Thursday, 18 November 2010


The Livery hall of the Armourers and Brasiers showing part of their fine collection of arms and armour.  Picture from the Company website

On Thursday evening it was a short walk from the Hall with Alastair Ross, the Clerk, to the Armourers' Hall on London Wall and just a bit closer to Moorgate Station than we are. 

The Company is unusual in reflecting the amalgamation of two trades on equal terms.  Regrettably in the days when trading monopolies were seen to bring very great advantage rival guilds could be very hostile towards each other and the stronger dominated, or sometimes eliminated, the weaker. The Armourers and Brasiers own a beautiful hall with a very fine display of armour, predominately from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.   For more details see

In recent times the Company has established a major presence in encouraging the education in science and to promote materials science both commercially and industrially. 

The current Master, Sir Colin Humphreys, is a leading figure in this field.  His research interests include "all aspects of electron microscopy and analysis, semiconductors (particularly gallium nitride), ultra-high temperature aerospace materials and superconductors.  Amongst a remarkably wide range of prestigious appointments he is the Goldsmiths’ Professor of Materials Science at Cambridge University, Professor of Experimental Physics at the Royal Institution in London and a Fellow of Selwyn College, Cambridge. He was President of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining in 2002 and 2003.

The response on behalf of the guests was given by Professor Julia King Vice Chancellor Aston University who made a spirited case for more energy efficient technology as one would expect from the leader of the 2008 eponymous King Review to examine the vehicle and fuel technologies that, over the next 25 years, could help to reduce carbon emissions from road transport.  She has only this month been appointed by the Prime Minister as the UK's Low Carbon Business Ambassador.

As I have mentioned in earlier blogs it is both fascinating and impressive to observe the huge range of City Livery Company interests and the way the movement is involved in so many vital issues that face us both globally and nationally.  The Armourers and Brasiers are right in the forefront in this regard.


  1. A perfect occasion for some of your scientific jokes, I hope!

  2. I did not speak publicly. Busy looking for some rib-ticklers on anti-matter.