Newsletter - May 2024

Welcome to the latest newsletter. It has been a very busy time both for myself and the Mistress. Since I last wrote, I have attended some far-flung events - the Shire Horse Show at Leamington, the Harness Horse Show at Ardingly, Treloars College in Hampshire and the Naming of HMS Agamemnon at Barrow-in-Furness, to name but a few. In addition, I have represented the Company at various lunches and dinners in the City. I also attended a City function outside the City for the first time in my year. The Blacksmiths' Lady Day Court Lunch was held at the Army and Navy Club in Pall Mall in the West End. Perhaps it is one of the signs of the heavy costs and charges within the City that all Livery Companies are complaining about.

Of all of these events, the Naming Ceremony for HMS Agamemnon must stand out. PM Chris Walton and I travelled up to Barrow together to attend a most impressive ceremony inside the high security submarine construction shed in the BAE Dockyard. 'Aggie', as she is known, is not yet launched. But, that will come in the next year. It was a great privilege to be there for this occasion on a very stirring and patriotic day.

I was very pleased to see so many of you at the Spring Court Lunch in Tallow Chandlers Hall on the 25th April. We were completely full and I hope everyone enjoyed themselves as much as I did. Again my thanks to the Communications Committee for all their work on producing this newsletter and the updates on our various social media channels.

With best regards,

George Anderson, Master 2024/25

Social Media Update 

Our latest social media figures show that activity for making connections and inviting followers remains much the same as last month. However, we do know that the connections we are making are following through, as is evident by the new Freemen we are so glad to welcome. 

Please remember that, to promote our Company and increase our membership (which we must do), it is vital that we try to expand our audience by making more connections. Please could we therefore ask each and every Loriner, through whichever social media channels they use, to...





Liveryman and Social Media Committee Lead, Bogdan Zaha

Loriners welcome newcomers at the London Harness Horse Parade

On Easter Bank Holiday Monday (1st April), the Master and Mistress, Court Assistant and Loriner Steward Stephen Macklow-Smiith and the Immediate Past Master and Past Mistress, attended the London Harness Horse Parade at the South of England Showground, Ardingly.

This annual parade, originally held in London, dates back to 1885 and the Loriners' Company, along with the Worshipful Companies of Farriers and Coachmakers, are long-standing supporters. The Parade brings together horses and carriages of all shapes and sizes and this year's event was certainly no exception.

The Loriners sponsor the Newcomer Award and the Master presented a number of these to various entrants making their first appearance, including some of younger years! The weather, whilst mixed, was reasonably kind this year for those attending and the odd shower did not deter our Master from presenting the Loriners awards with a smile.

Colin Gurley, Immediate Past Master

UKAFEA Loriners' Cup gets off to a flying start

On Tuesday 9th April, The Master, accompanied by The Mistress, The Steward to the UKAFEA Chris Walton and Helen and the IPM attended the first leg of the UKAFEA Loriners' Cup Competition 2024. The event was hosted by the RAF at Sparsholt College near Winchester.

After a rather wet and windy night before, the teams had only a strong wind to contend with on the day. On arrival, the Loriners were treated to a welcome cup of coffee before venturing out to watch the showjumping element of the competition. The RAF and The Army were at full strength. The RN, however, were one rider and two horses down. This was due to the storm over the Irish Sea and the fourth rider and her two horses were not permitted to travel in such conditions. The RAF graciously lent the RN a horse so that all three RN riders could compete.

The showjumping was followed by the dressage element held, thankfully, under cover. After the closest of margins, the RAF beat the Army to take first place and The RN came a credible third, despite being a rider down. The Master presented rosettes and prizes to the individual winners.

The Loriners were joined by riders and organisers at a very hearty lunch in a marquee, which stayed tethered despite some very strong gusts of wind. The Master took the opportunity to counter sign the Agreement between The Loriners and the UKAFEA, witnessed by representatives of all three services. All looked forward to the next leg in June.

Past Master and Steward, Chris Walton 

Special Profile: Freeman, Lieutenant Colonel Tom Armitage

This month, our newsletter features a special profile of one of our (relatively) new Freemen, Lieutenant Colonel Tom Armitage.

Tom is just about to finish a six-month military tour of Nigeria and will doubtless come back with many stories to tell. He has known our Gallant Clerk for many years and is married to Georgy Armitage, Assistant to the Clerk. Here is what Tom has to say about his most recent experiences:

'Nigeria is the most important country in the region. By 2050, it is projected to have the third highest population in the world. So, a strategic partnership with Nigeria is key to furthering our shared economic goals, democratic values and security interests. Since 2001, the UK military has trained approximately 40,000 members of the Nigerian Armed Forces and we have active programmes focused on areas such as counter improved explosive device training, which is critical to the Nigerian army’s ongoing fight against Boko Haram. Additionally, we send Nigerians to train in the UK and, earlier this month, we were delighted to see their first female officer commission from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.

'Nigeria is also a great country for horsemen and there is a long equine tradition in the north of the country, with Emirs and Sultans parading on horseback with hundreds of mounted followers. Thanks to the British, there is also a very active polo scene with clubs in most of the major cities, the oldest being Lagos Polo Club, which was founded in 1904 by British Navy officers. Under the auspices of the Nigerian Army Polo Association, I have been able to play at the Guards Polo Club in Abuja most weekends and have enjoyed riding a string of their ponies imported from the Sudan and Argentina. It’s a little different from the Guards Polo Club in the UK - it has its own mosque, tethered goats, more than 300 horses stabled around the field and a more relaxed take on health and safety (most grooms ride in flip flops). Suffice to say, I’ll miss it a lot when I return to the UK."

Freeman, Lt. Col. Tom Armitage

Wormwood Scrubs Pony Centre Showcases Art Works at Charity Auction

On Sunday 14th April, the Master and Mistress, accompanied by the Immediate Past Master, attended the Wormwood Scrubs Pony Centre (WSPC) Lucian Freud Art Auction Competition. The competition, which is now run annually, raises funds for the WSPC by auctioning the artwork produced by both junior and adult artists of all abilities.

With more than 45 lots available, there was a great selection of artwork, including paintings by TV personalities Martin Clunes and Annika Rice, as well as other named professional artists, local artists and young members who attend the Pony Centre.

Auctioneer Adrian Biddell of Olympia Auctions, which sponsored the event along with Ham House Stables and Tanya Baxter Contemporary, made the auction both fun and financially successful. The Master entered into the bidding frenzy and had much pleasure in presenting the winning trophies and the Lucian Fraud Art Medal. The auction raised a grand total of £4,800.00 for the Centre and our congratulations to the winning artists:  

Juniors, 1st Place - Sia Mesina

12 years and Under, 1st Place - Ryu Pashaee

18 years and Under, 1st Place - Mason Whittaker

Adult Artiist, 1st Place - Anne De’Ath

A Glimpse of Wormwood Scrubs Pony Centre, 1st Place - Tracey Jack-Matthews

Immediate Past Master, Colin Gurley


HMS Agamemnon officially named!

Following the formalities of the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding with the Royal Navy and HMS Agamemnon last December, the Royal Navy and BAE Systems invited the Master to the official naming ceremony, which was held on Monday 22nd April. HMS Agamemnon, named after the ancient Greek king, is the 6th of seven Astute submarines being built by BAE Systems in Cumbria.

The Master, accompanied by PM Chris Walton, made his way up to Barrow-in-Furness the day before - a rather torturous journey from Euston Station to Lancaster, followed by a two-hour bus replacement trip from Lancaster to Barrow-in-Furness. 

Approximately 120 people met at the Abbey House Hotel for coffee, before setting off to the BAE construction site at 12.30. All mobile phones and cameras were left at the hotel! The group were met at the entrance by Commander David 'Bing' Crosby, Commanding Officer of HMS Agamemnon, and then walked to their seats, flanked by local cadets from Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Army and RAF. A fine turn out indeed.

In the main hall, the group were welcomed by local children waving the Union Flag. The audience comprised many senior RN personnel, local dignitaries and construction workers, as well as affiliated organisations such as The Loriners. The boat’s crew were grouped either side of the bow of Agamemnon.

Cdr. Crosby gave the opening remarks before BAE Submarine MD, Mr Steve Timms, gave a welcome speech. The service was conducted by Chaplain Mark Street RN. After prayers, everyone sang the Naval Hymn followed by the National Anthem. Mr Timms then invited Lady Sedwill to officially name the boat, and a bottle of local beer was broken near the hull. Cdr. Crosby made the closing remarks.

The party then returned to the hotel for a drinks reception and lunch. Before sitting down, PM Chris Walton introduced The Worshipful Company of Loriners, acknowledging its history and connection with HMS Agamemnon, before the Master presented a shield to Cdr Crosby. You can see a short clip of the naming ceremony here.

Past Master, Chris Walton

Parade Inspection for Tottenham Army Cadets

On Tuesday 23rd April, St George’s Day, the Master accompanied by the Steward, Under Warden John Morton, visited the Tottenham Army Cadets. They were very impressed by the work being done by the officers in a deprived area of London. After watching various squads of cadets drilling, the Steward and Master inspected a parade and chatted to the cadets on parade. 

They were also able to talk to two cadets who, thanks to financial help from the Loriners, had gone on a cadet camp to Australia. They were very appreciative of the help given to them and described how much it meant to them. 

Master, George Anderson


Spring Court Lunch welcomes New Admissions and Excellent Speeches

This year, the Loriners' Spring Court Lunch was held on Thursday 25th April at Tallow-Chandlers Hall in Dowgate. The Court Meeting was well planned and marshalled by our Gallant Clerk and it went very smoothly. We admitted Liveryman Mark Skelton onto the Court as an Assistant and also four new Freeman were admitted. The Recruitment Committee are certainly to be congratulated on their work towards increasing our numbers.

The Lunch afterwards was completely full and a convivial time was had by all in the lovely surroundings of Tallow-Chandlers Hall. Our guests included the Masters of the Leathersellers Company, the Founders Company and the Coachmakers Company.

Mr David Thomas was the guest speaker and he gave an excellent talk on the coaches in the Royal Mews and the Stirrups, which the Loriners gave to her late Majesty for the State Coach. The Master Coachmaker was so impressed by his speech that she asked to keep a copy! 

Master, George Anderson

Communications Committee

May 2024