Monday, 18 April 2011


I rather like this bird's eye view of the main campus.  It shows the huge amount of development that has taken place on the site over the last twenty years.   The original part of the site, shown as Queen's Building, is illustrated as the People's Palace at the foot of this blog. 
Friday morning started with the now traditional, I think it has been going in some form or other for fifteen years, breakfast with Queen Mary, University of London. In recent years it has taken place at Queen Mary's main campus on the Mile End Road.

The Company's links with the College go right back to its foundations.  In fact the core of the site is the original location of the Francis Bancroft school and almshouses founded in 1736.  The almshouses have long gone but the school still flourishes a bit further up the Central Line in Woodford.

The Drapers' team included the Master and Wardens and the two members of the Queen Mary Council that are nominated by the Company.  Liveryman Jocelin Harris is Vice-president of the Council and chairs the Finance and General Purposes Committee and Master Warden Anthony Walker is Chair of QMSU Services Ltd the trading business of the university.  Jocelin's father, Past Master Martin Harris, was a much respected President of Council for many years.

Professor Simon Gaskell and three vice principals, Professors Susan Dilly, Philip Ogden and Morag Shiach hosted us on behalf of Queen Mary.  Our links are even more intertwined these days as we are jointly sponsoring Drapers' Academy, Morag Shiach, Susan Dilly and myself are all governors.

We had a most useful review of issues of joint concern and then had an opportunity to visit the new history building - name has yet to be revealed - that now creates an impressive facade along the Mile End Road.

The original People's Palace. The Company donated a significant sum towards initial building costs of the technical wing of the Palace and contributed for many years towards the running costs of the institution.

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