Feltmakers and their guests gathered at the Mansion House on Friday, 3rd June, for what many consider to be the highlight of the Livery calendar, the annual Banquet, in the presence of The Lord Mayor & Lady Mayoress, and The Sheriffs.
Guests were greeted by The Master, his wife & the Wardens. The evening then commenced with a champagne reception, at which the winning entries for the Feltmaker Award 2016 were on display, and were modeled for guests.
Guests then proceeded into the magnificent Egyptian Hall, followed by members of The Court, in traditional headgear, and the principal guests, The Lord Mayor resplendent in his tricorn hat with black feathers, to the traditional accompaniment of enthusiastic clapping. Our new Chaplain, Andrew Pritchard-Keens, read the Grace prior to the serving of a sumptuous dinner, consisting of tartare of salmon, fillet of beef & cherry mousse, partnered with an excellent selection of wines. Entertainment was provided during the meal by the Brass Quartet of the Royal Marines Concert Band.
Grace from the “Laudi Spirituali” was sung, after which the Loving Cup was passed amongst guests, as a symbol of companionship.
Following the Loyal Toasts, there was a particularly special moment when a lone bugler gave an extraordinary performance of the Post Horn Gallop whilst circling the dining tables and eliciting responses from the other members of the quartet on the balcony.
The Upper Warden, Jeremy Brassington, then proposed the Civic Toast, welcoming The Lord Mayor, and highlighting his distinguished career. The Lord Mayor, Alderman The Lord Mountevans, responded, emphasizing the value of commerce and wealth creation, but also the importance of charitable works, and proposed the toast to the Worshipful Company of Feltmakers. The Master then spoke, bringing to everyone’s attention that his period of office coincided with the 90th birthday of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. He reminded us that the many millions of £1 coins in circulation, as well as carrying her portrait, bear the inscription “Decus et Tutamen” – both a decoration and a protection – which is also the motto of our Livery Company. A more appropriate, and happy, juxta-position of values it would be hard to imagine. The Master then presented a cheque to The Lord Mayor for his favoured charitable causes, on behalf of The Company.
The Master then invited The Lady Mayoress to announce the winner of The Feltmaker Design Award 2016, and to present the prize to Charlotte Roseman, from Kensington and Chelsea College, who had designed a felt rose headpiece, held in position by its stems and thorns that wrapped around the head. Charlotte received a cheque for £1200, plus work experience with royal milliner and Liveryman, Rachel Trevor-Morgan.
The Master then proposed the health of our guests, and concluded by proposing the toast to The Livery Companies of The City of London, and inviting everyone to join him for a stirrup cup. He, members of The Court, and their principal guests, were then clapped as they exited the hall. The banquet was, as always, a most convivial occasion, allowing Liverymen, and their guests, to enjoy a memorable evening of fellowship and charity.