Installation Court and Luncheon

Wednesday 8th June 2016

Installation Court and Luncheon

And so a new chapter in our Livery's history begins. The Court meeting was concluded in almost record time - just under an hour. It was agreed that no one could recall just why guests and Liverymen who happened to be there in time weren't historically allowed to witness the installation of a new Master and so the doors were opened and our historic veil of secrecy lifted. The Installation Ceremony proceeded efficiently and correctly - thanks in no small part to our Clerks correct insistance on a pre-meeting rehearsal. Once installed I was very pleased to appoint an excellent team of Wardens - Ralph Edmondson (Senior); Roger Brookes (Renter); Andrew Golding (Third) and Adam Bennett (Fourth) - who, in the best tradition of the Livery, get on famously. With all in order, it was hot foot to the quarter deck for some photos, and then into the receiving line to greet our guests who all arrived in plenty of time for a glass of cold fizz. At lunch the Immediate Past Master, Chris Allen read a special Grace written by our Hon Chaplain, the Revd Canon David Parrott who through circumstances beyond his control wasn't able to attend. I loved it and am proud to record it here:

Praise God for food, and wine to drink,

And for our Master’s naval link.

Upon this ship we come to dine;

An antique venue, mighty fine.

Our Company has nought to fear

As Charles takes on the right to steer

A steady hand upon our tiller

Lord, bless the year of Master Miller


The lunch was deliciously catered by Mark Grove and his team at and we cracked along at a goodly pace. Our guests were admirably introduced by Liveryman Fran Morrison and our principal Guest, Tim Wonnacott gave a generous and very humourous reply to which I responded initially by drenching poor Tim in a glass of water - he was very kind about it (sorry Tim!). I was very pleased to show off the newly found Livery Grant of Arms and Letters Patent which have been missing for many years - our Clerk tenaciously sought them out, and the new Immediate Past Master, Chris Allen, and his IPM, Mark Gower-Smith have funded a beautiful re-presentation and they are now resplendent in frames carved with tobacco leaves (or close too); Sandra also located a huge banner not seen since 1985 and Angus Menzies, Clerk to the MM's and never shy of a challenge saw to it that it was displayed on the Quarter Deck. Whilst all this was going on apparently biblical-style downpours were being had all over London - oblivious to all that drama we ended our lunch and trooped back to the quarter deck where Coffee, Cigars, and Cognac awaited us (I did mention that our Livery enjoyed dining on the High C's..) and which seemed to hit the mark - Jemma Freeman had kindly provided the torpedo cigars and had had them placed in souvenir tubes with our Crest emblazoned on it. Several of us also sported a limited edition Livery Smoking hat - originally conceived as a sort of shooting hat, it serves its purpose so well as a "team" hat, that of the twenty ordered, but one remained by the close of the day! Thank you to the Master Mariners for allowing us the use of the venue, to Tim for being a perfect Principal Guest, and for everyone attending and giving my year such a special start.