March 14, 2013 by William Alden
Those of you who have read the latest edition of Stationers' News will have read the article about the sterling work that Past Master Richard Brewster and Elaine Pooke did as 'Games Makers' at last year's Olympics.
It inspired Anthony Jackson to tell me that he too had played a vital role in the London Olympics in his role as Chairman of the Essex Police Authority. In recognition of this he received a silver medal, along wioth a letter from David Cameron, for his contribution to 'a safe and secure Olympic Games’. Essex had two event sites, many training facilities and a segment of the security ring around the Stratford site.
As a fellow Stationer, I am very proud of Anthony, Richard and Elaine for everything they did to make last year's games such a success. Well done to all three!
January 16, 2013 by William Alden
Those of you who have visited the Hall since Christmas will have noticed an unsightly brown stain on the stonework on the eastern side of the Hall.
Unfortunately the downpipe on this wall has become blocked and the very heavy rain before Christmas leaked through to the walls. We first noticed a pool of water in the Office and then spotted that there had been some damage to the panelling inside the Hall.
At this stage, we don't think that it is too serious but we have erected scaffolding to enable engineers to find out exactly what's wrong and to put it right. We have spoken to our Insurance Company and there is a possibility that the costs will be covered. If not, I am sure that it won't break the bank!
Here is a photo of the scaffolding being erected today.
October 03, 2012 by William Alden
What a pleasure it is to encourage all Stationers to support Pádraig Belton as he bicycles from Land's End to John O'Groats in aid of the Barts and Royal London's Trauma Unit.
Paddy is undertaking this arduous challenge on his own, but being Paddy, needless to say he has arranged a dinner and a bed for the night with a different friend for every night of the trip. Last night he attended a charity dinner in Plymouth so those first morning miles must have been especially tough! Paddy is sending through regular updates and his first reads as follows:
'Giles [Fagan] popped along with Imogen and their baby to my send-off cycling down the aisle of St Bride's (with a few Oxford friends who came as a surprise). [I] am now pedalling from Bristol to Birmingham, after 130 [miles] from Plymouth through Devon downpours and [it's] a beuatiful day for cycling!'
Here is a picture of Paddy at the start line.
If you would like to support Paddy's trip, you can sponsor him by clicking here. He certainly deserves our support!
August 29, 2012 by William Alden
Soon after I started as Clerk a couple of years ago, the Clerk of one of the richer Livery Companies once said to me: "oh, we send all the footballers' wives to Stationers' Hall"! At the time I dismissed this cynicism, especially as commercial lettings are very important to us as a Company, and weddings in particular.
So you can imagine my amusement to watch the latest episode of 'Don't Tell The Bride' on BBC Channel 3 yesterday evening which features 'fun-loving Essex girl Nikki Bacon giving full control of her wedding to historical-loving Nathan Bones'!! And where else should 'historical-loving' Nathan choose for the wedding of his dreams - but Stationers' Hall!
Now firstly, and most importantly, before you wonder what this 'work-loving Oxfordshire Clerk' was doing watching this extraordinary programme in the first place, let me make it quite clear that I was tipped off in advance!!
However, I was delighted to see how well the Hall comes across in the programme and, indeed, how pleased Nikki was with Nathan's choice. Our nervousness in agreeing to let the BBC film the show at the Hall (they paid, by the way) was quite unnecessary and I am hopeful that the programme will generate even more interest in the Hall as a magical wedding venue.
So, if you want a good laugh and to see Stationers' Hall looking spectacular, take a look at the programme by clicking here. Just a word of warning: you will have to excuse Nathan's most strange choice of dress for the occasion. Whatever regiment he thought he was in certainly isn't part of the British Army!
Happy watching - oh, and well done to Ron Duncan and his team for keeping straight faces throughout the 'performance'!
August 22, 2012 by William Alden
It was great fun to be part of the Young Stationers event held at the Hall yesterday evening jointly with the Younger Inter-Livery Group.
The highlight of the evening was a tug-of-war match between the City of London Police and the City of London Sea Cadets. The former are the reigning Olympic champions, having won gold in the 1908 London Olympics and successfully defended it four years later in Antwerp, after which tug-of-war ceased to be an Olympic sport. The burly policemen looked certain victors against a very young team of sea cadets and their first round victory seemed to confirm this. However they had peaked too soon and, thanks to a supreme effort by the cadets, cheered on by a crowd of very enthusiastic Young Stationers, the police dramatically lost the second round and then the decider. Stationers' Hall is not well-known as a venue for Olympic events and perhaps it was the slippery surface of the floor that contributed to their defeat. Whatever, the roar of the crowd was ever bit as spectacular as those we heard from the Olympic stadium in Stratford ten days ago!
I was very pleased to see the Hall and the garden being put to good use by over a hundred young people, drawn from our own industries and from the other 107 London Livery Companies. The Young Stationers' calendar is a busy one with a Society of Young Publishers Quiz Night coming up soon and a dinner with Lord Black of Brentwood next month.
I would like to say a massive thank you to Pádraig Belton, Chairman of the Young Stationers, and Eleanor Mason Brown of the Pewterers' Company for organising a great evening and, once again, proving that some of the stereotypes of City Livery Companies are completely wrong.
August 16, 2012 by William Alden
I was delighted to watch episode 6 of Court Assistant Sir Christopher Meyer's TV show, 'Networks of Power', on Tuesday evening. This episode features London and includes excellent coverage of Sir Christopher's attendance at the Company's Charter Dinner in May this year. I was particularly pleased that the coverage focused on the importance of the Company's networking in the media industry as much as on its history and traditions.
The programme is on Sky Atlantic and will be repeated at 7 am on Saturday morning (18 August). However you can watch it now and find out more about the series here. The bit about us appears immediately after the third advert break. It's well worth watching!
I would like to thank Sir Christopher and Kim Lomax, the Producer and Director from Wingspan Productions, for their favourable portrayal of the Stationers' Company in this show.
July 26, 2012 by William Alden
I am delighted that Stationers' Hall will again be hosting the annual Conference on Book Trade History on Sunday, 25 November and Monday, 26 November 2012. The theme of the conference is Finance - an apposite topic in these difficult times!
Some of you may remember that last year's conference was made somewhat low-brow by my own paper on the history of the Alden Press!! However it is a return to business as usual this year: with a fine selection of true academic contributors, including my friend Christine Ferdinand, who is Fellow Librarian at Magdalen College, Oxford, and two distinguished professors. The conference ends with a visit to the Bank of England Museum, unless the Government has sold all the exhibits in the meantime to save the nation's economy!
The conference is organised, as always, by our own dear Archivist Emeritus, Robin Myers, and it would good to see it well supported by Members of the Company and book lovers everywhere. You can download a flyer by clicking here.
July 25, 2012 by William Alden
Yesterday Liveryman Beverly Levy sent me a link to an amusing video on YouTube explaining (for an American audience, I guess) how the City of London differs from Greater London and I thought that I might share it with you.
If you have five minutes to spare in your busy lives (perhaps whilst delayed in the wretched Olympics travel disruption!) , you may care to watch it here.
July 25, 2012 by William Alden
Yesterday evening, I was most honoured to be invited to the service at St Bride's Church to welcome Sports Journalists from around the world to the London 2012 Olympics.
And a very moving service it was, with the choir delighting us with renderings of The Impossible Dream and Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now and an address from Sir Michael Parkinson, who also lit an Olympic candle that will burn in St Bride's Church for the duration of the Olympic and Paralympic games.
The service, and the reception at Stationers' Hall afterwards, were sponsored by the Sports Journalists' Association (SJA) and BT and, thanks to their generosity, we all enjoyed a memorable evening. I am hoping that the Company can now build a closer relationship with the SJA.
Amongst the guests were a smattering of Liverymen, including Past Master John Waterlow, the Under Warden Ian Locks, Eric Davies and the ever-present Pádraig Belton.
I was very pleased to see the Stationers' Company, once again, join with St Bride's Church at an event focused on the world's media industry. Together we represent the heart and the home of this industry.
July 20, 2012 by William Alden
Yesterday I accompanied the Master to the annual Dedication Service of the Imperial Society of Knights Bachelor at St Paul's Cathedral and jolly good fun it was! The Bishop of London preached a moving and inspiring (as always) sermon on the subject of romantic love.
I was very pleased to bump into Sir Jeremy Elwes. He has just been elected Treasurer of the Imperial Society and I would like to congratulate him, on behalf of all Stationers, for this great honour. We are all very proud to have a Liveryman in a position of such distinction.
The Master and I also bumped into Liveryman Michael Wren, who was in his second day as Master of the Bowyer's Company. So again, on all our behalves, I congratulate Michael on rising to greatness and wish him every happiness in his year as Master.
July 19, 2012 by William Alden
Just to show how busy the social life of a Clerk is, immediately before the Young Stationers Dinner yesterday evening, I attended the PrintWeek Power 100 event at Stationers Hall.
The Court Room was full of the great and the good of the printing industry and I had a long chat with Sir John Madejski of BGP as well as bumping into, amongst many others, Gerard Heanue of Heidelberg and Wayne Barlow of Canon UK. Despite these troubled times, everyone seemed in fine form.
I was delighted that Stationers' Hall was able to host this prestigious event for the third year running and it was good to see many printers coming to the Hall for the first time.
I had to dash off (on my bicycle!) before the results were announced but I hear on the grapevine that Pat Martell, CEO of St Ives, hit the number two slot; so many congratulations to him.
It was a great evening and the Stationers' Company was very pleased to be able to host this prestigious event.
July 19, 2012 by William Alden
I had great fun at the Young Stationers Dinner in the Savile Club yesterday evening. Organised by their redoubtable leader, Pádraig Belton, some 40 Young Stationers sat down to an excellent dinner, joined by a smattering of 'older' Stationers such as myself.
The speaker was the Rt Hon Lord Inglewood, who is a Conservative peer and chairs the Communications Committee of the House of Lords and produced a recent report on Investigative Journalism (IJ). He had some innovative views on how IJ might be better funded in the future, on the need for plurality in the media and on the outcome of the Leveson Inquiry. As you would expect from Young Stationers, there were lots of questions and an interesting debate.
It was an excellent evening and I would like to thank Pádraig for organising it all so well.
The next Young Stationers event is a joint event with the Younger Inter-Livery Group, organised by Pádraig and Eleanor Mason Brown of the Pewterers' Company. It will be held at Stationers' Hall on the evening of Tuesday, 21 August with a 1908 London Olympics theme. All Stationers are welcome and you can book tickets by emailing Eleanor here. Then on Tuesday, 18 September they have another dinner in the West End with Lord Black of Brentwood as the guest speaker. Email Pádraig here to find out more.
Pádraig is always looking for new members of the Young Stationers Group, which is a loose group of young people interested in the media industry and the Stationers' Company. There's no membership fee and members don't have to be members of the Company. So, if you know anyone who might be interested in joining, or just finding out more, get them to email Pádraig here.
On behalf of all Stationers, I would like to thank Pádraig for the fantastic work that he is doing to get this exciting new Group flourishing; it represents the very future of the Company!
April 12, 2012 by William Alden
I was very impressed to get an email yesterday from Chris Smith telling me that he would be running past my door on Sunday when he runs the London Marathon.
What a great thing to do - and, at the age of 60, very impressive too!
Chris is supporting a really good cause and I am sure that he would appreciate support from Company members. If you do want to support him, click here to find out more.
Well done, Chris, and good luck!!
March 08, 2012 by William Alden
I was delighted to be invited to the inaugural dinner of the Young Stationers at the Oriental Club in the West End on Tuesday evening. A group of around 30 met for dinner, which was followed by a speech by the Immediate Past Master, Christopher McKane who spoke on the birth of The Times and its first issue.
The Young Stationers is a loose grouping of young people with an interest in the media industry and the Stationers' Company. Led by Liveryman Pádraig Belton, they will meet periodically in a range of locations (sometimes at the Hall) for social, networking and informative events of common interest. Membership of the group is not limited to membership of the Stationers' Company nor is involvement necessarily a precursor to joining, although we hope that many in the group will come to aspire to this at some stage in the future.
I would like to say a massive thank you to Pádraig for organising what was a most enjoyable event and to Christopher for keeping his audience informed and entertained and for fielding a myriad of questions.
It was a very auspicious start for an organisation that I hope will be around for many generations to come and the first of many great 'Young Stationers' events.
If you would like to find out more about the group, or would like to suggest the names of potential members, please email Pádraig by clicking here.
March 08, 2012 by William Alden
I am sure that you will all join with me in welcoming the news that a new Dean of St Paul's has been appointed after the very sad resignation of the Very Reverend Graham Knowles last year.
The new Dean is the Very Reverend Dr David Ison, the current Dean of Bradford Cathedral. He spent six years as a vicar in Deptford before moving to the midlands and then spent 10 years as a Canon of Exeter Cathedral becoming Dean of Bradford in 2005. David, who is aged 57, is married to Hilary, who is also an ordained priest and works in London for the Church of England's Ministry Division. They have two married daughter and two sons, and became grandparents two years ago. His interests include history and current affairs, interfaith relations, DIY and scuba diving; and he drives a kit-car that he made himself!
David will be installed as the new Dean of St Paul's on Friday, 25 May and I very much hope that we may be able to welcome him to his first visit to Stationers' Hall very soon after then.
March 02, 2012 by William Alden
I was delighted to receive an invitation, along with the Master, from Chris Leonard-Morgan to the evening party that completes the festivities on National Stationery Day on Tuesday, 24 April.
I know that Deborah Rea has already brought this event to the attention of members. But I thought that I might reinforce this message here.
National Stationery Day is an important event in the Office Products Industry's calendar and it is the first day of the Stationery Show at the Business Design Centre in London.
The evening party at Stationers' Hall will include the presentation of the 2012 Stationery Awards and will be a unique networking event for stationery retailers, buyers, suppliers, designers and the media to meet in a relaxed, informal setting. In Chris's own words "It is a celebration of the written word and of all things stationery. Where better to conclude the celebrations than at the original home of retail stationery?"
Members can book tickets by emailing email@example.com or telephoning 020 8462 0721 and you can find out more about the Stationery Show and National Stationery Day by clicking here.
February 28, 2012 by William Alden
How sad it is that I am writing my first blog of 2012 the day before the end of February! To those of you that regularly check this page of the website, and I know that this includes my predecessor (!), I must apologise for this oversight. I will do better, I promise!
And it is even sadder that my first blog consists of some blatant name dropping - typical of me, I guess many of you will be thinking. However I thought that members would be interested to know that Stationers' Hall last week hosted some major celebs.
On Monday we hosted, for the first time since I have been Clerk, a fashion show as part of London Fashion Week. The designer was Giles Deakin, of whom needless to say I had never heard, although Sally and the kids were raving about him and were furious with me for not giving them advance notice of the event. In fact he turned out to be a really nice chap and very kindly asked me and Susana if we would like to watch the show. And what a performance it was, taking almost a day and a half to set up for a ten minute show! Giles loved the Hall and was very enthusaistic about using it again. It was absolutely packed for the show and there were a number of 'fashionistas' in the audience, including Kelly Brook and Peaches Geldof. Of course neither meant anything to me, again to the intense frustration of my children, especially my son. But I was pleased to chat to Sasha Wilkins, who is the god-daughter of Past Master John Waterlow and who has visted the Hall before. She is a well-known fashion journalist and keen 'tweeter' and she loves the Stationers' Company. There was a report on the event in Vogue which you can see by clicking here.
Then on Wednesday, at the Cakes and Ale lunch, John Inverdale, the BBC sports commentator, and his wife were guests as their daughter sings in the Reed's School choir, who were very kindly singing at our Ash Wednesday service. John has been to the Hall once before but was captivated by the tradition of 1612 John Norton bequest and expressed a lot of interest in joining the Company, something that I will follow up immediately. It would be great to get another BBC journalist into the membership.
I would also like to draw your attention to the fact that we have a new Livery Representative in Gerald Hill and he has just posted his first blog. You can read this by clicking here. Gerald is determined to really make something of the role of Livery Rep and I would ask you PLEASE to help him by reading his regular blogs, commenting on them and contacting him with any feedback, positive or negative, about the Company.
To reflect Gerald's recent appointment as Livery Rep and his first blog, we have revamped the two blog sites with new photographs (see above!) and with a new system of letting all members know by email as soon as a new entry on either blog is posted. I hope that this will prompt more members to read both blogs and make use of the information within them. But most of all, I really hope that you will enjoy them!
November 17, 2011 by William Alden
Members may not be aware that the Company insures through the Livery Companies' Mutual Limited which is a mutual company of all the City of London Livery Companies with Halls and some other institutions such as the Royal Society and some London clubs. It is a great system as the premia are very competitive and all members receive quite handsome dividends in years when claims are low.
The 'Mutual' has been most helpful to us in managing the highly complex claim relating to the fire we had in the Hall last year and have paid every element of the claim that we made without any quibbling or hassle.
Of course I have taken some ribbing from my fellow Clerks over the past twelve months that the fire here at Stationers' Hall will have messed up our dividend for 2010/11 and so I was delighted to read the following in the recently published annual report of the 'Mutual'.
"In my statement last year I made reference to the fire at Stationers' Hall in June 2010. The cleaning, repair and restoration works lasted for just over twelve months with the final stages being completed, on schedule, during the Hall's summer recess this year. The restoration has been widely praised, not least by English Heritage, and there was remarkably little disruption to the Livery and commercial activities of the Company. Furthermore the claim has been settled well within our initial estimates. Claims of this type are mercifully rare, but when they do occur it is rewarding to see how the Mutual and the Member working together can produce a successful outcome."
I hope that you are as pleased as I am that this dreadful fire has ended on a note of glory for the Stationers' Company and we can hold our heads up high when we meet colleagues from other Livery Companies!
October 21, 2011 by William Alden
I am afraid my blogs are like buses - nothing for ages and then four in one day! Please excuse my hopelessness!!
However I would like to pass on some very good news. Earlier this week we heard that we had successfully engaged Corbis Images UK as a new Corporate Member. Corbis Images are our third new Corporate Member this year and their addition takes the total number back to 15. We are delighted to have them join us.
Corbis UK is a subsidiary of Corbis Corporation, an American company, based in Seattle, Washington, that licenses the rights to photographs, footage and other visual media. It has a collection of more than 100 million images and 500,000 video clips. You can find out more about them from their website by clickling here.
Please make sure that you give the senior executives of Corbis UK an extra special Stationers' welcome to the Company when they attend their first events later this year.
October 21, 2011 by William Alden
For ages now I have been promising our Emeritus Honorary Archivist, Robin Myers, that I would publicise a conference that she is running in the Hall at the end of next month. It is the 33rd Annual Conference on Book Trade History being held at Stationers' Hall on Sunday, 27 and Monday, 28 November 2011. The theme is 'A Skilled Workforce: Training and Collaboration in the Book Trades from the 16th Century'.
You will understand my diffidence if I explain that I am one of the speakers, billed to speak about apprenticeship training at the Alden Press and my experiences as Chairman of the Printing National Training Organisation!
Although this session, sensibly timed to coincide when all decent people will have their minds focused on more important matters at church (!), will be eminently missable, the rest of the conference should be very interesting and I know that Robin is very keen to get more Stationers attending.
So, if you are free on one or both of those dates, and are interested in the history of training in our industries, please come along. You can download a flyer and booking form by clicking here.
October 21, 2011 by William Alden
Amidst so much doom and gloom in the investment banking community, I was really pleased to hear that Moorgate Capital, one of whose partners is Liveryman Nick Mockett, has recently advised on three successful large transactions in our industry.
One of these was the sale of Lateral Group to the American company, IOS. Nick Dixon, Founder and Executive Chairman of Lateral Group and also a Liveryman of the Stationers' Company, was quoted as saying "Rarely will you find someone with depth of understanding of the print and packaging sector coupled with strategic insight and out of the box thinking – Nick Mockett is that person".
Well done, indeed, to both NIcks - and it's nice to see two Stationers being so nice about each other!
October 21, 2011 by William Alden
Some weeks ago, I was priveleged to be asked to chair a session at the South Asian Literature Festival launching a new biography of Sonia Gandhi.
The book has been written by our own dear Freeman, Rani Singh, whom many of you will remember as an actress in East Enders, but who is now a very distinguished journalist and commentator on Indian affairs. In preparation for the launch I read the book in three days; not a difficult task as it is very well written and a fascinating and moving story. I strongly recommend it to you. You can download a press release about the book from Palgrave Macmillan, the publisher, by clicking here or order a copy from Amazon by clicking here.
Rani came into the Hall yesterday and very kindly presented the Company with a copy of her book for our Library. Here is a photo of her presenting it to me in the Court Room.
Now that the book is finished, Rani is looking for a new project to work on, so if any other members out there can think of a suitable research or journalism projectfor her to work on, please get in touch with Rani by email.
September 21, 2011 by William Alden
As you can imagine I get lots of notices from other Livery Companies about their annual lectures and mostly I file them away as the subjects can be very abstruse!
However the subject of this year's lecture of the Company of Arts Scholars, Dealers and Collectors caught my eye. It is 'London Matters - Maps and Mentalities over the Centuries' and it is by Peter Barber, Head of Map Collections at the British Library. I thought that the combination of maps and the history of London might well be of interest to Stationers. The date is Tuesday, 25 October 2011 at 6 pm in Austin Friars.
So I am delighted to bring it to your attention in this blog. A flyer with more details of the event and a booking form can be downloaded here.
If you do have a chance to go, please let me know whether you enjoyed it.
September 04, 2011 by William Alden
I am delighted to announce that Colin Morrison has very kindly agreed to be the Sector Champion for the Magazine industry. Colin has been Chairman or a Non-Executive Director of Pharmaceutical Press, RCN Publishing, Globelynx, Travel Weekly Group, Centaur Media and IPCN so he has a very wide experience of the sector. You can find Colin's first report on his sector by clicking here.
Trevor Fenwick, who had been covering some of the magazine sector, has now re-configured his sector as 'Business Media'. He tells me that his first report is imminent!
Please check the 'Sector Champion' pages regularly. We are very lucky to have such a distinguished group of volunteers sharing their expertise with us and it is a useful way for all of us to keep up to date with what is happening across the Communications and Content industries.
July 27, 2011 by William Alden
I am pleased to announce that, after three days pretty solid work, we have now entered telephone numbers for all members (except for those who specifically asked that their number not be shown) on the list of all members available on the 'Members-Only' part of the Company website. You can access this by clicking here. I would like to say a big thank you to Mandi Moore who has done all this work.
Please can you check that we have got your number right and that we are showing the number on which you are happy to be contacted by other members. If you wish to change the number shown, just email Mandi, which you can do by clicking here.
I do hope that you are pleased with this change; it is something that a number of members have been requesting for some time now.
July 15, 2011 by William Alden
A couple of weeks ago we were privileged to host a visit from 15 school children from Pegasus School, a primary school from Blackbird Leys, a comparatively deprived suburb of Oxford. They had been learning about the King James Bible and had heard that we had an original copy on display in Stationers' Hall. So they came up in a minibus to have a look at the three ancient bibles we have on display and then went on to St Paul's Cathedral, where the Dean had very kindly given his permission for them to visit for free. I have just received some wonderful thank-you letters from the children and their head teacher and I thought that I would share a sample with you.
Here is one of the letters I received.
Jill Hudson, their Head Teacher, wrote:
'This is a visit that will have touched the children in a profound way. They have glimpsed how many people treasure our country's history and culture and value traditions that are centuries old. They have been able to experience that sense of intrinsic joy one gains from learning . . . These are experiences that so few in my school have as a normal part of their childhood and the limitations that this places on their future are immense. Your support of our school in arranging and leading this visit will have an impact long after the details of the trip have faded. Experiences such as this can truly transform lives and I thank you most profoundly for your help.'
It is so pleasing to see that the 400th anniversary of the KIng James Bible, and our celebration of the part that the Stationers' Company played in its publication, will have had an impact more widely than just amongst our own membership. How lucky we are to be able to share our wonderful history and heritage!
July 07, 2011 by William Alden
It's that time of the year again and I would like to draw your attention to the annual fair at Goldsmiths' Hall. Here is the flyer.
This is an exclusive evening for members of City Livery Companies and Guilds and I know from personal experience that it will contain a number of stalls featuring fabulous contemporary jewellery and silver for sale by designer-makers. Wine and canapés will be served and the setting is the magnificent Goldsmiths' Hall.
Entrance is £15 per person (including a Fair catalogue) and you can book by calling the Goldsmiths’ Company Promotions Department on 020 7367 5907.
It will be a great evening, I promise you.
July 03, 2011 by William Alden
Last week I was delighted to be able to visit the 23rd Annual Exhibition of Bookbinding and Conservation at Westminster School organised by Liveryman Dr Douglas East. And what an impressive exhibition it was - with some wonderful work on display, including a recent project binding in oak!
Whilst there I bumped into Douglas and I was most impressed to hear that he had received the honour of being a recipient of Maundy Money from Her Majesty the Queen earlier this year. And I thought that the rest of the company would be interested to hear this piece of news.
Here is a picture of Douglas after the service accompanied (on the left) by Tom Edlin, a History Master at Westminster School who also received Maundy Money, and (on the right) James Male, a distinguished Old Boy and Bookbinding student of Douglas.
July 03, 2011 by William Alden
On 1 July Court Assistant Tom Hempenstall was a VIP guest at the Royal Marines HQ at Lympstone in Devon.
He was there to present the Stationers' Company Sword to Brigadier G M Salzano MBE, Commandant of the Commando Training Centre. His visit coincided with the Passing Out Parade of The King's Squad which he was invited to witness.
Although he was not related to any of the young cadets being awarded their green berets Tom tells me that he felt a great sense of pride in their achievements and thankful that our forebears in the Stationers’ Company had the good sense to choose the Royal Marines as the part of the armed services that we should support.
Well done Tom!
June 22, 2011 by William Alden
I was honoured to attend the service yesterday at St Paul's Cathedral to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the completion of its rebuilding in 1711 after the Great Fire of London. The Cathedral was full and, along with the Lord Mayor and Sheriffs, it was wonderful to see Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh in the congregation. It was a great occasion for the City of London.
And it was a great occasion for the Stationers' Company too! For I was amazed and delighted to hear a reading from the diaries of John Evelyn, dated 7 September 1666, in which he laments the destruction of the medieval cathedral:
'At my return, I was infinitely concerned to find that goodly church, St Paul's - now a sad ruin . . . The ruins of the vaulted roof falling, broke into St Faith's, which being filled with the magazines of books belonging to the Stationers, and carried hither for safety, they were all consumed, burning for a week following.'
It was pleasing to see the history of this magnifient Cathedral so publically linked with the history of our dear Company: a proud moment to be a Stationer!