Annual Banquet September 2019
450th Anniversary Year
The Annual Banquet at Mansion House was held on 26th September, the culmination of the 450th celebrations.
Over 300 members and guests enjoyed a fabulous evening of sumptuous food and musical entertainment in the presence of The Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress along with the full Shrieval Party.
40 of the Letzi Guild, our Zurich Guild Affiliation joined us for this very special evening.
The Lord Mayor presented prizes to the winners of the Basketry of the Year Competition.
'West End Kids' surprised guests with their dancing in the aisles, and The London Banqueting Ensemble gave a wonderful rendition of the Post Horn Gallop. Upper Warden Anne Holden gave a toast to the guests, with Jurg Vogel responding.
At the end of the evening Prime Warden Chris Hipkins presented The Lord Mayor with a special champagne basket made by Yeoman Paul Weir and Jurg Vogel with a Chamoix (mountain goat) made by Caroline Gregson, also a Yeoman member.
It was a spectacular evening, there was a fantastic array of costumes, from kilts, to the colourful outfits of the Letzi Guild and national costume of the Master of the Guild of Young Freeman, Anjole Adeniyi and his wife Funke.
The evening proved to be a fitting end to a very special year for the Company.
Prime Warden Chris Hipkins and his Consort Mike Horton welcoming the Master of the Young Guild of Freemen Anjole Adeniyi and his Consort Funke
Prime Warden Chris Hipkins greeting
The Lord Mayor Peter Estlin
Prime Warden Chris Hipkins welcoming Zunfmeister Jurg Vogel and his family
Wardens with the Letzi Guild Guests
Coat of Arms presented to the Company by current Prime Warden Chris Hipkins
& the winning Basketry Competition entries
Prime Warden Chris Hipkins with the commissioned willow '450' by the company from Yeoman Paul Weir.
Court Assistant Roger Harper with Stefan Forster from the Letzi Guild and his wife.
The London Banqueting Ensemble and West End Kids entertaining the guests
The last major event of a wonderful year - Congratulations to Prime Warden Chris Hipkins and outgoing Clerk Fiona Janczur as well as all those who contributed to making this celebratory year such a resounding success!
Trade Dinner July 2019
Nearly 150 guests attended the Trade Dinner in July at Skinners’ Hall on a lovely summer evening.
At the Court Meeting before the dinner, the retiring Clerk, Fiona Janczur, was installed as an Honorary Liveryman of the Company. Ann Scrutton (Liveryman), Maureen Bysouth (Freeman) and Dr Clive Grattan (Freeman) were all welcomed into the Company and Freemen Annie Attlee, Julie Cribb, Gary Freer and Sasha Keir were clothed in the Livery.
During the dinner Yeoman Hilary Burns was presented with her certificate for the Lifetime Achievement Award, which she received for her exceptional basketmaking and her contribution to basketry over many years.
The guest speaker was Mary Butcher MBE, former Trade Advisor to the Company and world renowned basketmaker, guests very much enjoyed hearing her talk about the craft.
Fiona Janczur being congratulated by Prime Warden Chris Hipkins
on becoming an Honorary Liveryman
Members and guests pre-dinner, viewing the Basketry of the Year Competition winning items along with exhibits from Yeoman Members Paul Weir and Sandra Barker
Clerk to the Butchers' Company - Major Gen. Jeff Mason MBE
before presenting a long lost silver plate back to
the Basketmakers' Company.
Prime Warden Chris Hipkins presenting a basket to
Master of the Fruiterers' Company Cheryl Roux
Yeoman Member Hilary Burns was presented with a
Lifetime Achievement Award
Basketry of the Year 2019
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)
UK Second Prize
Joan West (Surrey)
Random weave and coiling
H:38cm x W:28cm
Cordyline leaves and wool
UK Third Prize
Janice Brooklyn (London)
'Round Cane Basket"
Stake and strand with ridge weave and
H:30cm x W:36cm
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!
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.
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
The Order of Service
HRH The Duchess of Gloucester GCVO meets
Honorary Chaplain The Reverend Andrew Keep
HRH being welcomed by Members of the Company
The Church during the Service
Prime Warden Chris Hipkins reading the Lesson
The trumpeter and organist
The Reverend Andrew Keep giving the Sermon
HRH talking with the Prime Warden and Past Prime Wardens
HRH talking with Members of the Court
HRH being introduced to Liveryman Yvonne Young
Guests enjoying the reception in the Church following the Service
HRH meeting the Prime Warden's Granddaughter Jenny Hipkins
and Liveryman David Emmett
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
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
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
Professional Chair Caner
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
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!
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