2016/2017 was a busy year for the Club and a variety of different events were organised for members and their guests, although each one has had one common component – namely food and wine!
It’s always a special year for a Ward Club when one of their Patrons becomes Lord Mayor and this year was no exception. As a result, the Club organised several activities to support Alderman Andrew Parmley’s Mayoral Year and we set the scene in October with an illustrated lecture in St James Garlickhythe on ‘Pageantry and Ceremonial in the Square Mile’ by Mark Lewis and this was followed in November by entering a float in the Lord Mayor’s show. It was an exciting and great day, albeit damp, but everyone enjoyed themselves and the Lord Mayor certainly appreciated all the planning, work and effort that had gone into the event.
Later in November, a Vintry and Dowgate team continued to put the Club’s name on the map by entering a quiz against about twenty other teams to raise funds for the Immediate Past Chairman’s Charity Challenge – and won. The prize was a fantastic gastronomic lunch in the Private Dining Rooms at Nomura.
In December, members attended the Carol Service at St James Garlickhythe and afterwards enjoyed lunch at Coq D’Argent and in February, a large number of people had a trip the Magic Circle Headquarters in Euston and were amazed by the sleight of hand and dexterity of those performing both close up and in the stage show.
March saw a large number of people attending the Gala Concert at St Paul’s Cathedral, supporting the Lord Mayor and his charities as he played Saint-Saens Organ Symphony with the London Symphony Orchestra. It was a truly memorable evening, especially the sight of him processing up the aisle of St Paul’s escorted by his personal bodyguard, the Pikemen of the Honourable Artillery Company.
In April, members enjoyed a tutored tasting at the Wine Library on Tower Hill, learning about many different wines – and somehow, everyone got back home safely.
The following month, a Historical Walk and Beating of the Bounds around our two Ward Boundaries was organised and those participating were amazed to see our two Patrons, Alderman Alison Gowman and the Lord Mayor, appear on the river, beating the water at the river boundaries.
Spencer House was the venue for a visit in June and members greatly enjoyed learning about its history and the Spencer Family. In July, we were lucky enough once again to enjoy our Summer Party on the roof of Nomura who are always so generous with their hospitality – terrific food, wine and company.
The Club’s final event of the year was the Civic Lunch held in the Egyptian Hall at Mansion House. It was very well supported with over 270 people dining and we were honoured to host the Lord Mayor, Lady Mayoress and Sheriff Peter and Lindy Estlin. It was a very special occasion in the history of the Club and we were able to pay tribute to Bill Fraser for his tremendous support over the decades. The number and scope of activities undertaken over the year can only be managed with the help of many people and I am grateful to everyone for their unstinting work and support.