For the past eight years The Lord Mayor has hosted a Big Curry Lunch in Guildhall. The event has raised nearly £1.4 million for The Soldiers’ Charity, helping soldiers and veterans who have served in Afghanistan and Iraq. On December 7 I attended a reception at the Honourable Artillery Company HQ on City Road to launch next year’s lunch. The Lord Mayor and Michael Hockney, who leads the organisation of the event, addressed the assembled masters. The charity is supported by many of the Livery companies.

 

The 2016 lunch is on 7th April. Tickets are £95, which includes, beer and wine.  Click here to buy your tickets online. Alternatively you can call Amy Kenyon on 0207 811 3960 or e-mail akenyon@soldierscharity.org

 

Later that week I held a meeting, together with Master of Students Anne Markey, of members of the company involved in teaching to discuss ways that the company can build up its student membership, make sure that our mentoring process is working well and that we properly support student events. The evening was hosted by Roger Hawkins in Hawkins Browns’ commodious offices in Clerkenwell and attended by a dozen or so practitioners who are involved in education. We had a lively and productive discussion, much of which revolved around the relationship between practice and academia. A fuller report of the proceedings will be placed on the website although two immediate actions will entail greater promotion of (and higher attendance of members at) the Student Travel Award lecture and regular visits  to architects’ offices for sudents – although other members of the company will be welcome to come along too!

 

At the end of the week I had lunch with Masters of Companies involved in construction to discuss what events we might collaborate on to mark the 350th Anniversary of the Great Fire. Representatives of the Masons, Plumbers, Carpenters, Chartered Surveyors and Constructors were there and we agreed to look at a series of walks around the City tracing the progress of the fire and to arrange an event in September to debate the long term impact of the disaster on the City and the role of our various professions in the resilience of the Square Mile, in the past and into the future.

St Lawrence Jewry was packed for the Annual Carol Service on December 19th held in conjunction with the Constructors’ Company. The music, with brass accompaniment to the organ, was outstanding – so much so that the musicians and choir received a standing ovation from the congregation at the end. Not something that happens very often. We then repaired to the City Centre for wine and mince pies.