January Dinner - Apothecaries Hall

Wednesday 20th January 2016

We returned to the Apothecaries Hall for our January Dinner. We hadn't used this beautiful hall for a while and it is a real treat. Apothecaries was destroyed in the Great Fire but only damaged in the Blitz so it is one of the oldest halls in the City. It is perfect example of a late seventeenth century hall characterised by dark panelling, a beautiful staircase and a really sumptuous dining hall hung with portraits and lit by stained glass windows. In the stained glass are the coats of arms of all the previous masters, it being a requirement for all masters to have a coat of arms and a miniature portrait painted which hangs in the court room. Not a custom in the Pipe Makers Company which it must be said saves the Master a bob or two. The evening was a sell out and over 120 members of the company plus guests filled the dining room where we were treated to a very special meal including venison several excellent wines by Party Ingredients and a diet of speeches from Past Master Fiona Adler who proposed the health of the guests and the guest of Honour, His Honour Judge Nicolas Hilliard QC that rivalled any I have heard. Nick is the Recorder of London, the most senior judge at the Old Bailey and a very distinguished member of the legal profession. At the earlier Court meeting we had admitted three new freemen and three liverymen including an honorary liveryman, Alderman Dr Andrew Parmley, who managed to play a part in Fiona's speech. Andrew was the Aldermanic Sheriff to Fiona's non-Aldermanic Sheriff during 2014/15 and formed a very special duo during their year and we were delighted to admit him to our company. A number of us will remember the evening for a long time to come and hope to dine out on Nick Hilliard's marvellous legal anecdotes.