The Company enjoyed a delightful Plough Monday dinner. The Master invited 50 guests to spend what turned out to be a very pleasant and convivial evening at the Cutlers’ Hall, where we have not dined for a number of years. At the Court meeting, it was agreed that Simon Wood and Peter Winfield should become Assistants, both following family tradition, which they were both extremely honoured to accept. Louise Waller was also delighted to become a Steward, and plans to scurry around for the Clerk for the next two years.

The Master outlined her busy year of activities to date, and celebrated the fundraising at the Red Cross Stall before Christmas. The Race Day event, scheduled for 2nd May, is taking shape, and all members of the Livery are enthusiastically invited to attend what should be a great fundraiser for both the Spinal Injuries Association and the Livery.

Honoured guests of the Master included Prime Warden of the Fishmongers, Mr Thomas Boyd, Master Glover, Mr Keith Ebsworth, City Sheriff Wendy Mead, Alderman and Sheriff, Alan Yarrow and the personal guest of the Master, Captain Sir Norman Lloyd-Edwards KVCO. Assistant Bill Gammell proposed the toast to the health of the guests, and informed us that Sheriff Alan Yarrow is a senior and highly respected banker in the City, holding senior appointments at the highest level, is responsible for the smooth running of the Central Criminal Court, and supports several charities including being a governor of City of London’s Freeman School, and he is also, of course, the husband of our Assistant, Gilly Yarrow. Sheriff Wendy Mead is well known for her campaign to Save Bart’s, a Board member of Barbican Centre, Guildhall School of Music and Drama and City Bridge Trust and a past Chairman of Epping Forest and Commons Committee.  She conducts significant charity work, including Chairman of Housing the Homeless Central Fund.

In the response by Sheriff Yarrow, he outlined some pleasant duties enjoyed, including attending the Sheriff’s Bravery Awards, honouring people who go above and beyond the call of duty. Wendy Mead spoke interestingly about the increase in the number of Public Open Spaces in the City, Finsbury Square being reputedly the oldest, some of the highest being in new City office roof gardens, and finally, the deconsecrated Bunhill Fields in Finsbury, resting place of John Bunyan, William Blake and Daniel Defoe.

Sir Norman regaled guests amusingly – “My job is to talk, yours is to listen – hopefully I shall finish mine before you finish yours”. He gave us stories from his days in a minesweeper, and continued so amusingly that he captivated his audience, so we thank you, Sir Norman, for your eloquent entertainment.

We welcomed honorary Liveryman, Captain Steve Moorhouse RN, who gave an enthusiastic rundown of the planned sea trials after refit and likely deployment of HMS Lancaster in late 2012; we take confidence the ship is in the hands of an expert, and look forward to visits to the ship in the near future.

We thank the Worshipful Company of Cutlers for the use of their fine Hall, (apparently the fifth “Cutlers’ Hall”, which survived despite extensive damage during WW2) and their delicious beef and fine wines. We hope to revisit in the future.

Simon Wood