The period in my year as your Master between mid November and end January has been no less fascinating and varied than the opening month and a half.

It began with the swearing in on 13 November of the new Lord Mayor, Jeffrey Mountevans, the 4th Baron Mountevans, at the Silent Ceremony in Guildhall, a most impressive and ancient event. Immediately after it, I had the enormous pleasure of leading a delegation of the Company at the Presentation of Addresses in Guildhall Library, where we presented Sheriff Dr Christine Rigden with a gift of 12 champagne flutes engraved with the Company’s badge. The Lord Mayor and the two Sheriffs each received gifts from their respective Livery companies in what was a formal but intimate and light-hearted occasion.

I am honoured to be your new Master. I greatly appreciated your expressions of support at my Installation on 1st October and at the luncheon afterwards. Many thanks; they helped to settle my nerves! I thought Grocers’ Hall was a wonderful location and they made us most welcome. I was extremely grateful to Bishop Knowles, my guest of honour, for his clever and amusing reply on behalf of the guests.