Glass Sellers' Installation Banquet, Stationer's Hall

Tuesday 13th December 2016

My last formal dining engagement of 2016 was at the behest of our Liveryman Peter Rawlinson who was being installed as Master of this fine Company and who had done me the honour of asking me to attend as Principal Guest. The Mistress and I arrived at 6.45, immediately after the Installation ceremony and joined a lively reception in the Court Room. Nearly everyone I met seemed to be a Past Master - that included many of the ladies - and many were married to each other, so it seems this is a company that takes patrimony and matrimony pretty seriously - one PM had actually married two other PM's of the Company! Glass Seller guests don't process in, only the Master, Mistress and Chaplain, so we clapped them in before the Chaplain sung a grace and we got stuck in to potted port, guinea fowl and tarte tatin, washed down with a nice French Medoc. The guest intro's ended with me and I found I was more interesting that I'd thought hitherto - never trust advertising! I kept it short, but dwelt on the curious numbering precedence we have in relation to the Glass Sellers - despite being founded in 1619, according to the College of Arms, our 'old' precedence was No.81 (we're now 82), although the Glass Sellers, founded 1664, are No.72 - answers on a post-card please.. As we also keep our Treasures in this Hall, I'd nabbed our rams horn snuff mulls and charged them with a fresh blend which I then introduced and demonstrated before sending them down the branches - to some great sound effects! Wrapping it up, Peter invited us to the Stirrup Cup, and he and I promptly used the lovely garden for a quick smoke. On departure, I was accosted by several members keen to know where they could get more snuff - or perhaps join our Company.. how wise! I bade farewell to William, the IPM whom I've queued with at the various functions, he seemed to be taking his reduced role quite well.. Thank you Peter - and good luck for your year - watch the bread rolls, obey the Clerk and you'll be fine!