The Worshipful
Company of Basketmakers

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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.  
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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.  
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With the new team in place we look forward to the year ahead, a significant one in the Company’s history.
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 St Margaret Pattens Church


Vintners' Hall


449th Annual Banquet   26th September 2018
Mansion House 

Over 200 people attended the 449th Company Banquet at Mansion House on 26th September including Alderman Sir David Wootton and Lady Wootton, Sheriff Tim Hailes and Fiona Adler, Sheriff Neil Redcliffe and his wife Emma.

​As well as a sumptuous meal, guests were entertained by soprano Anna Koukoullis, who sang from the balcony. In addition, members of the London  Banqueting Ensemble gave a wonderful rendition of the post-horn gallop, all received enthusiastic applause from the room. 

​​​​​​​The prizewinners of the Basketry of the Year competition were awarded with their prizes by Lord Mayor Locum Tenens Alderman Sir David Wootton. Upper Warden Chris Hipkins gave the Toast to the Guests and included a particular welcome to the guest speaker His Honour Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC, who gave a most entertaining and informative speech.

At the end of the evening Prime Warden Stephen Gee presented Alderman Sir David Wootton and His Honour Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC with a wine carrying basket and hamper respectively, both made by Yeoman Member Paul Weir.

It was a magnificent end to Prime Warden Stephen Gee's year as Prime Warden.


Consorts' Basketmaking Day

The second Consorts’ Basketmaking Day of the year took place in September.  

Seventeen consorts from across the other 109 Companies were greeted by Prime Warden, Stephen Gee at the Dutch Church, where, under the instruction of Trade Advisor, Christiane Gunzi, and former Trade Advisor, Mary Butcher MBE, they were taught to make a platter made out of willow.  The Consorts took on their creative task with enthusiasm and all seemed to thoroughly enjoy the day.  

​​​​​​​The Company gave them a sumptuous lunch, put together by Liveryman Mike Horton, and at the end of the day went home proudly holding their platters, having learnt more about the challenges of basketmaking and the Basketmakers’ Company.

​​​​​​​These popular Consorts’ days are now renowned amongst the other Livery Companies and a number of Consorts have joined the Basketmakers’ Company as a result of them.

Basketry of the Year Award 2018

The Worshipful Company of Basketmakers is pleased to announce the winners of the Basketry of the Year Competition 2018. Thanks to the generous financial support of the Charitable Trust and support from the Basketmakers’ Association, we are delighted to host this prestigeous annual event.
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This craft competition aims to highlight and record the rich diversity of current basketmaking in this country, 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, on Wednesday, 26th September 2018.

The four winning baskets will be displayed and auctioned at the Spring Ball at Drapers’ Hall on Saturday, 18th May, 2019. We look forward to welcoming many to the Spring Ball in our celebratory 450th Anniversary Year. There will be an opportunity to bid for one of these stunning pieces at the Ball, the professional Auctioneer is a Member of the Company so be prepared for a lively auction! The money raised at the Auction will go to The Worshipful Company of Basketmakers’ 2011 Charitable Trust (Registration No. 1141986).
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​​​​​​​A handmade basket makes a great gift!

First Prize UK

Barbel Roerig
Round Basket with lid

Technique
Pairing, stiffened with rice glue then coated with wood stain and laquer

Dimensions
Height  23cm (with lid)
Width   15cm (at base)

Materials
​​​​​​​Twisted strips of Newspaper

Second Prize UK

Sarah Paramor
Dark Tendril Bag

Technique
Bias Plaiting

Dimensions
Height  60cm x Length 60cm x Width 60cm
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Materials
​​​​​​​Rigilene (Corsetry Boning) and Elastic

Third Prize UK

Debbie Hall
Copper Highlights Basket

Technique
Stake and strand basketry with homemade copper pipe handle

Dimensions
Height  29cm x Length 40cm x Width 27cm

Materials
​​​​​​​Willow, copper sheet, copper pipe, brass 'olives'

International Prize

Jonas Hasselrot
Traditional Basket for Sugar Cubes or Small Candy

Technique
Coiling

Dimensions
Height  35mm x Width 120mm

Materials
​​​​​​​Birch roots

Livery Dinner July 18th 2018
Skinners' Hall

There was a full house at Skinners' Hall for the Trade Dinner in July.

During the afternoon before the dinner three new Yeoman were welcomed into the Company, Sue Kirk, Karen Lawrence and Sally Roach. Also Mark Cooper was installed as a new Court Assistant and William Boucher-Giles was clothed in Livery. The Reverend Andrew Keep was installed as the new Honorary Chaplain.

Guests at the dinner had the opportunity to view and purchase Yeoman's work as well as see the winning entries of the Basketry of the Year 2018 competition before being called to dine.

During the dinner Betty Grace was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Guests heard a speech from Jo McCallum. Jo was a recipient of support from the Charitable Trust for a project she carried out which included working in Japan with Bamboo Weavers then in Australia working with Architecture Students using digital modelling & fabrication methods to create a large woven structure.

The guest speaker for the evening was Greta Bertram. Greta, a member of the Basketmakers' Association and current Curator of the Crafts Study Centre at the University for the Creative Arts in Farnham, gave a fascinating talk on the use of basketry during the First World War. Guests were enthralled to hear about the many ways basketry played a vital part in the conflict, not least for transporting carrier pigeons to the front line!

This was the last dinner at Skinners' Hall in Prime Warden, Stephen Gee's year of office and he was delighted to welcome Masters from the Bakers, Butchers, Fruiterers and Girdlers Companies to join him on this special occasion.
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William Boucher-Giles
Liveryman
Mark Cooper
Court Assistant
Reverend Andrew Keep
Honorary Chaplain

Yeoman Member
​​​​​​​Karen Lawrence

Yeoman Member
​​​​​​​Sally Roach

Yeoman Member
Sue Kirk

Betty Grace receiving
Lifetime Achievement Award
Greta Bertram
Guest Speaker
Jo McCallum
Charitable Trust Beneficiary
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The Baskets of Yeoman Member
Paul Weir

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The Skinners' Hall
Ready for Dinner

Prime Warden - Jailed and Bailed !

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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.
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I am pleased to say that this was all in aid of raising funds for the Red Cross, and due to the generosity of Members, just over £2,000 was raised and the Prime Warden is now a free man.
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Prime Warden, Stephen Gee, would like to thank you all for your very generous donations and he is very relieved not be locked up in the Tower!

Summer Dinner 2018 - Barber Surgeons' Hall

The 2018 Summer Dinner was held at Barber Surgeons’ Hall. Guests were able to enjoy the lovely surroundings of the Hall’s garden before moving to the front of the Hall for a display by the Company of Pikemen and Musketeers of the Honourable Artillery Company. In a special display Members were able to see all their weaponry and striking uniforms and then had a chance to speak to the actual Pikemen and Musketeers and find out a bit more about them. 
Everyone then returned to to dine in the wonderful Livery Hall which has the magnificent Holbein painting of Henry VIII uniting the Barbers' and Surgeons' Companies in 1541/2 on display.

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Prime Warden Stephen Gee and Diane Bundock
with a Pikeman at the Barber Surgeons' Hall