The Cutlers' Feast

Thursday 17th May 2018

Cutlers' Hall, Sheffield

The morning after the Masters' Reception, the Learned Clerk, Mistress and I set off through Islington in search of the M1. There are not many events during the Master's year that happen outside of London; this week there were two.

Once we found the M1 and the cruise control had been set at 70mph, it did not take long before we were far north of Watford Gap services. We arrived in Sheffield at around 2pm and settled down for a light lunch before exploring the City Centre. Sheffield has been smartened up since I was last there, with trams and pedestrianised streets. We visited the Cathedral and found the Cutlers' Hall. From the outside, it looks like a typical nineteenth century example of civic pride with a Tesco attached to it. The Cathedral is impressive and worth the trek across the tramlines.

We assembled soon after 6pm to board a coach for the half mile or 10 minute drive to the Hall. Dressed in white tie, tails and badge, our hosts were cautious to ensure their guests from London would not be inconvenienced. On the inside, Cutlers' Hall is very grand. The Feast is usually attended by 350 and the main hall did not feel crowded. The feast included lamb and some excellent wines. We had good company and the evening passed quickly. Sat close to the Mistress was Angela Smith MP, who comes from our home town. There was much to discuss other than Brexit.

When the speeches started, the Senior Warden gave a full address on the state of the nation (actually it was more confined to South Yorkshire) which covered economic activity and looked forward to the threats and opportunities offered by Brexit. Politically, it was nuanced but the message was clear: someone, somewhere needs to do something because time and opportunities are being wasted. The response came from Lord Adonis, it was direct and from the heart: someone, somewhere needs to do something and, in the meantime, may we have another referendum?

After the speeches, we returned to the reception rooms for a stirrup cup before boarding the coach back to the hotel, half a mile away.