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The Worshipful Company of Basketmakers


The chief officer of the Worshipful Company of Basketmakers is the Prime Warden. He or she is supported by an Upper and Under Warden. Until 1998 the Company had only a Prime Warden and a Junior Warden. It was then felt that with the growing demands being placed on the Prime Warden it would be preferable to have two Wardens supporting them and also to give the Prime Warden an extra year in which to learn and understand their role.

The Wardens are elected at the July Court meeting each year and they are installed on Installation Day each October. The Installation Day commences with a service of thanksgiving and blessing at our guild church of St Margaret Patten in Eastcheap. The Company then process to Skinners’ Hall for the installation of the Wardens for the forthcoming year.

The Basketmakers’ Company is one of only 6 Livery Companies in the City of London to have a Prime Warden. The others are the Blacksmiths’, Dyers’, Fishmongers’, Goldsmiths’ and Shipwrights’ Companies. All the other City Livery Companies have a Master with the single exception of the Weavers’ Company who have an Upper Bailiff. The Basketmakers’ Company appear to have had an Upper Warden as their main officer from their foundation right up to 1846 when it was decided to change the title to Prime Warden. No reason is given for this change.

Born in Surrey in 1949, Peter is very much a Surrey man having been born, educated and always resident in the County. He attended a state school where he was Captain of his House and Head Boy. He is a fellow of the Chartered Secretaries and Investment Institute and a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute.

Peter began his career as a trainee in a firm of Stockbrokers. In the early 1980s he joined Kleinwort Benson Investment Management, part of the Kleinwort Benson Group, as a UK Institutional Fund Manager. He became a Director some 10 years later and in 1995 was promoted to the Executive Committee. He was subsequently appointed Deputy Managing Director and Head of Client Relationship Management for the London business which having been acquired by a German bank was later acquired by Allianz Group.

Peter retired in 2003 and was invited to join a number of investment committees as an Independent Member.  He is still a member of of these committees including a large number of pension funds and charities. He is  a Trustee of the RAF Central Fund and The Reedham Children's Trust.

In the Basketmakers’ Company, Peter has been Chief Steward, a long-standing member of its Finance Committee, Chairman of its Membership Committee plus other Committee responsibilities.

Peter’s loving wife Jenny died in 2011 after 38 years of marriage.  Peter’s interests are explained by his memberships, which include the Royal Academy and the Royal Opera House.  Other memberships include the National Trust, RHS and Goodwood Racing.  Peter’s clubs are the RAC, the RAF Club, and the Bishopgate Ward Club.

Stephen was born in London and has always lived there.  His business career was solely at Harrods Ltd, where after completing the Executive Training Scheme he held various managerial and buying positions.  After being the buyer for the Modern Furniture Department he was appointed Section Manager for the Furniture and Furnishings Division.  Stephen is now retired from this role.

Stephen joined the Basketmakers’ Company in 2003.  He then became a member of the Trade Committee and the Company’s representative on the Basketmakers’ Association Committee.  He now sits on the Charity Committee and is the Company’s representative for its affiliation with the RAF No.5 (A.C.) Squadron.

His hobbies and interests are reading the history on all aspects of this country in the last century and the history of London.  He is a member of the 20th Century Society, the Royal Academy, the National Trust, the National Art Fund and the Wallace Collection.  He likes to travel and to visit museums specialising in Georgian European Decorative Arts, Pictures and Furniture.  He is a member of the City Livery Club and the United Wards’ Club.  

Stephen Gee - Upper Warden

Chris was born in London in 1950 and has lived most of his life either in London or Kent. He was educated at Maidstone Grammar School until joining Pinchin Denny - a firm of Stockjobbers on the London Stock Exchange, as a trainee in 1969. He worked his way up to individual Membership of the Exchange in 1978 and partner of the firm in 1983. In 1986 during ‘Big Bang’ Pinchin Denny was acquired by Morgan Grenfell where Chris became a Director of their international equity trading subsidiary. In 1988 Chris moved with his team to Credit Lyonnais and started a 16 year relationship with French Banks - initially Credit Lyonnais and subsequently BNPParibas where he was Global Head of Cash Equity Trading, travelling extensively, and splitting his working life between Paris and London. He became a Fellow of the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment in 2005. Chris is currently a Non-Executive Director of Asian stockbroker CLSA(UK).

Chris enjoys his small 15th century Chateau in Périgord South West France where he is a walnut farmer in his spare time. He loves travelling and visiting historic buildings.

His father had joined the Livery of the Basketmakers in 1946 enabling Chris to join the Company by Patrimony in 1971 on attaining his 21st birthday. His father was Prime Warden of the Company in 1975. Chris has 2 children by his first marriage - Jeremy and Susannah who are both members of the Company, and 3 grandchildren. He has spent over 30 years with his current partner Mike and they were married in 2006.

Chris is a Trustee of the Basketmakers Charity and looked after the relationship with the Letzi Guild in Zurich for 6 years. He is a member of the Coleman Street Ward Club.

Christopher Hipkins FCSI - Under Warden

Peter Allen FCSI FCMI -  Prime Warden