Bowyers' Longbow Plate Day, 24 July
One of the new Master's first external engagements was the delightful task of awarding the Bowyers' trophies at the Royal Toxophilite Society's 36th annual Longbow Day at Burnham. The trophies have been donated by Past Master Bowyers over the years: the original 1981 Bowyers' Plates donated by Anthony Wood for Highest Scores by gentlemen and ladies, later joined by the Hardy and Ballenden Coasters for Most Hits, the Seaton Goblets for Most Golds and the Model Rose Bowls for Best Gold.
Accompanied by a dozen Bowyers and partners, at the end of the afternoon, prior to awarding the trophies, Tony spoke to the 36 participants, describing the very warm affection felt by the Bowyers' Company for Longbow Day and the longbow archers. He was particularly pleased to present the Seaton Goblet to this year's winner, Freddie Fairfield, the Longbow Day's popular organiser.
Earlier in the month, on Saturday July 2 July, also at Burnham, the previous Master, The Revd John Hayton TD, presented the Bowyers' Medals at Prize Day. This annual invitational event of the Royal Toxophilite Society is nowadays for modern archery using both recurve and compound bows, all bristling with technology.
New Master's Livery Dinner, 20 July 2016
On a very warm and balmy evening a record number of fifty Bowyers together with a five prospective members sat down to dine in the magnificent surroundings of Tallow Chandlers' Hall to celebrate the election of Antony Kench as our new Master for the next two years. It was a most welcome return to this fine Hall, which the Company has patronized on a regular basis since the Second World War, especially as the Great Hall and the Parlour are now fully air conditioned which was a significant benefit in the conditions which prevailed.
The dinner was preceded by a champagne reception in the courtyard following which Members of the Company and their guests were called in to dine by the inaugural ringing of the Dining Bell presented to the Company by Tony Kench following his installation at St Botoloph's-without-Bishopsgate a week earlier.
The new Master's Dinner is by tradition very much a Bowyer 'family affair' and this occasion was certainly no exception, with all Bowyers present proving to be in excellent spirits. This was in part no doubt due to the sumptuous menu that we experienced - grilled swordfish steak followed by slow roasted guinea fowl breast and then peach and almond tart - accompanied by some fine wines.
The meal was rounded off with the traditional drinking of the Loving Cup, which on this occasion contained Chafford Kentish Cider kindly provided by Past Master Christopher Ballenden. After the customary Sung Grace and Toasts, the Immediate Past Master, The Revd John Hayton, rose to propose the health of the Company, a task he accomplished in his normal amusing style. Having said how privileged he had been to have represented the Company during the previous two years as Master, he commended to the Company the new Mastership team of Tony Kench as Master, Ian Spring as Upper Warden and Mark Elliott as Renter Warden. He reminded us of the many skills that our new Master possessed, his extensive experience gained during his career with General Electric and as a Consultant thereafter, all of which would equip him well in his role as Master of our Company. He also shared with us something about our new Master that we probably did not know - that he was a class contemporary at St Albans School with Stephen Hawking.
In his response to the Company toast, Tony expressed his warmest appreciation of the Immediate Past Master for all that he had done for the Company during the last two years, even adding a limerick composed for the occasion. He said he was taking over as Master of a Company which was in very good health, and during the next two years he saw it as his role to promote what he described as the three "C's": Celebration of our history; Charitable works; and Conviviality. To this he might have added a fourth "C", namely Communication, as running through everything that our new Master had to say was his desire and commitment to make sure everybody knew what was in store for them. In this respect he outlined a most ambitious programme of events which was intended to ensure that there was a "Bowyers Event" every month over the next two years, culminating in the prospect of a Master's trip to Washington DC in 2017.
Our new Master was able to welcome two new Members to the Court, Assistants David Laxton and Lt Col Richard Martin, who had been sworn in earlier that evening, and a new admission to the Freedom of the Company - Richard Bowyer. He was also very pleased to welcome Lt Col Tony Marinos who was officiating at his first formal dinner as our Clerk.
Looking to the future our new Master sees that there is scope for our Company to grow a little, but in his classic phraseology "not to grow beyond the point of conviviality".
Tony's response to the Company toast was received with rapturous applause with all Bowyers acknowledging that it was going to be an exciting two years ahead. The occasion was concluded with a Stirrup Cup in the Parlour.
About the Bowyers
The Worshipful Company of Bowyers is one of the older and smaller of the City of London's livery companies. We celebrate our piece of history, we work hard at our charitable activity, and we provide a convivial sociable environment that keeps our members engaged... Find out more
Tuesday 13 September 2016
Great Fire Anniversary Dinner
Thursday 29 Sep 2016
Election of Lord Mayor
Wednesday 19 Oct 2016
Our New Affiliation - Brentwood Sea Cadet Unit
The Bowyers' have recently formed an affiliation with the BRENTWOOD SEA CADET UNIT with the aim of helping the young people of the area to be involved in the wide range of activities provided on a national scale.
The first Sea Cadet Unit in the country was established in 1854 at Whitstable in Kent and there are now over 400 Sea Cadet Units nationwide each with their own charitable status thus enabling them to raise funds for their own Unit's activities.
The Bentwood Unit, TS St. Vincent, began life in 1943 and operates from it's own premises in the centre of the town close to the station. Led by Commanding Officer Natalie Walsh and Chairman Rob Doyle the near 30 strong group of young cadet's meet twice a week with many weekend activities also on the agenda. The Unit is on a high at the moment, and long may it continue, having come fourth in the National Drill Competition and also just having been judged the most improved Unit in the country (see further article below).
It is hoped that with the help of the Bowyers' many more of the cadets will be able to take part in the extensive national programme of training activities including week long voyages at sea on Tall Ships.