06 April 2020

Covid-19 update

Good morning to you all,

I hope that you are keeping well and have coped with the last three weeks.

I will be sending you a message every couple of weeks or so, whilst we are in lockdown, so that I can keep you up to date with Loriner news. It would be lovely if you wished to let me know how you all are and if you have anything you would like me to report to the Membership.

I have to begin with the sad news,

It is with sadness that I inform you that Past Master and Honorary Assistant Christopher Giles died last week. Christopher was Master Loriner in 2008. He has had bad health for some considerable time.

Our hearts also go out to Past Master John Punch whose lovely wife Ann, died last night. Ann had been unwell for some months but it does not make the loss any easier. Many of you will remember Ann from John’s year of Mastership (2015) during which she was the most wonderful support to him and the Company.

We are certainly in straitened times and it highlights how important human contact is. Zoom is, I think, the blessing of all time – keeping families, friends and businesses in contact. The postponed Spring Court Meeting was held on 26 March 2020 via Zoom and this worked very well. Sadly not followed by lunch!

I periodically meet with the Wardens and the Clerk in this way – it is good to “see” each other. And it has resulted in us all tidying up our studies!! We intend to continue with the Committee meetings during this time and these will be conducted via Zoom enabling the Company to plan for when we are back to normal -whatever that might be!

Please be assured that whilst we may be in lockdown the Wardens, Clerk and I, together with the Court, continue to run the Company with various projects on the go to ensure that the Company remains in good shape.

Our Stewards have also been in touch with all our charities to assure them of our continued support. I have also had a very welcome letter of support and encouragement from HRH The Princess Royal, Past Master and Honorary Assistant and Liveryman.

My year as Master is proving interesting. After the Installation Dinner, which I really enjoyed, and prior to the lockdown, I attended some events hosted by other Companies. The Founders’ Dinner, Bishopsgate Ward Club Civic Lunch, the Saddlers’ Awards’ Reception, and The Pewterers’ Dinner. A team of four Loriners entered the Inter-Livery Pancake Race – Simon Walsh as a jockey with horse, Tricia Nassau-Williams as the Lady Liveryman, Jonathon Waugh was the Liveryman and I took part as Master. I have to say wearing the robe, the badge with an apron and paper chef’s hat was quite a challenge. We had to run around Guildhall Yard as well as toss the pancake twice – Yes, I did manage to keep mine in the pan! There are photographs here is the link.

I visited Treloar College which was an inspiration and the performance of Midsummer Night’s Dream was terrific. I have also visited Capel Manor College and Hartpury University and College to see for myself the equestrian education which takes place at both sites.

As a result of the current situation, at the Court meeting some difficult decisions were taken. The Spring Lunch as you already know was cancelled at short notice as the Hall was anxious to adhere to the Government policy of closing all public function rooms. It was also necessary to cancel the April Loriner Supper – however, this will be reinstated once we have the all clear and it is prudent to do so. Sadly, the Mansion House Banquet on June 9 has also been cancelled. The thoughts being that even if things start to get back to normal by the end of May – it is highly likely that people will want to get life back on an even keel – work, family life and in some cases financially before coming to the City for a social event. The July Lunch – which is the Awards’ Lunch has also been deferred until later in the year. Taking a realistic view and also listening to the City pundits it will probably be September before the City will be nearing normality.

There is, however, Good News! It has been decided that we will move the Autumn Court Dinner from 8 October to 4 November 2020 and it will be a Celebration Dinner to be held at Stationers’ Hall! This will be a special evening – with music, good food and an extended time for the Stirrup Cup enabling people to mingle and catch up on news. Please put this in your diary!

James Brown, Glover, has sent to me the Loriners’ Dinner menu card and seating plan for a dinner held on 8 May 1922. I can’t promise that we will have the same or even similar menu as the one below!

Clear Turtle Soup – Fillets of Trout Lobster and Prawn sauce – Curried Whitebait – Mazarine of Sweetbread – Saddles of Mutton, French Beans and new potatoes – Braized York Ham – Roast Ducklings and French peas -Asparagus – Royal Pudding and Fruits – Strawberry Cream Ice – Savoury and Desserts – Coffee.

We also very much hope to “see” you before the Autumn and so the Wardens, Clerk and I will be inviting you to a Zoom social event after Easter. All you will need is to download the Zoom App, and be at your computer/ipad at the specific time and date – preferably with a glass of wine in your hand so that we can have a quick catch up and toast the Company!

I also include a video message from the Company Chaplain from St Lawrence Jewry. Please view this here.

I also include an Easter message from the Rt Hon the Lord Mayor here.

Watch this space!

In the meantime, Keep Well and Stay Safe


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