The Worshipful Company of Plaisterers Banquet

Tuesday 7th July 2015

I was the guest of the Master and Wardens of the Worshipful Company of Plaisterers at their annual Banquet held at Plaisterers' Hall. The Hall was rebuilt after the war and occupies the lower ground floor of no 1 London Wall, a very modern building. However the Hall itself is built in the traditional style and has a magnificent ceiling using Robert Adams' designs and original moulds to show off the art of plastering. By the way, as to how you pronounce their name, I was talking to a past master of the company and he told me that they answer both to Plasterers and Plaisterers. In fact within the company they normally use the modern term. Their hall is one of the largest halls in the City easily sitting 200 people. I remember playing carpet bowls there after lunch on Lord Mayor's Day a few years ago. For the Banquet we were about 170 and it was beautifully set with their silver. Their Master, at the very end of his year, had broken his leg, what rotten luck and he was in a wheelchair. As we clapped him with his leg sticking out in front he was wheeled by the clerk in a nurse's hat. Their clerk plays a more active part at their dinners than most. He addresses the guests, which in itself is uncommon, but in his case not once but twice, before and after the Master, who is thus neatly sandwiched by the clerk's opening and closing remarks. All good fun. Whether all clerks would welcome this tradiition is a moot point. I doubt it will catch on. The food and drink were excellent and all provided by their own in-house catering department. i was sitting next to the wife of the Dean of Peterborough a very interesting dinner companion. Peterborough Cathedral was used as Barchester Cathedral when the BBC filmed Barchester Towers in the 1980's. The dean lives in a magnificent deanery which apparently must be furnished by every new dean on appointment. No mean task.