The Feltmakers celebrate Plough Monday each year with a dinner hosted by the Master. Plough Monday is the first Monday after Epiphany and traditionally marked the end of the Christmas holidays when men returned to their ploughs. In 2014, Tallow Chandlers’ Hall was the venue for this dinner on Monday 6 January and the Master had invited the members of the Court, as well as personal guests, including The Right Honourable The Baroness Boothroyd and Captain of HMS Lancaster, Commander Peter Laughton MBE, RN.
Every year the two Sheriffs are invited to join the Master on this occasion, this being one of the very few evenings when they are not required to be with the Lord Mayor. However, this year, the Aldermanic Sheriff, Sir Paul Judge was unavailable, as he was visiting Togo, but happily Sheriff Adrian Waddingham CBE was able to join us.
Grace was spoken by our Chaplain, Colin Semper, who set the tone for the evening by reading the lines of the traditional Plough Monday song and exhorted all present to join in with a spirited chorus of ‘God speed the plough’.
After the loyal toasts, proposed by Master Feltmaker, Simon Bartley, the toast to the Lord Mayor, the Corporation of London and the Sheriffs was proposed by Assistant Sarah McLeod. Sarah told us that Adrian is a Past Master of the Worshipful Company of Actuaries. Their present Master, Charles Cowling and their Clerk were also guests. Adrian responded to Sarah’s toast with a speech which included a number of amusing anecdotes
from his career as an actuary.
The Master then proposed the toast to the guests, and he reminded us that he is also a Past Master of the Lightmongers Company, and hoped he would not repeat a previous occasion when he mixed up the two companies in a speech. The Lightmongers present Master, William Wright, together with their Clerk were amongst the Master’s guests this evening. The response was scheduled to be given by Baroness Wall, but sadly she was unable to be with us, so, as The Master commented, we were lacking two speeches this evening – one from Sheriff Sir Paul Judge and the other from Baroness Wall.
After an excellent dinner, complemented by fine wines, the Master invited us to join him for a stirrup cup, before we all set off home to prepare our ploughs for another demanding year.