Sunday 16th June saw the informal revival of an old tradition for the Livery of ‘dining down the river’.
A party of around thirty or so Feltmakers, friends and family gathered at The Trafalgar tavern in Greenwich. The Master had battled round the M25 to be there but a number of the party re-enacted the more traditional river journey from Westminster.
After a splendid meal of Whitebait, followed by a traditional Roast Beef dinner glasses of wine were replenished and we sat back for a short but very informative and entertaining discourse from our resident Livery historian, William Battersby.
The tradition of dining out of town dates back to the 18th century and these occasions were originally dinners held in Dagenham!
As far as can be established from the historical records the last known Whitebait meal took place 140 years ago in July 1873.
One meal that was held earlier in the 1800’s cost £26-3-6 for a party of 14. This included £8 on food and the rest for port, madiera, champagne and hock. Little has changed since!
Thanks are due to Simon Millar for organising the event and to the Trafalgar for looking after us so well. The tavern was built in its present form in1837 and still serves its purpose well to the present day.
Last but by no means least thanks are also due to William Battersby for his diligent research and for the excellent presentation of the material he had resourced so splendidly.