The association with this biannual event dates to the 1980’s if not earlier, the Lightmongers having taken part in all the markets to the present. Our participation is not only a vital fundraiser for the Red Cross but is looked on by the City with great respect. Not all livery companies take part but those who do have the opportunity to work closely with up and coming City Aldermen who will eventually become Sheriffs or even Lord Mayor; this has been my experience having taken a very active part in several markets. Each market is organised by an Alderman and this year it was Alderman Michael Minelli.
This year’s market has been a huge success, so I am sure we will hear that the market overall has raised a substantial amount of money and we the Lightmongers have made a significant contribution to that, having sold over £3600 of goods over the Monday evening and the Tuesday. In addition, we contributed three silent auction lots donated by Air Chief Marshall Sir Stephen Hillier and Admiral Sir Trevor Soar both Honorary Lightmongers and our dear Past Master Walter Balmford. These raised more than £1000, bringing our total raised for the Red Cross close to £5000.
This success is not achieved without a lot of effort on the part of those involved, the main challenge being obtaining the right products to sell. Sadly, the usual appeal to members went largely unanswered until Peter McVeigh came to our rescue, as he did two years earlier, when Past Master John Rowsell organised the Lightmongers stall. This coupled with Christmas lights obtained by Past Master John Harding gave us a vibrant and exciting stall with plenty of interest to those who shopped at the Market.
Without the generosity of Peter, John and I who together funded all the stock the market would not have been possible.
The second major element of our success is having dedicated people who help to set up and man the stall over the period of the market. We were delighted, that although unable to attend, Past Master Martin Gratte’s Company Gratte Bros received the goods and delivered them to the Guildhall on the Sunday morning and picked any unsold items up on the Wednesday morning.
Following a request to, quote, “provide a few lights” Past Master Ian Crosby volunteered to offer his services. Little did he know it would end up with him providing a generator and power and lighting to the German Market and spending several days with his team installing and removing the cables. Grateful thanks to you Ian.
Let me now praise our happy band of helpers on the stall:
David and Wendy Burns, Peter McVeigh, Phil and Eileen Webb, Ian and Maureen Bush, Ray Reid, John and Sandy Rowsell, who all put in a lot of time selling the products and setting up the stall.
We also had Senior Warden Steve Thomas for a period on Monday evening as well as Past Master Simon Bartley and Past Master Eddie Taylor who put in an appearance.
More volunteers to help would have spread the load better and they could have enjoyed the unique experience of the Red Cross market and done some Christmas shopping with a difference! So make a note for the 2019 Red Cross Market.
We can’t say thanks enough to those who despite bad backs and painful knees laboured so hard on behalf of the Lightmongers and on behalf of those who rely on the Red Cross in times of crisis.