The Lord Mayor’s Big Curry Lunch 2017 – update

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You may be interested to read the report we have recently received from the organising committee of the Lord Mayor’s Big Curry Lunch. This year the lunch raised £188000 for ABF, the Soldiers’ Charity, of which the Fruiterers raised £3630. For us to be able to donate this sum our thanks are due to the generosity of New Spitalfields Market, Belazu, Rodanto and Wilkin & Son, Tiptree.

We are also grateful to all those who helped on the day, especially the “Flower Girls” from The Susan Handy School of Dance.

To read the whole Post-Lunch Report please follow this link: Post Lunch Report


The Royal Bath & West Show – Shepton Mallet – Thursday 1st June 2017

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Once again The Fruiterers had a significant presence at this year’s Royal Bath & West Show. As one of the sponsors of the Orchards and Cider Pavilion not only do we have a stand every day that the Show takes place (Wednesday to Saturday, 31st May to 3rd June 2017) we also provide one of the judges for the cider competition in the person of our Master, Dennis Surgeon.

Liveryman Adrian Padfield and the Clerk at our stand

Liveryman Adrian Padfield and the Clerk at our stand

This year the judges tasted nearly 100 different ciders from home and abroad.

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The Master,  together with “celebrity” judge Kevin McCloud of Grand Designs fame, was tutored by two expert judges (Helen Thomas – Chief Executive of her family owned cider makers Westons, and Nick Bradstock – former Chairman of the Europe Cider Makers Organisation) to ensure that every entry was judged by the same criteria.

The Master & Kevin McCloud with judge

The Master & Kevin McCloud withHelen Thomas

Kevin McCloud in discussion with as the Master looks on

Kevin McCloud in discussion with Nick Bradstock as the Master looks on.

The success of this briefing and guidance can be seen in the fact that all four judges were unanimous in their decisions.

As the decisions were made in the various categories the winners were announced with the exception of the winner of the prestigious Fruiterers’ Cup which was a closely guarded secret until the presentation took place 3 p.m.

After they had completed their task the judges adjourned to the Council Tent for a wonderful lunch in the company of other Fruiterers, their guests, Orchards & Cider Council members and fellow Liverymen and Officers from the Pewterers’, Woolmen’s and Coopers’ Companies.

The winner of the Cup was announced to much applause. Nick Poole (who had also, that morning, won the prestigious Royal Bath & West’s Gold medal for a lifetime’s contribution to the Cider Industry) proved to be a very popular winner with his Lancombe Rising, a French style, keeved cider.

The Master presents the Fruiterers' Cup to Nick Poole

The Master presents the Fruiterers’ Cup to Nick Poole

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Past Master Anthony Turnbull and his wife, Petronell

Past Master Anthony Turnbull and his wife, Petronell

Past Master Anthony Turnbull is recovering from a serious illness so it was good to see him and Petronell at the Show looking extremely fit.

For more information on the results of the cider competition please follow this link: cider-results 

(More details of the cider competition can be found at: http://www.bathandwest.com/royal-bath-and-west-show/whats-on/british-cider-championships)


Audit Court Meeting and Dinner – Clothworkers’ Hall – Thursday 18th May 2017

The Clothworkers Hall

The Clothworkers Hall

The Court Room

The Court Room

This year the Audit Court was held in the Clothworkers’ Hall.

During the Court Meeting that preceded the dinner Melissa Coutinho, Robert Hinge and Harry Wooldridge were made Freemen and Freemen Anne Donoghue and Dr Dan Sargent were clothed as Liverymen.

Dr Dan Sargent and Anne Donaghue

Dr Dan Sargent and Anne Donoghue

After the Court Meeting the Members of the Company and their guests gathered in the magnificent entrance hall…..

Entrance Hall

Entrance Hall

….before being greeted by the Master & Wardens.

Renter Warden Cheryl Roux, the Master, Dennis Surgeon and Upper Warden John Warner

Renter Warden Cheryl Roux, the Master, Dennis Surgeon and Upper Warden John Warner

The Company and their guests gather for a preprandial drink

The Company and their guests gather for a preprandial drink

 

The Livery Hall

The Livery Hall

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This year the welcome to the guests was (as is custom) given by the Renter Warden and the response was by Dato’ Mohammad Faiz Azmi, Executive Chairman PwC Malaysia. His talk about the important and fascinating subject of Islamic Finance was extremely well received by all present.

The evening was then rounded off by a Stirrup Cup.

Thus ended a well attended and thoroughly enjoyable evening.


Inter-Livery Clay Pigeon Shoot – 17th May 2017

Once again the Fruiterers entered a team in this annual event at the Holland and Holland Shooting Grounds, Northwood, Middx.

We understand that the weather was distinctly inclement and this may well have affected our performance with our team only finishing 28th equal this year, a drop of 7 places from last year.

As last year, our team was led by Liveryman Chris Newenham, with Stephen Hyam (who came 16th overall – a magnificent effort), Charlie Hodges and Dan Jolly making up the team.

Even if they were disappointed with the team result the rest of the Company are proud of them – 28th equal isn’t at all bad out of over 100 entries.


HHA/Christie’s Garden of the Year announced

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The latest edition of Historic House (the magazine published by the Historic House Association) features an article on Helmingham Hall near Stowmarket in Suffolk which has been voted 2017 HHA/Christie’s Garden of the year.

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The House has been the home of Lord & Lady Tollemache (Tim & Xa) since 1975.

Lord & Lady Tollemache

Lord & Lady Tollemache

The family have lived on the site since 1487 with the current house and moat being completed in 1510.

We look forward to visiting the house and gardens for our annual tree planting.

For further information visit their website www.helmingham.com

All photos are by www.smdphotography.co.uk and are taken from Historic House magazine.


The Company in the Press

In addition to the Master’s monthly page in the Fresh Produce Journal (fresh-produce-journal-5th-may-2017) we have also had three full reports on our Conference. These appeared in Horticultural Week (fruiterers-conference-report-horticulture-week-30th-march-2017), The Fruit Grower (fruiterers-conference-report-the-fruit-grower-april-2017) and The Vegetable Farmer (fruiterers-conference-report-the-vegetable-farmer-may-2017)

Our thanks are due to Liveryman Geoff Dixon for drawing these to our attention.


Honorary Assistants’ Dinner – HQS Wellington – Thursday 13th April 2017

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HQS Wellington

HQS Wellington

The venue for this year’s Honorary Assistants’ Dinner was HQS Wellington.

The Clerk kindly provided the following background information:

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The purpose of this annual dinner is to allow incoming Honorary Assistants (who take up their duties at the Audit Court in May) to meet the existing incumbents to get a better idea of what the rôle entails and then to float (after all they were on the Thames) any concerns they may have and raise questions about the Company, from the way it is run to its finances, and anything in between.

Hon Asst Jurga Zilinskiene and incoming Hon Asst Susan Handy flanked by PMs Peter Bartlett & Henry Bryant on the quarterdeck of HQS Wellington

Hon Asst. Jurga Zilinskiene and incoming Hon Asst. Susan Handy flanked by PMs Peter Bartlett & Henry Bryant on the quarterdeck of HQS Wellington

The Master (Dennis Surgeon), incoming Hon Asst. Chris White and the Upper Warden (John Warner)

The Master (Dennis Surgeon), incoming Hon Asst. Chris White and the Upper Warden (John Warner)

IPM Stephen Bellamy-James with outgoing Hon Assts. Chris Mason, Caroline Coleman & Chris Bishop

IPM Stephen Bellamy-James with outgoing Hon Assts. Chris Mason, Caroline Coleman & Chris Bishop

After a welcome drink on the Quarterdeck everyone adjourned to the Court Room for Dinner

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The Renter Warden (Cheryl Roux) heads the table flanked by two Chrises, Newenham & White

The Renter Warden (Cheryl Roux) heads the table flanked by two called Chris, Newenham & White

Renter Warden Cheryl Roux flanked this time by two Peters, PMs Bartlett & Cooper

Renter Warden Cheryl Roux flanked this time by two Peters, PMs Bartlett & Cooper

Following Dinner the floor was thrown open to the Honorary Assistants to raise any issues that they consider should be aired with the Master, Wardens and Past Masters. It is always stimulating for the Officers and members of the Master’s Committee to hear opinions from those nearer the members of the Livery – therefore these annual dinners with the Hon Assistants are vital. They help to bridge the gap that can easily open up between the Court and the Livery and to improve channels of communications.


Lord Mayor’s Big Curry Lunch – Guildhall – Thursday 6th April 2017

Once again the Fruiterers supported the Lord Mayor’s Big Curry Lunch, an annual event held to raise funds for ABF – The Soldiers’ Charity (formerly the Army Benevolent Fund).

All the produce on the wonderful displays was donated by those that erected and staffed their own stalls free of any charge:

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Fruit Baskets provided by New Spitalfields Market

 

Liveryman Peter Thomas and his daughter Vicky with their magnificent display

Liveryman Peter Thomas and his daughter Vikki with their magnificent display

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Strawberries from Rodanto

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A selection from Tiptree’s extensive list of products.

 

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Belazu extra virgin olive oil and other Mediterranean products from their range.

all ably supported by “market girls” from Liveryman Sue Handy’s School of Dancing

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the red carpet waits for the VIPs,

The red carpet waits for the VIPs….

The Hall awaits the arrival of the dinners

.. the Hall awaits the arrival of the diners …

While the Lord Mayor waits for the guest of honour

..while the Lord Mayor waits for the guest of honour – 

HRH Prince Andrew The Duke of York

HRH Prince Andrew The Duke of York

His Royal Highness was amused to discover that Liveryman Sue Handy had taught his two daughters at her School

HRH discusses dancing classes while the Master looks on!

HRH discusses dancing classes while the Master looks on!

HRH then moved on to examine Liveryman Peter Thomas’s display

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and, finally, Liveryman Chris Newenham explains Tiptree’s latest offerings, fruit gins

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HRH then departed leaving others to enjoy their lunch!

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The guard of Honour was formed by The Light Cavalry of the Honorary Artillery Company

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The serious business of eliciting donations from the diners as they left the Hall then began. As soon as the final figure that the Fruiterers passed to ABF, The Soldiers’ Charity is confirmed it will be announced on this website.

Nothing would have been possible without the generosity of New Spitalfields Market, Rodanto, Peter Thomas, Tiptree and Belazu. Not to say the persuasive skills of the “Market Girls” who managed to conjure donations from the most unlikely of people in exchange for strawberries and fruit baskets! They were supported in their efforts by Past Masters, the Upper Warden, Liverymen, an Apprentice, the Honorary Fruit Porter, wives and others too numerous to mention.

Special mention should be made of Past Master Peter Cooper who once again masterminded the whole event on our behalf, many thanks, Peter.

Our Honorary Fruit Porter Jim Huddart and Freeman Elliot Porter

Our Honorary Fruit Porter Jim Huddart and Apprentice Elliot Porter

The Tiptree team

The Tiptree team, l to r: Simon Dungworth, Craig Saunders & Liveryman Chris Newenham. Lynda O’Donnell was also helping but wasn’t there for the photo opportunity!

The Belazu "team"

Bob Curbishley of Belazu


United Guilds Service – St Paul’s Cathedral, Friday 31st March 2017

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The United Guilds Service is one of the most colourful events in the Livery year.

The Lord Mayor and his Sheriffs are joined by the Masters and Wardens of every Livery Company, all clothed in their multi-coloured robes. Sadly no photos are allowed within the Cathedral so we are unable to show the full glory of this event.

Firstly there is a procession of the Masters of twenty four Companies, the great twelve plus others selected in turn. This year the procession was led by our very own Beadle, Ted Prior, acting as the Beadle to the Mercers, a great honour well deserved by Ted. We assume that the fanfare was for him and him alone!

Yet another fanfare greets a second procession, at the rear of which is the Lord Mayor and his Beadle.

The service that follows will be familiar to anyone with an Anglican upbringing.

This year the Sermon was given by the The Right Reverend Christopher Chessun, Lord Bishop of Southwark. He drew on the text of the second lesson that featured the parable of the good Samaritan. Into this the Bishop wove the events of the recent terrorist outrage in Westminster and his own cancelled meeting with one of the Ministers who, instead of meeting the Bishop, went to the aid of the stricken policeman. In turn, the Bishop returned to his Cathedral to hold an impromptu service for all those involved.

It was a relevant and poignant reminder of our responsibilities to each other and related back to the origins of the service in 1943. To quote the service sheet “The idea behind the service was to help lift the spirits of the City following the Blitz”. Our situation is nowhere near as grave as in 1943 but the need to unite is as relevant now as it was then.

After the service everyone then departed in turn, each to their own lunch venue.

The Master and his Wardens plus Mrs Surgeon and Mrs Warner prepare to depart for lunch

The Master and his Wardens plus Mrs Surgeon and Mrs Warner prepare to depart for lunch. The Upper Warden seems to be looking towards his lunch rather than concentrating on the photo-shoot!

Past Masters and Liverymen are all set to eat for the Company!

Past Masters and Liverymen are all set to eat for the Company!

This year we were royally entertained by the Stationers. scan_20170402-5scan_20170402-9

These occasions are fundamental to the fellowship within the Company and also give us a great opportunity to meet and get to know members of other Companies.

Our thanks are due to the Master & Clerk of the Stationers for organising such a splendid lunch – we all departed well fed and “watered”.


Fresh Produce Journal – March 2017

In this latest article by our Master he writes about his Banquet in Mansion House, the City Food Lecture and the Pancake Race.

To read the whole article click on this link: Master’s comments in the March edition of the Fresh Produce Journal


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