The Cutlers of Hallamshire Annual Feast

Thursday 19th May 2016

We have close connections with the Cutlers of Hallamshire and each year we invite their Master to our Ladies Banquet and they invite our Master to their annual feast in Sheffield. Every Master tells his successor how grand this occasion is and not to be missed on any account so the Mistress and I drove up the M6 with much expectation. We were certainly not disappointed. The Cutlers have a splendid Hall dating back to the early 19th century when Sheffield was growing fast as a centre of manufacturing, especially of steel. The Company was established in 1624 just five years after we received our first charter from James 1st. Their Hall is huge and filled with beautiful artefacts many of silver, the gifts of previous masters and many of Sheffield Plate, the technique of silver coating copper invented in Sheffield in the late 18th century. In the grand surroundings of the Hall were were a group of over two hundred and fifty guests and members of the Cutler's company all welcomed by the current Master and host, Craig Mackay. This year the Mistress Cutler decided she was going to host the Mistresses at the same Banquet rather than hold a separate ladies dinner which has been the tradition in the past and this was much appreciated by the Mistresses I'm sure, certainly it was appreciated by the Mistress Tobacco Pipe Maker. The guest of honour was the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry Sajid Javid who responded to the speech to the guests given by the Senior Warden of the Cutlers Company. Coming to a city such a sSheffield you are brought face to face with the enormous importance of manufacturing to this country and especially of the plight of the Steel Industry. Unfortunately we were unable to stay for the following days visit to one of the Sheffield manufacturers since we had to drive down to Bristol for the Merchant Venturers Spring Banquet but the evening was a really glittering occasion and as others before me have said., absolutely not to be missed.