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Joint Livery Dinner with the Worshipful Company of Fletchers May 30th 2011

This traditional biennial event was somewhat special this year as the Master Fletcher, John Owen-Ward, is both a Liveryman of the Bowyers and a Past Clerk. In 2011 it was the turn of the Bowyers to 'host' the dinner and make all the arrangements. The Master selected Watermen's Hall as the venue. It gave the opportunity of members of both Companies to visit this charming Georgian Company Hall, home to the Watermen and Lightermen of the City of London and situated close to the original location of Billingsgate and the Old Customs House in lower Thames Street.

On the evening 26 Fletchers and their guests and 37 Bowyers and their guests sat down to dine after the champagne reception in the Court Room. The Master and Wardens, fully gowned, of both Companies had received the attendees on arrival. The menu, as with all recent Bowyers' dinners had been chosen with great care by The Master and Assistant Tim West. Pan Fried Mackerel Fillet was followed by Medallions of Beef with Thyme Scented Pomme Anna, concluding with Custard Tart accompanied by Pistachio Ice-Cream and Orange syrup. As expected, if not demanded, the wines were of a high standard with Domaine de L'elite Macon Village 2010 and Chateau Begadan, Cru Artisan Medoc 2007. Murmurs of appreciation and delight were audible.

At conclusion of the meal the Master Bowyer rose and drunk to everyone in a Loving Cup. After the coffee, petits fours and port were served the Beadle called for attention as the Loyal and Civic toasts were proposed. The Master returned to his feet to propose the health of the Worshipful Company of Fletchers. This was done in fine style both welcoming them individually and wishing the Company good fortune in the years to come. The Master Fletcher responded and generously reciprocated the good wishes for the future.

The evening concluded with both Masters inviting all to join them in a stirrup cup. From the level of the conversational noise, the looks of satisfaction on many a face and messages of thanks received, this must be considered to be one of the most enjoyable dinners in recent memory. Thanks must be offered to the Catering Committee and all those involved in preparing and delivering a first rate evening.

Richard Sawyer
June 2011

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