400th Anniversary Week

Sunday 30th June 2019

From Common Hall to Middle Temple Hall

On a swelteringly hot day I attended Guildhall for the contested election of Sheriffs. Gowned in the Crypt with the help of the Clerk and the Beadle I then processed into Common Hall with other Masters. It was a great moment of pomp and tradition. All contestants for office were most impressive but Michael Mainelli and Chris Hayward won the day and we offer them both our warm congratulations. Common Hall was followed by an excellent lunch with Company members at Stationers' Hall.

It was then a week for last minute preparations and nerves for our 400th Celebration! After a year of careful planning everything was prepared and fingers were crossed. An early piece of good news was that Cedric, our amazing snuff mull, was to return in time for it from his restoration, thanks to the generosity of PM Roger Brookes and the logistical wizardry of PM Charles Miller.

What we could not control was the weather....it had been an awful June of heavy rain followed by excessive heat. However, on June 27th the skies cleared for a warm, sunny day. The auspices were good! What followed was, for me, a truly memorable event which celebrated our small Company with a loud and hearty voice in the company of so many friends from across the City and Livery Movement.

Indeed, the Choral Evensong at The Temple Church, so brilliantly arranged by PM Mark Gower-Smith and the Chaplain was just perfect...it made me cry at one point! This was followed by a reception at Middle Temple Hall with musicians from the Royal Academy, an exhibition of Company Treasures, amazing cigars provided so kindly by Hunter and Frankau, and a witty and informative speech by Professor Jonathan Phillips. All together it was great fun and i hope very much that everyone enjoyed themselves!

May I take this opportunity to again thank everyone involved in the arrangement of this important celebration. In particular, my thanks go to our Clerk, Sandra Stocker and to fellow members of the 400th Committee, without whom nothing would have been possible.