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The Stationers' Company
The City of London Livery Company for the Communications and Content Industries



A Date for the Hall

This was a so-called “Black Tie Court”, with Court Assistants prepared for the annual Masters and Clerks’ Dinner which took place immediately afterwards. The venue was again Cutlers’ Hall, a close neighbour of ours.

The first action was the admittance of a new Court Assistant, Linda Drew, the former vice chancellor of Ravensbourne University; it’s a bit of an ordeal for the most junior Court Assistant (in this case Andrew Scrimgeour) who had to introduce her to the Court one by one, naming them all.

Then came money matters: the Treasurer reported that the Investment Review Committee had proposed that instead of making new borrowings to fill the funding gap on the Hall rebuilding project, gains in the Company’s investment portfolio since 2019 amounting to almost  £1 million should be used. This was approved by the Court, as was a proposal for a new tier of corporate membership for smaller companies.

A Past Master expressed concern that the Stationers might lose control of the annual Apprentice Futures event. “Let’s not just let this happen,” said the Past Master.

Turning to the Hall rebuilding project, Vision 350, the Clerk reported that there was now a delivery date for completion: 17th June. It might have been possible to accelerate this date by two weeks at an estimated cost of £120,000 (largely for overtime and weekend work payments). But it had been decided to reject this idea, even though to do so would make it harder to meet the opening date for the Hall of 1st July.

The Master then adjourned the Court meeting for a moment so that Assistants could vote in an individual capacity on technical matters connected with the Stationers’ Foundation Charity 1961.

Reconvened as the Court, there was then a lengthy debate on the possible disposal of Company assets in order to build an endowment fund for the future. Details cannot be given, but the discussion continues behind closed doors.

After that, it was time for dinner, at which the Court hosted Masters and Clerks from other Livery Companies.