The Stationers' Company
The City of London Livery Company for the Communications and Content Industries
Annual Lecture and Dinner 2024 - 18 March

Annual Lecture and Dinner 2024 - 18 March

Monday, 18 March 2024
Annual Lecture

Open event (non-members may book to attend)

£53 Drinks Reception, Lecture and Canapes
£120 Drinks Reception, Lecture, Canapes and Dinner

£15 Virtual Webinar

6.00 pm – Drinks reception
6.30 pm – Lecture begins
7.00 pm – Q&A
7.30 pm – Drinks & canape reception
8.00 pm – Dinner
10.30 pm – Carriages

Dress code: Business Attire


We are delighted that Mark Cropper, Chair of James Cropper PLC will be our speaker at this event.

Mark Cropper is a sixth generation paper-maker based in the village of Burneside on the edge of the Lake District, a paper-making community since 1746.  Since 2010 he has been chair and custodian of advanced material, paper and packaging manufacturers James Cropper, a family business since 1845 and at the cutting edge of sustainable materials in fields ranging from luxury packaging to renewable energy. 

More recently he founded the Paper Foundation, a charity dedicated to celebrating and perpetuating hand-made paper and associated arts and heritage. To date this consists of a hand-made paper-mill (rescuing this craft from the brink of extinction) and a rapidly growing archive and library in the former family home. Both are attracting increasing attention near and far and much more is planned in the coming years, eventually covering all paper and book arts and combining design and making with scholarship, craft apprenticeships, festivals and more.

Mark's lecture will be on 'The world's most remarkable material'.

Paper is one of the most important man-made materials in history. Ever since its invention two millennia ago, it has enabled a revolution in the transmission of knowledge and ideas, building and destroying empires, enforcing tyranny and heralding democracy.  It is also, simultaneously, the simplest and most portable of materials, almost universally available and affordable. Moreover, while the impacts of its production cannot be ignored, it can justly claim to be one of the most sustainable materials we have at our disposal, being produced from renewable resources and readily recyclable.

And yet – despite of all this – paper is largely overlooked.  People use it and discard it without a thought about its manufacture and the miracle of its existence.  Its heritage is similarly ignored, and education and funding for many paper-related arts are in rapid decline, closely tied to a sharp fall in support for related institutions such as art schools and public libraries.

Some may say this is inevitable given the seismic shift of power from paper to the digital realm, but Mark Cropper contends that this must be resisted at all costs: the time has come to reemphasize this greatest of mankind’s inventions.  It is time to celebrate paper and the magic it brings to the world.  Without paper our lives and cultures would be impoverished beyond measure. 

Mark brings a unique perspective to this discourse, whether as a business leader helping the country’s oldest paper-mill navigate the future of paper and related materials, or an historian and philanthropist seeking to preserve skills and knowledge for future generations.

The evening will begin at 6.00 pm with a drinks reception in the Court Room, followed by the lecture in the Hall at 6.30 pm. Time will be given for questions before the end of the talk at 7.30 pm. A drinks reception with canapes will be served until 8.00 pm. Those staying for dinner will move into the Court Room where a three- course dinner will be served. Carriages will be at 10.30 pm.

Places at the dinner will be limited, so please make your booking early to avoid disappointment.

The deadline for bookings is Monday, 11 March 2024 after which no refunds will be made.

Places will be limited, so please make your booking early to avoid disappointment.