The Woodmongers Lunch – Carmens Hall

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Tuesday 6th September 2022

The Master Carman and The Master Fueller and their Consorts, came together with fellow Carmen and Fueller’s at The Woodmongers Luncheon in Carmen’s Hall. Pre lunch Carmen and Fueller’s chatted together about fuel sources and prices, transport modes, climate change, politics and policies, liveries and the City.

The dining arrangement was set up in a U shape and Carmen and Fuellers sat together enjoying a delicious 2 course luncheon of British Beef and a pudding with red and white wine whilst enjoying networking opportunities.

When port had been poured for toasts, the Master Carman asked everyone to stand and remain standing as he delivered all three toasts, HM The Queen, Past Master Carman, HRH The Princess Royal and the rest of the Royal Family, The Lord Mayor and the City of London Corporation. He then invited Senior Past Master, Clive Birch, to give us a short history of the Woodmongers, the Carmen and the Fueller’s their conflicts and resolutions. Clive reminded everyone that the past disagreements were so far in the past that the Fueller’s even had an office in Carmen’s Hall and that for the past four years the incoming Master Carman became an Honorary Liveryman of the Fueller’s for the year of office and vice versa. It was very well received and appreciation wax shown by a round of applause.

The Master Carman then introduced the guest speaker, former Sherriff and Past Master Tobacco Pipe Makers and Tobacco Blenders, Fiona Adler. He said that during lunch Fiona had told him that earlier in the year that she had slept with his Consort. This had come as somewhat of a surprise until Fiona had qualified that remark by reminding him that they had joined the Lady Mayoress in sleeping out in Guildhall to raise the awareness of homelessness in the City and raising money for the Lord Mayor’s Appeal. After a hearty laugh he received a good round of applause from everyone.

Fiona Adler delivered an engaging, impassioned, informative, inspirational, interesting, moving, sensitive and thought provoking speech. Her speech celebrated the end of the two companies conflicts and reflected on the history of other feuding liveries that often resulted in a bloody brawl on the streets of the City or imprisonment for deliberate slander.

Fiona also told the story of the liveries sixes and sevens tradition, involving The Worshipful Company of Skinners and The Worshipful Company of Merchant Taylor’s alternating their ranking as No 6 and No 7 in precedence within the Liveries.

There was peels of laughter when she described assisting her fellow Sheriff when he was in formal dress of tights and breeches to untwist his tights, in a vintage Rolls Royce on their way to Mansion House, they had stopped at traffic lights and were seen by passengers on the City Sightseeing Bus who were all busy photographing from above. Thankfully it didn’t hit Social Media as it may have gone viral.

Finally, Fiona spoke about the horrible history of Newgate Prison and her work within the Old Bailey to help young offenders find hope and fulfil dreams during rehabilitation. Everyone was impressed by her passion and energy and showed their appreciation with great applause.

The Master Fueller addressed the group with the final words on behalf of her and The Master Carman. She thanked The Master Carman & Consort for their very warm welcome and support extended to her and her Consort in this past year; Fiona Adler for agreeing to be Guest Speaker and delivering such an excellent speech; Senior Past Master Clive Birch for his historical information on the Woodmongers and Carmen; the clerks for their help and the caterers for their services; finally wishing everyone a very safe journey home.

The Master Carman & Master Fueller jointly presented champagne, chocolates and flowers to Fiona Adler and everyone gave a resounding round of applause.

By The Master Carman, Nick Laister