounded by other Masters, all properly attired in morning dress, and ladies with wonderful hats ready for the afternoon. The sun shone and we had the fortune to meet and talk with a number of the Royal Guard and found ourselves in a line next to Prince William and Kate as they met the guests who were being presented. The grounds looked amazing in the sun and many pictures to remember the event where snapped by all present.

On Thursday of the same week, both myself and the Clerk where guests of the Guild of Air Pilots. I was fortunate enough to be asked to process in with the Master, the Duke of Edinburgh, and the Prince of Jordan! The evening was held at Drapers’ Hall and as ever their staff looked after the whole event with a dignified and calm efficiency (looking forward to our November dinner there). I, as a pilot of sorts, had a wonderful time talking about flying to the assembled dignitary of pilots, including the Prince of Jordan, an accomplished rotary and fixed wing pilot himself.

Finally last Friday, I had the absolute honour to present 17 certificates to the latest cohort from the London Highways Academy at the London office of the CHIT. The students each stood up in front of the audience and explained how they felt following the two-week course. The theme emanating from all of them that this was a chance they had been given to improve themselves, and that it had been for most of them a life-changing experience. For the audience, this was quite humbling The spirit of team co-operation and even the ability to stand up and speak shone through as new skills they had learned, along with a safety certificate and other qualifications they had gained during the course. It was clear that they had all gained a huge amount from the experience as did all the audience listening to them. The course graduates were setting off into the wide world of construction to try and now find a place to prove themselves. Let’s hope that we as Paviors can rise to the challenge and become a major part of the next phase of their lives in giving them and others that follow that chance in our industry.

I am off to Ironbridge next weekend and, following that, we have the summer party coming up on Friday 24th June. This promises be a lot of fun for those who attend. Some have said that the explanation of the evening could be better so I attach a flyer produced by the Liverymen’s Committee that will hopefully explain the evening in a better way and get you reserving you and your guests’ places soon. I do hope to see you at an event in the near future and please do come and say ‘hello’. Once again let me know if the content and style of the blogs are finding favour.

Ian ​Lumsden