Newsletter - September 2023

Dear Fellow Loriners,

Welcome to a bumper edition of our September newsletter. I make no apology for its size or length and would encourage you to read each and every story. As you will see, there has been a great deal happening and I am indebted to all those involved in arranging, supporting and reporting on the numerous events throughout the summer.

A great deal of effort has been focussed on launching our social media offering on both Linkedin and Instagram and I would encourage you all to visit these sites in order to keep abreast with our regular updates. I am very much looking forward to seeing as many of you as possible at our amazing candle-lit Autumn Court Dinner at Goldsmiths’ Hall on Wednesday 18th October. Tickets are going fast. Also, for our Isle of Wight Loriners’ Away Weekend, 3rd - 5th November, there are now only five rooms left. So, if you haven’t already booked, grab yours quickly! Details of both exclusive events appear on our website and your support would be most welcome. Why not bring a guest?

With kindest regards to you all,

Colin Gurley

Master 2023/24

216 Tottenham Cadets go Down Under

In the March newsletter, we reported on how the Loriners have supported the 216 Tottenham Cadets since 2008. This year, the Company provided funding for two of their senior cadets to join 20 Army Cadets from Middlesex and NW London Army Cadet Force, together with six Cadet Force Adult Volunteers to travel to New Zealand and Australia for a 14-day exchange programme.

Arriving in Auckland on 1st July, the cadets toured the New Zealand Army main training base in Waiouru, the Army and National Museums in Wellington and the Pukeahu National War Memorial, taking part in The Last Post and laying a wreath at the Tomb of the New Zealand Unknown Warrior. The tour of New Zealand concluded with a formal dinner at Trentham Camp hosted by a senior New Zealand Defence Force Officer. 

The second week of the tour took in a multitude of sights in Australia, including the Japanese War Cemetery in Cowra, Parliament House and the Defense Force Academy in Canberra. The cadets also had the opportunity to showcase their creativity and ingenuity on a Leadership Reaction Course, before visiting the Australian War Memorial and laying a wreath during the Last Post ceremony. 

Throughout the tour, the cadets were generously hosted, with accommodation and celebration dinners at every turn. Tim Rayson, Captain ACF International Training LO, wrote a letter of thanks to the Master, with the concluding message: Mission Accomplished!

Dr Richard Foster, Court Assistant & Steward for 216 Tottenham Cadets

Annual Graduation and Awards Ceremony at Caple Manor College

On Wednesday 5th July I had the very great pleasure of representing the Loriners at the Annual Graduation and Awards Ceremony at Caple Manor College in Enfield, North London and was delighted to be joined by Liveryman Kate English. We were met by the new College Principle, Mr Peter Brammall. Other Livery Companies were represented by The Prime Warden of The Saddlers, The Masters of the Curriers, Coach and Coach Harness Makers and Past Master Cordwainer.

In the morning, we were given a tour of the teaching facilities, including the various classrooms, and an exhibition of work by first and second year students. The quality of the work displayed was most impressive and it was wonderful to engage with the students and to listen to their plans for the future.

We then gathered in the main marquee, where we were joined by Lady Salisbury, Patron of the college. After lunch the prize giving commenced. Each company representative made a short speech on the history of their company, its current activity and involvement in education, before presenting prizes to the successful students.

Immediate Past Master, Chris Walton

Rehoming Horses at Glenda Spooner farm

On 20th July 2023, my wife Sandy and I visited the Glenda Spooner Farm, one of four WHW Rescue Centres for neglected and ill-treated horses in the UK.

Set in 220 acres of glorious countryside overlooking the Somerset Levels, the Farm caters for up to 100 ‘equine residents’ at a time. It is run by a professional and compassionate team of full-time, part-time and volunteer staff, who are dedicated to the recovery and welfare of the horses in their care. In addition to a tour of the extensive hillside pasture, where horses in recovery await rehoming, we were shown the impressive facilities, including a quarantine area, where new arrivals are assessed and examined by a local veterinary surgeon. The horses are then transferred to the main facility (appropriately known as ‘The Barn’), where they follow a recovery programme designed to restore them to health and develop trust and confidence in their new handlers.  

The horses’ personalities are also noted to ensure that they can be sent to appropriate and suitable new homes. Most of the new arrivals are obese, so each horse has its dietary needs built into its recovery programme. In addition to the large, airy and modern ‘Barn’, the Farm also has a large indoor training arena, equine exercise area, visitor centre, café, conference suite and a tack shop, with a large amount of lorinery on sale!

Our thanks go to Farm Manager, Claire Dickie and to Sarah, her assistant, who gave up her time to guide us expertly around the extensive facilities and introduce us to staff and horses, as well as answering our many questions. Sarah pointed out that, just like other WHW Centres, the Farm is not a sanctuary. It is dedicated to rehoming horses that come into their care. It was a pleasure to visit the Farm and see first hand how the Company’s donations are used.

More information about the Glenda Spooner Farm, which is open to the public (subject to pre-booking), as well as the other centres and the 14 overseas countries where WHW operates, can be found at

Court Assistant, Graham Pattenden

Winning by a Whisker!

On Thursday 27th July, the Master, accompanied by the IPM and Court Assistant Stephen Macklow-Smith, attended the Royal Tournament 2nd leg of the Loriners' Cup, hosted by the Army at the Defence Animal Centre near Melton Mowbray. The Defence Animal Centre is the location for the UK Armed Forces Equestrian Association and this round of the tournament comprised both dressage and show jumping. 

Not surprisingly, the competition was fierce. However, the Army team triumphed by a mere seven points over the RAF, with the Royal Navy unfortunately unable to field a team for this round.

The Master had the pleasure of meeting all the riders and presenting rosettes and awards on behalf of the Company. Brigadier Simon Stockley, Chairman of the Army Equestrian Association, spoke warmly to the VIP guests of the long and highly valued relationship with the Loriners, without whose ongoing support, the four separate events that make up the Loriners’ Cup, simply would not take place. The weather was, thankfully, kind to those attending and, although windy, the forecasted heavy rain managed to stay away!

Pictures courtesy of the Army Equitation Association. 

Master, Colin Gurley

Celebrating The Loriners' Charity Golf Day

Sixty golfers competed in the annual Loriners’ Charity Golf Day on Monday 7th August at Sundridge Park Golf Club. The event was supported by teams from seven fellow Livery Companies. The weather was kind to us on the day and the course was in great condition, with the greens running fast and true.  

The trophy for the best score by a liveryman of the Loriners’ Company was won by David Horder, whilst the Paviors took the team prize on the day (their total being the best two scores from four on each hole). Prizes were awarded by the Master Loriner after the post-golf meal. More than £1700 were raised on the day in support of the local branch of Riding for the Disabled.

Peter Long, Captain of Sundridge Park Golf Club and Loriner

We made it through the rain!

With a record attendance of 40 Loriners and their guests holding tickets to attend this year's Festival of British Eventing at Gatcombe Park, many of us suffered a lengthy car journey in continuous torrential rain on Saturday 5th August, to arrive at Tetbury a day in advance.

The bar of the Close Hotel resounded to the sounds of happy Loriners looking forward to the next days event. However, our excitement was to be short-lived. Shortly after 10pm, it was announced that, due to the damage already caused to both the course and the car park (both reduced to a boggy, muddy, mess), the organisers had been forced to cancel all the Sunday competitions. A big blow. Were we downhearted? We Loriners are made of stronger stuff!

Sunday morning saw a remarkable weather improvement, with the promise of sunny periods and the chance of just a few passing light showers. Too late to save Gatcombe. But, moving onward, we ventured out with many visiting Westonbirt Arboretum, Castle Coombe and Broadway instead.

In the evening the management of the Close Hotel kindly provided us with a private dining area, where 23 of us enjoyed a pre-dinner drink and then dined together.

Master, Colin Gurley

Presentation at the Pony Club Championships, Cowdray Park

On Sunday 13th August, the Mistress and I, accompanied by the Senior Past Master Nigel Berman and Court Assistant Alexandra Maule, Loriner Steward for the Pony Club, attended the final day of the Pony Club Polo Championship at Cowdray Park.

This three-day event comprises numerous Pony Club Polo teams of ages from six to 21 years, from Novice to Advanced abilities. The Company sponsors the Loriners' Challenge Trophy, which was first donated in 1998 and is presented to the winners of the Loriner / Rendell Division 1. With seven teams competing this year, the competition was fierce. However, the eventual winners were the Royal Artillery Polo Pony Club West Hants, who received the Loriners' Trophy, which I had the pleasure of presenting, together with Loriners Winners Medals.

Charles Whittington, Chairman of the Pony Polo Club, welcomed our Loriners group in his prize giving address to all the assembled teams and parents and he spoke warmly of the support provided by the Loriners Company over many years.

Master, Colin Gurley

Raring to go at the Races!

 The August Bank Holiday on Monday 28th August is the great annual Epsom Family Race Day and, once again, we were extremely lucky to secure The Royal Box in the Queen Elizabeth Stand to host fellow Loriners and guests for the event. 

A total of 45 people attended and were treated to a sumptuous pre-race buffet lunch, a very informative talk by renowned horse trainer Adam West and, of course, the best view of the finishing line. All bets were on for a total of six races, including the Worshipful Company of Loriners Handicap Stakes, with the winning prize presented in the Winner's Enclosure by Master Colin Gurley and Mistress Anne Gurley.

As with all Loriners’ events, raising money for charity is high on the agenda and the Epsom Race Day was no exception. A total £170 was raised during the course of the day, with all proceeds going to the Loriners' Charitable Trust. Special thanks must go to Liveryman Lauren Morton for providing a much needed and well-researched overview of all the runners, jockeys and race conditions. Also many thanks go to Under Warden John Morton, his wife Rebecca and the directors of Epsom Racecourse for making our day so special. It truly was a memorable occasion!

Liveryman, Sarah Lloyd

Taking the Reins at Woburn Abbey

On Saturday 2nd September, the Master and Mistress, together with 16 Loriners and guests, travelled to Woburn for what can only be described as a truly exclusive Loriner event - a carriage drive around the beautiful grounds of the Woburn Abbey deer park.

Whilst the deer park is open to walkers, it is currently closed to all traffic (and will remain so for sometime yet) and our three carriages, drawn by pairs of beautifully turned out horses, enjoyed having exclusive use of the roadways.

Following a most enjoyable lunch at the Woburn Hotel, we met our host and principal carriage driver, David West of Westways Carriages, for a two-hour ride in glorious sunshine around the extensive grounds, spotting numerous herds of deer in the process. Upon our return, we were privileged to be able to tour David’s stables and see an amazing collection of carriages in pristine condition and in regular use.

Our visit was greatly enjoyed by all and the Master recorded a sincere vote of thanks to Liveryman Tricia Nassau-Williams for suggesting and arranging this special event. Watch this space - there are already rumours that next year we might repeat this outstanding visit.

Master, Colin Gurley

Stay up to date with all our latest news - follow us on social media

You no longer have to wait for our latest news. Now, you can stay up to date with regular posts sent straight to your phone or laptop and then just follow, like, comment and tag us on Linkedin and Instagram! 

Since launching our social media initiative onto these two specially selected platforms in July, we have sent more than 100 posts, ranging from the presentation of prizes at the Summer Court Lunch to the Pony Club Championships at Cowdrey Park. There are also many other interesting posts, which feature details on our charities, education programmes and Company history. 

Social media is an important and effective tool in helping the Company raise awareness, increase membership and connect and engage with its members. Thanks to the enthusiasm and expertise of our new Communications Committee member, Liveryman Bogdan Zaha, we have attracted 230+ Connections on Linkedin and 250+ Followers on Instagram.

By following, liking and commenting on the posts of the Worshipful Company of Loriners on social media you can help increase the reach of the Company, demonstrating that we enjoy our membership and encouraging others to join us. A short message of encouragement or appreciation of your experience or a thought is always welcome. If you already have an Instagram or Linkedin account, please tag us and add comments to your posts when you take part in our events. If you don’t, simply click on the links below and start following us today!

Please do sign up, do share, do like and do comment on our posts!

Chairman of the Communications Committee, Mark Skelton