The Worshipful
Company of Basketmakers

Let Us Love One Another

Latest News​​​​​​​

  January 2024

Black tie with a touch of tartan: our Scottish-themed Livery Dinner


Our Scottish-themed Livery Dinner on 31st January was a glorious gathering – and there were surprises in store. To mark her year in office, Prime Warden Lady Lauriston announced that members of the Basketmakers’ Company were now entitled to wear the distinctive Newlands of Lauriston tartan, which her Consort, William Newlands of Lauriston, commissioned for her as a birthday present in 1986.

During the evening there was more than a nod to Robert Burns, including a rousing Address to a Haggis by Past Prime Warden Neil Redcliffe, and splendid piping by Gordon Casely..


Among those at Butchers’ Hall were Company guests Alderman Alastair King DL, Master Mason, and his fiancée Florence Walker; Master Butcher, Chris Wood, and Mistress Butcher, Mrs Fiona Wood; Master Farmer, Guy Brogden and Clerk to the Farmers, Graham Bamford; Master Insurer, Claire Burrell, and Master of the Guild of Young Freemen, Samuel Chadd and his Consort Katharine Chadd. They were all presented with Scottish basketry made by Yeomen members John Cowan and Virgil Bauzys.


The Prime Warden's willow harvest

Prime Warden Lady Lauriston has harvested her willow – six varieties she planted in her walled garden at Lauriston Castle in Aberdeenshire last February. 

The willow will be used by our talented Yeomen makers in the projects we have planned for the coming months, including our Basketry Showcase in the City in March. 

Dorothy planted 100 willows, with the cuttings sourced from Deeside Willow at Aboyne. They were planted on St Valentine’s Eve – very fitting, as our Basketmakers’ motto is Let us love one another.

Dorothy says:"I am very grateful for the advice I received from Nik and Katie Millott of Deeside Willow, from Helen Jackson of the Scottish Basketmakers' Circle and from Yeoman Member John Cowan.

​​​​​​​"I plan to incorporate the willow in projects ranging from from our basketmaking days for beginners to exhibitions that showcase the finest talents in the basketry world. We finished planting on a beautifully sunny St Valentine’s Eve – very fitting, as our Basketmakers’ motto is Let us love one another.” 



December 2023

Warmest wishes at Christmas from the Basketmakers

Warmest wishes from the Basketmakers to all our friends at Christmas. This year's Christmas card features Otto – assistant to our Trade Adviser, Ellie Morgan – exploring one of Ellie’s willow backpacks, and photographed by our Prime Warden, Lady Lauriston,at one of our recent Basketmaking Days. Merry Christmas and all the best for 2024!



Carols at our Guild Church and a festive supper at Watermen's Hall

Our Carol Service at our Guild Church of St Margaret Pattens was a lovely occasion - the church sparkled with candlelight. We shared the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols with the Pattenmakers, and the Guild Vicar, our Honorary Chaplain, Reverend Andrew Keep, spoke about hope and optimism by virtue of that first Christmas.
There were splendid carols and mince pies and mulled wine to follow. Afterwards, we enjoyed a relaxed Supper at Watermen’s Hall, where all the tables were named after Santa’s reindeer. The Prime Warden told us: “I exchanged gifts with the Master-Painter Stainer, Ivor Macklin – he and I were both installed on the same day and we are both hosting our Christmas suppers tonight. Ivor gave me a giant ball of mistletoe from his apple orchard in Kent, which I presented to Watermen’s Hall so that all their guests could enjoy it over the festive season. I presented Ivor with a round willow basket for collecting windfall apples. It was made by our Trade Adviser, Ellie Morgan, and tonight at Painter Stainers’ Hall it is being used to draw prize draw envelopes to raise funds for a major art exhibition that will take place next year.”
She also thanked all those who have contributed to the Company during the year. It was a warm and friendly occasion, filled with goodwill and Christmas cheer.



November 2023

The Rifles Dinner, Guildhall

Prime Warden, Lady Lauriston, and Clerk, Richard Turner were honoured to be invited to the Rifles Awards Dinner at Guildhall in the presence of Colonel-in-Chief, Her Majesty The Queen, and Royal Colonels Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester. The Duchess of Gloucester is an Honorary Liveryman of the Basketmakers’ Company. It was a wonderful opportunity to catch up with our friends in 8 Rifles, with whom the Basketmakers are affiliated, and to plan some exciting joint activities for the coming year.