Merchant Venturers Spring Banquet and Tour of Bristol

Monday 20th May 2013

Sue and I, accompanied by Paul Bethel, our Clerk, attended the Society of Merchant Venturers Spring Banquet at Merchants' Hall in Bristol on Friday May 17th. An away match in White Tie is always a bit of a challenge but I succeeded in remembering my studs and it was a most splendid occasion. We were magnificently wined and dined, with the Merchants setting the highest standard I've encountered during my year as Master. And, in the person of Sir Michael Rake, they had a forthright and trenchant speaker. We can all look forward to his tenure as President of the CBI.

The next day we enjoyed a fine tour of Bristol, from the Promenade and Clifton Downs to the ss Great Britain and Professor Joe McGeehan's ground breaking Lab at the University of Bristol, where WIFI was invented. The prospect up and down the Avon Gorge from the Downs was wonderful, especially as we were most uncharacteristically blessed with good weather and certainly much better weather than the ss Great Britain must have had when she went round Cape Horn. She is much larger than I had expected, though the First Class bunks looked decidedly cramped, even if people were smaller then. How happy I am to be living today!