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To say my year has been eventful is an understatement

Published on: 29 June 2020

The Master's Blog

I’m writing this with less than 3 months to go before my eventful year as Master comes to an end. Eventful has been an understatement and I sincerely hope my successor will have the chance to enjoy the experience as much as I did in the six months before lockdown and the closure of Butchers’ Hall. 

While it hasn’t been the year anybody would have planned, we’ve all adapted and changed the way we live to suit the conditions.

During lockdown we’ve continued to keep the Livery very much afloat with some excellent work being done at the committee stages and the Court. 

On September the 10th, the date of Common Hall, you’ll have the chance, the privilege, and the duty to vote in the Master and the Court for the ensuing year. An honour only bestowed on Liverymen and one that is not taken lightly in the City. Once you have cast your votes, the new Court and the Committees are put into action. The Liverymen who take on those challenges and responsibilities do so only for the good and for the future of the Livery; I can assure you they give tirelessly for no reward, it’s at their own expense both in time and finance.  

I urge you to remember this, particularly in these difficult times as we adjust the budgeting and welfare of the Livery and its members in today’s climate.

Worshipful Company of Butchers Common Hall 2019
Immediate Past Master, Graham Baker offers his congratulations as Tim Dumenil is elected Master at Common Hall in September 2019.

As an Executive we meet every 2 weeks and indeed whenever the need arises. Under these circumstances we’ve engaged with our bankers, who’ve given us an assurance of backing, been working with the Government and indeed have engaged with the Lord Mayor’s office in Guildhall in the City of London. 

I’ve participated in a couple of important Zoom meetings with the Lord Mayor, the latest one was for Armed Forces Day recognising too the help we give and get from those volunteer Armed Forces we support in the City. They’ve been (as volunteers) running Covid-19 testing stations and indeed were key in the building of the Nightingale Hospital in Docklands at the beginning of the Pandemic. 

The Lord Mayor himself has taken a keen interest in the Livery companies engaged in the food and drink industries as they have been showing support to all engaged in feeding the nation; the Butchers, Bakers, Fruiters, Fishmongers, Distillers and Brewers. All these industries have been hit very hard and have needed to adapt.

The Providitor, Margaret Boanas along with Warden Gwyn Howells, other Court members and Liverymen working with Carla and Elliott had great success with our first Fellowship Friday event a month ago when the actor Michael Fenton Stevens regaled us with show business stories that kept us all entertained. Breakout sessions in advance of the storytelling provided Liverymen with a chance to catch up and compare notes on how to make the most of lockdown. All in all we received positive feedback about the event.

It was a great way to spend a Friday afternoon, so much so that we’re having a repeat on Friday 3rd July when it’s the turn of Robert Bathurst, star of 13 episodes of Cold Feet and also for Downton Abbey. If you haven’t booked yet I urge you to turn to the events page of the website and get your name in.

The event also sees us holding the famous Champagne Draw and 200 Club draw.

We know there’s light at the end of the tunnel and are now planning our return to Butchers’ Hall, timing dependent on circumstances and Government guidelines. Our Butchers’ Hall Management team is working closely with Life’s Kitchen, developing options and opportunities for our safe return. 

Finally I urge you all to make use of the email Bulletins issued from the Livery; they contain up to date information on Livery and industry news and events, booking details and sometimes gossip!  

Until we get the chance to meet again please stay safe, stay well and look after your families.

It’s important to keep the fellowship, friendship and enjoyment going. Indeed, I look forward to seeing some of you at our Fellowship Friday Zoom event.

Best wishes,

Tim Dumenil, The Master

Worshipful Company of Butchers