Everyone told me “nothing happens in August” in London in the city it doesn’t. But in Nottingham it does as the Clerk knows to her cost. It has been a golden opportunity to finish a number of projects such as; completing the Terms of Reference for all our Committees, refining and sending out to the Court a consultation paper which proposes the refinement of the Nominations Committee selection process for key positions in the Livery, and a paper for the whole Livery inviting interested Liverymen to put themselves forward for one of the four new Steward roles.
The Nominations Committee that met on July 26th spent a considerable amount of time discussing and agreeing membership of the seven Livery Committees, and a number of appointments such as new Court members. Following this meeting a considerable amount of time was spent following through our deliberations with individuals so that the Committee was able to present our recommendations to the court in September.
Time was also spent preparing for the day of Livery meetings which took place on August 30th. Each requires the chairs to draft an agenda with the Clerk, which in some instances requires discussion with the Master. Committee day is long for those who are members of them all and I am grateful for their support and that of the clerk who has to note decisions taken.
Importantly the lack of events in London also afforded me time to finalise plans for the Livery Holiday in Bath and the surrounding area. I thought Bath would be an easier holiday to organise because the programme isn’t as full as Nottingham, but it is surprising how long sorting out two three course meals takes when 48 people are ordering from a menu that has several choices. I blame the gremlin in my computer for repeatedly putting names against the wrong dish or eliminating names altogether that I was sure I had added. I know for certain event management is not the kind of work I want to do in the future!
Committee day on August 30 involved as always many members of the Livery. I am grateful to everyone who has contributed to the work of the Livery this year.
September 3rd – 7th 48 of us stayed at the Francis Hotel in the centre of Bath. Our visits each day included Laycock Abbey, Highgrove, The Hauser and Wirth Art Gallery and the Fashion Museum. Between organised visits we had some meals together, free time to explore Bath and some free evenings to adventure out into Bath to experience different restaurants. See the diary Carolyn Ezekiel kept of our visit.
Livery appointments in the city began again in earnest the week after our holiday. On September 12th I attended evensong in St Pauls Cathedral followed by the private viewing of the vestments and plate which was awesome.
The following day September 13th was our Court meeting (see separate summary) followed by the annual Court only dinner. This year it was held at Chandos House which is part of the Royal Society of Medicine (RSM) of which I am a member. Chandos is the most wonderful Adam House refurbished only a few years ago. The president of the RSM during the refurbishment was Dame Deidre Hind who was also at that time the Chairman of the organisation where I worked - the Commission for Health Improvement. She did a remarkable job of drawing out the Adam features in carpets, soft furnishings and plasterwork, which was enjoyed by members of the Court.
The following day the Clerk and I joined the Inter-Livery Halls walk together with 54 other Masters. We walked fully robed with hats and chains visiting 40 Halls, starting from HQS Wellington at 8 am, where we had breakfast, and a glass of port at the Information Technologists. We stopped at Salters Hall for coffee and the Armourers Hall for Lunch. The walk finished at Fishmongers at about 5 pm. It was a great opportunity for the Clerk to get to know more about some of the Halls, to meet other Masters and also some of their Clerks the event was extremely well organised by the Worshipful Company of Environmental Cleaners and thoroughly enjoyable.
Unfortunately I was unable to attend a number of events during September because I went to with the Vice Chancellor of Nottingham University to visit our campuses in China and Malaysia. However normal services were resumed on Friday 29th September when I attended the Election of the next Lord Mayor, followed by lunch at Stationers Hall. A more relaxed occasion than the last time we were at Stationers when the Vault key couldn’t be found!
Earlier in the year Simon and I joined the Lord Mayor, Sheriffs and other Masters at Treloars School. I returned on October 3rd together with Vic Flintham who is our Link Liveryman with the School and Pamela Goldberg chair of the Charity Committee. The visit has once again left me with powerful feelings but this time we were able to discuss during our visit how a further generous anonymous donation might be used to greatest benefit.
The year ended on October 5th with a short Court meeting, to bring two new Liverymen into the Company, and two of the three new Court Assistants onto the Court prior to our annual church service. The three are Chris Frankland , Martin Miles and Mark Catchpole. This year the service was a little different, I wanted it to be both a service of thanksgiving for the year past, but also an opportunity for us to reflect on other more significant matters such as the terrorist events, some of which happened not far from where we meet and enjoy ourselves. We also remembered Liverymen no longer with us, and those who are sick and not able to attend Livery events any longer. It was wonderful to be able to do this while beautiful music was played. We were privileged the Lord Mayor Andrew Parmley agreed, and was free to be able to play the organ for us. For the first time we also invited our St Pauls Chorister Isaac Dutson to sing for us. The reason I particularly wanted him to sing was because it follows a theme I have tried to create during the year, of opening the Livery up and helping all Liverymen to recognise the impact of our charitable giving.
The final event for me was of course the Installation dinner, held once again at Fishmongers Hall. It was with a sense of pride and a little relief that I handed over to Colin Tiffin the safekeeping of our Livery. I know he will be brilliant supported by Tiz and the two Wardens, Anthony de Lacey and Andrew Whitton. The dinner is always a lovely occasion and this was no exception. The entertainment was provided by Sophie Creaner CHECK who was the winner of our Guildhall School of Music Woodwind Competition. She played one of the pieces that wowed us all when she played her 5 recorders during the competition.
To finish I want to say a very big thank you to all Needlemakers for your company and sense of fun at a range of different events, for your advice and support of me and the Livery,and you’re generous giving to the charity fund. But most important of all thank you being just as you all are – great people whom I am privileged to know and will always look forward to seeing again. Thank you.
Dame Elizabeth Fradd – Immediate Past Master October 8th 2017