So, what has your Master/ Immediate Past Master been up to in my final weeks of office, during the period 1 to 11 October 2023? Dr James Cripps is now your new Master. This is my last Master Fueller Activity Report.
It has been a privilege and a joy to serve. I wish James and his Consort Margaret, the new Senior Warden, Elena Oderstone and the new Junior Warden, Ashutosh Shastri, all success in their year ahead.
Wednesday 4 October, special Fuellers visit to TSW at MOD Stafford
The Fuellers had received a special invitation to visit our Military Affiliate, Tactical Support Wing, at MOD Stafford. TSW were established in 1970 and are an RAF logistics Company who mainly provide fuel to army helicopters operating in global military and humanitarian roles. I, Jan, the Clerk, the Junior Warden and Junior Warden Elect were part of a 21 strong Fuellers team. The day started with a presentation by the TSW CO Wing Commander Jon Smith on the history and the activities of TSW. We then had lunch in the Officers Mess and met a number of TSW members.
This was followed by a demonstration and display of equipment, vehicles and talks by TSW operatives. Afterwards we returned to the TSW offices for a wrap up session. Just as we were leaving, we were very lucky to observe close up, the refuelling of two Army Apache helicopters that were on a training flight.
Friday 6 October, Master and Clerks’ Lightmongers Lunch
The Clerk and I attended the annual Master and Clerks’ lunch held by The Worshipful Company of Lightmongers at Tallow Chandlers Hall on Dowgate Hill. Master Jamie Berry had also invited our own Dame Fiona Woolf.
We started with a drinks reception and moved into the Hall for lunch. Musical entertainment was provided by two students from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. One on the piano and one on the flute.
21 Livery Masters and their Clerks attended. All Masters were presented with a book called “The death of a light bulb” and I was lucky to sit next to its Author, Past Master Lightmonger, John Otten.
Why just 20 Livery Companies? It could be long memories by the City Police, as in 1484 there was trouble with Livery Companies processing in the City so they have since restricted numbers to avoid it being deemed as a protest or march!
Saturday 7 October, Chester Guilds Banquet
Jan and I attended The Freemen & Guilds of the City of Chester as guests of the President, Mrs Sara Smith, at their annual banquet, along with Past Master Fueller Neville Chamberlain and Joy. It was held at the Queens Hotel, Chester. A number of Fuellers are also members of the Chester Guilds and we have a strong relationship.
On arrival for the drinks reception we were greeted by the President, Sara Smith and her Consort Martin, as well as Ian Dutton, Hon. Secretary. This was followed by dinner and speeches. The Lord Mayor of The City Chester, Councillor Sheila Little, attended, as did the Master of The Guild of Freeman of the City of London, Chris Walton who was the principal guest.
Chester has had trade Guilds for over 800 years and today 23 of the original Guilds still survive with about 350 members.
Sunday 8 October, Fuellers Wardens complete Half Marathon
Your Junior Warden, Elena Oderstone and Junior Warden Elect, Ashutosh Shastri, both successfully completed The Royal Parks half marathon this morning. This was done in support of The Livery Food Initiative and City Harvest London. A number of Fuellers came to support and cheer them on, including Past Master Chloe Andrews Jones. They successfully raised awareness of the need to alleviate food poverty in London. Well done.
Tuesday 10 October, Service of Dedication RFA Proteus
I and the Junior Warden, Elena Oderstone, attended the service of dedication of the new Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship, RFA Proteus. This was at The Pool of London by HMS Belfast. The new ship was previously a commercial vessel that has been recommissioned for the RFA and will be used for deep sea cable defence. The ship will be linked to the Worshipful Company of Chartered Surveyors.
Attending was our own HRH Duke of Edinburgh and The Prime Minister’s wife, Akshata Murty, in her role as the Ships “Sponsor”. In addition, were the Master and Master Elect of the Worshipful Company of Carmen and representatives from a number of other Livery Companies, the crew, other military and service representatives as well as Sir Robin Knox Johnston. After the service, lunch was provided followed by an opportunity to tour the ship.
Wednesday 11 October, I Chaired the Fuellers Installation Court Meeting and attended the Installation Dinner
My final act as Master was to Chair the Installation Court Meeting held in the afternoon at Stationers Hall. A number of important issues were debated. During the ceremonial part of the meeting, I had the privilege of admitting six new Freeman as members of the Company. I also admitted the Master Carmen Elect, David Pugsley, as an Honorary Liveryman of The Fuellers. This is for his year of office with effect from his Installation on 18 October 2023.
Before I stood down, I provided a brief review on my year and made a number of special thanks for the help I have had in my year. I also presented a gift from myself and Jan to the Fuellers of a silver goblet for use by The Clerk at formal functions.
I then handed over to Dr James Cripps as the new Master. I wish James and his Consort Margaret, all success for their year. His first task was to install the new Senior Warden, Elena Oderstone and the new Junior Warden, Ashutosh Shastri. Congratulations to all.
The meeting was then followed by a drinks reception and the Installation Dinner, which I attended in my new role as the Immediate Past Master.