top of page
  • Ian

Minutes of Volunteers' Meeting held on 14 September 2015

Minutes of Volunteers' Meeting held on 14 September 2015

September 22, 2015

A meeting of the MagnaMasters Officers and Volunteers was held at Côte St Paul's, 26 Ludgate Hill, London EC4M 7DR on Monday 14 September 2015


Jeremy Randall, Chairman (Watermen and Lightermen) in the chair; Michael Davis-Marks, Vice-Chairman (Makers of Playing Cards); Martin Miles, Hon Treasurer (Actuaries); Ian Locks, Hon. Secretary (Stationers and Newspaper Makers); The Hon. Robin Neill (Girdlers); The Rev. John Hayton (Bowyers); Michael Powell (Gold & Silver Wire Drawers); Patrick O’Reilly, (Engineers), Chris Ford (Air Pilots); Richard Herbert (Cutlers); Stephen Bernhard (Gardeners); Mark Hardy (World Traders); Geoff Lewis (Needlemakers); Mrs Sandra Worsdale (Chartered Secretaries and Administrators); Bryan Spearman; (Firefighters);Ian McIntyre (Tallow Chandlers);Patrick Chapman (Management Consultants); Mark Henderson (Curriers); Graham Dickinson (Insurers); Nicholas Birtles (Informtion Technologists); John Moore-Gillan (Apothecaries); Ian Frood (Coopers); Tony Alston (Farmers)


John Leighfield CBE (Educators); Mrs Gill Moore (Builders Merchants); Derek Woods (Joiners and Ceilers); Ms Vicky Russell (Constructors); Roger North (Water Conservators); John Shonfield (Launderers; Nick Bence-Trower (Drapers); Mike Shepherd (Blacksmiths); John Hitchins (Skinners); Wayne Buffet Warlow (Wales); Eddie Donaldson (Basketmakers); Edward Hutton (Feltmakers); Debbie Ounsted (Mercers); Nick Andrews (Pattenmakers); Patrick Draycott (Founders); Tony Watson (Leathersellers); Heather Hawker (Chandlers); Geoffrey Purves (Chartered Architects); John Hitchins; Stuart Seymour (Security Professionals); Paul Holder (Carmen); Andrew Marsden (Marketors); Raymond Layard (Horners); Robin Furber, (Pewterers); Michael Godbee (Tax Advisers); Timothy Doyle (Environmental Cleaners); Graeme Groom (Innholders); Kevin Moore (PR Practitioners);

A message of support would be sent to Mike Shepherd (Blacksmiths) who had been admitted to hospital for emergency treatment. ACTION IL

1 Introduction and Welcome by the Chairman

Th chairman thanked the 23 attendees and further 37 who had expressed support. He felt that with more than half the membership expressing support was a commendable start.

The chairman said the aim was to establish a sound platform for the organisation of future events, looking to volunteers to step forward and take a lead on the organisation of these. The officers would act as a filter to try to ensure a good spread of events in both style and time. The Association would take responsibility for major events such as the annual dinner, specialist events would be the responsibility of the organiser, the decision on which would be which to be decided in each instant initially.

We had email addresses for 107 of the 110 Masters and Prime Wardens of 2015. Those still missing were: Douglas Barrow, Shipwrights; John Brewer, Woolmen; Audley Twiston Davies, Haberdashers.

In response to the chairman, those present agreed unanimously that personal data could be made available to other members.

Next steps included mailing all members seeking fuller information (address, mobile number) and establishing any special interests (golf, sailing, tennis, shooting

2 Proposed structure:

2.1 Name: MagnaMasters 2015 Livery Past Masters’ Association

2.2 Finances

A bank account had been set up at Lloyds Bank by the Treasurer Martin Miles with himself and the chairman as signatories. This could be operated electronically. The Hon. Sec. would be added as a signatory. Martin was congratulated on going through process of opening a bank a/c with Lloyds.

2.3 Logo: A design had been created by Elizabeth, the daughter of Mike Shepherd (Blacksmiths), which we have adopted pro tem and a very big thank you was due to her. Stephen Bernhard's offer to run this past an eminent heraldic specialist, designer and artist was accepted. ACTION SB

2.3 Confirmation of officers until first GM/AGM

Chairman: Jeremy Randall - Elected

Vice-Chairman: Michael Davis-Marks - Co-opted

Hon. Treasurer: Martin Miles - Co-opted

Hon. Secretary: Ian Locks - Elected

Ian Locks was thanked for his work in getting the organisation established.

3 Structure and organisation

3.1 Today’s meeting had been organised on an opt-in basis and it was agreed to continue to operate on this basis with, say, one or two meetings like this a year to keep the organisation on track, elect officers, plan the programme etc with the four officers dealing with day to day administration. This way it was hoped to maximise the input and goodwill of all those willing to help.

3.2 Constitution: It was agreed to use the template suppled by the Past Masters Association with the amendments suggested by various members.

3.3 Presidents and Vice-Presidents: It was agreed unanimously that the Lord Mayor and Sheriffs should be invited to be President and Vice-Presidents respectively. ACTION IL/JR

3.4 Subscription: After discussion it was agreed to ask for an annual subscription, the first instalment to be invited immediately, of £50 a year (mainly) to provide a float and to cover the cost of venues for an annual dinner(s), an agm and business meetings. It was explained that initially it was thought that £25 or so would be sufficient. This was the norm 10 years or so ago. However more recently PMAs have gone to £50 on the argument that events work better if the key fixed cost of hall hire can be covered in part or in full from central funds, the argument being that an annual dinner and an business meetings central annual activities and that all members should make a contribution to these activities, the full cost of which would otherwise fall on those who attended, thus subsidising those who do not but would like the association to continue to exist.

Stephen Bernhard suggested the introduction of direct debit rather than standing order. It was agreed Martin Miles should consider the benefits and disadvantages of each and advise which he feels would be preferable. ACTION MM

A proposal by Tony Alston for a life membership fee of £250 was not accepted.

4 Programme for 2015-16

4.1 Wine event (Jeremy Randall) The chairman said we were fortunate to have among our number Allan Cheesman, wine buyer for Sainsburys for 20 we should have wine trip next partners.....'Wine and Cheesman'. ACTION JR

4.2 Visit to York or just a lunch. Mark Hardy suggested a visit to York and will organise. As far as possible the visit should link with guilds in the City. ACTION MH

4.3 Annual dinner (Bryan Spearman) This would be a key event and we wanted a small group to organise with Bryan Spearman in the lead.

The chairman said the most obvious options included Mansion House at say £120-£140 but needing 200 plus; A city Livery hall; another venue such as Charterhouse.

In discussion it was felt we might expect 150 or so and IT WAS AGREED that this should be an Annual dinner with consorts in a city livery hall for 150 in late January/early February. Bryan would speak with Chester Boyd and other caterers for advice on venues.

The practicality of linking this with agms for Magnas and Cartas would be considered.

It was thought on this occasion there should be no guests invited.

The working group, led by Bryan Spearman, should consist of Nick Birtles, Stephen Bernhard, Sandra Worsdall, Chris Ford. Vicky Russell to be invited. ACTION BS

4.4 Golf event(s): Roger North plus Nick Birtles will organise golf events ACTION RN and NB

4.5 Proposal from Mike Shepherd: Dinner at BT Tower. Considerable interest was exposed however this could not be progressed while Mike was indisposed.

4.6 Robin Neill - will invite us to a performance of Rigoletto at his home. If there are sufficient numbers this could be a special MagnaMasters event. RN to provide dates and IL to solicit interest. ACTION RN/IL

4.7 Other events suggested

  • Kevin Moore (PR Consultants) is Chief Executive of Stepney City Farm and is happy to host a meeting or a reception event for the MagnaMasters. There was general support for this idea. ACTION: JR and IL to progress.

  • Mike Shepherd (Blacksmiths) would like to organise motor bike tour to France. No action at present.

  • Sir Roger Vickers has offered to organise meeting space in the future at e.g. Garrick or Hurlingham. Offer to be kept in mind.

  • Martin Miles: Ideally it is probably good to try to tie in such an event with something already going on which might attract people to London anyway. I can't really think of any excerpt perhaps the service of commemoration in Westminster Abbey for Agincourt's 600th at Noon on 29th October. Tickets are free but it may be full. I could possibly organise a late lunch at the Farmer's Club (Whitehall/Embankment area) afterwards if there is room but realistically it might be a bit late to start planning. The chairman asked all to bear in mind the possibility of linking a MagnaMasters activity to major events of this kind.

5 Communication and Database

5.1 Newsletters - Three newsletter updates had been emailed advising on progressing and setting up this meeting today

5.2 Website - the embryo website developed by the Hon. Sec. had been built to include the Consorts. All accepted this as a god idea.

  • A proposal (attached) for an interactive website had been submitted by James Bernhard (Stephen’s son). There would be a set-up cost for these elements plus an on-going hosting fee. It was suggested that a working group be established to meet with James and propose a way forward.

5.3 Availability of members contact details - The database proposal from James Bernhard would create a more sophisticated interactive website and rather depend on the level of personal information members are prepared to share. It would enable members to update their own entries if they wished.

5.4 Promotion of third party events - We included in the newsletter member requests for promotion of third-party events. This was felt to be acceptable.

5.5 Social Media (Mark Henderson) - Mark Henderson (Curriers) had kindly set up MagnaMasters Facebook and Twitter accounts. it was not felt we wanted to develop either of these as means of communication. However it was felt we should establish a Linked in group which provides helpful information about new postings by email.

Michael Davis-Marks, Mark Henderson, Nick Birtles and Ian Locks to meet to discuss a layered comms strategy to include future direction and development of a website, use of Linked In, newsletters and/or email updates. Patrick Chapman has subsequently asked to be included in this group.n ACTION: IL to convene

6 Links with Carta Consorts. It was unanimously agreed that the website should be jointly with Carta Consorts if they wish to support it.

7 Any Other Business

Patrick O'Reilly urged that we secure a date or dates for the annual dinner and AGM as soon as possible.

A calendar would be compiled as soon as possible ACTION JR and IL

The meeting adjourned at 1.10pm for lunch.

8 Future Meetings

There was general support for the format of meeting followed by lunch open to all who wished to the limit of the space available on a first come basis. Nick Birtles offered IT hall (max 50) for next meeting. ACTION IL/NB


(Jeremy Randall, Chairman)App 1