Tuesday, 18 October 2011

The Master’s first engagement!

My year certainly started off in style. My first engagement was a wonderful dinner hosted by the Worshipful Company of Tinplate Workers alias Wire Workers at the magnificent Fishmongers Hall on the banks of the Thames with the entrance on London Bridge. You don’t get much more historic than that.

I love this Hall (it is where we had our installation dinner last year) especially because it is an opportunity to see the wonderfully romantic portrait of the Queen painted by Pietro Annigoni. I was a child when the portrait was painted and was struck by the fairytale quality of it. It captured a moment in time in the early years of her reign and although it portrayed Her Majesty in a romantic style, the expression on her face is serious and thoughtful and certainly an indication of her commitment to her role. It isn’t lent out to exhibitions so this was a rare opportunity to look at it.

I much enjoyed meeting the Master, Ian Chamberlain, and the Wardens and other guests. A very warm and friendly welcome. It was an excellent dinner with entertainment provided by the Tinplate Workers’ Piano Scholar at the Guildhall School of Music – who just happened to come from my old home town, Johannesburg.

The Company was founded within a few years of the Needlemakers and is 67 in the order of precedence. As we are 65 we usually bump into each other when all the Masters process (we line up in order of precedence). Of course, without wire we wouldn’t be able to make needles.

All the livery companies have websites as do the halls so it is worth looking at them for further information and you can certainly find reproductions of the portrait on line.

PS I won’t continue to refer to myself in the third person as in the headline but I quite enjoyed writing that!

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