Date: 2nd December 2019
Start time: 6:00pm
Master clothes three new Liverymen
With Common Hall this year being held in the ornate surroundings of Carpenter's Hall, immediately before the Christmas Court and Livery Luncheon, the opportunity was taken to cloth our three newest Liverymen, in front of the Court and the Liverymen and guests gathered for Common hall.
The Court Room at Carpenter's Hall, with its hard carved decoration and high ceilings, made a splendid venue for the ceremony and with plenty of space, it was easier than normal to accommodate the new Liverymen's friends and families.
Our three new members, in the order they were clothed are:
Richard Squire is a cereal farmer from St Neots, Cambridgeshire, who has a particular interest in the application of precision technology to farming practice.
Nicholas Gorst from Kington in Herefordshire an auctioneer and Joint Managing Director of Brightwells in Leominster and a livestock farmer, farming beef and sheep with his wife Liz.
James (Jim) Hume from Edinburgh who has held numerous positions and posts in the industry and in politics in Scotland including being a member of the Scottish Parliament from 2007 – 2016 and currently the Convener of the National Rural Mental Health Forum in Scotland.
As is normal, after each new member took the declaration in open court, they were clothed in the Livery gown and received their commemorative scroll and signed the Company's register. After which they were introduced to the Senior and Junior Wardens who each presented a small memento of the day in the form of a pair of Livery cufflinks and a copy of the Company's history book. Once all three were clothed they were introduced to the rest of the Court.
Lunch featured the now traditional Copas turkey, which was paraded before being carved and as, I suspect, the first Christmas meal for most of the Liverymen and guests, was thoroughly enjoyed.
The Master's guest for the lunch was General Francis Richard Dannatt, Baron Dannatt, GCB, CBE, MC, DL who was head of the British Army from 2006 to 2009 and now sits in the House of Lords and sits on the Rural Economy committee.
In his pre-dinner speech Lord Dannett said that while he had formal leadership training at Sandhurst he really only learned it on the ground. He went on to say that to accomplish any significant task requires three levels of planning Strategic, Operational and Tactical and that in his experience both in thew army and in farming that too little thought is given to the Operational level and this leads to poor delivery at a tactical level of the strategic goals that are set. An idea that gave the whole audience something to to think and chat about over luncheon.