My abiding memory of the Installation Service is at the end when we processed out to the Prince of Denmark’s March with Catherine Ennis on the organ accompanied by solo trumpet. As the duet rang through Wren’s St Lawrence Jewry rafters, nobody moved. The congregation were stuck to their seats as they enjoyed Purcell’s (or Jeremiah Clarke’s) piping 17th century music so appropriate for the church’s architecture.
It was great end to a service, splendidly MC’d by Canon David Parrott. Geoffrey Purves handed over his badge and gown, Richard Brindley moved to Upper Warden, Stephen Wagstaffe to Renter Warden and Barry Munday to Junior Warden.
We progressed to lunch in Stationers’ Hall via a very rainy Paternoster Square where Grant Smith took this photo of Temple Bar. The Company was closely involved in this Wren jewel’s re-erection on its present site and I am keen that the Company makes more use of it for meetings and small dinners.
The Stationers’ Hall was packed and had a lively buzz. We welcomed Masters of the Masons, the Engineers, the Furniture Makers, the Carpenters and the Plumbers, as well as the Master-elect of the Chartered Surveyors. In my year I hope to collaborate with other companies in the construction industry and take to heart Paul Morrell’s exhortations on collaboration in his report on the future of the professions.
Our guest was Richard Rogers, who gave a mesmerising speech on the changing nature of the City from the days when he was commissioned to design the Lloyd’s Building. I say it was mesmerising because I was sitting next to Lord Rogers’ as he spoke and I could see the rapt faces of his audience listening to his every word.
The Clerk had warned me that if lunch ran over everyone would have left by quarter to three. We got close to three o’clock and no one moved a muscle.
I’m not that good at jokes and avoid them in my speeches but I was quite pleased with my closing sally which went something like: “this lunch was so popular that we had to move from the Armourer’s Hall, decorated with pikes, blades and breastplates, to the Stationers’ Hall, a place of books, manuscripts, ink and parchment. So as a writer I am really pleased to know, that in today’s City Livery, that the pen still trumps the sword!” It got a few laughs.