Scientific Instrument Makers' Annual Banquet
Tuesday 20th June 2017
After the Jailed & Bailed escapade, I didn’t think the City could get any hotter but I was wrong. The BBC weather lady foretold rising temperatures to challenge the summer of ‘76. I stood in front of a Dyson fan while I pulled my white tie into shape, desperate to avoid overheating before we left for Stationers’ Hall. Although it is a mere 15 minutes walk to Stationers’ Hall, the Mistress and I hailed an air conditioned black cab and arrived reasonably cool, calm and collected. We gathered for champagne in the garden before being called to dinner in the Livery Hall. It was a splendid menu accompanied by excellent wines. Master Scientific Instrument Maker, John Caunt, presided over a top table that included Alderman Dame Fiona Woolf, Alderman Sir David Wootton and Sir Roger Bannister. As the sun descended, the magnificent stained glass windows became brightly illuminated and the temperature in the hall rose. The combination of delicious food, generously topped glasses of wine and close to two hundred diners meant the heat in the room was becoming an issue; there was much wafting of menu cards. Thankfully, Master Scientific Instrument Maker is an enlightened Master and he give the gentlemen in the room permission to remove their jackets. What relief! On to the toasts. The Senior Warden, Professor Ron Summers proposed the toast to the guests and commented on my northern roots and support for a Manchester football club. The reply came from Dame Fiona Woolf who talked about how her grandchildren enjoyed visits to the Science Museum.
It was a very memorable evening and the Mistress and I are very grateful to the Master Scientific Instrument Maker for having had the invitation to be part of such a magnificent banquet. After we got back to the flat, we sat on the balcony sipping iced water. It was still uncomfortably hot. The BBC weather lady said it would be even warmer tomorrow.