This year's New Year's Court was held in the elegant surroundings of the Guildhall Club and whilst the Court was busy at it work, the Master had arranged for the Consorts, in advance of the dinner that night, to have a very personal tour of the Guildhall Art Gallery. John Halligan, a Freeman of the City, and a recognised expert on many aspects of the City's history led the group through a selection of the art on display. The Guildhall Art Gallery may be one of those art institutions less well known amongst the large array of national institutions in London, but it nevertheless has a superb collection quite to match the others. By the way, the Mansion House is similarly endowed and worth a visit at any time!
John selected his highlights which included some of the many pre-Raphaelite pictures, as well as a map of London that pre-dated the Great Fire. By way of special interest Past Master's consort, Suzanne Woods showed her own special knowledge of the City by pointing out where the original Fuellers and Woodmongers Hall was located in those good old days. We ended our tour topping it off with a view of the ancient Roman coliseum beneath the foundations of the Guildhall.
We could have spent much longer there such is the scale of the collection but the Master's Consort Reception and Dinner awaited us. On behalf of us all can I thank the Master for making these arrangements and introducing us to a bit of London we did not know and to thank her for introducing us to John Halligan who was quite the man for the tour.