Master's Blog - July 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