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News from around The Company and The Craft
5th Islington Scout Troop Trek Cart - 29th April 2018
On our visit to Greg Rowlands workshop in Colyton in March we all helped “bond” a pair of Trek cart wheels which Greg had repaired for us for the 5th Islington Scout Troop. (First picture)
On the 29th April The Master visited the Scout troop to see the fully restored Trek cart.
It was hugely satisfying to see and feel the enthusiasm with which the youngsters embraced their newly restored trek cart. The troop leaders also appeared to be very grateful for Greg’s work and the Wheelwrights contribution
Apparently the Trek cart was originally sold to the Scout Troop in 1904, let’s hope the newly restored wheels last them for another 100 years!
Fairbourne Carriages 27th April 2018
21 Liverymen and guests visited the workshops of Fairbourne carriages in Kent.
The Wood family has been restoring, building and conserving carriages at Fairbourne in the Garden of England, Kent, since 1971 when Nick and Jane started the business. It is now run by their sons, Duncan and Francis, who continue the family tradition since the death of Nick in 2011. Fairbourne Carriages has intimate knowledge of all crafts relating to coach building and this small family team aims to offer the highest standards traditionally associated with the English coachbuilder, to customers who simply want the very best.
It was a fascinating visit where we saw carriages and vintage cars in various stages of restoration. The attention to detail and skill of all the experts employed there was very impressive indeed.
After the visit we all enjoyed lunch at the nearby Pepperbox Inn.
Working Wheelwrights weekend in Colyton - 9th/10th March 2018
In March we made our annual trip to visit Mike and Greg Rowland and George Richards at their Wheelwrights workshop in Colyton. On the Friday a group visited J and FJ Baker the only remaining oak bark tannery in the Country. This was a very interesting visit to a factory where little had changed in decades in the technique of tanning leather.
On The Friday night Chris Ball arrived by bike having cycled the 175 miles from Dorking in one and in appalling weather to raise money for the 2020 appeal.
On Saturday we all spent the day at the workshop in Colyton and as usual made two wheels, one by the ladies and one by the men. We were delighted to be joined by Kimberly Locker, the winner of the NTDA tyre technician of the year award in 2017. George Richards had made the trophy for this award which Kimberly brought with her to show everyone who hadn’t seen it.
In the evening we all enjoyed dinner at The Miners Arms in Branscombe and Mike Rowland adjudged that the best wheel this year was the ladies wheel! Names were then drawn out of a hat to see who took the wheels home and the lucky recipients were Thomas Wiegman and Kimberly Locker!
Visit to the London Assay Office - 19th February 2018
On the 15th February 20 liverymen and their guests had a fascinating visit to the London assay Office, Goldsmiths Hall. We found out about the history of Hallmarking and also how it is carried out nowadays. At the end of the Tour we were shown some pieces of silver with fake hallmarks and how they could be spotted. We also had a tour of Goldsmiths Hall which was a bonus. After the tour we enjoyed a very nice lunch at a nearby Turkish restaurant.
Inter Livery Ski Competition, Morzine, France - 25th/26th January 2018
For the first time the worshipful company of Wheelwrights took part in the The Inter livery ski competition in Morzine, France. The event was superbly run by the Ironmongers Company.
The team comprised Upper warden James Tucker, Past master Stephen Kirk, Court assistant Chris Ball, Liverman Thomas Wiegman, Freeman Harry Fell and guest Chantal Ball.
We had a great couple of days enjoying the skiing and mixing with liverymen from other Companies. There was a drinks reception on the Thursday night and a prize giving dinner for 300 people on the Friday night.
The racing comprised a slalom on the Thursday which gave us our start positions for the main event, The Giant slalom on the Friday.
Overall The Wheelwrights came 13th out of 51 Companies with Thomas Wiegman our highest placed competitor at 18th. Chantal Ball also won the gold medal for fastest female guest!
HELP FOR HEROES SYDNEY – HOBART YACHT RACE - December 2017!
In December 2017 The Company made a significant donation of £10,000.00 to Help For heroes to assist in funding their Sydney – Hobart yacht race entry. Below is a report of the race from Martin Colclough OBE .
We are incredibly grateful for your support and I trust that you have been informed of the success of the UK Sydney Hobart Team.
In summary, both boats are now safely on their way back from Hobart and yes, the UK crew were there for 10 Hours, 57 minutes and 13 seconds longer than the Aussie crew. Our success is testimony to the support we received from Sir Robin Knox-Johnston (navigator and tactician), Will (the Skipper) and Andrew (the Mate), British pluck and most importantly our veterans sailing program, which is run with our sailing partner “Turn to Starboard”.
The race wasn't without incident with the Aussie boat losing a crew member over the side only to be recovered incredibly slickly and returned by another Clipper boat. Showcasing the camaraderie of sailors as well as Clipper's training and safety culture. This has not deterred the Aussie Crew and the work on a re-match in the 2019 Fastnet Race may not be out of the question.
We've received amazing high profile support from three Knights of the realm, two America's Cup Skippers, the first man, women and youngest sailors to conduct solo non-stop circumnavigations of the globe. The entire sailing and Invictus Games community have swung in behind this with the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia (CYCA) getting behind it from the outset, along with Clipper Ventures and discounted team kit provided by Musto. Above all, we could not have done this without the support and encouragement of the Wheelwrights, for which I and the UK Team are very grateful indeed.
In the longer term, 16 inspiring stories of rehabilitation through sport are emerging and the UK sailors have added a significant amount of quality ocean miles, or should that be leagues, to their logbooks (Sir Robin has signed off some of their logbook training tasks as well). Most are now hoping to gain employment in the maritime industry and have a significantly enhanced sailing CV. For others, who are just beginning of their sailing careers, they are soon to receive funding from H4H to gain RYI Yachtmaster qualifications in due course – for a few this will start in mid Jan 18. Given that they have all completed over 2,000 quality ocean miles, which included training in the UK and AUS, the Race and the delivery back to Sydney, they will breeze it I’m sure.
We do these big challenges not because they are easy but because they are hard (JFK, 1962) and because they inspire others military veterans that they should not define themselves by their injuries. There will always be a degree jeopardy with these endeavours but not only was this handled superbly, it reminds me that where risk exists (outside your comfort zone) is also the place where the magic happens. In my humble opinion, challenge, competition and risk are force multipliers in recovery and this race had all 3 ingredients in spades. But most importantly the risk was managed by selecting the right people, participating in a superb training programme and watching out for each other.
Finally, the Aussies have asked the UK Crew, stay away from your cricketers, as they don't want them getting any ideas!
Happy new year all and thank you once again – the smiles on the attached photo say it all (Sir Robin is in the floppy hat). Martin
Martin Colclough OBE | National Head of Sports Recovery | Help for Heroes
Carol Service, Holy Trinity, Sloane Square - 19th December 2017
On Tuesday 19th December we enjoyed a very special Christmas Carol Service at Holy Trinity Sloane Square. Our current Chaplain, Canon Nicholas Wheeler, has been Rector there since 2015. The service was conducted by candle light and we enjoyed some beautiful singing provided by the Holy Trinity Choir.
Installation Court and Dinner, Drapers Hall - 7th December 2017
At the Installation Court held on 7th December 2017 at Drapers Hall, Mr Bert Wiegman was installed as master of the Worshipful Company of Wheelwrights, Mr James Tucker became Upper warden and Sir Stephen Dalton Renter Warden.
At the Court Meeting Cadet Sgt Hannah Noonan from Greater London SE Sector Army Cadet Force was presented with an award as Cadet of the Year.
Mr Richard Collins made his Freedom Declaration and was also clothed in the livery of the Company.
Lt General Sir Andrew Gregory was clothed in the livery and also took the oath to become an Honorary Court Assistant.
The family of past Master Jim Macey attended The Court for the return of Past Master Jim Macey’s Badge.
After the Court meeting The Installation Dinner was held in the magnificent setting of Drapers Hall.
New Liverymen Richard Collins and Lieutenant General Sir Andrew Gregory KBE CB made their introductory speeches.
Liveryman Stefan Hay presented a cheque to The Master for £4,260 raised at the National Tyre Distributors Association Dinner. Liveryman Roger Griggs also presented another cheque for £5,000 to the Master on behalf of Kwik Fit.
Both of these very generous cheques were very gratefully received and will greatly enhance the 2020 fund appeal.
The Principal guest was The Right Honourable The Lord Forsyth of Drumlean PC who gave a very enjoyable and interesting speech on behalf of the guests.
The Garden of Remembrance Service, St. Paul's - November 2017
The Openshaw Cup Presentation - October 2017
The Master Alan Culverhouse presented the Openshaw Cup to WO2 Jake Clapp.
NTDA National Tyre Technician of the Year Award - October 2017
The presentation of the NTDA National Tyre Technician of the Year Award. The magnificent trophy was made by Wheelwright Journeyman George Richards.
From left to right: John Inverdale BBC Broadcaster, David Viner IPM, Kimberley Locker and Prashant Chopra NTDA National Chairman
The Michaelmas Court and Livery dinner 12th October 2017
The Michaelmas Court and Livery dinner was held at Vintners Hall. The dinner was preceded by our annual Church Service at St James Garlickhythe.
At the dinner The Master thanked Bishop Michael Marshall for all his years of service to the Worshipful Company.
The Master Wheelwrights Award was presented to Mt Peter Norfolk OBE and The Geoffrey Udall award was presented to Ms Olivia Thornett.
The Principal guest was Alderman Vincent Keaveny who gave a very entertaining speech.
The Livery Companies Apprenticeship Scheme Awards Ceremony - 3rd October 2017
The Master Alan Culverhouse, The Lord Mayor of London Andrew Parmley, George Richards and Joe Fredricks at The Livery Companies Apprenticeship Scheme Awards Ceremony on Monday 3rd October.
Livery halls walk
The Livery Halls Walk was inaugurated in 2006 and since then every year 20 Livery Companies have taken part and it has become a popular fixture in the Livery Calendar. On Thursday, 14th September 2017 Bert Wiegman, Upper Warden and James Tucker, Renter Warden, took part in the 12thAnnual Livery Halls Walk, which departed from HQS Wellington at 9.00 am and took in a sequence of visits to 40 Halls throughout the day, finishing at Fishmongers’ Hall at 5.00 pm. Bert and James completed this walk (8.5 miles!) whilst robed: no mean feat given their unfamiliarity with jaunts of this kind. There was some refreshment provided on the way.
Buckingham palace visit
The Master, together with twenty-five liverymen and guests enjoyed a visit to the State Rooms and Gardens of Buckingham Palace on Wednesday 13th September 2017.
The tour of the seventeen State Rooms included the Throne Room and the Ballroom used for investitures, and gave us the opportunity to view the wonderful treasures of fine furniture, paintings and sculpture from the Queens Collection, we were also privileged to be able to view the special Summer exhibition of fascinating gifts given to Her Majesty the Queen during her reign, the longest of any Monarch.
The tour of the seventeen State Rooms included the Throne Room and the Ballroom used for investitures, and gave us the opportunity to view the wonderful treasures of fine furniture, paintings and sculpture from the Queens Collection, we were also privileged to be able to view the special Summer exhibition of fascinating gifts given to Her Majesty the Queen during her reign, the longest of any Monarch.
No1 Royal Horse Artillery
The Master of the Worshipful Company of Wheelwright's at Tidworth when he was given the honour of reviewing First Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery. The occasion was to mark the retirement of their Honorary Colonel, Lieutenant General Sir Andrew Gregory who now takes up the role of Master Gunner, St James's Park and who subsequently was made a Freeman of our Company.
Summer Court and livery luncheon Charterhouse
The Worshipful Company of Wheelwrights held their Summer Court and Luncheon at the Charterhouse on 6th July 2017. At the Court meeting Mr Harry Fell swore his declaration as a Freeman and Mr Kees Bookmans, Dr Tobias Kounsul and Mr Rohan de Silva were clothed as liverymen of the Company. The strong links with the Royal Artillery continue and the Master was delighted that General Sir Andrew Gregory, Master Gunner accepted his invitation and joined the Company as an Honorary Freeman.
Heritage skills festival Lincoln Cathedral
For the first time ever the City of London Livery Companies and Lincoln Cathedral joined together to celebrate traditional crafts and skills essential to the preservation of the Cathedral and other ancient buildings as well as keeping heritage and skills alive.
The Wheelwrights Stand
George Richards discussing wheel making.
The Master with Greg Rowland and George Richards
Thanks to Lincoln Cathedral for the following pictures
The Masters visit to Ironbridge
Each year the Masters of the City Livery Companies spend a weekend at Ironbridge in Shropshire. Ironbridge is the cradle of the industrial revolution with iron works, tile factories, porcelain, coal mines, canal and the River Severn forming a transport hub. The Master of the Worshipful Company of Wheelwrights Mr Alan Culverhouse spent an enjoyable and interesting weekend with his fellow 2017 Masters.
Wheelwrights dinner for younger liverymen.
On 15th of June the HAC Wheelwrights dinner for younger liverymen was held at the HAC Queens and Ante rooms. 15 liverymen and 25 guests enjoyed an evening of good food, wine and fellowship. The guest speaker was Laura Miller Deputy Clerk of the Chamberlains Court who gave many good examples of why if you have the opportunity people should join the livery.
The Worshipful Company of Wheelwrights
Sixteen Liverymen accompanied by partners and friends including Past Master Woolman, Past Master Glover, A World Trader and a Basket Maker (thirty one in total) embarked on our first ever overseas livery holiday. Our destination was Mainz in Germany, home of our Patron Saint – St. Willigis.
St. Willigis (940 – 1011) was born the son of a wheelwright. As Archbishop of Mainz he was one of the most powerful figures of his age – as a Churchman he was second only to the Pope. He crowned three Emperors of the Holy Roman Empire and was Regent for Otto lll from age six until he became of age.
We found many examples of wheels all over Mainz.
Having arrived at Frankfurt airport after a smooth journey from Heathrow we were met by our tour manager, Lance, who expertly directed us to our waiting coach and filled us in on our itinerary for the next 3 days. During the coach journeys, Lance shared his knowledge of the local area and we were educated with stories of German history over the next few days.
After St. Stephen’s our guide took us through the streets of Mainz and we tried to stay as dry as possible, some managing better than others. We couldn’t help but take a picture of the Master under a sign for Willigisplatz.
Our next stop was Mainz cathedral built by St. Willigis. It is one of only three Romanesque imperial cathedrals to have survived almost intact to this day. Our guide mentioned that it was quite unusual to have British tourists in Mainz and was pleasantly surprised by our interest in the city and St. Willigis and our many questions!
Inter livery clay pigeon shooting competition
For the second year running the Worshipful Company of Wheelwrights entered the inter livery clay pigeon shooting competition held at the Holland and Holland shooting ground at Northwood. However, this year we had sufficient numbers to enter an A and B team. The A team came 52nd and the B team 68th out of 76 livery companies. The highest score by a Wheelwright was guest Phil King with 63 and he came 14th=, a very good score.
It was an enjoyable day despite the rain and we were treated to breakfast beforehand and a buffet lunch before the prize giving.
The Wheelwrights B team
Mansion House Banquet
On the 16th May the Wheelwrights held their annual banquet at The Mansion House. The Lord Mayor was unable to attend but we were delighted that The Lord Mayor’s representative was Sir Alan Yarrow, since he was unable to attend our Banquet in his year as Mayor in 2014-15.
The principal guest was Francisco de Paula Enrique de Borbón y Escasany who is the current Duke of Seville, and Grand Master Emeritus of the Military and Hospitaller Order of St Lazarus of Jerusalem, accompanied by Mr Edward White - Grand Chancellor, Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem.
The Wheelwrights in the back row of the photographs are Roger Griggs, Stefan Hay, David Viner and David Wernick. Receiving the cheque in the front row are from left to right Jon Cook and Luke Stanwick both from the spinal injuries centre at Stoke Mandeville , Kevan Baker OBE, Chairman of WheelPower and Martin McElhatton, Chief Executive of WheelPower and recipient of the Master Wheelwrights award presented at the Mansion House in 2015.
The Immediate Past Master, David Viner is also shown displaying his hand cycling skills!
Visit to cadet detachments
The Master Alan Culverhouse together with The Clerk Susie Morris and the MLO Elliott Porte visited all 3 of the Affiliated Cadet Detachments and the picture is of 97 Detachment, Royal Artillery based at Woolwich. The Master thanked the cadets for their support as Carpet Guard at our dinners. He then described the history of the Livery Companies in the City of London.
Easter court & livery dinner held at The Salters Hall on 23rd March 2017.
At the Court meeting before the dinner Mrs Sandra Holt and Dr Tobias Kounsul were awarded the Freedom of the Company. Mrs Sandra Holt was then subsequently clothed in the livery of the Company.
Mr George Richards was made a journeyman wheelwright having completed his apprenticeship under the guidance of Master wheelwright Greg Rowland. The Master presented George with his journeyman certificate in the presence of the Court.
After the Court meeting a splendid dinner was held in the magnificent ash panelled banqueting hall.
Notable guests were Mr Peter Allen Prime warden Worshipful Company of basket makers, Mr Martin Payne Master of the Worshipful Company of Coach makers and Coach harness makers. Lt Col Roderick Morriss TD DL Deputy Lieutenant of London Borough of Hackney, Mr Peter Tompkins master of the Worshipful Company of Wax Chandlers, Captain Peter Benn master of the Honorable Company of Air Pilot, Mrs Sally Bridgeland Master of the Worshipful Company of actuaries and Christopher Hallam FCIS Master of the Worshipful Company of Chartered secretaries.
The Principal Guest was The Revd Dr David Coulter CB QHC, Chaplain General to HM Land Forces.
Mrs Sandra Holt made her incoming speech as a new Liveryman of the Company and George Richards was applauded by the Company and guests on becoming a Journeyman wheelwright.
The Master and Journeyman George Richards.
The Beadle Paul Tredgett with George Richards.
George Richards with Past Masters David Viner, Claire Thomas, Ian Armfield, Richard Sermon and Court Assistant David Mortlock.
The Master and Principal Guests.
Weekend with Working Wheelwrights
Saturday 11th March - Another very enjoyable day was spent at the workshop of Mike and Greg Rowland in Colyton Devon, getting hands on experience making wheels. 20 Liverymen and their guests made the trip to Devon for this annual event in the Worshipful Company of Wheelwrights’ calendar. Once again the group stayed at the Masons Arms in Branscombe, where they were looked after very well by the attentive staff. On Sunday 12th March the group had a private visit to Fenix Carriages, learning more about carriages and wheel construction with informative explanations from Mark Broadbent and Robert Hurford.
George Richards Completes his Apprenticeship
George Richard’s started his Wheelwrights’ Apprenticeship in October 2013 and after 3 years of training, under the guidance of Master Wheelwright Greg Rowland he has successfully completed it. The Court will consider making him a Journeyman Wheelwright at its meeting on 21st March. The pictures of the canon are of George’s Apprentice Piece a British 6lb Cannon..
Installation Court and Livery Dinner
Held at Draper’s Hall
At Court preceding the Dinner Alan Culverhouse was installed as Master and Bert Wiegman and James Tucker as Upper and Renter Wardens.
James Sampson and Dr Olga Shvarova swore their Declarations as Freemen of the Company. In addition Gary Johnson, Kevin McGuiness and Eddie Plume were Clothed in the Company.
The Master presented Lance Bombardier Frankie Scott of 109 Section (RA) Detachment, South East London Cadet Force – the winner of the Wheelwrights Royal Artillery Cadet of the Year Award for 2016 – with his framed Citation certificate, Nery Gun Bronze and a purse.
At Dinner the Immediate Past Master proposed the Installation Toast to the new Master. In turn the Master responded and then welcomed the new Freemen and Liveryman and proposed the Toast to them. The Liverymen responded.
Court Assistant Neil Sampson proposed the Toast to the Guests. Alderman Sir David Wootton, Master of Worshipful Company of Glaziers and Painters of Glass responded.
Company guests included the Master Pattenmaker, Master Joiner and Ceiler and Master Hackney Carriage Driver. From our Military affiliations we welcomed as Company guests General Sir Timothy Granville -Chapman GBE KCB, Master Gunner, St James’s Park , Col Phil Shepheard- Walwyn MBE RA, Chief of Staff, Royal School of Artillery, and Col D Smith, Commandant Greater London South East Sector Army Cadet Force
Personal guests included Master Woolman and Master Waterman.
Musical entertainment both before and after Dinner was provided by four students of The Guildhall School of Music and Drama
Visit to No 12 (B) Squadron RAF Marham 28th October 2016
On Friday 28th October, Sir Stephen Dalton arranged for The Master and a group of liverymen to visit No 12 Squadron at RAF Marham. The visit was arranged as a result of our recently formed association with No 12 Squadron.
We were introduced to Wing Commander Nikki Thomas and other members of the squadron and we were then given a brief history of the squadron and their current role. After this we were given a typical briefing for our “next mission” which was fortunately a fictitious one as I’m not sure that many of us understood our instructions fully!
After an enjoyable lunch we visited the engineering section and were give a tour of the aircraft hangars. We were all given the opportunity to sit in the cockpit of a Tornado and inspect the aircraft close up. Whilst we were outside in the hangars two Tornados returned to base from Cyprus and we watched them taxi past us as we gave the air crew a welcome wave home!
We then visited the flight simulator where we were all give the chance to “fly” a Tornado around Lossiemouth. Some of these sorties were more successful than others! However we all came away from the experience in the simulator in complete awe of the skills of the pilots and navigation/weapons officers.
After the tour The Master presented Wing Commander Nikki Thomas with a Wheelwright Crest and he was in turn presented with a picture of a Tornado signed by the squadron. We were also presented with a wheel from a Tornado jet which I shall attempt to display at one of our future dinners!
We are very grateful to No 12 Squadron for a fascinating day. We also send our best wishes and good luck to them on their next deployment overseas.
Michaelmas Court and Livery Dinner at Grocers’ Hall on 13 October 2016
On the 13th October the Michaelmas Court and livery dinner was held at Grocers Hall.
Our distinguished guests included Alderman Ian Luder Master of the Worshipful Company of Coopers and Past Masters, Clerks and Liverymen from The Salters, Masons, Blacksmiths, Woolmen, Musicians, Basket makers, Loriners, Shipwrights, Coach makers, Gold and silver wire drawers and the Management Consultants.
The Master presented the Master Wheelwrights Award to Mr Andrew Slorance.
The Master presented the Geofrey Udall award to Miss Harriette Pearson for her work in paediatric medicine.
New liverymen Stephen Callow, Matthew Hicks, Lt Thomas Wiegman and Benedict Wiegman were introduced by the Master.
Liveryman Roger Griggs , Chairman of the National Tyre Distributors Association and Communications Director of Kwik Fit presented the Master David Viner with two cheques for the 2020 Appeal Fund .
The first cheque £4,240 being the proceeds of a raffle held at the Annual Dinner of the NTDA where the Master was a VIP guest of the association and secondly a handsome amount of £10,800 was presented by Roger on behalf of his company Kwik Fit who have been raising money for the 2020 Appeal since the beginning of the year.
The Company and Charity Trustees were delighted with the efforts that have been made so far.
The response on behalf of the guests was given by The Revd Prebendary Jeremy Crossley.
Ceremony of the Keys, Tower of London 19th September 2016
Nearly 50 liverymen and their guests visited the Tower Of London on the 19th September for a personal tour and to witness the ceremony of the keys. The Chief Yeoman Warder Alan Kingshott was our excellent host and guide for the evening and gave us a most informative (and amusing) tour around the Tower. After the tour we were treated to an excellent buffet meal and refreshments in the yeoman warders club.
Once our meal was finished we witnessed the centuries old tradition of the The ceremony of the keys when the Tower is made secure for the night.
The presentation of the Openshaw Cup and model of the Nery Gun is made to the best overall student attending the Gunnery Career Course and this year’s winner was Warrant Officer (Class Two) B K Green who, on completion of the course will take up his post within the Royal Artillery Gunnery Training team. The runner-up this year was Warrant Officer Goguen of the Royal Canadian Artillery who was presented with an engraved pewter tankard. As is customary, WO2 B K Green will be invited to the Installation Court dinner.
The British Driving Society 52nd Annual Show
Held on the 19th June, 2016
For the 7th year in succession, the Company supported the British Driving Society at its 52nd Annual Show held at Smiths Lawn in Windsor Great Park, by sponsoring the Vintage Vehicle Class. This most prestigious event in the Association’s calendar provided a great day out in fine weather for some 70 Wheelwrights and their guests. This is the highest attendance at the Show that the Company has achieved to date.
The Master, David Viner presents the trophy and certificate to the winner of the Vintage Vehicle Class Bob Alexander, accompanied by his lady, Andrea Romp, along with Alan Culverhouse, the Upper Warden (far left) and Bert Wiegman, the Renter Warden (2nd from left). Bob was also the winner of this Class in 2014.
Having watched the Show and enjoyed a good lunch or picnic, many then took advantage of the good weather and stayed to see the Queen take the drive past on the adjoining Polo Ground. Pictured below is the Queen inspecting the various Class Winners, along with Barry Luck, Chairman of the Show Committee. There were top quality polo matches during the afternoon with regular entertainment provided by a Guards’ Band – This has become a regular event in the Company’s Calendar and is not to be missed.
Wheelwrights Visit to Drewitts’ Carriages on 1st June 2016
With the kind permission of Tony Drewitt, 29 Liverymen and their guests enjoyed a private visit to a workshop near Faygate in West Sussex, to view a unique and eclectic mix of horse-drawn vehicles and steam-driven engines. This was a repeat of a similar visit in May 2014. Vehicles on display included a 1904 horse-drawn fire engine, which won the Wheelwrights’ Vintage Vehicle Class at the BDS Annual Show in 2013. The Master, David Viner, is pictured below with Tony Drewitt with the fire engine in the background.
Liverymen and their guests were given a tour around different parts of the workshop and the various steam-driven (see below left) and horse drawn vehicles that were on display. Tony is in the process of restoring a 1911 horse-drawn omnibus that when in service used to travel to Mansion House (below right).
During the morning refreshments were provided and music supplied by way of two barrel organs, one of which dated from 1900. David Viner very kindly arranged for steam-driven and horse-drawn transport to and from the workshop to our lunchtime venue, the Ghyll Manor Hotel in Rusper. The pictures below show the vehicles getting ready to leave.
Up until this point the weather had been very kind and although overcast it had remained dry. As the party set off from the workshop the heavens opened and sadly a number of the group were rather wet on arrival for lunch. This did not dampen spirits and staff at the Ghyll Manor Hotel very kindly lit a log fire and made arrangements to dry everyone’s clothes. Following a superb 3-course lunch at this beautiful oak-beamed 17th Century country house (see below) the Master thanked Tony and his team for making the visit possible and made a £200 contribution towards vehicle restoration works.
Inter Livery Clay Shooting Competition 18th May 2016
Upper Warden Alan Culverhouse, Renter Warden Bert Wiegman, Court Assistant James Tucker and Liveryman Chris Ball formed the Wheelwright team for the annual inter livery clay shooting competition held at Holland and Holland shooting grounds in Northwood. In spite of the wet weather we had a hugely enjoyable day with breakfast served beforehand and lunch for everyone afterwards. At lunch the presentations were made to the best teams and individuals although we did not feature in these awards! However we did come 65th out of 86 teams which with no practice at all we felt was a reasonable performance. Bert Wiegman was our best shot of the day and came a creditable 22nd in the individual scores.
It was a very good day and an excellent way of meeting liveryman from other Companies. We all agreed that we should participate again next year and encourage other Wheelwrights to join us. As with many of the inter livery competitions it’s the “taking part” that is important and you don’t need to be an expert shot to compete.
The date of the 2017 competition is Wednesday 17th May.
The Wheelwrights’ Company Mansion House Banquet – Thursday 12th May 2016
The Wheelwrights’ Mansion House Banquet was held on Thursday 12 May. We were delighted that The Rt. Hon the Lord Mayor, Alderman the Lord Mountevans was able to join us at our banquet. The Lord Mayor is an Honorary Court Assistant of the Company.
Our principal Guest was Patricia Lovett MBE. Patricia has written a number of books on calligraphy and illumination, and teaches and lectures all over the world. She is Vice-Chair of the Heritage Crafts Association.
Stephen Callow Chairman of the National Tyre Distributors Association presented a cheque to the Master.
On the 17th of April over 50 liverymen, their families and guests joined the Master David Viner for a family lunch at The R.A.C Club, Woodcote Park. This was a relaxed and informal occasion and a great opportunity to meet other liverymen and their families. We all enjoyed drinks beforehand and then a delicious lunch.
The weather was also kind to us which meant we could wander around the grounds of the RAC Club and look at the marvellous collection of Bentley cars that had gathered on the lawn for a display.
Easter Court and Livery Dinner 2016
Held at Ironmongers’ Hall on 17 March
At Court preceding the Livery Dinner Dr Helen Carr, Lt Col Jonathan Sharp RA (Retd.) and Benedict Wiegman were admitted as Freemen to the Company and Roger Griggs and Alan Williams were Clothed in the Company.
At Dinner the Master welcomed the new Freemen and Liverymen and proposed the Toast to them. The two new Liverymen responded.
The Master made presentations to Mrs Nancy Hitzig representing City of London Sinfonia and to the representative of Dr Mayowa Osundiji ,winner of the Geoffrey Udall Prize 2015.
The Renter Warden, Bert Wiegman, proposed the Toast to the Guests including the Prime Warden Basketmakers, Prime Warden Blacksmiths and Master Coachmakers and Coach Harness Makers.
The principal guest Alderman Peter Estlin responded on behalf of all the guests.
Weekend with Working Wheelwrights 11th-13th March 2016
The Annual visit to Mike & Greg Rowland’s Workshop in Colyton, Devon has been so successful and such fun that it has become a regular part of the Wheelwrights’ Calendar of events. There were 28 Liverymen and their guests that took part, the highest so far, of which 11 were newcomers. All the participants are featured below enjoying the sunshine at the end of a hard day’s graft.
As has been the case in recent years, Liverymen and guests meet up on the Friday evening for our weekend stay at the Mason’s Arms in Branscombe. The accommodation and food they provide is very good, so after a good night’s rest and a hearty breakfast this sets everyone up for making wheels on the Saturday.
Mike, Greg and his apprentice George took us through all the elements of the wheel making process. This covered shaping the spokes, driving them into the hub, making the tangs on the spokes, fitting the felloes, measuring the wheel, bending, heating and fitting the tyre. As the picture below shows the finished article looks pretty good.
Greg, Mike and Doreen Rowland always look after us very well over the weekend, for which the Company is most grateful. Following the shaping of spokes (see Pauline Norris below right) and making the tangs (see PM Clare Chisholm below left) we stopped for a splendid lunch prepared by Doreen helped by her daughter and granddaughter. As the pictures show, George Richards played an important part in the weekend by coaching one of the two teams in the skills he has been taught under the Wheelwrights’ Apprenticeship.
As a special treat this year, on the Saturday afternoon, The Master David Viner very kindly subsidised organised trips around Colyton Village in a late 19th Century Landau provided by Maria Bisset of Ben Ford Carriages Ltd Bridgwater. The pictures below left shows from left to right, Craft Chairman David Mortlock, Mike Rowland, the Master David Viner, Greg Rowland and George Richards standing in front of the Landau. Below right, the Master sets off on trip around Colyton accompanied by his lady, Andrea, Susie Morris, our Clerk and her husband David.
On the Saturday evening we returned to the Masons Arms for a splendid meal, followed by the traditional drawing of lots to determine, who should take home the wheels. The lucky winners this year were Andrea Romp and Michael Drury.
The Master, David Viner, was presented with a traveller that had been made personally by apprentice, George Richards. Our hosts, Mike and Greg, were each presented with a bottle of single malt whisky and their ladies with chocolates.
The weekend was organised by Phil Clarke for which the Company is most grateful. Given the continued success of the weekend, the Upper Warden is keen that it be repeated in 2017.
Visit to Whitechapel Bell Foundry
On the 3rd of March 2016 over 30 liverymen and guests visited The Whitechapel Bell Foundry. An entry in the Guinness Book of Records lists the Whitechapel Bell Foundry as Britain's oldest manufacturing company, having been established in 1570 (during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I) and being in continuous business since that date. Whitechapel's famous bells include the original Liberty bell(1752), the Great Bell of Montreal and, probably best known of all, Big Ben at the Palace of Westminster. Cast in 1858, this is the largest bell ever cast at Whitechapel, weighing 13½ tons. To this day, a cross-section of the bell surrounds the entrance door to the Foundry.
We were given a most informative tour of the bell foundry by the current owner Alan Hughes. The Hughes family have been running the foundry for well over a hundred years.
After the tour Alan’s’ wife and daughters provided us with excellent food and drink in the upper rooms of the foundry building.
We were also delighted that two weeks later Alan and Kathryn Hughes were able to accept the Masters invitation to join us at the Easter Court and livery dinner held at Ironmongers Hall.
Benefactors Court and Feast of St Willigis Court Luncheon 2016
Held at Wax Chandlers’ Hall on 28 January
At Court preceding the Luncheon Peter Taylor OBE was admitted as Court Assistant.
Past Master John Taylor TD proposed the Toast to St Willigis and Past Master Edward Jackson proposed the Toast to all the Benefactors of the Company
Installation Court and Livery Dinner 2015
Held at Draper’s Hall on Thursday December 10th
At Court preceding the Dinner David Viner was installed as Master and Alan Culverhouse and Bert Wiegman as Upper and Renter Wardens.
Stephen Callow, Capt Rohan de Silva and Mrs Sonia Rogers swore their Declarations as Freemen of the Company. In addition Stephen Banks, Donald Carmichael, Roy Cullen and Sonia Rogers (who was already a Freeman of the City of London) were Clothed in the Company.
The Master presented Cadet Staff Sgt Chloe Burt of 109 Section (RA) Detachment, South East London Cadet Force – the winner of the Wheelwrights Royal Artillery Cadet of the Year Award for 2015 – with her framed Citation certificate, Nery Gun Bronze and a purse.
At Dinner the Immediate Past Master proposed the Installation Toast to the new Master. In turn the Master responded and then welcomed the new Freemen and Liveryman and proposed the Toast to them. The Liverymen responded. Court Assistant Eliott Porte proposed the Toast to the Guests.
Company guests included the Master Carpenter, Master Joiner and Ceiler and Master Hackney Carriage Driver. From our Military affiliations he welcomed as Company guests Incoming Commanding Officer of 1st Regt Royal Horse Artillery, Commandant of Royal School of Artillery, Assistant Commandant Royal School of Artillery, and Commandant Greater London South East Sector Army Cadet Force
Personal guests included Sir Alexander Graham GBE and Lady Graham (Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress 1990/91), Master Woolman, Master Waterman, Master Tin Plate Worker and Immediate Past Masters of Pattenmakers and Glovers.
The principal guest, Peter O’Donoghue, York Herald responded on behalf of all the guests.
Musical entertainment at the reception and after the meal was provided by students of Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
Honorary Court Assistant Alderman the Lord Mountevans installed as Lord Mayor on Friday 13 November 2015
At the Silent Ceremony in Guildhall Alderman The Lord Mountevans was sworn in as Lord Mayor for the ensuing year. Immediately afterwards, and on behalf of the Company, a small group of Liverymen led by the Master and Wardens presented him with an illuminated scroll to celebrate his Installation.
The following day the Company entered a float in the 800th Lord Mayor’s Show. Please click here to view report
Presentation to The Lord Mayor, Alderman the Lord Mountevans
Immediately prior to the Installation Court Meeting Members of the Court led by the Master and Two Wardens attended Mansion House. They presented to the Lord Mayor a 9 inch diameter wheel hand made by Honorary Liveryman and retired Working Wheelwright David Bysouth. The wheel, as is traditional with an English wooden wheel, had an elm hub, oak spokes and ash felloes and decorated in gold leaf. The Lady Mayoress was present.
Michaelmas Court, Annual Church Service and Livery Dinner
Held at Goldsmiths’ Hall on Thursday October 15th 2015
At Election Court preceding the Livery Dinner David Viner was elected Master, Alan Culverhouse was elected Upper Warden and Bert Wiegman was elected as Renter Warden for the ensuing year.
At the Court Andrew Gillespie was admitted as a Court Assistant. Ann Hopcroft, Donald Carmichael, Roger Griggs and Stefan Hay swore their Declarations as Freemen.
Jorge Crespo, Edward Crouch, Stefan Hay and Barclay Lawrence were Clothed in the Company.
Nick Gill, Andrew DeLisle and Paul Zelesnika were admitted as Yeomen to the Company.
At the conclusion of the Court meeting the Court Members made their way to The Church of St Vedast alias Foster and were joined by Liverymen and their guests for the Annual Church Service conducted by the Hon Chaplain the Right Rev’d Michael Marshall and assisted by the Rev’d Viv Bridges. The Preacher was The Most Rev’d and Right Hon Dr John Sentamu, Archbishop of York who took his theme on the joy of relationships from the reading by The Master of Ecclesiastes 7 verses 1 -14.
At the Livery Dinner that followed The Master welcomed the new Freemen, Liverymen and Yeomen and proposed a Toast to them. The four new Liverymen responded individually.
Earlier this year the Hon Chaplain celebrated the 40th year of his consecration and as he is an accomplished pianist to Concert standard the Master had asked him to play. His playing of Chopin’s Fantaisie Impromptu delighted all.
Court Assistant Air Chief Marshall Sir Stephen Dalton GCB RAF (Ret’d) proposed the Toast to the Guests and who included The Archbishop of York, the Prime Warden, Goldsmiths’ Company, The Master Painter Stainer, The Master Upholder, The Master Turner and Lt Col T Pennett TD, RA Commanding Officer 106th (Yeomanry) Regt RA. The principal guest, Alderman and Sheriff Charles Bowman responded on behalf of all the Guests.
From left: The Archbishop of York, The Master, The Honorary Chaplain
Reading from left to right Beadle: Upper Warden: new Liveryman Jorge Crespo: new Liveryman Edward Crouch: Master Painter - Stainer : Prime Warden Goldsmiths: Alderman and Sheriff Charles Bowman: Master: Archbishop of York: Master Upholder: Master Turner: new Liveryman Stefan Hay: new Liveryman Barclay Lawrence: Honorary Chaplain: Renter Warden: Clerk
Riding for the Disabled (RDA) – Carriage Driving Show – 28th July 2015
The Wheelwrights have supported the RDA Southern Carriage Driving Show over a number of years by way of providing rosettes for every competitor that takes part in the Show. As in previous years, the event was held at the Felbridge Showground near East Grinstead in West Sussex. There were 50 entries to the 2015 Show, which is the highest number of participants they have had to date. Although overcast the weather stayed fine and a good day was enjoyed by all. The Master, Ian Armfield, is shown presenting a rosette to the winner of the ‘Novice Whip’ Class (top) and presenting a cheque to the Show Organiser, Carol Porte.
The British Driving Society 51st Annual Show
2015 was the sixth year of our support for this the most prestigious event in the Society’s year and as ever held at Smiths Lawn, Great Windsor Park.
Over 30 Wheelwrights and guests attended and watched Mrs Amy Bracey judge our Vintage Vehicle Class. First place was awarded to the team of Friesans driven by Joanna Hartland with a Browns of Windsor Roof Seat Brake carriage. Bob Alexander took second place with Bullet and Bandit in a petrol tanker by S Jones and Sons of Manchester.
After lunch there was the option of watching more Classes or adjourning to the adjoining Polo Ground for very high class Polo with intervals occupied by marching displays by Guards Band. At the conclusion of the Polo all BDS competitors then paraded past HM The Queen and the Society’s Patron, HRH Prince Philip with Her Majesty presenting the Supreme Champion Trophy.
The Master presenting the Trophy to the 2015 winner, Joanna Hartland
Summer Court and Livery Lunch 2015
Held at Tallow Chandler's Hall on Thursday July 9th 2015.
At Court preceding the Livery Lunch Air Chief Marshall Sir Stephen Dalton GCB RAF (Ret’d) and Mrs Rosemary McCollin were Clothed in the Livery and Sir Stephen was also admitted as a Court Assistant.
Roy Cullen, 2nd Lt Thomas Wiegman and Alan Williams were admitted to the Freedom of the Company.
At Dinner The Master welcomed the new Court Assistant, the new Liveryman and the three new Freemen and proposed the Toast to them. Both Liverymen responded.
The Renter Warden, Alan Culverhouse proposed the Toast to the Guests and who included The Prime Warden Basketmakers, The Master Gold and Silver Wyre Drawer and The Master Engineer.
The principal guest, Mark Smith, Curator Royal Artillery Museum, responded on behalf of all the guests.
The Clerk: XXXXXxxxxxxx New Liveryman Rosemary McCollin: XXXXXXXxxxxx: The Upper Warden: The Master: Mark Smith, Curator, Royal Artillery Museum: Renter Warden, XXXXXxxxxxx New Court Assistant Air Chief Marshall Sir Stephen Dalton GCB RAF (Ret’d);Bishop Michael Marshall, Honorary Chaplain: The Beadle
Mansion House Banquet 2015
Held on 20th May 2015.
The Master proposed the three traditional Toasts with the City response very much on a joint basis by Alderman and Sheriff Dr Andrew Parmley and Sheriff Fiona Adler.
The Toast to the Guests was proposed by the Upper Warden, David Viner.
The response, on behalf of all the Guests, was undertaken by Dr David Starkey CBE the Historian and Broadcaster.
Company Guests were The Master Skinner, The Master Leatherseller and the Master Joiner. Personal guests included The Master Glover and members of several other Livery Companies.
The Master presented the 2015 Master Wheelwrights’ Award to Martin McElhatton (please see details in Section on this website), a Paralympian and Chief Executive WheelPower including the running of Stoke Mandeville Stadium and who gave a short response.
A Guard of Honour was provided by cadets from The Royal Artillery badged 97 and 109 Cadet Batteries of the South East London Army Cadet Force (SELACF).
From left to right: The Clerk: Sheriff Fiona Adler and her Consort David Moss: Mrs Andrea Romp: Upper Warden: Mrs Wendy Parmley: Ald and Sheriff Andrew Parmley: The Master, Mrs Catriona Armfield: Chief Guest Dr David Starkey CBE: Mrs Penelope Culverhouse: Renter Warden: Philip Jordan QPM and Honorary Chaplain.
Easter Court and Livery Dinner 2015
Held at Skinners’ Hall on Thursday March 26th.
At Court preceding the Livery Dinner Elliott Porte was admitted as Court Assistant. Soheila Benlevi, Nicola Daniels, Nicholas Dutt, Stuart Jackson and Anthony Le Cras were all Clothed in the Company.
At Dinner The Master welcomed the new Court Assistant and the new Liverymen and proposed the Toast to them. The Liverymen responded. Liveryman Lt. Col. Andrew Gillespie proposed the Toast to the Guests and who included the Master Carman and The Master Furniture Maker.
The principal guest, Nigel Pullman JP responded on behalf of all the guests.
From left to right: The Clerk: The Upper Warden: New Liveryman Barclay Lawrence : New Liveryman Stuart Jackson: New Liveryman Nicola Daniels : Nigel Pullman JP, Chairman of the Livery Committee and Guest Speaker: The Master: Paul von der Heyde, Master Furniture Maker: Lt.Col Paul Holder RLC, Master Carmen: New Liveryman Ms Soheila Benlevi: Bishop Michael Marshall, Honorary Chaplain, The Renter Warden: The Beadle
Weekend with Working Wheelwrights 6-8th March 2015
The Annual visit to Mike & Greg Rowland’s Workshop in Colyton, Devon was very successful and great fun again this year. It was attended by 22 Liverymen and their guests, of which 9 were new comers, although from the feedback they gave, they too are likely to become regular attendees. The accommodation and food at the Mason’s Arms Branscombe, where we stayed, was very good Mike, Greg and his apprentice George took us through all the elements of the wheel making process. This covered shaping the spokes, driving them into the hub, making the tangs on the spokes, fitting the felloes, measuring the wheel, bending, heating and fitting the tyre. Everyone took part and as the pictures of the two teams below show, the finished articles look good.
Greg, Mike and Doreen Rowland always look after us very well over the weekend, for which the Company is most grateful. Following the making of the tangs on the spokes (see the Master and Greg Rowland pictured) we adjourned for a splendid lunch prepared by Doreen helped by two of her granddaughters. George also played a big part in the weekend by passing on some of the skills he has been taught under the Wheelwrights’ Apprenticeship Scheme.
As a special treat this year, on the Saturday afternoon, Greg had very kindly organised trips around Colyton Village in a late 19 th Century Landau provided by Maria Bisset of Ben Ford Carriages Ltd Bridgwater. The pictures below show the Master, other Liverymen and their guests enjoying their ride in the sunshine.
On the Saturday evening we returned to the Masons Arms for a splendid meal, followed by the traditional drawing of lots to determine, who should take home the wheels. The lucky winners this year were the Master and Janet Clarke.
The Master was presented with a traveller that had been made personally by apprentice, George Richards. Our hosts, Mike, Greg and their ladies were given “thank you” presents.
On the Sunday morning an optional private tour of Beer Caves was arranged and attended by 13 of those that went on the weekend. John Scott provided a very interesting tour, covering the social history of the caves and the bats that inhabit them.
Given the success of the weekend it seems likely that it will be repeated in 2016.
Installation Dinner, Drapers' Hall
11th December 2014.
At Installation Court preceding the Livery Dinner Ian Armfield was appointed Master, David Viner as Upper Warden and Alan Culverhouse as Renter Warden.
The Past Master, Clare Chisholm proposed the Toast to the new Master who in his response set out his theme for the year and concluded by proposing a Toast to the new Liveryman, Mark Xu. The Toast to the Guest was proposed by Liveryman Sir David Pepper KCMG. The principal guest was Sir Robert Worcester KBE, DL who responded on behalf of all the guests. Other Company guests included The Master Tin Plate Worker, The Master Farmer and several Senior Representatives of our military affiliations. Personal guests included The Master Waterman, The Master Glover and The Master Mason. Cadet Staff Sgt Jacob Gleed of 97 (RA) Detachment, South East London Cadet Force – the Winner of the Wheelwrights Royal Artillery Cadet of the Year Award for 2014 also joined us for Dinner having earlier been presented with his framed Citation Certificate, Nery Gun Bronze and purse.
The Michaelmas Court and Livery Dinner 2014
Held at Saddlers’ Hall on Thursday October 16th.
At Election Court preceding the Livery Dinner, Ian Armfield was elected Master, David Viner was elected Upper Warden and Alan Culverhouse was elected as Renter Warden for the ensuing year.
At the Court Baroness Grey –Thompson DBE, DL swore her Declaration as Honorary Freeman and Ms Soheila Benlevi, Nick Dutt, Anthony Le Cras, Stuart Jackson and Mrs Rosemary McCollin swore their Declarations as Freemen.
In addition Stuart Boreham and Mrs Sandra Herbert were Clothed in the Company.
At Dinner the Master presented the Geoffrey Udall Prize for Paediatrics to Ms Zoe GB-Dumaka who responded with her thanks. (Please see Charity Section)
The Master welcomed the new Freemen and Liverymen and proposed a Toast to them. The two Liverymen responded. Past Master Graham Westwell proposed the Toast to the Guests and who included Col. John Bridgeman CBE, TD, DL Master of the Worshipful Company of Turners. The principal guest Baroness Grey-Thompson DBE, DL responded on behalf of all the Guests.
From left: The Clerk, The Master Turner, The Upper Warden, The Master, Baroness Grey- Thompson, The Renter Warden, The Hon. Chaplain, The Beadle.
Working Wheelwrights' Lunch 2014
The Lunch provides an opportunity for Wheelwrights from all over the Country to get together, as guests of the Company, to discuss developments in the trade and other current issues, such as the Apprenticeship Scheme. The Master is pictured below with many of the key people involved in the running of the Wheelwrights’ Apprenticeship under the Livery Companies Apprenticeship Scheme (LCAS), including our two apprentices.
Pictured from left to right are Liveryman Robert Hurford our Trade Specific Qualifier: David Johnson - LCAS Project Manager: Jo Mabbutt - LCAS Administrator: George Richards, Apprentice to Liveryman Greg Rowland (next to him) : The Master : Liveryman John Wright - Mentor to the apprentices : Joseph Fredricks, Apprentice to Yeoman Phillip Gregson on the end right.