It felt a great honour to be invited to the Oriental Club, first established in 1824, for our first Livery Society Dinner of the year. A building that still retains its Grade 1 Listing, with its President the 1st Duke of Wellington. This unique club also houses a fabulous art collection, including pictures by Sir Joshua Reynolds and the great masterpiece of Tippu Sultan, the Tiger of Mysore, there in the dining room.

Twenty two Livery attended the diner, during which three important speeches were made.

To begin with Steve Jones, a member here for many years, who had arranged the event (with Simon Wood?), gave a short history of the building, and invited members to a tour of the building either later that evening or at a convenient time in the future.

Next our Clerk, Jollyon Coombs, stood to talk about his retirement at the end of this year following 20 years of service to the Feltmakers. He also spoke about the decision to bring in a younger generation to the Feltmakers, inviting sons and daughters of current Liverymen to join at a considerably lower fee. There would also be special events for the newcomers to encourage a younger vibe throughout the Livery.

Then Simon Millar spoke about the Livery Society, and his enjoyment of the informal events such as shooting, tennis and golf.

Then finally Lady Gilly Yarrow, our Master, thanked Livery Society for our special invite, thanked the chefs for a delicious meal, and spoke of the events she would be running this year for her charity MENCAP

Author – Carole Denford