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


1 JUNE 2021

Waiting for the Archaeologists

The June online meeting of the Court heard about the continuing uncertainty about how long the Hall redevelopment will be delayed by archaeological findings on the site of the new buildings.

Court Assistant Paul Wilson is the chairman of the Hall Project Executive Committee (HPEC), following developments day by day. He said the contractors were still looking at a delay of eight weeks in the completion of their work, but it might be longer. The archaeologists were still investigating. Though their work on the core link building site was now largely completed, there was more investigating to be done on other parts of the premises.

The Master, Bishop Stephen Platten, said the archaeological findings were extremely interesting, and included mediaeval stonework which seemed to be from the previous Hall burnt in the Great Fire of London.   

Meanwhile (said Court Assistant Paul Wilson) other work was continuing. It had been decided to continue with more routine conservation work; that would mean that the Hall would not have to be closed for a month next summer, as usually happens.   

The delays to the building work had had an impact on the reorganisation of the Stationers’ committee structure. Past Master Nigel Stapleton is the chairman the Vision Steering Group, which is due to be wound up now that the Vision 350 reconstruction is under way. He said that it should continue until current issues with the project, which are causing uncertainty, are resolved. He hoped it would have served its purpose by September. 

Court Assistant Martin Randall congratulated the Upper Warden Robert Flather on his plans for the restructuring of some of the Company’s committees.  Robert Flather said he hoped it would be the best use of a rare resource, office staff. The Chairman of the Hall Committee Professor Tim Connell said here was no need for all the documentation generated by the previous committee structure; this plan would save time, reduce paperwork—and work. Robert Flather added that there had been something of closed shop of committee membership recently. It was hoped to widen the committee structure next year.   

The Treasurer Ian Leggett felt it was time for a review of Company quarterage and fees. That was proposed for the next financial year. In the current year there would be an increase in fee of one percent across the board. There was some discussion about how rebates of fees worked for members over the age of 70, and whether the age of members qualifying for a 50% rebate should be raised to 75. The Treasurer said he would like a “deep evaluation” of this.   

A rather routine Court Meeting this. But there’s a lot going on under the surface at the Stationers … and under the ground!