The Worshipful
Company of Basketmakers

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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