January Court and Dinner

Wednesday 24th January 2018

Goldsmiths' Hall

I missed the September Court, so this was the first Court I had chaired. The meeting went according to plan and I was grateful to Court members who gave me a relatively easy time. I had the pleasure of installing a new Court Assistant, Henry Tuck and a new Freeman, Rob Burton. We also celebrated the 50th anniversary of Richard Tranter's installation as a freeman at the 1968 January Court.

The meeting finished 10 minutes later than planned so we assembled hastily for the usual photographs before Senior Warden, Roger Brookes, and I began the process of meeting and greeting the guests. Goldsmiths' Hall is so splendid, it is difficult to find the words to describe how privileged we were to be given permission to hold our dinner there.

The guests arrived and champagne was drunk. The Beadle organised Lord Chris Smith (my principal guest), Sheriff Alderman Tim Hailes, his consort Fiona Adler, the Mistress, the Wardens and me into a procession and we entered the hall to the Scipio March. After another perfect grace led by Honorary Chaplain, David Parrott, Chester Boyd served a tasty meal of trout, guinea fowl, followed by an apple tart tatin. The French wines complimented the dishes and we were soon into toasts and speeches. Assistant Elise Ace welcomed and toasted our guests. Lord Smith gave an outstanding speech underlining the importance of the work of Pembroke House Walworth (a charity we support). I was delighted to have representatives from some of our other charities together with my family and friends. Three students from the Guildhall School of Music and Dance entertained us before we adjourned for the Stirrup Cup. Alas, the evening was soon over. Nevertheless, it was a night to remember.