Dear Fellow Lightmongers
It has been a busy month and I make no apologies for including extra photographs this time to give you a flavour of the different events I have attended.
One of our educational awards is to the Top Apprentice on a City and Guilds course associated with Lighting and the Electrical sector. This year we were pleased the winner, Benjamin Stuart, came from Crosby Electrical under the watchful eye of Past Master Ian Crosby. Ben was invited to receive his award from HRH the Princess Royal at St James Palace. Waiting outside for him was one very proud Grandad, a day not to be forgotten.
From left: Ian Crosby, Alan Milan Ben Stuart, Mike Simpson
One of the traditional events for all masters is a weekend at Ironbridge. This year 93 Masters and their partners arrived for a weekend at the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, as well as a time to meet fellow masters in a more social environment. We were lucky as the Ironbridge itself is due to be covered for a period of major renovation later in the year. It was also a chance to meet some of the Masters I had not yet met over the last 7 months. For anyone who hasn’t been to Ironbridge I can recommend it but our whirlwind tour could only be a taster for a longer stay. This is also the time at which we form our past masters association, a somewhat less hectic way of maintaining contact with all the friends we have made during the year. Right at the beginning of my year it was suggested that we should become the Prime Masters, as 2017 is a prime number (a number that can only be divided by 1 or itself). This we all agreed on, and the consorts would be the Prime-Movers. Our motto: The Prime Masters – never to be divided!
Top Left: The Tile Museum. Top Right: Ironbridge Itself. Bottom Left: Ironbridge, the home of the Aga. Bottom Left: Ironbridge Gorge
Our Annual Lecture this year was due to be held in November, but we couldn’t miss the chance to invite artist Leo Villareal, who is the creative lead for the Illuminated River project in London. Leo was visiting London and we were able to secure him for the evening. With support from the Illuminated River Foundation and its chairman Hannah Rothschild we put on a great show at Tallow Chandler’s Hall. It was standing room only as Leo talked about how his work has influenced his proposals for the lighting of 15 bridges across the Thames. It was a perfect evening for pre-lecture drinks and canapes afterwards. Leo enthralled us with his description of his vision and we had a good discussion before bringing the event to a close. I have received lots of good comments both after the lecture and since as I meet fellow masters that attended.
Left: Leo and impression of Waterloo Bridge. Right: Hannah Rothschild, Mike Simpson, Leo Villareal
One of the highlights of the year is the chance to host a weekend for fellow Liverymen and partners. Our choice this year was the city of Lyon with the theme of Gastronomy and Light. It is a city I have visited many times before, but always enjoy returning. In our group there weren’t many that had been before but many that said they would return. We were also blessed with good weather which makes such a difference. There is a fuller report on the website with some more photos but I think those below sum up the weekend; good company and good food.
Having arrived back from Lyon on Sunday evening the following day I had to present myself to the Old Bailey, on one of the hottest days in June, to be Jailed and Bailed. Altogether 30 masters were charged with various heinous crimes. My own charge, read by Sherriff Peter Estlin, was as follows:
“Master Lightmonger, you will not get off light-ly for what you’ve done! You are under arrest for falling asleep in meetings and face additional charges for contempt of court for denying it!!. The Master is a self-confessed DIY enthusiast and therefore the public will be delighted to know we have issued special precautions for his imprisonment. Double doors, solitary confinement and only limited access to B&Q. Although, we have heard the master likes to take risks during his DIY projects and has been spotted by our secret helicopter surveillance team sawing a branch off a tree that his ladder was leaning against. Maybe he should be put away for stupidity! Even if the Master escapes our fortress, his get-away car would undoubtably be his trusty Volkswagen Touran, a car so ugly, no one would grant respite for the man who bought it!! After he inevitably tries to escape to attend the cruise he has planned for August we know he will give himself up in September to avoid the invitation to abseil down the Cheese Grater with the Lord Mayor! Not even this DIY daredevil wants to take that risk! Master please don’t be too worried about your upcoming jail time. We promise our guards have a light touch. To the Tower “
I have to suspect my wife and son for providing some background information as the tree incident was not widely known about! We were then taken by routemaster to the Tower where we were paraded with our ball and chains in front of the many tourists who must have wondered what was going. Fortunately my bail money could be paid, with thanks to the donations of my fellow Lightmongers, and after being fingerprinted, I was released.
Left: Parading through the Tower to be ‘Jailed’! Right: My release papers complete with fingerprints
One of the privileges of being a Liveryman is to be able to take part in the election of the Sheriffs at Common Hall. As Masters we all gathered in the crypt at Guildhall and went through the now familiar, but still chaotic, process of lining up in order of precedence. We then duly processed into Guildhall where the candidates for election were presented to us.
Masters gathering in the Crypt at Guildhall
New Sherriff’s Neil Redcliffe and Timothy Hailes
My final event of the month was to attend a concert by the Medici choir at St Margaret’s Church, Westminster in aid of the Lord Mayor’s Appeal. Did you know the clock on the outside is a moon dial?
Moon dial on St Margaret’s, Westminster
A reminder on the 8th September I will be abseiling 200m down London’s Cheesegrater building in support of the Lord Mayors Appeal. 100 absailers will be led by the Lord Mayor himself followed by 99 other supporters. I have met 2 other Masters who are also joining in and we collectively agreed that some training should take place before the day, but when!
My target is to raise £1000 towards the appeal and if every Lightmonger sponsored me for just £10 we would soon reach that target. Giving is easy by following the link below.
7th July Annual Summer Banquet – NOW CLOSED
24th September – Sheep Drive on London Bridge – Details sent – Application details via https://sheepdrive.london/book/
29th September – Election of Lord Mayor – Save the Date LIVERYMAN ONLY
5th October – Music Hall Extravaganza – Applications open – only 26 places
3rd November Members Only Dinner – Tallow Chandlers’ Hall – save the date
11th November – Lord Mayor’s Show – Save the Date
6th December – Lightmonger’s Carol Service – St Botolph’s Without Aldgate – Save the Date