Events 2006-07: Master Mrs Ann Benson

Photo of Mrs Ann Benson

AGM and Dinner at Balls Bros, Minster Court February 2006
The new Master, Mrs Ann Benson, started her year at the AGM  and at the dinner her guest speaker was Mr Peter Nelson, Assistant Town Clerk.  He talked about the changes to the unique electoral system applying to the Corporation, however, this was nowhere near as dry as it sounds and the evening was most entertaining.

Crab Cakes
Shoulder of Lamb with Bubble and Squeak
French Apple Tart with Vanilla Ice Cream
Coffee and Chocolates

New Members’ Evening at The Bunch of Grapes, Leadenhall Market - 30th March
A social evening giving new members the opportunity to meet the old hands, in particular the Committee and Past Masters.

Visit to St Pauls Cathedral
A guided tour around the Cathedral where 20 members enjoyed the visit around the church floor, Crypt, Library and a glimpse of the famous geometrical staircase as well as the view from the West End down the Nave.  The visit ended in the Trophy Room where Wren’s Great Model, based on an earlier plan for the Cathedral in the form of a Greek cross, was displayed.  After the tour several members and guests made the tortuous climb up to the Dome only to find they were a few minutes too late to take in the view as the door was shut!!

Visit to the Museum and Library of the Order of St John, Clerkenwell
We met in the Reception Area for a guided tour which included the Chapter Hall, Grand Priory Church and Crypt as well as the Museum and Library. St John’s Gate is the Headquarters of the Most Venerable Order of St John and museum of the British Order of St John.  Originating in 1504, and steeped in history, it was the entrance to the English headquarters of the crusading Kings Hospitallers, whose Grand Priory in Clerkenwell existed from 1140 until Henry VIII’s reign.  The Gatehouse has fulfilled many functions in its lifetime including offices for the Master of Revels to Queen Elizabeth I, a printing works and a public house; its current role is a little more sober!  After the tour we adjourned to the local Davy’s Wine Bar “Puncheon”for a two course supper.   

Annual Service at St Peter-upon-Cornhill and Civic Luncheon in Vintners’ Hall The Master chose Vintners’ Hall for the Civic Luncheon as this was the first Livery Hall she visited when she started in the City and worked for the port wine company Cockburns.  Her guest speaker was Tim Stanley-Clarke a great authority on Port and Madeira as well as being an international judge and writer for various wine magazines and a most entertaining speaker.  It was an excellent lunch with the Lord Mayor, David Brewer, and his wife, Tessa, enjoying the convivial atmosphere, along with 150 other guests and members.

Walking tour of film locations in City of London and supper
Blue Badge guide, Ross Knox-Holmes, took us on a magical mystery tour of an area of London not perhaps as popular as some, but far more interesting than most!  We met up outside Farringdon Tube Station and set off around the Smithfield, Charterhouse, St Bartholomew’s Hospital area, taking in Little Britain, Old Bailey and ending up near St Paul’s Cathedral.  The tour took in some areas and buildings that have been used in film locations and the evening finished with supper in Café Rouge on Ludgate Hill.

Petanque evening at Balls Bros, Hays Galleria
Only the exceptional few knew the rules for Petanque but with paella and copious quantities of Rioja nobody seemed to mind! Rules appeared to be variable, but the evening went well with members Sue and Gregg Spence winning a bottle of champagne - but nobody quite knew why!

Californian Wine Tasting
The wine tasting was led by Past Master Mark Gubbins and held at St Olave's Church Hall.  Wines from various vineyards of California were tasted together with a selection of English and Continental cheeses.  Past Masters Julie and Mark Gubbins presented the Club with a magnificent embroidered banner at this event and it is proudly displayed whenever possible.

Lord Mayor's Show - Saturday 11th November
As our own Ward Alderman Mr John Stuttard (later to become Sir John) had been elected Lord Mayor and installed at the Sulent Ceremony on Friday 10th November  we were invited to take part in the parade.This was the first time since the 1940's that an Alderman from the Ward of Lime Street had ben elected Lord Mayor enabling the Ward Club to participate.

After a 2 minute silence at 11.00am there the event commenced with an RAF fly past over the Mansion House, including an Islander who attempted to drop poppies over the Route. Many of the floats reflected the Lord Mayor's interests including the time he spent in Finland and in China with the VSO - there was even a display of Rolls Royce cars..

Lord Mayors coach

Over 30 Members, family and friends participated under the chosen theme for the event of "City of Londonl - City of Learning ". Through the very kind generosity of Alderman Richard Walduck we were extremely fortunate to be given the use of the famous Michelin open top bus.  On the top deck a class of St Trinians where not paying attention to their teacher – surrounding the bus we had “Chinese” sporting Abbacus followed by “Greeks” trying to describe Pythagerous's Theorum.

Lime Street Ward club and Michelin Bus at Lord Mayor's Show

The team immediately behind the bus looked as if they were playing a form Quiditich, (a game loosely based on a sport played by "Harry Potter") Behind them and closing off our section came Victorian and Medieval school kids (some a little bit too old for school) -  a really great occasion. 

For more pics click here


Annual Carol Service - St Peter upon Cornhill - a well supported traditional Christmas service. The Choir of St Mary the Virgin, North Shoebury were as ever in great voice. Members and their friends donated an amazing selection of presents for Good Shepherd Mission especially for the younger children.

Visit to Magic Circle
50 Members and guests were fascinated by close-up magic and a short presentation followed on the history of magic and The Magic Circle and the opportunity to visit the museum.  The visit also included a stage show where doves flew out of handkerchiefs, Russian roulette was played and won, and enthralling magic was performed. A literally unbelievable evening. £50 per person.