The year began with the The City of London New Year Service at St Michael’s Cornhill. The annual event is held for those working in the City and members of the City livery companies. It was lead by the Rector of St Michael’s, Bishop Stephen Platten, and the lessons were read by Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of England, and Dame Fiona Woolf, former Lord Mayor. The Archbishop of Wales Dr Barry Morgan was the guest preacher and offered a New Year message of hope to bankers and traders in the Square Mile.

The following week the Plaisterer’s Company invited Ian Head and me to a Masters’ and Clerks’ Dinner. Their hall, which dates from 1971 and is decorated with Robert Adam style plasterwork is the largest in the City. A highly amusing response for the guests was given by Master Draper John Gifford CBE.

On March 25 the author Adrian Tinniswood gave the first of the Company’s ‘Rebuilding London’ London lectures, to mark the 350th Anniversary of the Great Fire. Adrian’s very engaging talk followed the progress of the Fire and the subsequent plans by Sir Christopher Wren and others to implement a renaissance plan for the Square Mile. The lecture was held in Gresham College where, coincidentally, both Sir Christopher Wren and Robert Hooke were lecturers. The room was full and the lecture was followed by a drinks reception.