The Worshipful
Company of Basketmakers

Let Us Love One Another

Events 2019 -2020

Prime Warden Anne Holden's summary of her year.
​​​14th October 2020

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​​​​​​​"The past year has been not what any of us were expecting, least of all me.  The coronavirus devastated all our plans.  
My year started with a few challenges! A year ago, our Clerk of over 5 years Fiona Janczur retired and Sarah Sinclair was installed.  I am pleased to report that Sarah has settled in well and has got to grips with the office, the finances, which have had a major overhaul and getting to know the membership.  Mandy Taylor has been a huge help in helping coordinate the work that needed to be done and guiding our new Clerk.  In the first six months, social events were organised in the usual way and then virtual events had to be tackled.  Neither Sarah, or I, knew what Zoom was until February, we had to learn very quickly. We were not sure what was ahead of us, how this virus would affect us.  We pencilled events into the diary and then had to cancel them out, each time ensuring that we did not incur any expenses. 

Don’t think that because of the virus we haven’t been busy, we have! Data Protection forms were reissued and checked against information already held, Livery Directory information updated, printed and posted out.  Newsletters and reports to be written and sent out. Huge undertakings for the office.  We needed to recruit a new Trade Adviser, you recall Christiane Gunzi retired this time last year, we have appointed Eleanor Morgan who was installed on 14th October.   For some time now we have been looking for an Archivist, we have appointed Liveryman Julie Crabb who volunteered her services, we thank her most sincerely for wanting to take up the challenge of looking after our records.  We have a new book keeper too, John Atherton, replacing Honor Woods who had been with us for many years on a part time basis.  
We started the new Prime Warden’s year with an Installation Service at St Margaret Patterns, lunch and Common Hall at Bakers Hall.  We met there again after our successful, traditional Carol Service. A small team of us walked with Gog and Magog in the Lord Mayor’s Show, where the weather was kind.  In January, after our Court Meeting we dined in Skinners’ Hall, our speaker was Alderman Alison Gowman and liveryman Jean Aslet provided a delightful musical interlude on the piano.  I was keen to show how inspiring the ladies of the livery are.  We want to encourage more ladies to join us.  
I suppose the highlight of the year was the Basketry Showcase Day at the Dutch Church, Austin Friars in March.  This went some way to build on the huge success of our 450thAnniversary Trade Fair.  Primarily this event was to invite Livery Masters and Clerks to see the work of 14 of our Yeoman Basketmakers.  They demonstrated, sold, displayed and showed their baskets and talents. 42 Livery Companies were represented, so not only did we promote our trade to the wider livery, we showed to our own liverymen and guests as well that we have a living, thriving trade.  A special mention here to Honorary Liveryman Bunty Ball for her help on this project. Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Gloucester joined us for a day to make a basket in rush, she made a very creditable basket and clearly enjoyed herself.  Her Royal Highness also mentioned us with regard to her photograph on the occasion of the virtual Chelsea Flower Show. 
Then the virus struck!  We did not go to Zurich in April to see our Letzi guild friends for their Annual Parade.  We did not go to Gibraltar for our long weekend.  
From every dark cloud there is a silver lining.  We thank most sincerely our Court volunteers who have phoned every member of the Company during these difficult times and those who have been generous with their financial sponsorship.  We have held Court and Committee meetings via Zoom, held virtual drinks parties, informative talks and virtual walks, a black tie dinner and white tie Banquet.  Here we had some luck.  Had we been in normal times, the Lord Mayor would not have been available to be with us at Mansion House because of his overseas trips, this year he was with us by the wonders of technology.  
The running of a Company such as this is a team effort, my fellow Wardens, Immediate Past Prime Warden, Court Members and our Beadle have been wonderful but, none of this year would have been possible without the hard work and enthusiasm of our Clerk, thank you so much Sarah.   
Sadly, like every other Livery Company we have suffered more resignations this year than usual but we look to the future with hope and optimism.  We need new members, please encourage friends and family to join us, to ensure our Company prospers for many more years to come. We are planning our move to Saddlers’ Hall in 2021, as we are having to move from Skinners due to a refurbishment programme there which may last some years.  
It is clear now that things may not be back to normal for some time.  It is more important than ever therefore to live up to our motto Let us love one another. We have a new ambassador for our Company. I pledge my total support to our new Prime Warden Lewis Bloch and wish him every success in the coming year."

Prime Warden 2019-2020, Anne Holden

Consort Bob Holden attends lunch with the Lady Mayoress
Mansion House - ​​​6th October 2020

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Consort Bob Holden shares his experience of the lunch: 
We gathered in a semi private room on the second floor for drinks and introductions and I am delighted to tell you that standing by the genuine fireplace was the log basket given to the Lady Mayoress recently. Not only that but Hilary drew attention to it when I was introduced to the others and I prompted her to expand on its origins. We were Caroline White - Lady Mayoress' charity organiser; Geraldine Shenton-Founders; Lesley Grattan-Scientific Instrument Makers; Nick Davies-Curriers.
After the champagne we moved to a private dining room for a two course lunch with wine. Fillet of sea bass followed by spiced plums. After the meal we had a tour led by Hilary of the main public rooms and the basement strong room. where the good stuff is kept. Everyone bar me had smart phones so Hilary very kindly sent me an email with the group photograph-age does have some compensations.

Virtual Banquet
​​​17th September 2020

This year has certainly been one of many firsts and none more so than our virtual Banquet on 17th September. There were 89 guests including the Lord Mayor, who kindly attended with the Lady Mayoress for drinks before dinner and to address the gathering.
The evening was run on similar, albeit, adapted banquet protocols that were masterfully manged by our very own Beadle, Peter Thompson and how nice it was to see him again too.
There were musical interludes and the PW addressed the Company. 
We were also delighted to welcome Stefan and Sabrina and Jurg and Cornelia from the Letzi Guild who joined us from Zurich. It was very good to see them.

The Lord Mayor kindly gave the Prime Warden and Clerk a gift too. The latter is a spoon (as shown in the image), that represents the Lord Mayor’s Livery Company and interests. It shows the button of the Haberdashers’ and a bee representing the Mansion House hives and a great interest of the Lady Mayoress.

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Virtual Tour & Talk City of London during the Blitz
​​​24th August 2020

Liveryman and Blue Badge Guide Sue King gave a virtual tour and talk on the City of London during the Blitz.

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Sylmyra House, Bread Street - 9th September 1940

Virtual Tour & Talk - Battle of Britain
​​​14th September 2020

Liveryman and Blue Badge Guide Sue King gave a virtual tour and talk on the Battle of Britain.


Watching for German bombers during the Battle of Britain.

 July Livery Dinner - Online
​​​23rd July 2020

A Livery Dinner was held via Zoom for the first time in the Company's history. There were 55 guests in attendance on 30 screens.  Sheriff Christopher Hayward spoke to the gathering before dinner.

Tour of the Inner Temple & Temple Church
​​​11th March 2020

Liveryman and Blue Badge guide lead a tour around the Inner Temple and Temple Church in the morning, followed by lunch in the Middle Temple dining hall. In the afternoon the group visited Two Temple Place and the exhibition Unbound: Visionary Women CollectingTextiles.  There were 22 guests for day

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Basketmaking Day
​​​5th March 2020

After attending and officially opening last year's Basketry Trade Fair, HRH The Duchess of Gloucester GCVO indicated she would like to learn to weave for herself.  The date was duly chosen for the private visit and HRH and her friend, Clare Hollingsworth were joined by the Prime Warden, Anne Holden and Liveryman, Judy Tayler-Smith to learn to make with rush, expertly taught by Yeoman, John Page.

A very big thank you the Walduck family and all the staff at the Bedford Hotel for their kindness and generosity.
HRH The Duchess of Gloucester GCVO has been an Honorary Liveryman of the Worshipful Co. of Basketmakers since 1991, it was our absolute pleasure to host the day for her.

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Basketry Showcase 
​​​​​​​3rd March 2020 - Dutch Church, Austin Friars

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Following the success of the Trade Fair in 2019, Prime Warden Anne Holden was very keen to continue support to the Basketmaking Trade again and the Basketry Showcase at the Dutch Church, Austin Friars was created.
Many talented Basketmakers and Weavers showed and sold a wonderful diverse range of products, some also demonstrated their craft creating further interest.
The event was very well attended in the morning by Masters, Consorts and Clerks of many Livery Companies, along with many other distinguished guests. The afternoon was also well supported by other members of the Basketmakers' Company, the Basketmakers' Association and invited guests.
Prime Warden, Anne Holden welcomed the guests and encouraged all to tour the Showcase and enjoy viewing the accomplished Basketry items on display.
Thank you to everyone involved for all your efforts contributing to this successful event and we hope that it will become an annual event to promote our special trade to the City and a wider audience.

List of Exhibitors
​​​​​​​Sally Roach, Christiane Gunzi, John Page, Sandra Barker, Anita Vozik, Maggie Cooper, Mandy Coates, Mary Butcher MBE, Sue & Richard Kerwood, Robin Tuppen & Mark Robinson, Rachael South & Netty Moffat, Darrell & Heidi Hill, Alison Dickens, Lisa Atkin, Mary Masaba.

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16th Inter-Livery Pancake Race
​​​​​​​25th February 2020 - Guildhall Yard

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​​​​​​​We were delighted to, once again, have an entry in the Worshipful Company of Poulters Inter-Livery Pancake Race.
Under Warden, Roger Harper MBE, ran a valiant race, just missing out on the finals. He was supported by Prime Warden, Anne Holden and several members of the Basketmakers' Company.
Some Livery Companies also enter the Fancy Dress Competition which adds to the fun of the occasion.
The weather was very kind, though it was good to be able to thaw out in the Guildhall Crypt where a buffet lunch was served. Now in its 16th year, the lunch and the race is held in aid of the Lord Mayor's Appeal and the Master Poulter's Pelican Trust. 


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Livery Dinner at Skinners' Hall
​​​​​​​29th January 2020

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​​​​​​​Our first Livery Dinner of 2020 was very well attended.
​​​​​​​During the Court Meeting earlier in the day,  new Members Jean Aslet, Nicholas Coletta & Anthony Emmings were welcomed to the Company and Christiane Gunzi, former Trade Advisor, joined as Yeoman Member.
The evening was an enjoyable one, Prime Warden, Anne Holden presented baskets to invited guests Alderman Alison Gowman, Master Educator - Pamela Taylor, President of the City Lity Livery Club - Adele Thorpe and Master Pattenmaker - Dr David Best.
Liveryman, Jean Aslet kindly entertained guests with a recital on the Skinners' Hall Grand Piano.

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Prime Warden, Anne Holden welcoming new Liveryman, Jean Aslet.

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Prime Warden, Anne Holden presenting Anthony Emmings with his copy of the
​​​​​​​Company History book.

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Prime Warden Anne Holden congratulating new Yeoman Member, Christiane Gunzi, talented Basketmaker.

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Prime Warden, Anne Holden presenting a basket to President of the City Livery Club, Adele Thorpe.

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Prime Warden, Anne Holden presenting a basket to Master Pattenmaker, Dr. David Best.

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Prime Warden, Anne Holden presenting a basket to Master Educator, Pamela Taylor.

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Liveryman, Jean Aslet kindly playing the piano during the meal.

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Prime Warden, Anne Holden presenting a rush handbag to Alderman, Alison Gowman.

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Under Warden, Roger Harper MBE
​​​​​​​with Liveryman, Yvonne Young.

Photography - Peter Donaldson, Steward.

Christmas Carol Service and Supper
​​​​​​​12th December 2019


A packed congregation at the Guild Church of St Margaret Pattens enjoyed a wonderful Service of Nine Lessons and Carols followed by mulled wine & mince pies. The choir led the Carols, accompanied by the newly restored Organ echoing though the Church. Two of the nine lessons were read by Prime Warden, Anne Holden and Clerk, Sarah Sinclair.
​​​​​​​This annual service is shared with the Pattenmakers' Company and we were delighted some of their members joined us at Bakers' Hall after the service for a delicious supper. It was a lovely relaxed gathering, Prime Warden Anne Holden thanked everyone for attending and took the opportunity to wish them a very Merry Christmas. 

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Basketmaking Day
​​​​​​​24th November 2019

A keen gathering of members and their other halves met at the Imperial Hotel for a most creative and enjoyable day making willow Christmas trees and rush angels, reindeer and stars.  Under the patient tutorage of Sandra Barker and John Page the group’s creative inner-self came to the fore and all went home with delightful sustainable Christmas decorations and happy memories of learning a little of the skills the Company is so proud of. 
A big thank you to the Walducks for their generosity.

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Stewards Dinner
​​​​​​​18th November 2019

The Stewards Club Dinner was held at the RAC in Pall Mall and was organized by the Head Steward Louise Smyth with 63 guests in attendance.

Lord Mayor's Show
​​​​​​​9th November 2019

The 804th Lord Mayor’s Show took place on Saturday 9th November with Gog and Magog taking their position at number 12 in the procession, pulled by members of the Guild of Young Freeman and ably supported by members of the Basketmakers’ Company.  Many a favourable comment could be heard from the crowd and the tabards gave the Company a high profile in the procession. The weather was kind until the final run home to Guildhall when we all got a little damp. 
A big thank you to Sandra Barker and her team for their sterling efforts and care of the giants. 
It was a great day.

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Newly elected Lord Mayor of London, William Russell

Installation Day
10th October 2019

Installation Day is one of the most important days in the Company’s Calendar and this year took place on Thurs 10th October. 
The Wardens, Past Prime Wardens and Court Assistants processed into the Guild Church of St Margaret Pattens to take part in a lovely service along with many other Members of the Company. An interesting sermon was given by Reverend Andrew Keep and the accomplished choir led the hymns.
Members then moved to Bakers’ Hall for lunch before Common Hall and the Ceremonial Court in the afternoon.  At Common Hall Immediate Past Prime Warden Chris Hipkins summarised his time as Prime Warden, citing the success of the special and unique events held during the 450th Anniversary year of the Company.

Jonathan Pyzer reported on the Comapny's finances and declared them to be in a comfortable position. Graham Aslet announced how donations by the Charitable Trust have been made during the past year.

There were a couple of 'Goodbyes' to be said, firstly Christiane Gunzi will be stepping down from her Honorary role as Trade Advisor, and Fiona Janczur performed her last official duty as Clerk to the Company. Chris Hipkins thanked them both and presented each with a flower filled basket. It was very clear how much Fiona's hard work and dedication has been appreciated over the last five and half years. Fiona responded with a very emotional yet entertaining speech, she also wished the Company and the new Clerk the very best for the future. 

A warm welcome was extended to newly installed Clerk, Sarah Sinclair.

Anne Holden was installed as the new Prime Warden of the Company. Anne is only the second woman to become Prime Warden of the company, something she is very proud of. Anne then closed Common Hall with a speech giving some details of the year ahead. 

The Ceremonial Court was opened where Lewis Bloch was installed as the new Upper Warden and Roger Harper MBE as the new Under Warden. Then Liverymen David Crowley, Sahsa Keir, James Lord and Vicky Nugee were installed as the new first year Stewards. 
With the new team in place we look forward to another successful year ahead.

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Chris Hipkins delivering his final speech as Prime Warden


Fiona Janczur giving her entertaining verdict on the six Prime Wardens she has served as Clerk


Immediate Past Prime Warden Chris Hipkins presenting flowers to outgoing Trade Advisor Christiane Gunzi


Immediate Past Prime Warden Chris Hipkins presenting flowers to outgoing Clerk Fiona Janczur


The carved Coat of Arms presented to the company by Chris Hipkins during his year on display during proceedings​​


Prime Warden Anne Holden signing the declaration


Prime Warden Anne Holden takes the Chair


Beadle showing the engraved silver pen and stand gifted to the Company by Prime Warden Anne Holden


Anne Holden delivering her maiden speech
as Prime Warden


Prime Warden Anne Holden with
​​​​​​​her Consort, husband Robert Holden


Final ceremonial duty of outgoing Clerk Fiona Janczur
for new Clerk Sarah Sinclair


Prime Warden Anne Holden Congratulating
​​​​​​​new Clerk Sarah Sinclair


Prime Warden Anne Holden Congratulating
​​​​​​​Upper Warden Lewis Bloch


Prime Warden Anne Holden Congratulating
​​​​​​​Under Warden Roger Harper MBE


Installation of new Stewards


Wardens and Stewards 
​​​​​​​2019 - 2020


2019 - 2020


​​​​​​​2019 - 2020