A presentation was held at the London Metropolitan Archives on February 17th, 2015 of items from the Feltmakers’ Archives currently held at the Guildhall.
The presentation was organised by the Historical Committee and conducted by Past Master Bowler and the LMA Senior Archivist, Howard Doble. It is believed to be the first such Feltmakers’ presentation. 13 Feltmakers attended, including the Master and the Clerk.
Howard Doble, who cares for our archives, explained the wide role of the LMA and how to access the Feltmaker Archives on the internet or in person at the Guildhall. All attendees were given a copy of the Feltmakers’ catalogue.
PM Bowler and Howard Doble then showed and discussed many items of historical interest, including the 1676 Charter. This is a most beautiful and ornate document that incorporates a portrait of King Charles II, as well as a border of different flowers representing each of the kingdoms under his rule. Other items examined included an Act for the Relief of Feltmakers 1649, the first extant Court Minute Book of 1676, various astonishing menus by today’s standards of 1734, 1816 and 1901, detailed Clerks’ Accounts from 1745-86, Past Master Grant’s analysis of the Company’s finances from the earliest information available until 2000, apprenticeship bindings from 1694-1731, the Second World War experiences and record, photos of many Masters (particularly Sir Louis Newton and Sir Hugh Wontner) and photos and illustrations of Feltmaker floats in the Lord Mayor’s Show and other occasions.
The Feltmakers present were then invited to study and handle the many items for themselves and John Bowler and Howard Doble sought to answer the wide range of questions that arose.
In the afternoon the Historical Committee held a meeting under Chairman Past Master Susan Wood, to which all attending the morning’s presentation were invited and welcomed four new members – Past Master Patrick Burgess, Kay Meldrum, David Siegler and Ian Thomas.
The Committee is now complete but a list of those interested in historical matters is maintained by the Secretary, Richard Brumby, to whom enquiries should be directed.