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A range of items of interest to the Membership

Inter Livery Skiing

You're Invited: France, January 2019


Skiing photo of Chris HorneInter Livery Ski Championships: 24-25 January 2019 (Morzine, France)
This past winter, more than 300 members represented 40 Livery Companies in this two-day competition, which included slalom and giant slalom races; 18 prizes were awarded.

Liveryman Chris Horne will captain a Clothworkers’ team for January 2019. He is looking to recruit a team of eight skiers. All skill levels are welcome, and the competition is open to both Livery and Freedom. Guests are welcome to join the team for the weekend, although not to participate in the competition.

The Company will sponsor £300 per member towards the cost of the trip, but those interested should be aware that members will be responsible for the remainder of the entrance fee (£150 per member), plus their own travel and accommodation costs. The remaining cost, including flights, lift passes etc., is likely to be circa £1,000 for a fantastic trip. Early expressions of interest are necessary to secure favourable group booking rates.

Please contact Chris for more details (chrishorne@itagroup.com) or to get involved before the end of August.

New! Inter Livery Skiing (January 2019)

August 2018

Join our new Inter Livery Ski team.

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Farewell

From The Master, Dr Carolyn Boulter, DL


I write this as I approach my final week as Master and several people have asked me, “What have you enjoyed most this year?”. It is almost impossible to answer this question about a position that has so many facets. It has been a privilege and a joy to chair the Court, and a pleasure to feel the immense support and ability to work together that is a feature of our present membership. I have also enjoyed working with The Clothworkers’ Foundation Trustees, chaired by Alex Nelson. The Foundation, our charitable arm with its ever-growing grant giving, is – with Trusteeship and Textiles (which lie within the remit of The Company) – our raison d’être. I am proud to be part of The Clothworkers’, with its wide range of charitable giving and, especially, to have visited some of The Foundation’s previous projects in the North East, as well as meeting representatives of many others. We have a very efficient grants team who keep it all running very smoothly.

photo of master Caroline Boulter and Ann Buxton, the Pewterers' Company master.The year has given me an opportunity to look back at my own Clothworker journey. My first speech as a liverywoman, in 2002, was a toast to The Company. I recall that I spoke of our Company as a great oak tree with deep roots in tradition, the textile industry and care for those in need. It draws up the water from that soil for its life. Then at the top its unfurling leaves, present members provide the energy for new growth, linked to the roots by the conducting trunk and branches.

So, today, I think my answer might be that, as Master, you can see the whole tree, its history, its new leaves, its generosity in giving to those in need, its energy in engaging with the growing textile industry in the UK, and its concern that the charitable sector governs itself well and that its membership champions good governance in the third sector.

But the actual Hall has its own life, too, from the basement with Joanne as CH&CO catering manager and Chef Adam, with his team, and Heather as our Steward. The cleaning and maintenance staff have their headquarters there. These roots of the building are vital to the life of the whole. As we journey up through the building we branch through the formal rooms, for meetings and hospitality, to our Hall, with its new tapestry, and the lovely Master’s Flat, all maintained by the cleaning staff and maintenance staff. The second floor provides for our clerk and his executive assistant, beadle and the reception desk, our membership and communications manager, as well as the archivists. On the third floor our crucial HR, finance, property and investment teams labour away down the hall from the grants team. However Clothworkers’ Hall evolves in the future, we must keep this precious sense of community.

As Master, one gets amazing insight into how our extraordinary community works together and that, for me, has also been one of the best parts – to be living here, collaborating with the staff as well as with members, watching it all function and being part of the community. In particular, Joss, as Clerk, has welcomed us here; our frequent meetings have been a great joy and enhanced the year for me.

I am immensely grateful for it all but especially to all the staff who have looked after Hugh and me so well, and the members who have encouraged us with lovely messages. We have been very privileged, and we thank you all.

Image: Master Dr Carolyn Boulter who, on an outing with the Great XII Livery Companies, posed with Master of the Pewterers' Company, Ann Buxton, and the Suffragette outlines representing women working in Ironbridge who supported the cause a century ago.

Read a farewell message from the 2017-18 Consort below. A PDF of all the Master's speeches from this past year will soon be available on the Members' Area of the website, where we have also posted a playlist of a selection of recorded speeches (audio only).


From The Consort, Hugh Boulter

Just as Carolyn has been the first Lady Master of The Company, so I have been the first male Consort. As we chose to occupy the Master’s flat mid-week, returning home to Berkshire at the weekends, I have been keen to support Carolyn in her role as Master whenever possible and have come into frequent contact with many of the staff. They have been unfailingly cheerful and helpful.

Almost at the beginning of The Company’s year, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. From January to March, I had to have a lengthy course of radiotherapy at Guy’s Hospital. I was able to fulfil my commitments as Consort, but I have continued to have intermittent bouts of tiredness, and the staff have been very supportive to Carolyn and me, and I wish to thank them for that.

As a spouse or partner, I have had a programme of my own especially with the other spouses of the Great Twelve Livery Companies. This has included shared lunches at one anothers’ livery halls as well as visits to Billingsgate and Smithfield markets. We have frequently included the wives of the Lord Mayor and the Lay Sheriff, Samantha Bowman and Emma Redcliffe. It has been a chance for me to get a ‘feel’ for other livery companies and has  confirmed my view that the Clothworkers', under the guidance of Joss, the Clerk, is in the forefront of forward-looking developments. This will stand The Company in good stead for the future.

The year has been a wonderful opportunity to meet a wide range of people and attend fascinating events: the opening of the new gallery at the V&A, a private viewing of the of the Monet exhibition at the National Gallery, Lord Williams giving an overview of British society at the time of the Restoration in 1660, and talking to the Lord Mayor about his recent visit to Palestine and Israel. Our connection with St Olave’s has also been a source of great support to me, as have my visits to St Paul's Cathedral. I attended a seminar on the Crucifixion led by Paula Gooder and Mark Oakley, hoping to meet one or two fellow theologians. There was an audience of well over 600!

Our year was framed by two remarkable excursions. In August, we travelled to Edinburgh at the invitation of the Scots Guards when we attended the Royal Tattoo. While there, we had time to visit Dovecot Studios, where the Chris Ofili tapestry, The Caged Bird’s Song, was woven. Now, of course, it hangs in the Hall. The second trip was the Master’s outing to Oxford with visits to the Pitt Rivers Museum and the new Bodleian Library. It rounded off a memorable year, which we shall look back on with pleasure and pride.

Farewell From the Master and Consort

July 2018

Farewell from the Master and Consort.

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The Coffin Jump

First Aid Nursing Yeomanry Memorial

'Nothing Special Happened' is what the front of this new memorial in Yorkshire Sculpture Park says. Designed by artist Katrina Palmer and commissioned by 14-18 NOW and the Art Fund, this spectacular memorial commemorates the contribution of the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (FANY) to the First World War. The artwork consists of a hand-painted horse jump and trench, and will occasionally be brought to life through performance as a horse and rider gallop across the landscape to take the challenging jump – this is an allusion to the original vision for the FANY to be deployed on horseback. This all-female volunteer 'military' organisation wasn't founded until 1907, an even then the British Army did not want to be associated with them. However, they persevered and provided vital medical support to Belgian and French armies, and later helped to run medical convoys and ambulances for the British. The words on the memorial – quoting the diaries of FANY member Murial Thompson – challenge visitors to consider the everyday heroism shown by women on the front, but also the extraordinary determination shown by women fighting prejudice everywhere.

The Master, Clerk and other members of The Company attended the unveiling ceremony in mid-June, which was presided over by FANY Commander in Chief HRH Princess Anne.

Images: The Coffin Jump, Katrina Palmer. © 2018, courtesy the artist, Yorkshire Sculpture Park and 14-18 NOW. Photography by Jonny Walton/Kaptur.

The Coffin Jump

July 2018

A new memorial to the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry in Yorkshire.

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Inter Livery Sports

Celebrating Clothworkers' Achievements

Inter Livery Clay Shoot
Clothworkers sent three teams of four to the event in May, including three new participants: Master-Elect John Coombe-Tennant, John Pemberton-Piggot and Ralph Anderson. Team captain Charlie Houston described 2018 as a 'vintage year' for the Clothworkers, as the senior team won the flush with 77 out of 80 – an impressive victory as there were 110 teams competing. Champagne went to the senior team as well as to James Horne (senior team) and Ralph Anderson (junior team), who both scored above 60 out of 80 individually.

Inter Livery Rifle Shoot (Bisley)
This June event included four competitions: sniper rifle at 300 yards, target rifle at 900 yards, gallery rifle at 25 yards, and .44 black powder pistol at 15 yards. The ambitious Clothworkers hoped to maintain their first place position from last year, but the competition was fierce. After winning a glass tankard each for first place in the target rifle event, Edward Wates, Andrew Wates and Andrew John Stevenson Clarke managed a very credible second place out of 14 teams.

Anyone interested in joining us next year for the Inter Livery Clay Shoot (15th May or 22nd May) or the Inter Livery Rifle Shoot (31 May) should contact Charlie Houston  for more information.

Inter Livery Golf Competition
Clothworkers took third place in the Great Twelve Golf Competition at The New Zealand Golf Club this past April, where The Fishmongers' Company hooked the cup. In May, Clothworkers Charlie Hutchins and Justin Roberts stole the spotlight at The Dyers' Company event at The New Zealand Golf Club. Charlie won the Britten Salver, and Justin took the Bousfield Trophy. The pair then took the Mathieson Tankards. Team captain, Timothy Bousfield, will be leading the way in a match with the Scots Guards in July. Please wish them luck!

Great Twelve Sailing Challenge
This year Master Carolyn Boulter commissioned new caps for the team and attended the sailing competition with her consort, Hugh, and our Beadle, Michael Drummond. The annual event raises money for The Lord Mayor's Appeal, but also provides a wonderful opportunity for members of the Great XII to get to know one another. Clothworkers teams did not take a top place this year, but all who attended will have fond memories of the event.

Contact Captain Andrew Yonge if you are interested in participating next year.

Skiing photo of Chris HorneInter Livery Ski Championships: 24-25 January 2019 (Morzine, France)
This past winter, more than 300 members represented 40 Livery Companies in this two-day competition, which included slalom and giant slalom races; 18 prizes were awarded. Liveryman Chris Horne will captain a Clothworkers’ team for January 2019. He is looking to recruit a team of eight skiers. All skill levels are welcome, and the competition is open to both Livery and Freedom. Guests are welcome to join the team for the weekend, although not to participate in the competition. The Company will sponsor £300 per member towards the cost of the trip, but those interested should be aware that members will be responsible for the remainder of the entrance fee (£150 per member), plus their own travel and accommodation costs. The remaining cost, including flights, lift passes etc., is likely to be circa £1,000 for a fantastic trip. Early expressions of interest are necessary to secure favourable group booking rates, so please contact Chris for more details or to get involved before 15 August.

Inter Livery Sports Highlights

July 2018

Read about our Inter Livery achievements in golf, sailing and shooting.

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A Stolen Vulliamy Masterpiece Returns to Clothworkers' Hall

Collections Highlights

This past November, we were alerted by the antiquarian horologist David Penney to the imminent sale at auction of a Vulliamy ormolu mantel clock (c1826). The Vulliamys were a notable family of clockmakers, of Swiss origin, based in Pall Mall (London) in the 18th and 19th centuries. Vulliamy clocks were considered to represent the pinnacle of technology at that time, and one member of the family even held the appointment of King’s Clockmaker to George III.

We were informed the clock going on sale was the very same clock that was stolen from Clothworkers’ Hall in 1970, and were advised to speak to the auction house about its provenance. A preliminary search of our archives here at Dunster Court showed that a clock matching this description had indeed been stolen from the Reception Room landing on the night of Thursday, 23rd April 1970. However, we have only recently begun keeping detailed object files that include key acquisition, loan, and conservation records for each individual work of art in our collection. We did not have consolidated records on the clock and could not, with just hours to go before the sale began, establish concrete proof that our clock bore the unique Vulliamy reference number, 869, as did the one which was listed for auction.

Toovey’s, of Washington, West Sussex, had found no record of the clock on the Art Loss Register when undertaking due diligence before the auction. However, with the permission of the vendor, they kindly agreed to withdraw it from sale pending further enquiries on our part.

With the clock no longer ticking, metaphorically and literally (the movement is not at present working in this Vulliamy), time was now on our side. We were able to undertake the extensive research necessary to locate evidence to secure the clock’s safe return. It did not appear on our list of gifts, which exists for the 1940s onwards, but we were able to use old inventories and insurance valuations to trace its arrival at the Hall in 1957. As we had retained individual vouchers, albeit in uncatalogued bundles, for the period 1954-58 (coinciding with the building and furnishing of our sixth and current livery hall), we were able to locate the relevant invoice from H. Reeve and Son, dated 29th July 1957, for the timepiece. With great relief, we discovered the invoice listed the clock’s unique reference number: 869.

We could now prove that the clock was the same that had been stolen from us, but our research also showed that an insurance claim was pursued after the police failed to discover the culprit and recover the clock. No correspondence survives, but our Court Orders and account books confirmed that insurance monies were received from Commercial Union in October 1970. We referred the matter to our current insurance brokers, Marsh Ltd, for advice. Legally, ownership passes to the insurer once a pay-out has been made; however, modern insurance policies now include a right to buy back stolen works from the insurer at either the claim price or present market value, depending on the wording of the policy. It is understood no such clause existed in our insurance policy some 50 years ago. Unusually, our brokers also had no first-hand experience of securing  the return of stolen works subsequently put onto the market, so the process of recovering the clock has been a new experience for all involved.

After lengthy negotiations between Marsh and Aviva (the successor body to Norwich Union, and, in turn, Commercial Union), we were delighted when Aviva offered a gesture of goodwill, in acknowledgement of our long connection with the firm; they relinquished their rights to the clock and expressed a wish to see it rightfully returned to Clothworkers’ Hall. In a similar act of goodwill, the owner subsequently released the clock to us – at his own financial loss. It is understood the owner’s father had purchased the clock in good faith at an auction in Pulborough in the 1990s, but no auction catalogues survive and there are no records of its provenance before then. The Art Loss Register (a world-wide database) was created after the date of the theft, so the clock never appeared on it.

When the clock was stolen in 1970, there had been several workmen in the Hall, but all were considered to be trustworthy and the identity of the thief still remains a mystery. It may have been a spontaneous impulse to steal the clock, as a globe finial on the top of the clock was knocked off during the theft and found by the cleaner on top of the hotplate in the Livery Hall the next day. A replacement globe was subsequently acquired for the stolen clock, but eagle-eyed observers will notice a difference in its colouring, compared to the ormolu case.

Now safe at Clothworkers’ Hall, the clock will be go on permanent display following conservation, including cleaning and repairs to its mechanism. The Vulliamy experts Jonathan Betts OBE FSA, Master Clockmaker 2014, and Roger Smith FSA have suggested that it is likely that this clock was the inspiration for Benjamin Louis Vulliamy’s popular rococo revival clocks, which date from the same period. It is a charming work, and whilst Vulliamy clocks are no longer de rigueur as they once were, it is clearly an influential piece with a fascinating history.

The Company is most grateful to David Penney for bringing the clock and its sale to our attention.

An Antique Timepiece is Recovered

June 2018

A stolen mantle clock returns to Clothworkers' Hall.

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