A square within a square within a square!

 I was delighted to be able to attend the inaugural Gilder Lecture organised by the Worshipful Company of Masons.

Named after Mr James Gilder, Master Mason 1620-1621, the lecture entitled Stone and the City was presented by Liveryman Adrian Paye from Paye Stonework and Restoration, who had recently been involved in the preservation of the Temple of Mithras which is underneath the Bloomberg Building in the City.

The lecture began with a history lesson on how the Romans had perfected the technique of building with stone in Rome and around their empire.  Using stone from Caen the Romans had constructed buildings in Londinium, as it was known then.  They were somewhat protective of their craft as they did not pass on their skills to English Masons!  

After the Romans left it was the time that the Vikings invaded England and no stone buildings were constructed again until the Middle Ages.  Using skills learned in France Masons began constructing Cathedrals and Castles.  For a time, men could be conscripted into masonry as the Kings of England built more and more with stone.

Geometry plays a role in stone masonry, and we were shown how a square within a square within a square was the basis for calculating many aspects of stone masonry.

This was an altogether fascinating lecture and a mental note has been made to visit to Temple of Mithras very soon!

A newly installed Master Worshipful Company of Builders Merchants

In the beautiful surroundings of Merchant Taylors Hall Pippa Latham was installed as the new Master of the Worshipful Company of Builders Merchants.  The Consort and I joined other Masters to celebrate the occasion. 

During the evening we listened to the beautiful soprano Natalya Romaniw singing l’amour est un oiseau rebelle from Carmen, Donde lieta usci from La Boheme and Meine Lippen, sie kussen so heib from Guiditta.

I was seated next to Alderman Sir Roger Gifford and Immediate Past Master Brian Blanchard and had interested discussions on music, encouraging entrants into the crafts and life post-Brexit.

A lesson in wine tasting

The Worshipful Company of Tylers and Bricklayers is known for the wine it provides at our lunches and dinners.  The Wine Committee meet once a year to select the wines for forthcoming occasions taking advice offered by Francis Flavin from Davy & Co.

As Master I was invited to join the Wine Committee for lunch (which incidentally we all paid for) and to bring along some wine for the occasion.  For this lunch, Chairman Philip Parris had asked diners to bring wines using grapes from Bordeaux but not produced in this beautiful area of France.

With permission from the Chairman, I took some English Sparkling wine from Elham Valley Vineyard home to T&B supported charity, the Fifth Trust and to my relief it was declared a good wine!

Frances talked us through each of the wines as we ate and asked us to compare one against another. As a non-wine specialist, I learned much about the wines we drank and had a most convivial afternoon!