Master's Blog

From the Master Geoff Hughes

Welcome to my Master’s Blog on the new website of the Worshipful Livery Company of Wales. I will be using this page to report on a monthly basis to Liverymen on Livery events and also to draw attention to the upcoming programme of the Court and Company.

October 2019

I have been very privileged to have been Master of The Worshipful Livery Company of Wales 2018-19 and to be able to report on what I believe to have been a most successful year both personally and for the Company.

It has been an interesting year for a Master from a management perspective, with two Treasurers, two Clerks, two Chaplains, two Chairmen of the Charity Committee and two Chairmen of the PR Committee during my term of office.
This might give the impression of disruption and instability, but the business of the Company has been remarkably smooth. I wish to express my gratitude to those who have served the Company in those capacities in the past and to those who have taken up the baton for the future.

Awards Committee
The Awards programme has again been successful, carrying out our objects of encouraging and supporting the Arts, Sciences and Technology, mainly through the medium of education. I never cease to be amazed at the quality of award winners we support and have done for many years.
The Awards Dinner has now become an integral part of our programme as, indeed, it should. I would encourage Liverymen to give it their full support as it is an excellent opportunity to see and hear about how beneficial our Awards can be to the young people of Wales.

Silver Jubilee
The Silver Jubilee, initiated by Deputy Master Gillian Davies, has continued to grow and stands around the £70,000 mark. It will be, and already is, used to develop new projects thus increasing and enhancing our ability to support our Awards programme.

PR Committee
The PR Committee has raised the profile of our Company in the eyes of the public through quality articles and interviews in the media, notably the Western Mail. Additionally, a revitalised Livery Bulletin has resulted in a quality product informing Liverymen of news and events in the Company. It is a publication of which we can be justifiably proud.

Charity Committee
This Committee continues to contribute to fundraising for the Trust and, thereby, our Awards programme.
This year the Committee took over responsibility for organising the Awards Dinner at Howell’s School and has plans for fundraising events in the coming year.

During the current financial year and second half of my term as Master the Treasurer and Clerk have worked hard to co-ordinate and reconcile the records of paid up members. This excellent work has established that we had 150 paid up members as at the end of August despite being only halfway through the year. At this rate we will have the highest membership for some years.

After several years of serious concerns about the state of Company finances including gloomy forecasts of bankruptcy, I am pleased to say that there is more stability in addressing these issues.

I have said on numerous occasions that the formula for correcting the position is to increase income and reduce expenditure.

Both of these have been positively addressed to the extent that increased membership and efficient collection of quarterage, including overdue back payments, during the current membership year means that quarterage income will be the highest in recent years.

Similarly, working to a tight budget and reduced costs means that expenditure has been reduced.

I remain confident that at Common Hall next year we will be talking about being “in the black” rather than “in the red”.

I have attended over 100 Livery related meetings or events during the year, as may be seen in my attached Diary. At many of these I have represented and promoted our Company so that we become better known in the wider Livery movement.

Domestically, we have had a very enjoyable and varied programme including the Master’s weekend to Bruges where the Officers laid a poppy wreath at Menin Gate and I was honoured to be asked to read the exhortation. It was also a privilege to be invited to a Reception at Buckingham Palace to celebrate 50 years since HRH Prince Charles was invested as Prince of Wales

I and my Consort have been invited to many events in London which has given the opportunity to speak with other interested parties about The Livery Company of Wales which, again, will raise our profile. Thank you to those Liverymen who have invited Sue and me as guests to their own London Livery events

The Clerk has recently written to all London Livery Companies to try to interest any Liverymen with Welsh connections to consider joining us.

I wish to pass on my thanks to the Wardens, Deputy Master, Clerks, Treasurers, Assistant Clerk, Chairmen of Committees and all those Liverymen, of whom there have been many, who have supported me throughout the year.

Finally, I take the opportunity to thank my wife and Consort, Sue, for her help and support in what has been a very busy but most enjoyable and productive year in the service of The Worshipful Livery Company of Wales


18th Licensing of Priest in Charge Rev. Sarah Jones (now Livery Chaplain) at St John’s Church, Cardiff
20th Installation Court, Church Service and Banquet
Guest Speaker Sir Gary Hickinbottom (Company event)
22nd Guest of Master of Worshipful Company of Arbitrators at Middle Temple

1st Private Dinner with The Lord Mayor of London (Charles
Bowman) for Regional Livery Masters at The Mansion House
6th Installed as Freeman of Worshipful Company of Haberdashers’
11th Attended Remembrance Parades at Cardiff Cathays Park and Usk
13th Silver Jubilee and GPC Meetings
16th London Group Dinner (Army and Navy Club) (Company event)
19th Awards Meeting
22nd Dinner with The Lord Mayor of London (Cardiff)
25th Sunday Lunch at The Clink Cardiff (Company Event)
27th Trustee and Court Meetings
30th Presentation of Award at Hillside School (Neath)

2nd North Wales Advent Carol Service (St Asaph) (Company event)
7th Christmas at The Mansion House with The Lord Mayor of
11th Livery Carol Service St Johns Church (Cardiff)
Followed by Dinner at Cardiff and County Club (Company event)
13th P R Committee Meeting and Awards Presentation at St Johns
College Cardiff

8th Guest at Livery Dinner with Worshipful Company of Plaisterers at Plaisterers Hall, London
10th Planning Meeting at St German’s Church, Cardiff
14th Interviewing for position of Clerk for the Company

5th Silver Jubilee and GPC Meetings
7th Granted Freedom of The City of London at Guildhall (London)
8th Court Lunch with Worshipful Company of Arbitrators Brewers’ Hall
19th Trustees and Court Meetings
25th Awards and PRC Meetings
27th Budget Meeting with Officers

MARCH 2019
4th Lunch at The Old Bailey with Sheriff The Hon. Liz Green
5th Buckingham Palace Reception to Commemorate 50th Anniversary of The Investiture of HRH Prince Charles as Prince of Wales. Also City and Affiliations Dinner at Haberdashers’ Hall with Clerk
23rd Treorchy Male Choir Concert, St Germans (Company Event)
26th Charity Committee and PRC Meetings
28th The Lord Mayor’s Livery Banquet (Sir Peter Estlin) at The Mansion House
29th Attended United Guild Service at St Pauls Cathedral
30th Represented The Welsh Livery Company at Welcome Home Parade for HMS Monmouth who exercised their right to march through Monmouth.

APRIL 2019
2nd Finance and GPC Meetings
8th Awards Meeting
16th Trustee and Court Meetings
25th Presentation of Awards Airbus Broughton (Chester)
30th Lecture on Captain Scott by Diana Preston at Howell’s School
(Company Event)

MAY 2019
2nd Funeral of Liveryman David Glynn- Jones (Guildford)
7th Charity Meeting
9th – 12th Master’s Away Weekend Bruges (Company Event)
20th Charter Banquet at The Mansion House for The Worshipful Company of Arbitrators (London)
22nd PRC Meeting
23rd Guest at Mess Dinner HMS Dragon (Cardiff Vale Resort)
28th Meeting with Rev Sarah Jones (now Livery Chaplain)
30th Guest at Annual Banquet of The Worshipful Company of Actuaries at The Mansion House (London)

JUNE 2019
2nd Court Lunch Glen yr Avon Usk (Company Event)
3rd Awards Meeting
4th Royal Chelsea Hospital Governors Review (London)
7th – 9th Masters’ Weekend at Ironbridge (Shropshire)
9th Trinity Service (St Mary’s Church) and Lunch at The Shrewsbury Drapers Company
11th Attended Shortlisting for Police Award (Bridgend)
13th Guest Speaker at Education Dinner for Worshipful Company of Haberdashers at Haberdashers’ Hall (London)
29th Guest at Speech Day Monmouth School for Girls

JULY 2019
1st Presentation of Awards - Coleg y Cymoedd
2nd Guest of South Wales Police 50th Anniversary in the presence of
HRH Prince Charles (Bridgend)
3rd Presentation of Awards to 8 apprentices at Coleg Gwent
6th Guest at Speech day Monmouth School for Boys
7th Charity Jazz Garden Party at Hensol Castle (Company Event)
10th Guest at Installation Dinner for Worshipful Company of Tin Plate Workers alias Wire Workers (Mansion House)
12th Guided Tour of Royal Chelsea Hospital organised by the London
Group (Company event)
15th Awards and PRC Meeting
18th Attended The Annual Service of Dedication of Knights Bachelor at St Paul’s Cathedral followed by a reception on Apothecaries’ Hall
19th Guest with other Masters at Comporflot Sailor of the Year Awards at Admiralty House and HMS Nelson (Portsmouth) HMS Dragon received an award.
24th Guest at Livery Banquet for The Worshipful Company of Marketors (Mansion House)

25th Installed as Liveryman of The Worshipful Company of Haberdashers at Haberdashers’ Hall
30th Trustees Meeting and Election Court

23rd Guest at the re -opening of Llantrisant Guild Hall

3rd Charity and PRC Meetings
16th Awards Meeting (Silver Jubilee)
17th Court Meeting
23rd Awards Meeting
26th Livery Awards Dinner and Presentation Evening Howell’s School
(Company Event)
28th Dinner with The Worshipful Company of Arbitrators at The Firing Line Cardiff Castle (as part of The Master Arbitrator’s Away Weekend)
29th Exercised my right to drive sheep over London Bridge for Lord Mayor’s Charity organised by the Worshipful Company of Woolmen

3rd Common Hall, Bridgend College
11th Guest night Dinner at Shrewsbury Drapers Company

Geoff Hughes

July 2019

Another very busy and rewarding month.
Variety certainly is the spice of life!
July 1st
Margaret Davies and I attended Coleg Cymoedd at Nantgarw for their awards evening and to present awards to two students. The speaker was BBC Wales Weather Presenter, Behnaz Akhbar, who gave a motivational talk.
Both Award Winners had performed outstanding well and thoroughly deserved their awards.
July 2nd
This morning I was honoured and delighted to be invited to South Wales Police Headquarters in Bridgend to meet a VIP who turned out to be HRH Prince Charles. He was there to celebrate 50 years since the South Wales Police Force was formed and to unveil a plaque for the new Memorial Garden. Prince Charles also commented that it was 50 years since his Investiture as Prince of Wales at Caernarfon Castle.
I also met up with fellow liverymen Barbara Wilding a former Chief Constable of South Wales Police and her daughter Arabella.
July 3rd
This evening I attended another presentation evening. I always enjoy them. It is good to see young people getting on in their careers. This time I went to the Coleg Gwent presentation at the Parkway Hotel in Cwmbran with Liveryman Keith Shankland and on behalf of the Welsh Livery Company, in conjunction with the Haberdashers’ Livery Company, I presented awards to eight apprentices. One of our previous winner Ryan Whitfield was again presented with an award.

July 5th
Past Master Keith Arnold, The Junior Warden and I interviewed three candidates for our Gold Award at Howells School Llandaff. Anther candidate is to be interviewed at a later date so the successful candidate cannot be revealed yet!
July 6th
On behalf of The Company I attended Monmouth Boys School Speech Day where the speaker was The Lord Dr Hastings of Scarisbrick CBE who gave a most inspirational speech for the boys – and the adults !!
July 8th
Our Charity Garden Party this year was at Hensol Castle by kind permission of Mr and Mrs Gerald Leeke on a beautiful Sunday Afternoon. It was a Jazz Garden party and featured 2 types of Bands. The first during the Champagne Reception, The Grand Slammers, played Trad Jazz and was a lively introduction to the afternoon. This was followed by a delicious Afternoon Tea served in the Oak Room to fifty Liverymen and guests, who included Gerald and Sue Leeke.
A silent auction with some wonderful prizes on offer, organised by Simon Holt, added greatly to the afternoon. This along with ticket sales enabled us to raise £3,200 for our Charity Trust Fund.
This was followed with another excellent jazz quartet supported by an excellent singer. Thanks to Nigel Phillips for organising both bands and also to Liveryman Agnes Xavier- Phillips for overseeing all hospitality arrangements.
It was a most enjoyable afternoon, an excellent venue, good food and good company. I was glad that family members from London and Usk were able to attend.

July 10th
Sue and I were invited to attend the Installation Dinner of The Worshipful Company of Tin Plate Workers alias Wire Workers’ at The Mansion House. Past Master Bryan Marsh is a Past Master of the Company. I congratulated the new Master and Consort Laurence Mutkin and Stacey, his wife.
Sheriffs Vincent Keaveny and Liz Green were in attendance and we joined them on top table. They had completed a horse ride, together with The Light Cavalry and City of London Mounted Police, around some of the Livery Halls in the morning and had been collecting money for the Sheriffs and Recorders Fund to raise monies for families of ex-prisoners. They finished at lunch time and hosted a buffet at The Old Bailey
July 12th
We went up to London again this week but this time to have a guided tour of the Royal Chelsea Hospital with Welsh Liverymen and guests to have Afternoon Tea with the Pensioners some of whom were Welsh. This was organised by Liveryman Dr Keith Williams (London) and Liveryman Sir Idris Pearce, a former Commissioner of The Royal Chelsea Hospital. The weather was very favourable, and we were shown around by an extremely knowledgeable Chelsea Pensioner, Geoff Douglas-Hiley. We were able to view The State Apartments which are not open to the general public and finished the tour with excellent Afternoon Tea accompanied by some Chelsea Pensioners. It was an interesting, informative and unique social occasion.
Thanks to Keith for his excellent organisation.
July 16th
I attended the Awards and PRC Committees at The Plymouth Arms, St Fagans.

July 17th
I attended a Finance meeting with the Senior Warden, Junior Warden, Treasurer and Clerk during the morning and chaired the GPC in the afternoon.
July 18th
Once again, this month we visited London. This time to attend the Annual Service of Dedication of Knights Bachelor in St Faith’s Chapel in the Crypt of St Paul’s Cathedral at the invitation of Sir Gary Hickinbottom. This was followed by a reception in Apothecaries’ Hall. We caught up with the Masters of the Engineers, Musicians and Spectacle Makers Companies. It was an honour and a privilege to meet the Knights Bachelor and Knight Principal Sir Colin Berry.
July 20th
By invitation of Commodore C. Wood, Flotilla Commander, I and about 10 other Masters of Livery Companies with Naval Affiliations went to the Awards Ceremony at Admiralty House, Portsmouth. I and two other Masters had sponsored an Award to Sailor of the Year Mulcahy of HMS Dragon.
We then went to Dinner at HMS Nelson - a splendid venue.
July 24th
Our last visit to London this month! We attended The Marketors’ Banquet as guests of Liveryman Dr Keith Williams and his wife Jackie.
It was held in the splendid surroundings of The Mansion House and the guest speaker was The Representative Lord Mayor, Alderman Sir David Wooton.

July 25th
Today I was made a Liveryman of The Worshipful Company of Haberdashers. This was followed by lunch in Haberdashers’ Hall and a Charity Garden Party in its beautiful courtyard.
July 30th
At the Election Court today we elected Officers for the next year.
Peter Coleman was elected as Master from October 12th.
Sue and I wish him and Jen a busy and very enjoyable year !

Geoff Hughes

June 2019

If I thought May was busy June was even busier!
Sunday June 2nd
Court Members were invited to an excellent Court Lunch at the Glen- yr- Avon Hotel in my home town of Usk. An excellent lunch which we opened to all previous Court members, Trustees and others, 41 in total, which was beautifully accompanied on the harp by one of our former award winners Emily Harris who is currently studying for her master’s degree in Cardiff.
June 3rd
This morning I attended the Awards Committee meeting in St Fagan’s.
June 4th
The Clerk and I attended The Royal Hospital Chelsea for the Governor’s Review of the In-Pensioners, which was a spectacular event carried out with military precision as one might expect. Liveryman Keith Williams and his wife Jackie were also there.

The following weekend June 6th, 7th and 8th Sue and I went to the Ironbridge Gorge for The Masters’ Weekend. Masters from all the Livery companies of London and the regions, with their Consorts, stay for Friday and Saturday evenings and visit the Ironbridge museums, discuss common issues and socialise. The Lord Mayor, Peter Estlin and the two Sheriff’s opened the proceedings, ”Ironbridge Reborn” on Friday afternoon with a management discussion followed by an animated Livery Dinner at Coalbrookdale. We were able to meet up with many Masters, some of whom we had met at previous Dinners and we made some new acquaintances. The weather was very wet, but it did not dampen our spirits. After a day in and around the Ironbridge museums, trying to miss the heavy showers we had a Champagne Reception followed by The President’s Summer Ball, a splendid black-tie dinner in The Engine Shop at Coalbrookdale.
Sunday June 9th
Just before we left Ironbridge, we had a meeting of Masters and Consorts to decide on the name of our Past Masters Association – it is to be Apollo 19 and, after some lengthy discussions the Consorts Association is – Gemini.
Then Sue and I left for Shrewsbury together with the Masters of The Haberdashers, The Barber Surgeons and The Woolmen. We had been invited by The Master of The Shrewsbury Drapers to a Trinity service at St Mary’s Church and then to lunch with The Shrewsbury Drapers. A small but select gathering in Drapers Hall which dates from 1576. It is a beautiful building which houses a 17ft long dining table!
We were pleased to meet John and Rosie Solbe, both Liverymen at the Service and lunch.
11th June
I went to South Wales Police HQ with Keith Arnold to assess the shortlisted candidates for our Learner of the Year Award. There were some very strong candidates which made the task as difficult as ever.
June 13th
We went to London to attend a Church service for The Haberdashers’ Company of Commemoration and Re-dedication in The Priory Church of St Bartholomew the Great (the church used in” Four Weddings and a Funeral”) before going on to Haberdashers’ Hall .We had been invited by The Master of Haberdashers’ to their Education Livery Dinner and I was asked to give a speech on Education in Prisons to the Governors, Headteachers of their schools, liverymen and guests. It was an honour and a pleasure and a very enjoyable evening.
June 16 – 19th
Work interfered with my year in office as I was called to Saudi Arabia to advise on Prison matters. An interesting experience as I had not visited that country before.
June 23 rd.
I represented The Welsh Livery Company at the Mayor’s Civic Service in Usk.
June 26th
I attended a reception originally to be held at the Senedd but was moved to Portland House. This was the introduction to the International Conference on Culinary Arts and Sciences an annual event founded by the Worshipful Company of Cooks.
This year, for the first time, it was held in Cardiff and I met the Master and Past Master of the Cook’s Company at the Reception. The CEO of the Clink Charity was also there and I was pleased to meet him, particularly as we make an award to a serving prisoner working at the Clink Restaurant in Cardiff.
June 27th
Our YPC held a social evening in Octavo’s Bar which the Junior Warden Kathy Seddon and I attended. It was good to hear of the experiences which had flowed from our financial assistance and to savour their enthusiasm.
Saturday June 29th
On behalf of the Livery Company I attended Speech Day at Monmouth Girls School together with the Chair of Governors and The Master and Clerk of the Haberdasher’s Livery Company.

Geoff Hughes

MaY 2019

31st May

Welcome to the latest blog as I near the final third of my year in Office as Master, a year which has, so far, been eventful and enjoyable.
On 30th April we were entertained to a lecture by well known author Diana Preston at Howells’ School, Llandaff. An audience of about 80 people including Liverymen, guests and special guests from the Captain Scott Society were enthralled by the dramatic story of Captain Robert Falcon Scott CVO, RN who set sail from Cardiff on his famous and, tragically, final expedition to the South Pole. The lecture was followed by an excellent hot buffet supper and musical entertainment was provided by former WLCoW Award winner Iestyn Griffiths.
Sue and I attended the Service of Celebration for the life of Liveryman David Glynn-Jones at Holy Trinity Church, Guilford on 2nd May. Liveryman Huw Wynne-Griffiths and his wife, Helen were also present in a well attended, representative congregation.
On 9th–12th May 32 intrepid Liverymen and guests enjoyed the Master’s Away Weekend in Bruges. We travelled on Edwards’ Red Dragon Coach used by the Welsh Rugby and Football teams and stayed at the Navarro Hotel which was excellent. The programme included a superbly entertaining guided tour of a famous brewery, a visit to several war cemeteries, including the grave of Hedd Wyn and the Welsh Memorial, followed by attendance at the Last Post Ceremony at Menin Gate in Ypres where we laid a poppy wreath on behalf of The Worshipful Livery Company of Wales. I was privileged and moved to be asked to give the Exhortation during the Ceremony. Finally, we visited the Diamond Museum where we had a fascinating Demonstration before concluding the weekend in Bruges with a most enjoyable group Dinner in the Hotel.
Sir Gary Hickinbottom, Master of The Worshipful Livery Company of Arbitrators had extended an invitation to any of our Liverymen who wished to attend their Charter Commemorative Banquet at the Mansion House in London on 20th May. Our Company was well represented by Sue and I and 10 Liverymen and guests. We all received a warm welcome in the toast to Visitors.
Sue and I were invited to HMS Dragon Auxiliary Wardroom Mess Dinner at Vale Resort Hotel on 23rd May to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of HMS Dragon, one of our affiliated Royal Navy ships. The guest speaker was Lt Cdr Richard Attwater from Dragon and he was accompanied by three other officers who each gave a description of their work on board. It was good to meet with members of the Wardroom some of who are also members of our Livery Company during an excellent evening.
On 30th May Sue and I attended the Annual Banquet of the Worshipful Livery Company of Actuaries at the Mansion House as guests of Liveryman Huw Wynne-Griffiths, a Past Master of that Company. It was a superb evening in the Company of the Lord Mayor of London Peter Estlin and Sheriff Elizabeth Green. Sir John Timpson of high street fame was the guest speaker and spoke of the rehabilitation of offenders, something dear to my heart. His company has been employing ex- offenders for nearly 20 years and he rates them as some of his best employees.During the month I attended the Charity Committee meeting and the Public Relations Committee meeting. Both continue to work well in the interests of the Company. Members of the Awards Committee have been out and about embarking on their interviews of candidates for Awards this year.
All three Committees would welcome volunteers to join them in the important work they carry out for the Company.
Sadly, the month also saw the passing of Liveryman David Clark who had been a staunch supporter of our Company for many years. We offer our condolences to his family.

Geoff Hughes

April 2019

10th April

Welcome to this month’s Blog. You will see what a busy life a Master has during his year of office, being an ambassador for our Livery Company whilst enjoying meeting like-minded people in terms of promoting the skills and talent of young people through charitable work.
On 20th March I gave a talk on ”Women in Prison” to the Vale of Glamorgan National Trust in Cowbridge and was delighted to meet a number of our Liverymen who were present . Thanks for their support.
On 21st March I was part of a Deputation visiting Monmouth School for Girls and Monmouth School representing the Haberdashers Livery Company, whilst also showing the flag for the Worshipful Livery Company of Wales which I try to do at every opportunity !!
We hosted Treorchy Male Choir and 3 soloists (Livery Award winners) from St. John’s College Cardiff in a Concert at St. German’s Church on 23rd March, attended by over 180 people, including Liverymen. It was an amazing evening with outstanding performances as befits a world class Choir and drew much praise from those present, some of whom commented on the hairs on the back of their necks being raised during some of the emotive pieces and the wonderful acoustics in such a fine venue.
I attended both the Charity and Public Relations Committee meetings on 26th March. It is good to see that all our Committees, including the Awards Committee, are now working closely together with a more coherent approach.
On 28th March I and my Consort, Sue, attended the Lord Mayor of London’s Dinner for the Masters of the Livery Companies of London to meet with the Masters of Livery Companies outside London. This was held in the Mansion House in London and was very well attended by Masters from over 112 Livery Companies. The Worshipful Livery Company of Wales was honoured to be on the top table.
The following day 29th March we had been invited to the 77th Service of the United Guilds of the City of London at St Paul’s Cathedral which was a superb event as Liverymen all turned up in their traditional colourful robes, badges and, in some cases, hats. A feast for photographers outside, of which there were many!
It is essential that we take these opportunities to meet Liverymen from other Livery Companies and to raise our profile with them. There was considerable interest in the work that we are doing in promoting and encouraging the young people of Wales.
Lunch followed at Haberdashers’ Hall where I met with Liverymen from the Feltmakers’ and Saddlers’ Companies, both of whom have been touch since and wish to make further links with our Company.
On 30th March I was invited to represent our Livery Company at the Freedom of Monmouth Parade as the Captain and crew of HMS Monmouth exercised their right to march through the town accompanied by a band of the Royal Marines. The inspection was carried out by the Lord Lieutenant of Gwent and the salute taken by the Mayor of Monmouth. The newly appointed High Sheriff of Gwent was also in attendance and I was able to discuss the aims and objectives of our Livery Company with her.
Moving into April - I attended a finance meeting and chaired the General Purposes Committee on 2nd April and also attended the Awards Committee on 8th April. Next week, 16th April will see meetings of the Trustees or our Charitable Trust followed by a full meeting of Court.

Geoff Hughes

March 2019

7th March

Isn’t it amazing how things get so much busier after the short, dark days of December, January and February? Everyone seems to come out of hibernation. This year has been no different for me I’m pleased to say.
It started towards the end of February – at the last Court meeting when we arrived to find our usual room double booked which resulted in us moving to a completely different building.
Fortunately, most Court members were redirected to the new location and we started only 10 minutes late. Things got worse when were told we would have to leave early as the security man had to finish his shift. Worse still, we were then told we had to leave straight away!!
Skilful negotiation by our Beadle eventually led to a decision that we could stay after all. While all this was going on Court had continued its business unabashed as we installed the new clerk, a new Court Assistant, a new Steward and four new Liverymen. Not a bad evening’s work!
We have also seen the publication of our new newsletter “The Welsh Livery Bulletin” which gives a great deal of information to help keep members up to date with the various activities going on in the Company. Excellent work by the PRC Committee and Assistant Clerk.

On 4th March I represented the Company at a lunch with the Judges at the Old Bailey hosted by the Sheriff The Hon. Elizabeth Green as a part of “Wales in London Week”. This was very interesting for me as many years ago the cells and the docks were staffed by prison officers from Belmarsh prison where I was Governor and I had lunch with the Judges having visited my staff during the morning. Times have changed as all that custody work has been privatised and is now carried out by security firms.

The next day, 5th March, I and my wife Sue had been invited to a Reception at Buckingham Palace to celebrate 50 years since the Investiture of Prince Charles as The Prince of Wales. The Queen and several members of the Royal Family were there and, it seemed, most of Wales, including the Prime Minister, First Minister for Wales, Lord Lieutenants, Archbishops, Bishops, pop stars, celebrities and representatives of charities and organisations associated with Prince Charles. He is, of course, an Honorary Royal Freeman of our Company. It was an excellent occasion!

During the evening I and the Clerk attended the Haberdashers’ Company City Livery and Affiliations Dinner at Haberdashers Hall where we were well received and were able to forge new friendships.

Towards the end of the month I will be representing the Company at a Dinner hosted by The Lord Mayor of London for Masters and Prime Wardens of the Livery Companies of the City of London at the Mansion House and, the next day, at the United Guilds Service at St Paul’s Cathedral.

A reminder that the Concert by Treorchy Male Choir is on 23rd March and tickets @ £15 are still available from the Assistant Clerk. Roy Noble was kind enough to mention the Concert on his radio programme on successive Sundays.

Also, we will soon be giving information about the Captain Scott lecture by Diana Preston on 30th April.

The Worshipful Company of Arbitrators will holding their Charter Commemorative Banquet at the Mansion House on 20th May and their Master has invited any, or all, of our Liverymen to attend. More details later.

Diary Date – 7th July Livery Jazz Garden Party at Hensol Castle

Geoff Hughes

February 2019

11th February

I am delighted to announce that Liveryman Christopher Dale has been appointed Clerk, after an open competition, to take over from Dr Claude Evans. My thanks go to Claude for his second period as Clerk and for overseeing much change within the Company.

On 21st February there will be a Film and Supper Evening at Howell’s School, Llandaff. This features an exclusive viewing of the film about the battle of Passchendaele entitled “Futility” with a presentation by Lieutenant Jonathan Riley who provided the commentary. A calling notice is out and tickets are still available from the Clerk.

Tickets are also on sale for the Concert by Treorchy Male Choir at St German’s Church, Roath on 23rd March where the acoustics are superb, such that the Choir has used it to make recordings in the past. Again, a calling notice has been issued and I encourage Liverymen to support this prestigious Concert by probably the best Male Choir in the world.

On 7th February I was pleased to be admitted to the Freedom of the City of London, albeit as a Haberdasher rather than through our Company!

The next day I represented our Company at a Court Lunch hosted by the Worshipful Livery Company of Arbitrators at the splendid Brewer’s Hall in London. Sixteen other Masters were present, amongst others, and the guest speaker was His Honour Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC, Recorder of London.

I am looking forward to the next Court meeting on 19th February where we will be clothing two new Liverymen.

Silver Jubilee fundraising continues to bring in substantial donations which will be used to increase the number and scope of our very successful Awards programme for the benefit of the young people of Wales.

Liverymen who have not yet made a donation to this worthwhile cause are encouraged to do so soon, whether that be £10 or £500 – it all adds to the fund!

Geoff Hughes

January 2019

I trust that everyone is enjoying a Happy New Year after the festive period of Christmas.

13th December

My final engagements of 2018 had been attendance at the PRC Committee meeting followed by an excellent Christmas lunch at Whitchurch Golf Club and in the evening presenting music awards to two pupils at the Prize Giving Ceremony, St John’s College, Cardiff.

As is often the case January has been a relatively quiet month in terms of events although there is a lot of activity going on in the background.

8th January

On Tuesday 8th January I was pleased to represent our Livery Company at the Plaisterers‘, Masters’ and Clerks’ Dinner in the magnificent Plaisterers’ Hall in London.

The Plaisterers’ Company dates back to 1501 and is actively involved in the plastering trade, promoting the art and craft through its award schemes. The decoration of the Hall reflects the trade as it is decorated in the 18th century neo-classical style of Robert Adam with details reproduced from some of his original mouldings.

It was a pleasure to meet, again, the Master Timothy Cooke OBE who had been a guest at my Installation and to meet with Past Master Mike Jones who is also a member of our Livery Company and Heather Morley (nee Dix) another member of our Company and her husband Past Master Gary Morley. Heather and Gary had also attended my Installation last October.

I also met Dyfrig James Master of the Paviors Company who will be joining our Company in February.

10th January

Detailed planning for the annual programme of Livery Company activities continues as we look forward to the Concert by Treorchy Male Choir on 23rd March. I met with the Assistant Clerk and two Churchwardens at St German’s Church on 10th January to discuss arrangements. A very positive and constructive meeting.

Tickets will be available shortly. This will be an open event so I would encourage Liverymen to promote the event and to book tickets at their earliest convenience.

In addition, we are looking look forward with anticipation to the Lecture by Diana Preston on Scott of the Antarctic followed by Supper on 23rd April at Howell’s School, Llandaff. Further details in due course.

Geoff Hughes

November/ December 2018

November has proved to be a very busy month for me!

Remembrance Day 11th November
On Sunday 11 November I represented the Worshipful livery Company of Wales at The National Service of Remembrance at the National War Memorial in Cathays Cardiff. Lord Lieutenant Morfudd Meredith and The Lord Mayor of Cardiff Dianne Rees were in attendance and it was a pleasure to meet fellow Liveryman Chris Dale. It was a very moving service that marked 100 years since the end of the First World War.
I also attended my local service at Usk in the afternoon where wreaths were laid by Deputy Lieutenants Gerald (rugby international) and his wife Cilla Davies. David Davies MP for Monmouth also laid a wreath. Sue and my grandchildren Elin and Mali marched through Usk representing Guiding. My grandchildren in Chichester Olivia and Jack were also marching!

London Group Dinner 16th November
This dinner took place in The Army and Navy Club, Pall Mall on Friday November 16th. A good number of Liverymen and guests came from Wales to join with those who lived in London to hear Murray Craig, Clerk to the Chamberlain’s Court give an interesting speech about the Freedom of the City of London. There was also a guided tour of the art works in the club conducted by the very knowledgeable Major Paul Skelton-Stroud. All in all, it was a well organised and convivial dinner enjoyed by all present. Many thanks to Dr Keith Williams (London) for organising the event.

Lord Mayor of the City of London 22nd November
On Thursday November 22nd I was invited to a private dinner with the Lord Mayor of The City of London, Alderman Peter Estlin at Marco Pierre White’s Restaurant in Cardiff

Christmas Lunch at The Clink 25th November
As a former Governor of Cardiff Prison, it seemed appropriate to hold lunch at The Clink Restaurant, an excellent initiative for training serving prisoners in catering skills in preparation for release. Our Livery Company made an award this year to a “graduate” from The Clink who had made a successful transition from prison to an award-winning chef. Another candidate has been identified but, as yet, the name is a secret. The lunch was well attended by Liverymen and guests who enjoyed a fine Christmas lunch.

Hillside School 30th November
Together with newly joined Liveryman Henry Gilbert I visited Hillside Secure Unit to present a Livery Award of £250 and a Certificate to a young girl who had been identified by staff as making excellent progress and was hoping to go on to College and hopefully later, University.

North Wales Advent Service 2nd December
As in previous years John and Rosie Solbe hosted an excellent lunch in their beautiful home for 18 Liverymen and guests. We then went to St Asaph Cathedral for a Service of Advent Carols which everyone enjoyed.

“Christmas at the Mansion House” 7th December
We were invited to the Mansion House in Cardiff by the Lord Mayor Dianne Rees as she was hosting an event for Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital Charity. We were entertained by the Rock Choir who sang a medley of songs and carols followed by mulled wine and mince pies. A very enjoyable event for a great charity.

Livery Service of Lessons and Carols 11th December
The annual Service of Lessons and Carols at St John the Baptist Church, Cardiff was held on 11th December. Master and Wardens, Liverymen and guests attended.
This was followed by dinner at the Cardiff and County Club in a thoroughly enjoyable atmosphere in keeping with our Livery traditions.

Sue and I would like to wish all Liverymen and their families a joyous Christmas and a successful New Year.

Future Events 2019
Saturday 23rd March 7.00pm
Concert by Treorchy Male Choir at St German’s Church, Roath, Cardiff
Tuesday 30th April 7.00pm
Lecture on Captain Scott of Antarctic fame by the author Diana Preston followed by buffet supper at Howell’s School, Llandaff
Thursday 9th – Sunday 12th May
Away weekend in Bruges
Sunday 7th July
Hensol Castle - Charity Jazz Garden Party

Geoff Hughes

November 2018

It was a great privilege and honour to have been installed as Master of the Worshipful Livery of Wales on October 20th and I will do all that I can to make this year as positive and rewarding as I can for the Company.
The previous week I had been invited by The Worcester Clothiers Company to attend their annual Banquet at The Guildhall in Worcester where we were entertained by the Master and Wardens of this ancient Company.
The same week I represented the Company at the Licencing of The Reverend Sarah Jones as Priest in Charge of our mother Church, St John the Baptist, Cardiff.
Sir Gary Hickinbottom was Guest speaker at my Installation and it was a pleasure for my wife, Sue, and I to be invited as his guests at his Installation as Master of The Worshipful Company of Arbitrators, with Lady Caroline, on Oct 22nd held in Middle Temple, London where his Guest speaker was the barrister and television personality Robert Rinder (Judge Rinder).
Following that we flew out to New York and came back to Southampton on the QM2 on November 1st. That evening I was invited to Dinner with The Lord Mayor of London, Charles Bowman, in his private apartment at The Mansion House along with other “regional” Masters to discuss plans for making closer
links with London Companies.
On November 6th I was made a Freeman of The Worshipful Company of Haberdashers at Haberdashers Hall in the City and had lunch with the Master and Court of Wardens.

Geoff Hughes