Modern Companies Dinner: Farmers Fletchers Hall

Monday 5th September 2016

And so, after a break for Summer, the Livery Season begins again. The Modern Companies (ie those founded after 1927) enjoy a get together every six months or so and it's all very convivial. We don't have the baggage of the older Companies - as Sherriff Dr. Christine Rigden told us, we're young, vibrant and hard working and set an example to be followed. Well, that was the thrust of it, by the time the stirrup cup ended, I felt older, more confused and.. I'll stop there I think. The evening was kindly hosted this time by the WC Constructors and their Master Graeme Monteith and Senior Warden proved most hostpitable as soon as we'd take off our hats in the Farmers Fletchers Hall - a modern hall which I wish I'd had longer to examine. The ship's bell from HMS London rang out summon us for dinner and we found ourselves in a cosy hall with economical ceilings. Dining on potted shrimp, rack of lamb and summer pud put us all in good spirit and, by the time we got to coffee I'd managed to convert my immediate dining companions to try snuff - Lady Davies (Chartered Surveyors) came back for seconds and I knew I'd ready client in Ben Burbage (Furniture Makers) - Leo Martin (Builder's) and Nick Hughes (Solicitors) were also keen I'm pleased to report. Once the formalities of toasts were concluded, we did the Loving Cup - Ralph showed a fine example over the way from me, but the Clerk to the IT Technologist excelled himself when, with an enthusiastic flourish, he smashed a ceiling lamp leaving a lone wire suspended above their heads! After this, Dr. Rigden gave us a witty address about some of the pitfalls and highlights of serving in her role - I particularly liked the anecdote where, having processed in full magnificent Shrival fig through St. Pauls, she unwittingly blocked the Lord Mayor from attaining his seat and, unable to move forwards, or back, he hovered in restless silence. It was left to the Chief Commoner to command her by 'use of eyeballs alone' to make the penny finally drop and all was well... The stirrup cup afterwards was good value and, catching up with those we'd missed, I found that, as usual, I was one of the last to leave and, with Senior Warden Ralph we tottered out into a humid night to find cabs and beds respectively.