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Master's Page

LETTER FROM THE MASTER 

October 2021
Dear Liverymen,

I would now like to think about the fellowship in our Company, which Bryan so enjoyed. I believe it has been very well demonstrated in some recent events.

The September ‘Master’s Away Visit’ saw us visiting Belfast. I know that a full account follows and so I just want to thank the group for their excellent company and support. This very full trip saw us touring the city, marvelling at the giants Causeway, learning a huge amount through the Titanic Experience and enjoying the Belfast Gin Distillery tour and products!

We have also enjoyed a recent “Talking Heads” session. My thanks to the Senior Warden for organising this enthralling event. I also want to thank Liverymen Stephen Richards and Laura Davies for their fascinating discussion in which they shared many rich and interesting details of their lives.

In October we were invited, at very short notice, to join Michael Sheen at his filming in Port Talbot, to present him with our “Outstanding Achievement Award”. Michael had agreed to join us at our planned July banquet in City Hall for this presentation, Sadly, due to the pandemic, the banquet had to be cancelled. On this occasion we were asked to restrict numbers and to make the presentation in the open air - on the beach in Aberavon! I am only sorry that more of you could not be present for this very special event. A detailed account follows. My grateful thanks to Court Assistant Henry Gilbert who made the presentation possible.

Looking to the future we are now, more than ever, mindful of the need for safety and caution. Everyone’s welfare is the top priority as we plan the events that I hope we can enjoy before Christmas. We continue to abide by the safety policies of the Welsh Government, and we will also follow additional independent safeguards imposed by the private venues we use. We will take any additional precautions we feel are necessary to ensure Liverymen can have the utmost confidence in attending our events.

Our innovative Art Auction on October the 22nd, has been the product of months of planning and hard work by the Charitable Events Committee, led by Simon Holt. Thanks must go to Simon, his team and to Court Assistant Jane Croad who has contributed so much to this event. We are delighted that the Lord and Lady Mayoress of Cardiff opened the very successful and enjoyable evening

The dinner and lecture at the Athenaeum on November the 19th, will offer us an opportunity to enjoy good company in a splendid setting. The lecture by Sabrina Cohen Hatton “In the heat of the moment” will, I know, be memorable, and it will be wonderful to make the presentation of our Achievement Award to Sabrina that evening. As in the calling notice, numbers will unfortunately be restricted for this event.

The North Wales Advent Carol Service will be at St Asaph Cathedral on November 28th, It will be preceded by the usual superb lunch with our generous hosts John and Rosie Solbé.
On December 14th, we hope to be joined by the Cardiff Arms Park Choir at our Christmas Carol Service at St John’s. Dinner will follow in the Cardiff and County Club.

On the 14th of January we are planning a black-tie Awards Celebration evening at the SWALEC Cricket Stadium.
On the 9th of February We hope to accept an invitation to make a presentation at the Marie Curie Reception at the Senedd. In March we plan to hold the Court luncheon on St David’s Day.
I am also delighted to have been invited to represent you at forthcoming formal dinners with The Worcester Clothiers, The Arbitrators Company, The Engineers Company and the Paviors Company.

It is also very pleasing that we have been invited to support the new Lord Mayor of the City of London, Alderman Vincent Keaveny, by taking part in the Lord Mayor’s Show. The following day I will join the St Paul’s Cathedral Remembrance Service. Past Master Gillian Davies will represent us at the City & Livery ‘Garden of Remembrance Service’. Past Master Geoff Hughes will lay our wreath, after the National Service of Remembrance for Wales, at the National War Memorial in Cathays Park Cardiff.

Finally, we will be clothing several new Liverymen over the coming months, and I know you will welcome them to enjoy the good fellowship that is such an important part of our Livery Company.

Thank you all for your much valued encouragement and support.

Kathy

Letter's from the Master - Archive

August 2021
Dear Liverymen
Thank you all for your continued support which is allowing us to make excellent progress. To illustrate this, I would particularly like to highlight the outstanding work of our Service Committees.

• The Awards Committee, led by Graeme Morgan, has made huge progress with their programme and the selection of Gold Development Award and Silver Jubilee Development Award candidates will begin soon. The selection is under the leadership of Geoff Hughes and Gillian Davies respectively.
• The Charitable Giving Committee, chaired by Simon Holt, is well prepared for our Art Auction on 22nd October and continues to sell tickets for the David Hurn photo shoot. (Please see the website)
• The Public Relations Committee, thanks to Agnes Xavier-Phillips, has produced another much-praised Welsh Livery Bulletin and continues to keep our vibrant.
• Thanks to our North Wales Committee, chaired by Andrew Richards. We have just enjoyed two wonderful events, detailed below.
• Our London Committee is also busy planning events and has given help and advice regarding the Athenaeum evening in November.
• The Membership Committee has created a protocol for new applications through the website, and I’m delighted that we have a number of promising prospective Liverymen to consider at GPC and Court.

My grateful thanks to all these Committees.

Turning to recent events, there were more than sixty happy participants at our virtual Installation Celebration Banquet. They included the Lord Lieutenants of Gwent and West Glamorgan and Masters and Officers from other Livery Companies. It was good to also ‘see’ many Liverymen and Guests from WLCoW.
The evening began with a formal address by the Rt Hon. The Lord Mayor of the City of London, William Russell. After an earlier excellent ZOOM with us he expressed surprise at our ‘title’ - since he didn’t think being Welsh was a Livery profession! He added that, on hearing more about us, it was clear that being Welsh was not a profession – rather a passion!

We were then delighted to hear from Sabrina Cohen-Hatton who is our 2021 Achievement Award winner. She spoke movingly about homelessness. Her early life experiences mean that this is a subject close to her heart. We look forward to hearing more from Sabrina at the Athenaeum dinner on November 19th. We then enjoyed ‘virtual’ interaction with fellow guests in ZOOM breakout rooms. We then gathered again to hear a piano recital by the very talented Ashton Holt. Further interaction followed and we then all met again for a short video about David Hurn, to advertise our photoshoot tickets. As a finale, we listened to our Outstanding Achievement Award winner, Michael Sheen, reading the stirring Dylan Thomas poem “Do not go gentle into that good night”. We all had a wonderful time, thanks to our two Liverymen who acted as online coordinators: Simon Holt (Chair of our Charitable Giving Committee) and Professor Ivor Chestnutt. Thank you both.

At our latest ‘Talking Heads’ evening we were delighted to welcome Group Captain Andrew Turk DFC ADC MA, Station Commander, RAF Valley, one of our Affiliated Centres, and Past Master, Wing Commander Graeme Morgan, Chair of our Awards Committee. We were very privileged to hear about Andy’s distinguished career, through skilful questioning by Graeme. Talking Heads begins again in September and will now be organised by the Senior Warden. Thank you, Stuart, for this and thanks also for representing the Company at a recent lunch on HMS Dragon.

Last week’s ‘North Wales Weekend’ was excellent. We began with a convivial lunch in Caernarfon. We then moved to the Castle for an informative illustrated talk by Lieutenant General Jonathon Riley CB DSO on his service in Yugoslavia - “Gorazde 1995: When Peace Keeping Failed.” Jonathon’s co-presenters were two other former serving members of the Royal Welch Fusiliers, Col Nick Lock and WO2 Nick Warren. After the talk they gave us a conducted tour of the inspiring Royal Welch Fusiliers Regimental Museum. The following day saw us enjoying a superb afternoon Garden Party at Dôl Hyfryd, St Asaph, by kind invitation of Liverymen John and Rosie Solbé. We also clothed our Assistant Clerk, Angela Parry, who we are delighted to say, has now joined us as a Liveryman. Thanks to John and Rosie for all their hard work as hosts, and to Andrew Richards (Chair or the North Wales Committee) for organizing and planning the whole visit.
This week, we enjoyed another pleasant event, where we clothed our new Liveryman Roland Adigee. It was good to hear about his career in online technology during the lunch that followed.
Most Livery Company meetings continue to use ZOOM technology. We are however planning to have a ‘hybrid’ Court meeting in November. At this meeting new Liverymen will be clothed, face-to-face, and the option to dial in through ZOOM will also be available.

 

Over the coming months we look forward to a number of events.

 

• The plans for our much-anticipated Belfast trip on the 12-14th September are all in place and we are very much looking forward to it.
• The next Talking Heads will be on September 22nd when two of our newest Liverymen, Stephen Richards and Laura Davies will be in conversation.
• Due to current RNLI covid restrictions we are very sorry to say that we cannot go ahead with our proposed Swansea event on the 30th of September. We are working on an alternative event and will keep you informed.
• The Art Auction will take place on October 22nd. There will be an opportunity to purchase items online beforehand, and at the evening reception. Profits will go our Charitable Trust.
• Plans are all in place for a wonderful black-tie dinner at the Athenaeum Club in London on the 19th of November. The guest lecturer will be our 2021 Achievement Award Winner, Sabrina Cohen Hatton, who was homeless as a teenager, enlisted in the Welsh Fire Service, gained degree and PhD at Cardiff and is now Chief Fire Officer at West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service. Sabrina has participated in superb interviews on “Women’s Hour” and “Desert Island Discs”. We are very much look forward to hearing her lecture
• The annual Carol Service at St Asaph Cathedral will be on November 28th. It has always been a memorable occasion enjoyed by many Liverymen. It will be preceded by our usual delightful lunch celebration at John and Rosie Solbé’s.
• Our annual Livery Carol Service will take place at St John’s Church in Cardiff on December 14th. We have confirmed that, subject to Covid restrictions, the Cardiff Arms Park Choir will join us. We plan to follow this with dinner at the Cardiff and County Club.

 

For spring we are planning a formal dinner to celebrate our Awards and we have been asked to speak and present an Award at the Senedd at a Marie Curie Event. The Court luncheon will also take place. Details will be shared once confirmed. I will also, on your behalf, be accepting invitations to other Livery Companies including the Worcester Clothiers in October
Please accept my very best wishes and thanks for your much appreciated support.

Kathy
Dr Kathy Seddon FRSA FLS CF
Master of the Worshipful Livery Company of Wales 2021-202
2

 

16th July 2021

Dear Liverymen

After Wednesday’s announcement by the First Minister, we have reviewed the possibility of going ahead with our August 1st Summer Banquet at City Hall

We have sadly decided that the time span is too short to send out calling notices and to organise this important event. We have also had indications that some of our Award winners would find it difficult to join us and so we have decided to postpone the Banquet.

We hope to have a new date for you soon and will be working with Award winners and City Hall to confirm this new date.

We are delighted that the two North Wales events will go ahead, and you will receive a calling notice shortly for these.

Prompt booking is advised as numbers will be restricted.
They are:

Friday 20th August 2021
Lunch followed by visit to RWF Museum, Caernarfon Castle, with an illustrated talk by Lieutenant General Jonathon Riley CB DSO on his service in Yugoslavia - “Gorazde 1995: When Peace Keeping Failed.” This will be followed by a tour of the Royal Welch Fusiliers Regimental Museum

Saturday 21st August
Afternoon Garden Party at Dol Hyfryd, St Asaph by kind invitation of Liverymen John and Rosie Solbé
I am also delighted to say that the Belfast trip on Sunday 12th September to Tuesday 14th September has proved popular and will be going ahead as indicated in the calling notice.

We have a number of other events planned for the Autumn and I will be in touch soon with details

Very Best wishes and thanks for your much appreciated support.

Kathy

Dr Kathy Seddon FRSA FLS CF
Master of the Worshipful Livery Company of Wales 2021-2022
elearning specialist

July 2021

Dear Liveryman,
I hope you all continue to be safe and well. Thank you all for your good wishes and support that allows us to continue to make excellent progress.
I would like to update you on current successes and our plans in these changing times.
In terms of virtual social events three further excellent Talking Heads sessions have taken place. In April, Karen Jones and Sue Thomas allowed us a fascinating insight into Karen’s glittering career and impressive travel overseas.
In May, Harold Burrows and Andrew Richards were in conversation and we heard inspiring stories about Harold’s life of service that saw much change. Harold was exceptional in his voluntary work for young people and with those in need of help.
This month it was the turn of Simon Holt in discussion with Ivor Chesnutt. Simon shared the story of a life full of exciting overseas experiences, military medical service and top achievements in the world of surgery. I would like to thank you all on behalf of the audiences who very much enjoyed these sessions.
I would also like to thank PM Geoff Hughes for his humorous and insightful votes of thanks

We were delighted to enjoy two further brilliant virtual evenings. The Cheese Tasting, led by Owen Davies of Ty Caws, allowed us to share
I was delighted to accept, on your behalf, invitations from other Livery Companies. These began with a ZOOM Common Hall, Installation and Banquet with the Engineers’ Company. The next event was an invitation from the Pewter’s Company to attend “Pewter Live”, I also very much enjoyed the Arbitrators’ Company Virtual Royal Charter Supper.

The Rt Honorable Lord Mayor of the City of London, William Russell

The Rt Honorable Lord Mayor of the City of London, William Russell made a ‘virtual tour’ of Cardiff and asked for a ZOOM meeting with the Master and Clerk. We gave a Power Point presentation about the Company and looked at future possibilities for interaction. These include an ‘Outwith Company’ event in November, our Athenaeum event on November 19th and our participation in ‘London Welsh Week’ in March 2022. Congratulations to PM Geoff Hughes in securing further matched funding with the Haberdashers, this proved of great interest to the Lord Mayor (a CA of the Haberdasher’ Company ). It was an enjoyable and productive meeting.
I was delighted to be asked to present our first Silver Jubilee Award to Keira McNalty (after some great work by the selection group). A recent update from Keira about her work with Asylum Seekers confirms that she was a worthy Award winner. She has a place on a TEFL course and will also attend the Geneva Academy for a training course. She is planning an interesting photojournalism project based in Cardiff.

Our Service Committees continue to be the foundation for all that we do. I have been delighted to attend them and continue to be impressed and very grateful for all that is being achieved. My thanks to the hard-working Chairs and Committee Members.
The last Court meeting confirmed two appointments. We were pleased to welcome Robert Foster as our new Beadle and applauded his kind words about his wonderful predecessor, Bipin Pitrola. Court also unanimously approved the appointment of PM Graeme Morgan as Chair of the Awards Committee.

Turning to forthcoming Calendar Events, we continue to be in discussion with City Hall and, unfortunately, it is not possible to hold a face-to-face event on the 3rd of July. HOWEVER. You will have had the calling notice for a virtual “Installation Celebration Supper” that evening. I do hope you can join us for what promises to be a sparkling evening. We will begin with a recorded video address by the Lord Mayor of the City of London, followed by a short presentation by our wonderful Achievement Award winner Dr Sabrina Hatton Cohen. We will share good company, a musical interlude and food and wine of your choice.
City Hall have offered us an alternative date of August 1st for a Summer Banquet Celebration. I would be very grateful for expressions of interest for this event
The Lecture at Caernarfon Castle Museum is going ahead (August 20th). The Garden Party at St Asaph on the 21st August is also confirmed. Calling notices will follow in due course.
I will keep everyone informed about Belfast and other events in September and October
Please note that the lecture and dinner at the Athenaeum will now take place on Friday 19th November (not the 3rd November) and the Art Auction will now be on October 22nd
Preparations are in hand to offer a Loyal Address on HM the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee on February 6th, 2022
Finally, there is a full article below, but I do want to say how delighted I was that we were able to hold our first face to face event since February 2019. This was our Garden Party in Usk Castle, and of course we were blessed with glorious weather. I very much want to express my thanks to the many kind helpers
who made the whole event possible. These include Stuart Castledine, Simon Holt, his son Ashton, my wonderful Steward Sue Thomas and our Clerk Christopher Dale. One kind email summed it up "Congratulations and many thanks for yesterday’s highly successful and delightful Garden Party. It was beautifully arranged in a most glorious setting. The lively buzz proved just how much we were all enjoying ourselves. I hope the first of many happy events to come as the restrictions are eased”.
I can only echo that sentiment and will do my best to make our transition a safe and happy one.
Thank you all so much for your help.
Kathy

Dr Kathy Seddon, Master of the Worshipful Livery Company of Wales
Master 2021-2022

May 2021

Dear Liveryman,

Firstly, thank you all for the many messages of support and offers of help as I begin my year as Master of the Worshipful Livery Company of Wales.
I really appreciate your kind thoughtfulness.

A lot has happened in my first month as Master and so I am writing to update you about recent events.

Online, we have shared a wonderful Talking Heads Session with Professor Karen Jones and Sue Thomas. Thanks to Sue’s excellent questioning we were treated to the story of Karen’s stellar career - from a ten-year-old selling buckets and spades on the Llŷn peninsula - to National and International recognition in her chosen field of tele-medicine.

Our Senior Warden Stuart Castledine organised a very enjoyable virtual cheese tasting evening where we shared wonderful tastes, interesting information and excellent company. Thank you, Stuart.

On May 13th our Taking Head’s series continues with Liveryman Harold Burrows, MBE, CF who will be in conversation with the Chair of the WLCoW North Wales Committee, Andrew Richards BSc (Ag), JP, DL.

We can also look forward to a virtual Magic Show on Thursday the 27th of May!

Full details of all events can be found both on the Website and in the Bulletin.

I am very grateful for all the responses to the request for “expressions of interest” in the proposed face-to-face events. Your views on what you would like, have proved very helpful as we continue to plan. We must of course adhere to the restrictions.

Looking at Usk Castle on June 13th we hope to go ahead and whilst we might be restricted to a maximum of 30 outdoors, we are hoping that the mid May announcement will signal that 50 people can meet up outdoors - with sensible precautions. Already 44 of you have expressed an interest. As soon as we have clarity, we will send out the calling notice and take bookings – possibly with a reserve list.

The installation celebration at City Hall on July 3rd is more problematic. We will need to wait for announcements about indoor events. Thank you to the sixty Liverymen who have expressed an interest, however.

The two events in North Wales in August are proving popular. The lecture at CaernarfonCastle on the 20th of August will be preceded by lunch at a nearby restaurant. The talk and tour of the museum will follow. John and Rosie Solbé’s kind offer to host a garden party the next day on the 21st of August has attracted more than 20 Liverymen and I am sure this figure will increase.

For the Belfast trip from September 14-16th we are looking at transport possibilities with Edward’s coaches and we will keep you updated as the travel rules become clearer.

We are continuing to hold all WLCoW meetings online, using ZOOM. In the last month most service committees, GPC and Court have all held such meetings. There is some wonderful work going on and I thank Committee Chairs for their energy and enthusiasm.
We now have a plan for the next Award’s year and a draft protocol for Member’s joining through the internet. The work of PRC continues to be outstanding, and I am sure you enjoyed the recent Bulletin as much as I did.

The North Wales Committee are also embarking on their next Awards schedule and planning future events. The London Group are coming together with the same aim.
The Charity committee has several fund-raising initiatives that are detailed on the website and Bulletin. Can I put in a reminder that tickets for the photoshoot by the world-famous photographer David Hurn are now on sale? For £30 you and your family might join the ranks of the illustrious celebrities that David has photographed including the Beatles and James Bond. When 100 tickets have been sold the draw will take place. Please contact Simon Holt to purchase a draw ticket.

I would also like to remind you about the new initiative to allow Liverymen to work together in a different way, by setting up special interest panels. These will give Liverymen the opportunity to collaborate to help young people in Wales in two important areas. Please contact Past Master Geoff Hughes if you are interested in helping the children of prisoners. Please contact Liveryman Keith Shankland if you would like to help the young homeless in Wales.

Through Past Master Windsor Coles I received an invitation from The Master and Wardens of the Worshipful Company of Engineers to join them for their AGM and Installation Court, followed by a ‘Zoom supper’. I enjoyed the friendly AGM meeting and the well-planned Installation of Dr Peter Blair-Fish as their new Master. As in our recent Installation, the Wardens and Court assistants were then ‘virtually’ installed. The supper made good use of Zoom ‘break out’ rooms, so that we were seated with new Liverymen and guests for each ‘course’. I am very pleased to say that several Engineers have followed up with offers of help with our events such as Belfast and have expressed a wish to visit Wales when possible. Our Installation had members from several London Livery Companies and so I was pleased to reciprocate by attending this excellent event on your behalf.

I was delighted to receive a letter from Mrs Morfudd Meredith, Lord Lieutenant of S.Glamorgan, after her attendance at the Installation, confirming that she would be pleased to accept our invitation to become an Honorary Liveryman of the Worshipful Livery Company of Wales. We are honoured and delighted by her acceptance.

We have also received a very kind reply to our letter of condolence to The Prince of Wales, expressing his thanks and appreciation for our thoughtfulness in writing. It concludes “The Prince of Wales was very touched to receive your kind words and sends his heartfelt thanks”.

I am more than ever optimistic that we can have a wonderful year and I’m very grateful for all you support and kindness

Kathy

Dr Kathy Seddon FRSA FLS CF
Master 2021-2022

 

31st March 2021

“It is wonderful what great strides can be made when there is a resolute purpose behind them.” - Winston Churchill

Dear Liveryman

I am delighted and very honoured that you have invited me to be the 2021/2022 Master of the Worshipful Livery Company of Wales. My sincere thanks to you all and please accept my assurance that I will do my very best to make this as good a year as possible.

As Spring is arriving all around us, a sense of optimism and hope prevails. Daffodils, primroses, blossom and catkins all herald the start of a new year. Some of you will know that butterflies have played an important part in my life, especially in my Churchill Fellowship. Therefore, I wanted to have them ‘flying’ on my first Master’s page. They lift our hearts as they bravely emerge from their cocoon and take flight, perhaps a metaphor for us as we take our first steps out of lockdown.

I have thought regularly about what might be possible during my year and would like to share these thoughts with you. Over the last twelve months we have all learned the value of fellowship, of doing things together. My aim will be to provide opportunities to ensure that this possible.

However, we continue to face uncertainty and change. Currently we are in the midst of the full ‘roll out’ of the vaccination programme. We receive regular updates about the rules governing our daily lives. Safety must be ensured in whatever we do. We understand that Liverymen will be anxious about attending face-to-face meetings; therefore, our plan will be to have a flexible calendar that allows us to respond to the needs and wishes of you all over the coming year.

We have seen how online resources can work well and we will aim to phase in a blend of online and face-to face activities, as the situation allows. We will continue to make full use of software such as ZOOM and our excellent Website and Bulletin. Currently all meetings will be online.

So, what is being planned? In terms of online activities, we will continue to offer “Talking Heads” sessions where we can enjoy learning together about our amazing fellow liverymen. Karen Jones, Harrold Burrows, Simon Holt and Group Captain Andrew Turk (RAF Valley) will all be sharing their life stories over the next few months. We also have a virtual cheese tasting in April and a magic show in May to look forward to. Full details of these events are on the website. The work of the Awards Committee continues to be outstanding and in spite of all difficulties this year the majority of the programme has been completed. To allow Liverymen to work together in a different way we are also setting up special interest panels. These will give Liverymen the opportunity to collaborate to help young people in Wales in two important areas. Please contact Past Master Geoff Hughes if you are interested in helping the children of prisoners. Please contact Liveryman Keith Shankland if you would like to help the young homeless in Wales. The new directory of liverymen is available in the members area of our website.

It is understandably more difficult to speak with any certainty about face-to-face events. We have kept the option of a Garden Party at Usk Castle on the 13th of June open. Depending on rules about outdoor gatherings this could take place. Similarly, City Hall has worked with us to constantly review what may be possible for our Installation celebration banquet on July 3rd. We are also working with our North Wales Liverymen on plans for a lecture and garden party in August. For our away visit to Belfast aeroplanes may pose a problem so we could let everyone make their own travel arrangements and meet at the Titanic Hotel in September. We will of course take you views on what you would like in every instance.

Mention should be made of two initiatives from our Charity Committee. We will hold a charity art auction in October. Donations “from your attic” will be gratefully collected. We are also delighted that world famous photographer David Hurn is allowing us to auction “a photoshoot” with him. You could join Sean Connery, Jane Fonda and the Beatles in front of his lens. Details of both are on the website and Simon Holt is the main contact.

Finally, I would like to say how much I am looking forward to working with our excellent officers and hardworking committees. The outstanding work by our new Almoner and the Membership Committee provide us with support and help as we need it. The huge improvement in our website, bulletin and social media platforms are due to the dedication and hard work of our PR Committee and are much appreciated. The hard-working North Wales and London Committees allow us to be ensure we work across Wales and beyond – especially through our online interaction.

I am optimistic that we can have a wonderful year and I’m very grateful for all you support and kindness

Kathy

Dr Kathy Seddon, Master of the Worshipful Livery Company of Wales 2021-2022