I am issuing this December report a little early, just before the end of December, so I can wish all the members of the Fuellers a very happy Christmas and New Year. I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at future Fueller events during 2023. See diary of events attached.
So what has your Master and the Wardens’ been up to in December 2022?
A big chunk of activity this month has been Christmas related events and celebrations.
As you know I am working with others on communications for your benefit. This includes the Fueller Communication Committee chaired by Michael Green who will be populating the social media communications; the Editor of The Fueller magazine, Lynn Postle; the Editor of E News, Louise Thompson and our Clerk Alex Maclean Bather.
I am happy for and would encourage any feedback on this e mail. I thank you for those who have commented so far.
Monday 5 December GPC Meeting, Fuellers Carol Service and Christmas Supper
In the afternoon I attended the GPC meeting at Carmen Hall as Chaired by John Ingham. A few attended by zoom and we covered a lot of ground.
After this was a short stroll along the road to attend the Fuellers annual Carol Service. This was held in the beautiful St Vedast-alias-Foster church on Foster Lane just behind St Pauls which was founded on this spot in 1308. Later re built after the fire of London in 1666 by Christopher Wren and again after the London blitz. We were joined once again at this service with our friends from the Worshipful Company of Fan Makers. A beautiful service and an atmospheric choir with traditional carols, which made me feel that Christmas had really got underway.
To underline the feeling of Christmas, the service was followed by the Fuellers Christmas Supper which was held a short walk away at Cote’s restaurant on Ludgate Hill in a private room. The evening was fun and noisy in a good way, with good food and in a Christmas setting.
Tuesday 6 December Oil Industries Club Annual Christmas Lunch and the Carmen Carol Service
As Master I was pleased to be invited as a guest, along with my Consort Past Master Jan, to the Oil Industries Club Annual Christmas lunch which was held at the magnificent Great Connaught Rooms. It was very well attended with around 500 enjoying the meal and the entertainment provided by Mick Miller, who is a past footballer and more recently a famous comedian. Our own Past Master, Dennis Woods who is the President of the Oil Industries Club, was very relieved when Mick arrived just in the nick of time at the end of the meal after his train was seriously delayed.
In the evening Jan and I went onto The Worshipful Company of Carmen Carol Service. This was my first event since being installed for my year as an Honorary Liveryman of Carmen. The service and supper was held at St Dunstan in the West Church which is next door to Carmen Hall. They made us very welcome and it was a great evening where we enjoyed traditional carols and attended the lighting ceremony of the Church Christmas tree outside on Fleet Street. We stayed on afterwards for the food and drinks. Jan and I look forward to attending more Carmen events in our year and to further developing the relationship between the two Companies.
Friday 9 to Sunday 11 December, Brigantes Winter Gathering and Christmas Concert, In Bradford at the National Science and Media Museum, the Bradford Club and Bradford Cathedral
What is Brigantes I hear you ask? It is the name of the organisation of the City Of London Liveryman in the North and the name comes from what was an ancient British pre-Roman northern tribe. This group is very active and well supported. Our own Past Master, Neville Chamberlain CBE sits on the Committee. They encourage members and attendance from any Liveryman. I fully recommend it. Representatives from many of the 110 Livery Companies were in Bradford for this weekend.
Jan and I travelled up to Bradford on Friday, by car as the trains cannot be relied upon at present. On Saturday we got to know Bradford better including a visit to the outstanding National Science & Media Museum. It was opened in 1983 and has seven floors of exhibitions with over 3.5 million pieces on show. This was followed by a reception and Christmas supper in The Bradford Club attended by over 150. This Club was established in the early 19th century and is located in the centre of Bradford. Sheriff Andrew Marsden was the principal guest.
After this it was a short stroll to Bradford Cathedral, to join an audience of several hundred for the Christmas Concert given by the Bradford Cathedral Choir and the world famous Black Dyke Brass Band. It was a spectacular and very festive event. Afterwards many gathered in the bar of our Hotel for a night cap and a chat.
Monday 19 December, Fuellers Charitable Trust Fund Meeting and lunch at Brasserie Blanc
The Trustees held one of their regular Charitable Trust Fund meetings at Carmen Hall and online. I attended as Master as and as an Advisor. These meetings are a real pleasure and we discussed in detail a number of requests for support. I am always surprised on the relatively few such requests that come in from our own members. Today, after 12 years of service to the Trust Fund, Russell Warburton retired as a Trustee and we thanked him for his service.
Afterwards many of us went on to enjoy a lunch at the nearby Brasserie Blanc restaurant.
Thursday 22 December, Peter Evans Freedom Ceremony at Guildhall
One of our Freeman, Peter Evans, attended at Guildhall for his City of London Freedom ceremony. This takes his Fueller membership up to the next level as a Liveryman and he can now drive his sheep over London Bridge! I and Jan represented the Fuellers at the ceremony and we attend as many of these as we can. I believe strongly in supporting our Freeman and it’s always a great opportunity to learn more about the history of the City at each ceremony. Afterwards we went for a celebration drink locally with Peter and his son. Luckily it was just before the main City Christmas celebrants arrived for the night.
This was a special and notable ceremony as it was the last one held for 2022.