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Minutes of AGM 4 November 2019

The Fourth Annual Meeting of the Magna Masters Association was held at the The Royal Air Force Club, 128 Piccadilly, London W1J 7PY on Monday 4 November, 2019 at 6pm

Members present: The meeting was attended by the Chairman, Jeremy Randall; the Vice-Chairman, SAVM Patrick O’Reilly, the Hon. Treasurer, Martin Miles, the Hon Secretary, Ian Locks; the Hon. Auditor, David Illingworth, and 27 other members: Nic Birtles, Heather D Hawker, Roger North, Barrie Stewart, Nick Andrews, Terry Last, Jim Conybeare, Kevin Moore ,Michael Cooper, Derek Woods, Robert Morrow, John Moore-Gillon, Tony Watson, Simon Archer, Jeremy Randall, Chris Ford, Tony Alston, Debby Ounsted, Mike Shepherd, John Shonfeld, Alan Suggett, John Hayton, Martin Miles, Gwen Rhys, David Illingworth, Andrew Marsden, Ian McIntyre, Graham Dickinson, Geoff Lewis, Adrian Scott Knight

Apologies for absence: Richard Herbert, Roger Westbrook, Stephen Bernhard, Dr Ian Frood, Michael Godbee, Mark Hardy, Robin Furber

  1. Welcome The chairman welcomed members to the RAF Club once again, courtesy of Patrick O’Reilly whom he thanked for his hospitality and said it was very good to see for the third successive year more than 30 of our members attending. He said the format for the evening was that the meeting, scheduled to last for one hour, would be followed by a very informal wine tasting - and then supper at about 8.00pm.

  2. Minutes of Third Annual General Meeting - held on 6 November 2018 were approved nem con

  3. Chairman’s report The Chairman opened his report by congratulating two members who had been made OBE in the birthday honours this summer: Dr Ian Frood (Coopers) for services to agriculture and Eddie Donaldson (Basketmakers), chairman and treasurer of the RNLI among other things. He also congratulated Alderman Vincent Keaveny (Solicitors) on his election as Aldermanic Sheriff for the current year, a position he and Consort Amanda were carrying out with great distinction. And congratulations also to Mark Henderson (MagnaMaster Currier) elected inaugural Master Investment Managers, a group he had worked for several years to establish as a Guild. A memorial service had been held on 11 October 2018 for Wynne Gillham, MagnaMaster Upholder, who died after illness on 1 July 2018. Roger North and Nic Birtles were to be congratulated on winning the Livery Past Masters Association Autumn pairs competition at Chobham GC on 5 September and also taking second and third places respectively in the singles event at Sonning GC in April. Since last year’s AGM the association had enjoyed: - Lunch with Graeme Groom (Innholder) at Innholders’ Hall on 5 October 2018 - Gin Making Experience - City of London Distillery 9 October 2018, with many thanks to PM Vintner Allan Cheesman. - Magnificent Drapers' Hall in January, had hosted our Fourth Gala Dinner, and had pulled out all the stops to make this a great occasion with 146 paid to attend. Our speaker for the evening had been Ald. and Sheriff (and MagnaMaster) Vincent Keaveny attending with Amanda Keaveny and flanked by Hon. President Ald. Sir Alan Yarrow and Lady Yarrow together with Chairman Jeremy Randall and Irene Randall. Our host for the evening, Past Master Draper Nick Bence-Trower, there with wife Nicky, opened proceedings with a warm welcome to one of the three organisations of which HM The Queen is a member. He thanked Nick for his assistance in making the evening run very smoothly. - The amazing CERN project in Geneva on 4 June 2019 had been attended by 24 members and Consorts hosted and organised by Patrick Draycott, to whom enormous thanks were due, - An Exclusive tour of Smithfield Market followed by breakfast on 30 May 2019 was organised by Jeremy Randall - a visit to Royal Museums, Greenwich 10 June 2019 was kindly organised by Tony Watson. - Our open committee, the notes from which formed part of the papers for the evening, was attended by 21 members and followed by an enjoyable lunch - 27/28 September the visit to York centred on the Grand Hotel and Merchant Adventurers’ Hall. Bookings had reached the minimum number of 50 but not without a lot of effort by organiser John Shonfeld and Dr Alan Suggett, to whom much thanks were due. - The CartaConsorts had also had a busy programme with a tour of Dicken’s Bloomsbury in September last year; a trip to the Ely Cathedral Christmas Market in November; a backstage tour of the Royal Opera House in February; a visit to the Globe Theatre to see Merry Wives of Windsor in June; and an East End Experience later in September. The Chairman thanked all those who had made this busy programme possible and all who had given the various events their support

  4. Financial Report and Accounts to 30 June 2019 - Introducing the Report and Accounts, forming part of these minutes, Hon. Treasurer Martin Miles said he was pleased to report that membership again stood at 101 for the year to 30 June 2020 as in the year under review. This had returned a surplus of £1,366 from membership subscriptions of £5,050 after a subsidy of £2,902 for the dinner at Drapers’ Hall, contributions to the Open Committee and AGM of £670 and miscellaneous expenditure for website and administration. The carried forward assets of the association now stood at £6499 - a figure which it was intended should continue to rise until declining membership and rising costs dictated otherwise. The Chairman thanked Martin for his report and all his work during the year. Proposed by John Shonfeld and seconded by Barrie Stewart

  5. Election of Officers Current officers were willing to stand for re-election. Other nominations had been invited but none received. Patrick O’Reilly as Vice-Chairman took the chair for the election of the post of chairman. Jeremy Randall was re-elected by general acclaim. Thanking those present Jeremy said that the coming year would complete the five years he had said initially he was prepared to undertake. Resuming the chair the Chairman suggested that other officers might be proposed and seconded en bloc. Vice Chairman: AVM Patrick O’Reilly CB, Engineers Hon. Treasurer: Martin Miles, Actuaries Hon. Secretary: Ian Locks, Stationers and Newspaper Makers Hon. Membership Secretary: Michael Godbee, Tax Advisers Hon. Events Secretary/Chairman Events Committee: Nic Birtles (Information Technologists); Stephen Bernhard (Gardeners); Gwen Rhys (Glass Sellers) Proposed by Roger North Seconded by Heather Hawker and agree unanimously

The Chairman said many thanks were due to all concerned in keeping the Association as an active, vibrant and enjoyable one of which to be a member.

6. Election of Financial Reviewer (Currently David Illingworth, WCO Chartered Accountants). The Hon. Treasurer proposed and the Chairman seconded the re-election of David with thanks to him for his support.

7. Other business The Chairman said no other business had been notified and that therefore concluded the business of the Annual General Meeting.

Discussion: Programme for 2020-21

Introducing discussion on the programme for the coming year the Chairman said there had been a very useful discussion at the Open Committee meeting and notes of that meeting formed part of the papers for this meeting. See website archive

Suggestions for approval were:

Wednesday 29 January 2020 - Fifth Gala Dinner - Saddlers Hall.

Just about 90 sign up but we need another 50. Members might now invite two guests (in addition to their Consort) at the non-subsidised rate although members would continue to have priority up to 1 December.

March/April - Tideway Tunnel - Richard Herbert prepared to organise. Richard would be invited to continue with this event.

May/June - Jeremy Randall invited Nic Birtles to outline plans for the MagnaMasters Chateaux of the Loire Wine Tour. Nic said it was proposed to base this on the magnificent Château de Beaulieu in which we had a hold on all 16 rooms for the last week in May and the first in June. 16 of those present said they would be keen to participate but opinions were divided won which of the two weeks would work best for them however it was agreed that the association should continue with the project and that the Association funds might be used to pay the deposit of £2,500. Those booking should be asked to pay a deposit which would be refundable in the case of any unsuccessful in the ballot. The cost would be £760pp sharing a a room.

June - Dinner Lincoln’s Inn - Tony Watson said restoration was now complete. This would need to be dinner capped at 34 attendees to include Consorts. He plans to include a tour of the Great Hall and archives.

Wednesday 9 September - Open Committee and Lunch

October(?) - Magic Circle visit - Patrick Chapman

Monday 2 November - AGM, wine tasting(?) and dinner

November - visit to Westminster Abbey (Raymond Layard)

27/28 January 2021 - Sixth Gala Dinner - venue to be suggested/agreed: Butchers’ and Skinners currently favoured suggestions

Visit to Sheffield - John Shonfeld said that following the visit to the Merchant Adventurers of York David Gray, our Past Master Cutler of Sheffield, had issued an invitation for a visit to Sheffield. John was encouraged to pursue this with David Gray as a possible event in 2022

John also suggested that Chatsworth could make a most appealing event in July to September.

Other suggestions from open committee:

  • Patrick Draycott is investigating the possibility of a repeat of the visit to CERN. It was agreed there would be a rapid take-up for 24 places even though the facility would probably be fully operative by then.

  • Gala Dinner - this should be black tie (except at Mansion House); the subsidy for members should not be applied to guests; future venues might be Goldsmiths’ Hall (though this would need to be joint with another year); Butchers and Skinners.

  • Ditchling Village: Vineyard & Art and Craft Museum - Mike Felton still prepared to arrange this.

  • Shuttleworth Collection, Biggleswade -

The meeting was followed by a wine tasting at 7.00pm and Dinner at 8.15pm, concluding at 10.00pm

Members attending AGM

4 November 2019




Following a meeting of Livery Company Masters at Ironbridge on 7th June 2015, the Magna Masters Association (MMA) was formally established at a meeting in London on 14th September 2015. At that meeting the subscription for membership was set at £50 to cover the period to 30th June 2016 and a Bank Account for the MMA with Lloyds Bank was opened shortly afterwards.

The Accounts of the MMA for the year ended 30th June 2019 are attached. The corresponding figures for the period 1st July 2017 - 30th June 2018 are shown for comparison.

The Notes referred to in the Accounts are set out below. This Introduction and the Notes which follow are an integral part of the Accounts


1. It was agreed that the subscription should remain at £50 for the 2018-19 year. 101 members (100 in 2017/18) paid £50 each for their 2018/19 membership of the MMA.

2. A number of formal and/or social events took place during the year. The finances for the events in which the MMA had a formal involvement and its Bank Account was used are summarised below:

Open Committee Meeting 12th September 2018

£360.00 Income (24 members for lunch)

£899.33 Cost of Event

£539.33 Net Expense

AGM, Wine-tasting and Dinner 5th November 2018

£1584.00 Income (32 members)

£1714.20 Cost of Event

£ 130.20 Net Expense

Gala Dinner Drapers’ Hall Dinner 31st January 2019

£13020.00 Income (146 members)

£15922.00 Cost of Event

£ 2902.00 Net Expense

Not mentioned above are events organised by individual members which were self-funded, the finances/ticketing being controlled by the individual members concerned. For such events, the MMA Bank Account was not used, no profits were made and any incidental costs (minor administrative costs, flowers for a helper or whatever) were carried by individual members.

3. Miscellaneous expenses relate to website domain fees and prizes for the LPMA golf day

Martin W Miles