Friday, 17 May 2013
Mansion House Banquet with Tylers and Bricklayers Company Thursday 16th May
Mansion House events are always special but remarkably the Tylers and Bricklayers, a small company under half our size managed to fill the Egyptian Hall to absolute capacity with over 300 in attendance for their Banquet. The Pikemen of the HAC were also there in force to support the event, lending a significant splash of colour, glitter and pageantry to the reception beforehand.
Sir Michael Bear acted as Locum Tenens for the Lord Mayor and it was good to see him and Barbara back in Mansion House, giving in his speech his own rather apt bear joke “Who has been sleeping in my bed?”
I sat next to Nicholas Woolf, a liveryman of the Tylers and Bricklayers but also the future Consort to the next Lord Mayor. On my other side was Sheriff Nigel Pullman who I know well so I was in very good company for the evening. A rather quaint custom which I noticed confused many of those who were uninitiated was the Rosebowl. The custom is to dip the corner of your napkin into the rose water and dab behind each ear. It is apparently said to aid the digestion – surely an old wives tale? Some not in the know used it as a finger bowl and I hope none thought it must be the loving cup and tried to drink it.
A superb entertainment was provided by a trumpeter and organist towards the end of the evening which I thought was extremely well managed. The Master Tyler and Bricklayer is both a former Master and former Clerk to the Architects Company so well experienced in these matters of organisation himself, although the Clerk and Beadle of the T&B clearly had timings well under control - essential in an complicated evening of this type with a lot to fit in.
My husband David is a liveryman of the Tylers and Bricklayers but on this particular occasion was a guest as my consort. We often choose to sit apart at events which enables each of us to better engage with others – it is a matter of personal preference I suppose.
Altogether a good evening followed by a dash out to Terminal Five at Heathrow by taxi and the handy Sofitel Hotel so that I could catch the first morning flight to Aberdeen for a Board Meeting . Doing this blog on the plane heading back to Heathrow with a Parochial Church Council meeting still to make in time down in my home village in East Kent. Such is the complicated and somewhat crazy life of combining livery, business, and normal commitments in one’s Master’s year and looking at my diary – it does not get any easier!