Tobacco Pipe Makers' Election Court and Luncheon

Thursday 21st March 2019

Nine months into a Master's year it is the Election Court where the Company selects its Master and Wardens for the ensuing year, starting in early June. For an incumbent Master, the occasion is bittersweet; a glorious discharge of one's duty to prepare the Company for its next chapter which is also tinged with a personal sadness that one's own tenure draws towards its close. This year, the scene of this act was the fabulous Cutlers' Hall, tucked behind the Old Bailey.

As the Court members drily administer the day's business, it is traditional that the Mistress entertains their respective partners by hosting a tour or visit to a City-based place of interest. This year, the Court spouses were offered the opportunity to visit the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, an institution with whom our Company has long and close ties. The visit captured the School at a busy time, providing great insights into many aspects of its outstanding work - the party experienced the rehearsal rooms, a costume workshop and enjoyed tours of the concert hall and theatre at the new Milton Court premises.

Back at Cutlers' Hall, the Court voted that Andrew Golding be the Master-Elect. Adam Bennett, Jerry Merton and Paul Taberer all progressed as Wardens whilst Elise Rasmussen was elected Fourth Warden. In June, Elise will be the second lady in our Company's history to take that office and she raises the prospect of being the second lady Master in due course. The Court also admitted two new Freemen, Jonathan Fell and Ettore Moraschinelli, and gowned Adam Phillips with the Livery.

The Court Meeting and Guildhall School tour finished at about the same time and the Luncheon that followed in the Cutlers' Livery Hall was marvellously executed by caterers, Cook & Butler, all under the watchful gaze of the host of carved elephants that support the vaulted roof. The Master's speech came and went but it was the Mistress's speech that won hearts and minds this day. A rather fitting finish to our cycle of formal events given the care and energy that she has quietly applied to making these occasions such a success in our year.

As we left the Hall at the end of our lunch, we popped our heads around the door of a small gallery housing ancient treasures of the Cutlers' Company. To our delight, there were also stained glass windows at one end that depicted amongst other things our 'patron saint', Sir Walter Raleigh! A blessing on our day.