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Let Us Love One Another

The Worshipful Company of Basketmakers

2013 - 2014 Events

23rd November – Basketmaking Day

Fourteen Members of the Company and their friends and families once again met to have fun and make baskets. The day was led by Sue and Richard Kerwood, two of our Yeoman Members and regular instructors.  The group met at the Royal National Hotel, just off Russell Square and thanks go to PPW Richard Walduck for generously providing the venue and an excellent lunch.  Everyone completed a small, simple frame willow basket using rings and ribs which was suitable for collecting eggs or berries.  Some keen participants even struggled home with 3-4ft willow to try their hand at weaving a second basket using the techniques they had learnt!  Everyone left the day tired but satisfied and some people had even managed to solve one their Christmas present problems!

30th October - Stewards Club Dinner

The Stewards returned once again to the Imperial Hotel for their annual dinner.  PPW Richard Walduck generously hosted the evening and the assembled Stewards enjoyed an excellent dinner and good company.  At the end of the evening the Prime Warden, Graham Aslet, on behalf of all the Stewards, presented a cheque to the Immediate Past Prime Warden, Alderman Neil Redcliffe, with grateful thanks for a truly memorable year.  

26th October - Gog and Magog – Running Repairs

On Saturday 26th October Members of the Company worked at Guildhall to ensure Gog and Magog were looking their best for their annual appearance at the Lord Mayor’s Show.  The wicker giants, completed in 2006 are a major feature and attraction of the Show and it is important that they are well maintained for their important outing.  Cleaning, painting and a few running repairs were completed and they were once again ready to make their regal progress along the route across the City.  

9th November - Lord Mayor's Show

Despite the inclement weather the crowds turned out in large numbers once again to see the City of London put on its best display for the Lord Mayor's Show, the largest unrehearsed parade in the world.  Leading the procession as usual were Gog & Magog accompanied by the Society of Young Freemen and 100 Regiment.  Also walking with the giants were the Prime Warden, Graham Aslet and his wife, Jean; the Upper Warden, Edward Donaldson and his wife, Freeman Mary-Jane Donaldson;  PPW Peter Yarker;  our Trade Adviser, Mary Butcher MBE; Court Assistant  Simon Langton; Liverman Kay Johnson; and Yeoman Sandra Barker together with our Clerk.  Later in the procession came IPPW, Alderman Neil Redcliffe;  Liveryman Judy Taylor-Smith, Past President of the City Livery Club and a number of other Basketmakers who joined the City Livery Club as it celebrated its Centenary.  It seemed that there were Basketmakers everywhere!  After the parade a group of Basketmakers joined the Society of Young Freemen to dry off and have a well-earned lunch at the City University Club before enjoying the splendid firework display over the river to mark the end of the Lord Mayor’s Show and the beginning of a new mayoral year.

20th November – Masters and Clerks Dinner, Skinners' Hall

Our Masters and Clerks Dinner this year saw the Company entertain 36 Masters and Clerks of other Livery Companies to a splendid dinner at Skinners’ Hall.  The event is a wonderful social occasion and an ideal opportunity for Members of the Company to learn more about other Livery Companies and what they do.  In some respects we are all very similar but there are really 110 different ways to run a Livery Company.  The Prime Warden welcomed the assembled group and the Master Cordwainer, Glenn Shaw gave a vote of thanks on behalf of all the guests.

4th December – College of Arms with Windsor Herald

Twenty Members of the Company and their guests were entertained to a fascinating evening by Windsor Herald, William Hunt TD BA FCA at the College of Arms.  He provided guests with the history of Heralds who were first mentioned in Western Europe around the time of the first Crusade.  They were attached to the households of the great, acting as messengers, diplomats and army staff officers.  They also organised tournaments and in time became experts on coats of arms and ceremonial matters and over the centuries the Heralds have built up a unique registry of Armorial and family records.  The Heralds are appointed by the Monarch and are still responsible for the great ceremonies such as state funerals, the opening of Parliament and the introduction of new peers into the House of Lords.  Visitors were also treated to information about the architecture of the building and the Court, culminating in a visit to the Record Room with records dating back to 1484.  The evening concluded with hot buffet supper and the opportunity to ask William even more probing questions over a glass or two of wine.  

16th October - Installation Service and Livery Lunch - Skinners' Hall

Inevitably this is one of the highlights of our year.  The day began with our Installation Day service at St Margaret Pattens.  This was led by Rev Hugh Thomas together with the resident choir under the direction of Rupert Perkins.  Following the service the congregation walked to Skinners' Hall for a hot buffet luncheon before the Ceremonial Court and Common Hall where they saw the new Prime Warden, Graham Aslet sworn in.  With him were his new Upper Warden, Edward Donaldson and Under Warden, Richard Boucher-Giles.  The Court and guests received an interesting report from the outgoing Prime Warden, Alderman Neil Redcliffe on his year together with an insight from the Prime Warden on some fascinating events that he had planned for his year.  

12th October - Basketmaking Day

The Prime Warden’s Lady, Mrs Emma Redcliffe entertained Master’s Consorts from 14 other Livery Companies to a fascinating basketmaking day and lunch at the Dutch Church Austin Friars.  The Company’s Trade Advisor, Mary Butcher MBE, assisted by Melanie Carroll, a Yeoman Member helped everyone make a platter for bread, cheese or fruit out of coloured willow.  Everyone was invited to put their own stamp on their basket and a number were pressed into service shortly afterwards.  Everybody had a fun day, but acknowledged that they would need to attend a few more sessions and looked forward to the opportunity of trying their hands on another occasion.

12th December - Carol Service

A full house at the Guild Church of St Margaret Pattens this year for the Annual Service of Nine Lessons and Carols held with the Pattenmakers' Company.  The church was looking especially festive with candles and winter foliage in addition to the traditional Christmas Manger and Tree.  The service was led by Rev Hugh Thomas supported by wonderful music from the church's own choir, under the leadership of its Director of Music, Rupert Perkins.  The congregation once again enjoyed mulled wine and mince pies after the service and 75 intrepid Basketmakers and Pattenmakers walked the short distance to the elegant and modern Bakers’ Hall for an excellent and convivial buffet supper.  A wonderful beginning to the festive season.  

8th October - Visit Rose Theatre and Globe Theatre

Thirty three Members of the Company and their guests enjoyed a fascinating evening on the Southbank visiting the Rose Theatre, the Globe and enjoying a wonderful meal at Tas Pide.  A guide from the Rose Theatre provided guests with an insight into the project, which had received £248,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund, to preserve the archaeological site of the Elizabethan theatre on London’s Bankside and to create a visitor and performance centre.

Work on the first phase of the Rose Revealed project is now underway.  During 2013 the grant will enable the Trust to prepare the detailed plans for archaeology, conservation, architecture and design and other aspects of the project which are essential for its second phase, and its successful delivery on the ground.  The Rose Theatre Trust (RTT) will contribute £50,000 towards the Development phase in 2013.  Once this phase is completed, another application will be made to the HLF for a further grant.  It is hoped that the next face will coincide with the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth.

Members then moved on to Tas Pide for a very filling meal at this restaurant which specialises in Middle Eastern cuisine before crossing the road to the Globe to see a wonderful performance of Macbeth.  The production marked the directorial debut of Eve Best, one of Britain’s most consistently impressive stage performers.  The chief virtue of the production was its clarity and one of the pleasures was the rapport created between the cast and the audience.  A play not usual noted for its humour, every effort was made to capitalise on the lighter moments which the audience shared and enjoyed.  

 8th October - Court Meeting

The fourth Court meeting of the year saw the submission by the Strategic Review Working Party of their third interim report. The Working Party had held twelve formal meetings during the year, which did not reflect the significant work that had been undertaken by e-mail over the summer months.  The Working Party had arrived at a number of conclusions and was awaiting the recommendations of the Marketing and Communications Sub-Group.  On the basis that the preparatory work was completed on time it was envisaged that the final report would be prepared by the end of December for discussion at the January Court Meeting.  

The Court was sorry to learn that Philip had stood down as the Company’s Beadle after nearly twenty years in the role.  The Clerk was working on producing a job description and advertisement and it was hoped that a replacement would be in post early in the New Year as this was a key role for the Company.  PPW John Robinson reported that the Charitable Trust was keen to recruit a grant administrator to undertake this important role for the Trust.  The post would probably require someone to commit a couple of hours per week and it would be an honorary position.  A job description was being produced and would be circulated to the Livery in the New Year.  

PPW Richard Bundock updated the Court on the Centenary Events that had been held at RAF Waddington on 26th July.  The Company had been entertained to a fantastic weekend and the RAF were very positive about the ongoing affiliation with the Company.  The Court noted the major changes that were proposed to the Reserve Force and the implications this would have for 100(Yeomanry) Regiment Royal Artillery which would cease to exist.  In the light of this the Prime Warden was looking into the possibility of progressing an affiliation with the HAC which was welcomed by the Court.  Assistant Hipkins reported on the visit by the Letzi Guild to London and had been pleased to see so many Basketmakers attending the events despite some inclement weather.  He thanked all the sponsors for their generosity and looked forward to future visits.