The Worshipful
Company of Basketmakers

Let Us Love One Another

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Basketry of the Year 2019
Competition Winnners

The Worshipful Company of Basketmakers is pleased to announce the winners of the Basketry of the Year Competition 2019. 
​​​​​​​Thanks to the generous financial support of the Charitable Trust and support from the Basketmakers’ Association, we are pleased to organise this prestigeous annual event.
​​​​​​​This annual craft competition aims to highlight and record the rich diversity of current basketmaking, both in this country and abroad, to encourage excellence in basketmaking and increase the levels of skill and awareness of our heritage craft.

This year’s winning Basketmakers will receive their prizes at the Company's Annual Banquet
​​​​​​​at Mansion House in the City of London, on Thursday, 26th September 2019.

UK First Prize

Rachel Frost (Scottish Borders)

Flatwork woven onto a puzzle block
H:30cm x W:37cm
English freshwater bulrush (scirpus lacustris)

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UK Second Prize

Joan West (Surrey)

Random weave and coiling
H:38cm x W:28cm
Cordyline leaves and wool

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UK Third Prize

Janice Brooklyn (London)
'Round Cane Basket"

Stake and strand with ridge weave and
​​​​​​​4-rod wale
H:30cm x W:36cm
Dyed cane

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International Prize

Dieter Deringer  (Germany)
'ERGO - Backpack Basket"

Waling, reverse waling, French randing.
H:46cm (including lid) x W:28cm
Unstripped willow (salix frigilis), salix purpurea, stripped white willow, and vegetable-tanned leather straps

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Photography by Astrid McGechan

Prime Warden - Jailed and Bailed!
Monday 1st July 2019

In early July, our Prime Warden, was ‘Jailed and Bailed’! He appeared in Court at the Old Bailey, accused of various crimes and was then taken to the Tower where he was suitably chastised. This was all in aid of raising funds for the Red Cross, and due to the generosity of Members, just over £1,600 was raised and the Prime Warden is now a free man. The event in total raised over £40,000.
Prime Warden, Chris Hipkins, would like to thank you all for your very generous donations and he is very relieved not be locked up in the Tower!

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Prime Warden's Weekend
Isle of Wight
​​​​​​​20th - 23rd June 2019

Over 40 Members of the Company joined Prime Warden Chris Hipkins and his Consort, Mike Horton, on the Isle of Wight in June for a wonderful weekend.  On the Friday Members visited the beautiful Osborne House during the day and then enjoyed champage on the lawn at the home of Past Prime Warden George Alford in the evening before dining at the Royal Solent Yacht Club looking out over the Solent on a perfect Summer evening.  On the Saturday the group visited Carisbrooke Castle and Isle of Wight Pearl, then dined at the Roman Villa Museum at Brading in the evening.  On Sunday a trip to the model village at Godshill in the morning was followed by lunch at the Lakeside Park Hotel (where most Members stayed) before Members took the ferry back to the mainland.  It was a weekend very much enjoyed by everyone and to be remembered for a long time. 

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A Service of Thanksgiving for the 450th Anniversary in the presence of
​​​​​​​HRH The Duchess of Gloucester GCVO at the Guild Church of St. Margaret Pattens
Thursday 6th June 2019

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​​​​​​​The Order of Service

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HRH The Duchess of Gloucester GCVO meets
​​​​​​​Honorary Chaplain The Reverend Andrew Keep

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HRH being welcomed by Members of the Company

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The Church during the Service

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Prime Warden Chris Hipkins reading the Lesson

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The trumpeter and organist 

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The Reverend Andrew Keep giving the Sermon

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HRH talking with the Prime Warden and Past Prime Wardens


HRH talking with Members of the Court

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HRH being introduced to Liveryman Yvonne Young

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Guests enjoying the reception in the Church following the Service

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HRH meeting the Prime Warden's Granddaughter Jenny Hipkins  
​​​​​​​and Liveryman David Emmett 

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The organ at St Margaret Pattens, played for the last time at the Service
​​​​​​​before being dismantled for refurbishment.

The Basketmakers' Ball - Oh What a Night.....
Drapers' Hall  -  18th May 2019


​​​​​​​The magnificent Drapers' Hall ready for the Ball


Guests enjoyed the beautiful flowers
​​​​​​​arranged by Assistant to the Clerk, Mandy Taylor


Three generations, Prime Warden Chris Hipkins, his daughter, Liveryman Susannah Petersen and his Grandchildren


The Crystal Ball Juggler
​​​​​​​with Upper Warden, Anne Holden and guests


Guests enjoying the reception in the garden at Drapers' Hall


Guests enjoying the reception in the Hall


Beadle, Peter Thompson
​​​​​​​& Clerk, Fiona Janczur

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The Accordionist entertaining guests
​​​​​​​during the reception


Court Asst, Mark Cooper sharing Casino cash with Hon Asst, Stuart Redcliffe


Court Asst, Mark Cooper explaining the Silent Auction


​​​​​​​Raffle Prizes​​​​​​​


​​​​​​​Prime Warden, Chris Hipkins addressing the guests


 The surprise of the night - the Singing Staff. They brought the house down!.


Comperes for the evening,
Court Asst Mark Cooper & Clerk, Fiona Janczur


Warming up for the Dance Floor


At the Casino Tables


Dancing the night away!

Photography for the Ball - Peter Holland

The Prime Warden's Visit to Sechseläuten in Zurich,
hosted by the Letzi Guild - April 2019


Prime Warden Chris Hipkins and Consort, Liveryman Mike Horton and Past Prime Warden Norman Woolley with the Zunftmeister of the Letzi Guild, Jürg Vogel.


Prime Warden Chris Hipkins
​​​​​​​speaking in German to the Letzi Guild.


Ready for the Parade


Prime Warden Chris Hipkins
​​​​​​​and Consort, Liveryman Mike Horton.


The climax of the Festival is the burning of a Winter effigy in the form of Böögg, a figure of a snowman prepared with explosives!

Trade Fair - Basketry: Weaving the Cycle of Life
The Old Library, Guildhall   -   Tuesday 19th February 2019
Officially opened by HRH The Duchess of Gloucester GCVO

The Company held a grand Trade Fair ‘Basketry: Weaving the Cycle of Life’ in The Old Library at Guildhall on Tuesday 19thFebruary, 2019 to celebrate the 450th  anniversary of the foundation of the Company in 1569.  Over 40 stallholders from all over the UK showed that basketry today goes way beyond just a basket.   From Coracles to Mad March Hares there were the most wonderful displays.  
​​​​​​​The Fair was opened by HRH The Duchess of Gloucester GCVO and guests from most of the other 109 Livery Companies attended. It was a very special day in the history of the Company.  
​​​​​​​At the same event the new History of the Company book written by Court Assistant Jonathan Pyzer and Liveryman Roger Barnes was launched at the event.


HAC Guarding Gog & Magog


Sheriff The Hon Elizabeth Green being greeted by the Wardens


HRH The Duchess of Gloucester GCVO being greeted by
​​​​​​​The Lady Mayoress Mrs Lindy Estlin, Mr Peter Green and
​​​​​​​Prime Warden Chris Hipkins


HRH The Duchess of Gloucester being
greeted by Clerk, Fiona Janczur and
the Company Beadle


HRH being introduced to Betty Grace, Rae Gillott & Bunty Ball


HRH chatting to Volunteers Yvonne Young, Vicky Nugee,
Noel Burns & Sasha Keir


Prime Warden Chris Hipkins
​​​​​​​giving his speech at the opening of the Fair


HRH Officially opening the Fair with Clerk, Fiona Janczur and Trade Advisor, Christiane Gunzi offering a rush plait.


HRH couldn't bring herself to cut the rush plait, choosing
​​​​​​​instead to wear it as a belt.


HRH accepting a basket from Yeoman Member Paul Weir


HRH admiring the work by Sally Roach


Prime Warden, Chris Hipkins showing HRH some of the
​​​​​​​Exhibits on loan to the Company


Peter Faulkner demonstrating his Coracle Paddle making


HRH with one of Peter Faulkner's Coracles


Jenny Crisp welcoming HRH to her stand


HRH admiring Mary Masaba's baskets and sculptures


HRH chatting with Amanda Rayner about her work


HRH and Maggie Smith clearly enjoying each others company


HRH being presented with a copy of the new History of the Company book  by co-author Court Assistant Jonathan Pyzer


​​​HRH being introduced to Liveryman Roger Barnes, co-author of the ​​​​​​​new History of the Company book


HRH with a swing chair
by Amanda Rayner


HRH admiring Brian Crossley's
​​​​​​​chair caning talent


HRH being presented with a bouquet of flowers before concluding her visit


Various Company historical items on display


Roger Barnes signing a copy of the new Company Book


The Lady Mayoress Mrs Lindy Estlin with
​​​​​​​Trade Advisor Christiane Gunzi


Mark & Rebecca Ford
​​​​​​​from Two Circles Designs 


Large willow exhibits by
​​​​​​​Annemarie O'Sullivan


Brian Crossley
Professional Chair Caner


Eddie Glew
​​​​​​​Blithfield Willowcrafts


Sandra Barker perparing to demonstrate her weaving


Maggie Smith with her bark and willow work


Sue Kirk with her beautiful Baskets


Ply Split Braiding work by Rae Gillott


Hilary Burns exhibiting her Basketry


Somerset Willow with a range of interesting items


Mary Masaba with her coiled work


Demonstration by Gareth Williams


Sea Creature by Mary Butcher MBE


Miniature Chair Collection by Betty Grace


Dyed Cane work by Janice Brooklyn


Large Red Kite by Anna and the Willow


The Rag Tree by Joan West


Willow Horse's Head by Anna & the Willow


Coracle by Peter Faulkner


Boxing Hares and Dog by Caroline Gregson


Life size Willow Horse by Maggie Cooper


Nadine Anderson the Ely Basketmaker with her Rush Baskets


Large Exhibits including those
​​​​​​​by Joe Hogan and Julia Clarke


Rush Coat on the
​​​​​​​Scottish Basketmakers' Circle Stand


Woven Willow Dress by
​​​​​​​Debbie Hall - Salix Arts


Trade Fair Photos above by Peter Holland, Professional Photographer

The end of a successful day!

We are grateful to everyone who helped make it such an enjoyable and successful day.
The following images at the end of the day were captured by Liveryman Margaret Burgess.


January Livery Dinner 2019

30th January 2019
​​​​​​​Skinners’ Hall was full for the Livery Dinner in January, the first one of Prime Warden Chris Hipkins' year of office,
​​​​​​​and the first one of our 450thyear.  
​​​​​​​At the Court Meeting earlier in the afternoon, seven new Members were welcomed into the Company, including 
​​​​​​​the Prime Warden’s granddaughter, Jenny, and the Prime Warden’s daughter was also clothed in the Livery.
In the evening guests were bugled into dinner by buglers from our new military affiliation 8thBattalion The Rifles, and three other representatives
of the Battalion also attended the dinner.  The guest speaker Brigadier Charlie Collins DSO OBE has also been in the Rifles but is now Assistant Chief of Staff J5 PCHQ.  The Company were honoured to host all these military guests. Visiting Masters from the Wheelwrights, Pattenmakers and Tobacco Pipemakers’ Companies all received themed baskets made by Yeomen Members.  
The evening was a wonderful  start to this special year.

Prime Warden Chris Hipkins with
​​​​​​​daughter Susannah and granddaughter Jenny

Buglers from
​​​​​​​8th Battalion The Rifles

Brigadier Charlie Collins DSO OBE 
receiving his basket from Prime Warden Chris Hipkins

Master Wheelwright with his
​​​​​​​specially designed basket

Lord Mayor's Show 2018

To launch the 450thAnniversary celebrations the Company had a float in this year’s Lord Mayor’s Show on Saturday 10thNovember. 

Our 1925 vintage bus from Brooklands Museum, adorned with Basketmakers’ Company banners and the figures 450 woven
out of willow by Yeoman Paul Weir, travelled the route accompanied by many Members of the Company.  Yeoman Nadine Anderson created two wonderful rush costumes,
​​​​​​​worn by her and Prime Warden Chris Hipkins' Consort, Mike Horton, which attracted much attention on route.  

Those on the bus and walking alongside wore special 450 tabards and carried special edition 450thAnniversary umbrellas. The Company float followed directly behind Gog and Magog in the procession, which also had Members of the Company walking with them, ​​whilst the Giants were pulled by the Guild of Young Freemen.  

Everyone involved very much enjoyed the day, the sun shone throughout the procession and it was a wonderful start to a very special year for the Company.
The photos below are just a small sample from the day, more will follow.

A little hiccup with the bus, thank goodness 7 Rifles were behind our float to kindly give a push!

 Installation Day 
17th October 2018

Installation Day is one of the most important days in the Company’s Calendar and this year took place on Wednesday 17thOctober. 
The day started with a Church Service at our Guild Church of St Margaret Pattens.  The Wardens, Past Prime Wardens and Court Assistants processed into the Church and with other Members of the Company took part in a lovely service, marking this special day.  
Members then moved to Vintners’ Hall for lunch before Common Hall and the Ceremonial Court in the afternoon.  At Common Hall Immediate Past Prime Warden Stephen Gee summarised his year as Prime Warden before installing Christopher Hipkins as the new Prime Warden of the Company. The new Prime Warden closed Common Hall with a speech giving details of the special year ahead, it being the 450thAnniversary of the Company.  Common Hall closed and the Ceremonial Court was opened where Anne Holden was installed as the new Upper Warden and Lewis Bloch as the new Under Warden. Then Liverymen Peter Donaldson, Lynne Holloway DCLJ,
Anne Lofts and the Reverend Hugh Thomas were installed as the new first year Stewards.  
With the new team in place we look forward to the year ahead, a significant one in the Company’s history.

 St Margaret Pattens Church

Vintners' Hall