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The Plaisterers, like the Painters, had their hall bequeathed to them in 1556. It was destroyed by fire in 1666 and rebuilt, but after destruction by fire in 1882 it was rebuilt, but not as a hall and the site was acquired by compulsory purchase in 1956. The subsequent acquisition of their present hall on another site is a story that does not belong here, but the patience and perseverance and ingenuity by which this was brought about is required reading for all Companies that would like, as it were, to conjure a purpose built hall out of thin air.

The Glaziers appear to have rented their first hall fro the fishmongers in 1601 until it was destroyed in 1666. In the 18th century, somewhat in advance of their time, they rented a hall from the Loriners on a time-share basis of 18 days per year until 1759 after which they had no hall but “frequented taverns and coffee houses for a time”. Recently reverting to the concept of the “time-share” they have acquired a hall jointly with the Scientific Instrument Makers and the Launderers.

IV. THE COMPANY’S ALMSHOUSES 1836-1937

There is probably some truth in the proposition that the knowledge of the imminent appointment of a Royal Commission, to enquire into the activities of the Livery Companies in the last century was inclined to concentrate the minds of the Liverymen on the desirability of extending the scope of their charitable activities. Certainly as early as February 1833 the appointment of such a Royal Commission had been proposed, and it seems likely that this possibility was in the minds of those members of the Court and Livery who attended a meeting convened by the Master at the London Coffee House on 13th November 1832. However that may be, those attending the meeting accepted there was a need for the provision of Almshouses for decayed Liverymen and their widows, and a committee and treasurer were accordingly appointed to raise necessary funds for the purchase of a suitable site and the erection of almshouses. It was also decided that, should the funds raised prove to be insufficient, the Court would consider the possibility of appropriating investments from the Corporate Funds to serve as an endowment. With commendable speed the committee were able to report in April 1833 that they recommended the purchase of a site of one acre to the north of Balls Pond Road which the owner was willing to sell at the price of £300 out of which he would retain the sum of £50 to go to the cost of the Almshouses, and that a sum of £1,191.15 shillings had been promised towards the total cost of the enterprise. After some delay the purchase was completed and in May 1834 the designs of the architect, Mr William Grellier, were accepted as being suitable.

Before recommending the site to the Court, the Committee had inspected other sites on the outskirts of London, and the reasons for their final choice are not