We liverymen and our guests dusted off our summer black tie, that is the men did, and assembled at Haberdashers’ Hall on a gloriously sunny London evening on 14th April to celebrate our Spring Livery Dinner.
After an enjoyable glass of prosecco with our Master, Mr. Edward Hutton, liverymen and guests, our chaplain, Colin Semper, blessed our meal with a new grace which he had written especially for the occasion:
Most gracious, almighty and everloving God
You sustain us for Your service
through the gifts we receive of Your bounty,
in the joys of this meal,
in the great friendship of our Livery.
Create in us today
hearts of continual thankfulness for all Your blessings to us.
A particularly fine and well-presented dinner of pea mousse, rump of lamb and sorbet followed.
In the tradition of our Livery the Master took wine with the new liverymen, Ms. Richenda Carey and Mr. Richard Dyson, during our meal.
Once the Master had also proposed the loyal toasts, Assistant John Horn proposed the liverymen’s toast to the principal guests, whom he introduced as Mr. Alex Galloway, CVO, Master of the Worshipful Company of Glaziers and Painters of Glass; Miss Linda Smith, JP, Master Framework Knitter, and Assistant Commissioner Ian Dyson of the City of London Police. Mr. Horn described his own long association with feltmaking, which has come about through his management of the Barford Brothers Dye and Bleach Works, which has been dyeing items for the hat industry in Luton since 1894.
AC Ian Dyson, the Master’s principal guest on this evening, opened his response on behalf of our guests by declaring a shared interest in old motor cars with our Master. He went on to speak eloquently about both the challenges and the opportunities presented to the City of London Police in the 21st century.
Mr. Dyson’s description of the juxtaposition between the requirements for old fashioned policing and the new techniques needed to address highly technological cyber-crimes was a fascinating insight into the police work that underpins the safe environment that so many of us take for granted in our daily lives in London.
Our Master rose to give his thanks to Mr. Dyson for his speech. He then brought the Livery up to date on his own charitable and other activities during his year as our Master. He gave a special thanks to Assistant Simon Millar for his three years’ service as chairman of the Livery Society, a role which he now hands over to Assistant Jeremy Bedford. He closed by repeating the words whispered to him by the Beadle shortly before another Livery dinner not so long ago, namely “Are you ready to start your speech Master, or would you like your guests to continue enjoying themselves?” His speech had done nothing of the sort !
Unshaken, we were all invited by the Beadle to join the Master for a stirrup cup after the port and chocolates had finished their circuits of the table.