The Company’s visit to Stratford-upon-Avon, Friday 22nd April – Sunday 24th April 2016

The Company turned out in force to help commemorate the 400th Anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. The programme laid on by our Master was varied and comprehensive – we crammed a lot into 3 days!

Friday 22nd April

Our first event was a Service of Dedication in the Guild Chapel. Rev Dr Paul Edmondson conducted the Service during which some grapes and the watering can (complete with water) to be used to plant the trees in the New Place Garden were blessed.

We then processed to the New Place Garden where our Master planted two medlars.

The Master, Wardens, Clerk and Rev Dr Paul Edmondson prepare to palnt teh trees

The Master, Wardens, Clerk and Rev Dr Paul Edmondson prepare to plant the trees

The Master uses the blessed water during the planting of the medlars which will be either side of the entrance to this garden when it is complete.

The Master uses the blessed water during the planting of the medlars which will be either side of the entrance to this garden when it is complete.

The Company was then given a guided tour of the garden project.

The garden under construction

The garden under construction

A model showing the final scheme - our trees will be either side of the golden entrance gate.

A model showing the final scheme – our trees will be either side of the golden entrance gate.

 

After a short break the Company reconvened at Shakespeare’s daughter’s house for a pre-concert reception.

Pre-concert reception and Hall's Croft, Shakespeare's daughter's house

Pre-concert reception at Hall’s Croft, Shakespeare’s daughter’s house

The Company then adjourned to Holy Trinity Church for a concert of Shakespeare’s Odes that combined Baroque and modern compositions.

 

Shakespeare's Odes Concert performed by Ex-Cathedra

Shakespeare’s Odes Concert performed by Ex-Cathedra

Saturday 23rd April

This was the day of the main function of the weekend – the Parade through Stratford.

The Master, Wardens, Clerk Honorary Assistants and other members of the Livery leave the hotel for the Parade.

The Master, Wardens, Clerk Honorary Assistants and other members of the Livery leave the hotel for the Parade.

Mustered and ready to go. Past Master Alan French carries our banner.

Mustered and ready to go. Past Master Alan French carries our banner.

The Head Boy of King Edward's School presents the quill to the assembled crowd.

The Head Boy of King Edward’s School presents the quill to the assembled crowd.

Was it a coincidence that our flagpole was entitled Kazakhstan - birthplace of the apple?

Was it a coincidence that our flagpole was entitled Kazakhstan – birthplace of the apple?

The Master is interviewed live by the BBC...

The Master is interviewed live by the BBC…

...and then by the Daily Telegraph

…and then by the Daily Telegraph

Who is behind the mask?

Who is behind the mask?

PM Peter Cooper takes us taking him!

PM Peter Cooper takes us taking him!

While other Liverymen look on.

While Liveryman Philip West laughs with (or at?) us.

We then went to the Shakespeare Birthday Reception & Lunch in the Grand Marquee.

The Company had a total of 46 sitting down to lunch

The Company had a total of 46 sitting down to lunch

Next we were off to The Shakespeare Centre for refreshments and a visit to Shakespeare’s Birthplace.

Actors performed extracts from Shakespeare's plays while Liverymen looked on.

Actors performed extracts from Shakespeare’s plays while Liverymen looked on.

Is Liveryman Sue Handy teaching or learning the dance?

Is Liveryman Sue Handy teaching or learning the dance?

 

We were then privileged to watch a live link to the Concert from the RSC Gala, attended by HRH Honorary Liveryman Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall.

This Gala was followed by a wonderful fireworks display.

P1070994

Sunday 24th April

Our final visit of the trip was to Anne Hathaway’s cottage for a tour of the house, orchards and gardens.

Anne Hathaway's Cottage

Anne Hathaway’s Cottage

The plans for the gardens and orchard are explained to us by the Head Gardener.

The plans for the gardens and orchard are explained to us by the Head Gardener.

Our final gathering was back at the hotel for a farewell lunch.

P1080028

P1080027

 

Our thanks are due to the Master and Mistress for organising such a successful visit – thoroughly enjoyed by all.