Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Needlemakers’ Court Dinner, 4 July 2012

This was our annual Court Dinner at the Butchers’ Hall.  As a Livery Company without our own Hall we are, as they say, peripatetic.  In fact, with gratitude to the Worshipful Company of Butchers, this is our base where we store our gowns and records and where we have one dinner and one lunch each year.  If you are a regular reader you will have seen mention of a variety of Halls  and this is something I rather enjoy.

All our events are special but this one is rather special as it is where we bring our prizewinners from the Royal School of Needlework (RSN) to receive their prizes and certificates and exhibit their work as well as the winner of the Needlemakers' Sword from our associated regiment.

From the RSN, Charlotte Bailey (in red) won the prize for overall Stitchcraft.  She has just completed her Foundation Degree and will go on to do her BA next year.  The technique of her final pieces are or nue which uses metal threads and coloured silks for pattern and shading – she used this in a pictorial way to depict 1950s style tattoo motifs and poster girls.

Anja Fenske (in blue) was awarded the prize for the Final Project of her BA year. Her interest is in fashion and she made three dresses to which she added embroidery embellishment each of a different type of stitch technique.  During the year she undertook a a very interesting and exciting work placement with Jasper Conran.

We also invite the Commanding Officer of our associated Regiment The 3rd Battalion The Princess of Wales Royal Regiment (3PWRR) and the winner of the Needlemakers’ sword for the most outstanding young officer which was won this year by Lieutenant Luke Boxall.  See photo of Luke receiving his certificate.  I had already handed over the sword which I managed to do without decapitating his boss sitting next to me.

At the Court meeting, that took place immediately before the dinner, we elected our officers for the year 2012/13 and voted to admit three new members to the Court. The change takes place in October when I retire to the backbenches so to speak!

We also admitted a new Liveryman, John Wesley Scott.  John is an American living in London and it was fitting that we welcomed him on July 4th.

I was impressed with my discussions with the Commanding Officer, Lt Col Geoff Minton MBE, and his colleagues when I attended the Albuhera Dinner, which I reported on in May, and I won’t repeat the comments I made then.  The scope of what the TA is expected to do now compared to their traditional role has changed dramatically and flexibility from employers is more challenging in the current environment. I thought it would be good for everyone to hear directly from Geoff himself rather than third hand.  It was an interesting and powerful speech and very well received.

As I write I hear that the Armed Forces will place an ever-increasing role in security for the Olympics – happily we still have them to call on in emergencies.

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