Tuesday, 19 April 2011


Coat of arms of the Constructors' Company
Thursday evening it was off to Merchant Taylors' Hall to be a guest at the Constructors' Royal Charter Banquet.  Receiving a first Royal Charter is a very important rite of passage for a livery company.  It is only authorised by the Privy Council after exhaustive enquiries and can take some years to negotiate.  Once authorised it acts as the constitution of the Company and, unless amended by the Privy Council, provides the  framework for its subsequent existence and operation.

The Royal Charter had been received a year earlier.  However it is custom and practice that the charter is handed over by a member of the royal family.  This was the purpose of the evening and HRH Duke of Gloucester officiated.

The Duke was the ideal choice for the Constructors.  It is a Company that covers all aspects of the building world - for more details go to www.constructorscompany.co.uk  The Duke is a qualified architect and has a considerable interest in what is now called the built environment.

The Royal Charter was formally handed over at the beginning of dinner.  The conclusion of the dinner witnessed four excellent speeches. 

Court Assistant Victoria Russell managed to welcome all the guests, over thirty of them, in a most entertaining way.  This I can say from both observation and personal experience takes some doing.  She challenged me about my blog and wondered what would be post.  Victoria, now you know!

Piers Gough CBE, the noted architect, gave a lyrical evocation of architecture and its impact on both individuals and society.  Alderman Sir David Howard Bt responded on behalf of the City and finally Master Patricia Newton brought the proceedings to an excellent close.

Only the week before Patricia Newton had been admitted to the Drapers' Company by redemption so it was good to see one of the newest Drapers so much at the centre of affairs of another Company.

It was a memorable evening.

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