The Tylers and Bricklayers held their Annual Banquet at Haberdashers’ Hall on Thursday 11th May, when 168 people (including official and personal guests) sat down to enjoy the principal dinner of the year. The setting was a delight: the Hall, which was built only 15 years ago, is the most recent of the major Livery halls. The architect, Sir Michael Hopkins, used light-coloured brick and wood throughout and, with generously high ceilings and a large grassed courtyard, has created a building whose principal rooms are flooded with natural light. We gave the building our triennial award for brickwork in 2005. The setting was greatly appreciated by all, with several people expressing the hope that the Tylers and Bricklayers might meet there again before too long. The caterers provided a really excellent meal, complemented by our Wine Committee’s fine choice of wines, and the diners were regaled by musical entertainment that included two outstanding, and remarkably agile, trumpeters (sponsored by Parker Building Supplies).

Among our guests it was a delight to welcome Major General Keith Cima of the Royal Engineers, underlining the close links between our company and the Engineers’ training establishment at Chatham, as well as other RE officers. The Masters of two of our related companies (the Builders Merchants and the Constructors) were also top-table guests. Our Master welcomed all the guests, on whose behalf there was a warm speech of reply by The Revd Prebendary Jeremy Crossley, the Rector of St Margaret Lothbury. In his witty and urbane address, he emphasised how great the pleasure and honour was for his church to continue its close historic association with the Tylers and Bricklayers and how pleased he was for us to go there each year for the installation service and the carol service. 

In his closing speech, the Master mentioned that he had been welcomed very warmly to events at many other livery companies and that he and his wife Hilary had been touched by the large and enthusiastic attendance that evening. He looked forward to the remainder of his term of office with continuing confidence and honour.