Tuesday, 19 April 2011


Coat of Arms of the Upholders' Company
On Wednesday the Upholders held their Installation Court and Banquet at the Hall.  The Hall, I believe, is a frequent choice by the Upholders for this key event in their Company year. This year they were kind enough to invite both myself and Alastair Ross, the Clerk, to be guests at the banquet..

Upholder is an archaic term for upholsterer and the Company has for centuries been closely involved with the furnishing trade.  Initially of course maintaining the guild monopoly in London and later more generally supporting the trade both inside and outside the City.  For more details go to http://www.upholder.co.uk/  

Additionally the Upholders are part of the informal Liveries Wood Group that carries out joint projects with the Carpenters, Furniture Makers, Joiners and Ceilers and Turners.  For more details go to http://www.branching-out.co.uk/

It was most stimulating talking to members of the Company in the Hall.  Many of them are eminent and leading personalities in the furnishing industry.  Their reaction to the furnishings and decoration of the Hall was very interesting and most informative.  It was also flattering to be told on a number of occasions how well the Hall was maintained.

The newly elected Master, James Kelly, and the Wardens made us most welcome and we had a most enjoyable dinner.  As I entered the Livery Hall I found a copy of Featherbedds and Flock Bedds, the Early History of the Worshipful Company of Upholders of the City of London by JF Houston at my place.  I have only had time to glance at it but it is clearly a well written and informative history, featherbedding takes on a sterner meaning.. 

One of those evenings where I was well looked after and learnt a little more about the furnishings of the Hall.  But equally importantly I was yet again as Master to hear the considerable admiration for the excellent service our Beadle, John Freestone, Head Chef, Gerald Quadros and the rest of the Hall catering team provide.  On this particular night Jon Perkins, the Butler, led the event.

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