Last week I had the honour and pleasure of attending the Worshipful Company of Butchers Ladies’ Banquet.
The Company’s Ladies Banquet this year took place at Goldsmiths’ Hall, a beautiful and charming palazzo style building built in the late 1820s and faithfully restored, post the Second World War, after a bomb exploded in the southwest corner in 1941.
200 Liverymen donned in white tie and tails and guests attending the
event on a cold evening the Reception was a sparkling affair with the Royal Marines Association Brass Quintet providing stirring and uplifting accompaniment before and during dinner. The Company guests were The Lord Mayor who is also Master of Guildhall Lodge No.3116 and his Consort, Lord and Lady Mountevans, accompanied by their Sheriffs, Alderman Charles Bowman and his wife Samantha as well as Dr Christine Rigden accompanied by her husband Stephen. We also were fortunate to have Mrs Isobel d’Inverno, The Deacon of the Incorporation of Fleshers of Glasgow, and her husband Brigadier Joseph d’Inverno.
Dinner was a sumptuous four course affair commencing with Spring Garden Pea Mousse with Serrano Ham Crisp and Ham Hock Terrine, followed by a delicious Sole Veronique. The main course was a delightfully cooked rump of lamb although it has to be said that only a true trencherman could have eaten the quantity provided! Dessert was a well presented citrus tart with a blackcurrant sorbet quenelle. This was followed by the Loving Cup Ceremony, a tradition amongst Livery Companies that goes back generations. The RMA Quintet finished with a breathtaking Post Horn Galop (how do musicians appear not to take breath during the finale!). Toasts and speeches followed with The Master, Patricia Dart, launching the Companies Fundraising Appeal to support the refurbishment of The Hall and presenting a cheque to The Lord Mayor for his Charity Appeal as well as a present of a paperknife masquerading as a meat skewer. The Lord Mayor was gracious in his words about The Butchers Livery and our strong role in the City. The toast to The Guests was humorously made by Stuart Thompson our Renter Assistant with The Deacon of The Fleshers replying who made much of their ties with The Butchers Livery as well as commenting on the role of women in both Companies.
The evening was rounded off with a spectacular, light hearted, post dinner entertainment by Apollo5, an ‘a capella’ ensemble of five very talented singers who had everyone swaying in their seats with tunes such as Java Jive, Sway and a cracking encore of Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy. A huge amount to fit in over quite a short period but the event finished only two minutes over the planned time much to the relief of The Clerk! A Stirrup Cup was then enjoyed but all too soon it was time to depart. The 2016 Banquet has certainly set the bar for future events.