The latest news about and from the Worshipful Company of Butchers

VE Day thoughts from The Master

Published on: 11 May 2020

The Master, Tim Dumenil marking VE Day at Smithfield Market.
The Master, Tim Dumenil marking VE Day at Smithfield Market.

The Master's Blog

Today, as I write, it’s VE Day and I’m sure there are many thoughts we can all share about family and friends on a day like today. 

Earlier in the week I went to a very quiet Smithfield and laid a wreath for VE Day on behalf of our Livery Company. I walked to the Memorial in the Grand Avenue, laid my wreath, turned and walked away. It was a very solemn occasion and I felt a great deal of pride in participating.

I’m sure the day caused us all to reflect on the war contributions of family members and indeed of Liverymen. I thought about my father and both grandfathers who fought in the Second World War and the Great War, respectively. 80 years ago last month my father fought in North Africa and through his actions was awarded the Military Cross. We must never forget those who, through their courageous efforts ensured we have freedom today.

A film of the event has been uploaded to YouTube and can be seen below (note that the footage does not begin until approximately 1 minute in).

As we fight a different battle today we should also reflect on the efforts of our Liverymen whose world has been turned upside down and whose continued hard efforts are helping to feed the citizens of this country.

An empty Smithfield gave me the opportunity to reflect on the beautiful surroundings and how lucky we are to have a fabulous Butchers’ Hall in the middle of such a stunning area. I wandered down Cowcross Street, nobody about, passing my father’s old office, bringing back many memories. My first visit to his office was to St John Street where I could look out of the window and see the Trolley Buses turn round.  

Images of the “Party of all parties” came to mind as I considered the possibility of the famous fellowship of the Livery coming into its own after lockdown. Who knows; perhaps we’ll be able to have our very own street party... now there’s an opportunity!

On the business front I’m pleased to report that the Worshipful Company of Butchers, despite Butchers’ Hall being closed, is very much alive and kicking, more about that in my next Blog.

Finally, please continue to stay safe and stay well, feel free to contact me if you need anything as I am at home and going nowhere.

Tim Dumenil, The Master

Worshipful Company of Butchers