Dear Fellow Lightmongers
October has again been a busy but particularly interesting time for my last month as Master. One of the highlights of the Master’s year is attending the send-off for the Worshipful Company of Hackney Carriage Drivers’ Annual Children’s Magical Taxi Tour, taking sick and terminally ill children to Disneyland Paris. The Lightmongers support the event as part of their charitable activities by sponsoring one of the carriages. This year 110 taxis, plus support vehicles, set off from Canary Wharf at 7am after a breakfast accompanied by music from the Guards Band.
The Master with our sponsored cab
I was pleased to host our annual Masters and Clerks’ Lunch at Tallow Chandlers’ Hall where we return the hospitality to the Masters of other livery companies who have entertained us during the year. I have also been a guest at the Wheelwrights, the Fan Makers and the Furniture Makers during the month. By coincidence I was sitting next to a Past Master of the Furniture Makers who crafted our own Master’s chair used for our meals at Tallow Chandlers. Together with the Mistress Lightmonger I was also a guest at the London region of the ECA Dinner, hosted by their chairman and Past Master Lightmonger Ian Crosby. A lively and entertaining evening!
It was our pleasure to host a lunch for the Presidents of all the significant organisations connected to the lighting industry. This is the first time we have done this and a useful discussion ensued about common areas of interest and particularly Education. We hope that we will be able to take these ideas forward and continue the dialogue over the coming years.
Since our affiliation with HMS Queen Elizabeth, the nation’s newest aircraft carrier, we have been looking forward to the chance to visit her. This month they hosted the first affiliation day and we were able to join the Captain and Honorary Lightmonger Jerry Kyd for a day on board. Following an introduction from the Captain we were taken to the Flight Control, Bridge, Hanger, Weapons preparation and other areas of the ship. But it’s not until you exit onto the flight deck you realise the true size. The engineering that has gone into her construction is truly amazing and the Navy are rightfully proud of their new ‘real estate’. The ship has not yet been handed over by the contractors and as we left she was preparing for further sea trials.
Before leaving we were able to present our certificate of affiliation to Captain Jerry Kyd. It is hoped that there will be more opportunities for Lightmongers to visit the carrier in the future.
The Master taking the Captain’s chair and on the flight deck.
As part of our affiliation with HMS Illustrious we donated 2 light projectors which could be used to project slide images onto the superstructure of the ship. This included the ships’ crest, the Lightmongers’ crest and flags of host nations. On her decommissioning these projectors were retrieved, refurbished and equipped with a new set of slides ready for presentation to HMS Queen Elizabeth. We arrived around 5.30pm and were escorted to the ship’s side where power had been laid on. Many of the officers and crew remembered the projectors from their days on Illustrious and were excited that they could now be used on the new carrier. As darkness fell the images could be seen clearly, attracting the attention of everyone that passed, including an American 3* Admiral. We left the projectors in the good hands of Chief Petty Officer Rich Byers who had looked after them on illustrious. Whilst in Portsmouth the images will be projected on her stern so they are visible to anyone visiting the historic dockyard.
The Master with Chief Petty Officer Rich Byers setting up the light projectors
HMS Queen Elisabeth with the ships crest and Lightmongers crest projected onto her side
Continuing with our affiliation theme, we received the invitation for an affiliation visit to 606 Squadron. After the Master, Clerk and award sponsor the remaining 7 places went into a raffle so a good chance for our Liverymen to take part in the visit. 606 is where helicopter training takes part for various types across the forces and we were shown into the simulation room where pilots are trained in flying and running sorties before flying for real. We were able to join one of the pilots for a training flight in a Puma which took us through various controlled airspaces into London and back. We were joined for the day by Honorary Lightmonger Sir Ian MacFadyen.
Our year finished with a Black Tie party hosted by the Lord Mayor and Mayoress at Mansion House. Less formal than is usual in the Egyptian Hall with entertainment provided by the “Lord Mayor’s Big Band” with Andrew on the keyboards throughout the evening. A great chance to meet many friends we have met during the year and dance to great music in historic surroundings. A real end of term party for us all!
As we were leaving Mansion house we reflected on the winning entries for our Luminaire Design Competition which have been on display there since our Summer Banquet.
As I reflect back on the past year it has been one that has gone by even quicker than usual. The year began planting a cross of remembrance at St Paul’s and finished with our Presidents’ Lunch. I think this reflects the two intertwined themes of the year, being part of the City Livery movement and ensuring the relevance of the company to its members. In total I have attended 110 functions during the year, excluding our own committee meetings and the inevitable breakfasts with the Clerk.
When asked what the highlights of the year were they were many. But the highlights were always the people. Those that you dine with, those that you present awards to, and those clinging on to a rope 200m above London. During the year I have met many different people from many different walks of life and through our past masters association will be able to continue these friendships into the future.
I wish to express my thanks to all members who have supported me throughout the year. It has been a pleasure to meet many of you at our functions. I would also like to thank our Clerk Phill Hyde who works so hard to keep the company moving and ensured I was always in the right place at the right time and in correct attire. Lastly I would like to thank my wife Josephine who entered into the supporting role as Mistress Lightmonger. Without her support both at home, and as an extension of the company at the Consort functions, I could not have undertaken the role.
I have many memories from the year as reflected by the pile of memorabilia collected from many events.
Master Lightmonger 2016/2017