Issue 9 Feb/March 2014
Welcome to the Lord Mayor
How wonderful that Alderman Fiona Woolf CBE accepted our invitation to become an Honorary Liveryman in time for a Turner to be Lord Mayor of London in 2013 – 2014. In support of our Lord Mayor the Company mounted a float in the Lord Mayor’s Show – not just any old float but the longest and heaviest in the biggest parade in modern times. Upper Warden, John Bridgeman CBE has made a report for us on this wonderful occasion which you can read later in this issue.
We are indebted to the Lord Mayor for sharing her ambitions with us for her term of office:
The Lord Mayor’s Energy to Transform Lives
The Lord Mayor Alderman Fiona Woolf CBE
I am honoured to be promoting the City of London this year as the 686th Lord Mayor (and only the second woman since 1189). I have been overwhelmed by the support I have received from the Livery and am looking forward to seeing you all in the coming year.
The Reference to Energy
I shall be continuing with the theme of The City in Society but my focus will be on “The Energy to Transform Lives”, which reflects my long association with the City as an energy lawyer specialising in global electricity industry reforms at CMS Cameron McKenna to bring cheaper and cleaner energy to more people. The title refers to my conviction that the City of London has the energy and talent for innovation necessary to serve the needs of society and the environment at a time that I call the “new normal”. All of my mayoral programmes are based on three themes which I feel are critical to our resource-constrained society: sustainability, diversity and charity. I hope that within these mayoral programmes there will be something of interest for everyone. If I have a single objective, it would be inclusiveness and Liverymen have so much to bring to the party.
New Approach to the Lord Mayor's Appeal
We have abolished the “shut down and start up from scratch approach” to the Lord Mayor’s Appeal by the creation of a permanent charity to provide a long-running platform for the Appeal. This will enable us to accept contributions in cash and in kind over more than one year and to promote giving to a wider audience. It also enables us to support smaller charities, particularly those that punch above the weight that their size might imply in terms of their impact and outcomes, and that is exactly my plan!
Fundraising is at the heart of the Appeal programme but there is also a strong commitment to mentoring, helping to raise the profiles of these charities and opening up new sources of funding for the future.
How You Can Help
We are always open to offers of help, so please contact my Lord Mayor’s Appeal team on 020 7332 1582 if you would like to be involved. There are lots of fun and affordable events and we are determined to reach a wider audience!
Alderman Fiona Woolf CBE
The Rt. Hon. The Lord Mayor of London
Upper Warden John Bridgeman CBE
Lord Mayor's Show
The Company's Float Triumphs!
Some 500,000 people lined the City streets (while it poured and poured) all the way to the Royal Courts of Justice. And although remarkably wet (and it’s still raining!) it was a wonderful occasion.
The last time the Turners entered a float was in November 2003 to mark the Company’s 400th Anniversary. People still remember an elfin Andrew Mayer peeping mischievously over the top of a gigantic Wassail Bowl. In 2013 we again called on the support of our brothers (and sisters) in arms from the Corps of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. They provided a uniformed escort, the British Army’s latest recovery vehicle and its longest road trailer on which we could mount a display of turning: in all a magnificent sight as the convoy circled St Paul’s Cathedral.
The Resplendent Float
Everyone was fascinated to see turners in action on a variety of lathes old and new. In equal measure they were inevitably charmed by the robed radiance of Past Master Penrose Halson and Liveryman Barbara Newman CBE and the uniformed splendour of Liveryman Brigadier Bill O’Leary as they graced the float as official wavers.
Ryan Barker, a wave from The Lord Mayor
We’ll supply a much fuller account of preparations and proceedings for REME’s Craftsman Magazine later this year; many photographs have already been circulated and more can be seen on the Company’s website. It’s invidious to single out contributors to the event but Chief Whiffler, Assistant Andrew Sindall provided a suitably motley crew of whifflers which included Past Masters Ilan Krieger and Peter Gibson while Float Impresario, Assistant David Batchelor was able to harness both the energy and the guile of Assistant Sarah Fabergé and Liveryman Joey Richardson to ensure our float was suitably decorated. We also owe a special thank you to Farrows for their work in providing durable banners and signage.
In the background, rather like Lord Raglan surveying the best route for the Charge of the Light Brigade from a Crimean hilltop, was our gallant Clerk, Alex Robertson. Always on hand to help, he certainly sorted out London Underground who feared we might cave in the Circle and District line tunnel and gave frequent reassurance that the rain was bound to stop soon. (Alex, it hasn’t yet!)
There was a slight disappointment that we didn’t receive more BBC television coverage: just 2 seconds of an extravagant Jacobean bow from the Upper Warden to the Lord Mayor seems rather short shrift for a substantial entry fee and over 2,000 man hours of effort. Never mind. We made our Master proud - and the Lord Mayor proud to be a Turner, she has been effusive in expressing her gratitude. A job well done – thank you all who contributed.
Ed. Turn again Ryan! Warm congratulations to Ryan Barker, a West Suffolk College Apprentice who was invited by the Company to take part on our float. Ryan assisted Simon Hope on the lathe, demonstrating wood turning skills as they processed.
Master Traces Turning in Sweden
Master Rhidian Jones
It is a truth universally recognised that a man in possession of a powerful and shiny new car is in want of a fulfilling journey on open roads. And so it was, dear reader, that your Master embarked upon a 2,000 mile return trip by road from London to Stockholm for his summer holiday. Experiencing the sheer delight of his red Jaguar sweeping effortlessly through the uncrowded landscape of the Mistress’s native Sweden was a dream fulfilled, with much to interest followers of our craft as well.
As no Master Turner worth the name could travel anywhere without seeking traces of turning, I wished to share my discoveries with members of the Company on my return. One of the most spectacular castles we visited was Skokloster, sited on a bluff overlooking a branch of Mälaren, the lake to the west of Stockholm. This was the home of General Wrangel and it is now a time capsule from that period. From the 14th to the 18th century turning (Sw. svarvning) was a highly regarded hobby amongst the European nobility. Wrangel was an enthusiastic turner and his workshop has been recreated on the top floor complete with wood and metal lathes and all his tools neatly arrayed.
L-R, Skokloster Castle, King Adolf Frederick's Lathe, Drottningholm Palace.
But the items in the collection of interest to turners are not limited to those in his workshop. He was presented with many stunning decorative pieces by the burghers of towns in northern Germany in gratitude for freeing them from Catholic domination. Amongst those are turned plates and an exquisite drinking vessel, each of serpentine, which would excite the Upper Warden, a geology graduate and aficionado of turned stone.
To learn more about the Master's journey, the royal pastime of turning and the significance it held in the lives of many prominent families in Europe click here
Financial Support for Company Members
Past master Andrew Mayer
The Court has decided to appoint a Company Almoner and I am very pleased to accept their invitation to assume that role.My brief is to help identify where financial assistance is needed by Liverymen and widows/widowers of past Liverymen who are infirm and/or are suffering financially. The Clerk has a list of these widows and I will be writing to them to let them know about my appointment – but this list may not include them all so if any Liveryman knows of someone I should contact, or of someone who might like to contact me, whether they are a Liveryman or a widow/widower of past Liveryman, would they please let me know. All conversations/correspondence with me will be treated in strict confidence.
A Cool Crafter?
Eleanor Lakelin hits the Sunday Times Supplement 2 Feb
Said the Times 'Craft has thrown off its worth hobbyist image to emerge as the latest luxury' with a celebration of 'the best artisans and designers in the British Isles' - and featured Eleanor Lakelin, one of our first Turners Cockpit Arts Award Winners (2011).
Here's what they said about her: This trained cabinet-maker works exclusively in wood, handcrafting vessels that showcase the natural figures and texture of the timber. She uses a lathe, turning wood to create highly contemporary forms, then adding textural interest by sandblasting, bleaching or scorching. Each of her tactile vessels comes with a note detailing the age, type and provenance of the tree and the inspiration behind its final form. Lakelin works from a studio in the Deptford branch of Cockpit Arts, where her work can be bought during Open Studio events. Prices start at £75 for a scorched-edge bowl, rising to £1,200 for large decorative vessels.
Thanks to Assistant Sarah Faberge, who happily spotted the article... 'a Turner included hopefully? Yes!'
East Herts Woodturners Host Youth Training Day
The AWGB/Worshipful Company of Turners Youth Training Programme enabled eight young people to experience a hands-on day lead by the AWGB Chairman Andy Coates.
Since 2010 East Herts Club has been organising taster sessions to raise awareness of woodturning amongst young people which are proving very successful.
Please Sir, I want some more!!!
Read the full story here
HMS Belfast Visit Monday 10th March Cancelled
It is with regret that the Livery Committee has had to cancel this. I appreciate this will be a disappointment but what we thought had been promised for our visit was no longer available and therefore not so special. However please read on.
Two Temple Place Private View and Exhibition Monday 12th March 6.00pm
United Guilds Service Friday 4th April
The Livery Committee is, if nothing else, flexible! No sooner than one door closes they look for another to open. Two Temple Place is one of London's hidden architectural gems, an extraordinary late-Victorian mansion built by William Waldorf Astor on Embankment. The house is owned by registered charity The Bulldog Trust and supports the charitable activities of the Trust through exhibitions and events hosted in the building. Its current exhibition, Discoveries, opened on 31 January. It explores human discovery in all its forms, selected from more than five million objects at eight University of Cambridge Museums. www.twotempleplace.org
Held at St Paul’s Cathedral. The Company is allocated a limited number of tickets. Please let me know as soon as possible if you would like to attend. The Company has again been invited to join members of the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries for an informal buffet lunch in Apothecaries' Hall following the service. The cost is £60 per person and please confirm this to me by Friday 21st March so that the Society can let their caterers know how many to expect.
The RPT Annual General Meeting and Craft Meeting Tuesday 29th April
All Turners are invited to join members of the Register of Professional Turners at their AGM and Craft meeting. It will be held at Skinners' Hall with the AGM starting at 11.00 am and Craft Meeting at 12 noon. There will be a buffet lunch and the meeting will finish around 3.30pm. Again, please let me know if you wish to attend.
Roman London Walk Wednesday 30th April
Following on from last year’s successful walking tour of Smithfield and Clerkenwell a walking tour of Roman London has been arranged for your education and fascination. Exact details are still to be finalised but seek out your walking shoes and be prepared.
Ladies' Dinner Thursday 8th May
Finally, in case you have not already done so, please note the date in your diary for the last Company event of the Master’s year. I will send out a formal reminder, along with a booking form, in due course.
Taxi! The Turners’ Company helps to make memories to cherish
Once again, through the generous support of the Charity Committee, I had the honour and privilege of driving the Turners’ cab on the Children’s Magical Taxi Tour to Disneyland Paris over the weekend of 20th to 22nd September. This was my sixth trip with the tour. For four years I led the police escort and this was my second year driving a cab, so hopefully my experience reassured my family of two brothers, Bailey Rae and Jude and their father Daniel.
On the way to Disneyland!
Bailey Rae is 5 years old and for most of his young life has suffered from a rare form of heredity leukaemia which was passed down by his mother. After spending around 3 years in and out of hospital it would appear he is in remission and the prognosis is looking good. But those early years have certainly been tough for him and the rest of the family. Most people’s sympathy goes to the sick child but their siblings and parents can also be severely affected by the illness. For a number of years Jude has had to accept that Bailey Rae was the centre of attention, which can not be easy for a boy just a couple of years older than his brother. He also had to spend a considerable amount of time away from his mother as she cared for Bailey Rae at the hospital. His father commented how much Jude missed his mother during these times as he started on his school career. So this weekend was as much about giving Jude some quality time with his brother and father as it was about giving Bailey Rae an opportunity to enjoy his improving health.
It was a very long and tiring weekend for the families but one they thoroughly enjoyed. The excitement began from the moment they were picked up at 5.45am on Friday morning from the Royal London Hospital. In the back of the cab there were two goody bags full of Disney related gifts for the boys to discover and enjoy. From the hospital it is only a short hop to Canary Wharf for the big breakfast and the send off from the Lord Mayor. During the breakfast the children are entertained by Disney cartoons and the Band of the Blues and Royals.
At 7.45am, with horns blaring, the Lord Mayor cut the ribbon and the convoy set off for Disneyland Paris. Some ten or eleven hours later 120 vehicles arrived at Hotel Cheyenne with some very exhausted occupants – and the families sitting in the back were pretty tired too!
Saturday was taken up with a full day in the park. It was great to be able to witness the wonder of the boys as they made their way around the Magic Kingdom. The smiles never came off their faces which even made the “It’s a Small Small World” ride bearable!
After an exhausting day the excitement continued with the gala dinner in the New York New York Hotel. Following a formal dinner chaos broke out as the children were joined by about ten Disney characters for the end of dinner disco. Most of the evening was spent collecting autographs and getting pictures of the boys with their favourites as they tried to stay awake until the end and the coach ride back to our rooms.
On Sunday morning, two very subdued boys and a tired dad flaked out in the back of the cab as we started the long drive back home again. Throughout the weekend the organisers had ensured that all the families wanted for nothing and that they had a truly magical weekend to remember.
Bailey Rae, Jude, Daniel, and the Worshipful Company of Hackney Carriage Drivers were extremely grateful for the support given by the Turners’ Company and the other livery companies that sponsor cabs. Without the support of the livery companies this weekend may not exist and 200 children would not have a weekend of memories that will stay with them for the rest of their lives, however long that may be.
Oh, and if you are wondering about Bailey Rae’s hair, he has not let anyone touch it since it all fell out during the treatment he received for his cancer. He has, apparently, agreed to it being cut for his sixth birthday.
ED. All our thanks go to the Gallant Clerk for his part in making this such a special weekend for the family.