The Ward Clubs of the City of London were originally formed as Rate Payers Associations but have long since developed a new role. The Ward of Cordwainer Club was founded in 1902. Its centenary was marked with the publication of The Ward of Cordwainer Club 1902 – 2002, obtainable from the secretary, and the commissioning of the Cordwainer Statue.
The objects of the Club are to promote and encourage interest in the affairs of the City, to generate a friendly spirit and improve the quality of life mainly within the Ward. It is also intended to give support to the Alderman, his Deputy and Common Councilmen in carrying out their considerable duties on behalf of the City of London and the Ward in particular.
The Ward maintains a strong link with the Worshipful Company of Cordwainers, founded over 700 years ago, and which today plays a strong role in nurturing young talent in the fashion and shoemaking industries.
The Club is managed by a Committee consisting of President, Vice President, Chairman, Vice Chairman, Honorary Secretary, Honorary Treasurer, the two immediate Past Chairmen, together with other elected members of the Club and Common Councilmen of the Ward.
Former Presidents of the club include a number of Lord Mayors who have also served as Aldermen in the Ward – Sir Walter Vaughan Morgan, Sir Cuthbert Ackroyd, Sir Peter Venneck, Sir Brian Jenkins and Sir Roger Gifford.
Other than the President, Vice President and the Common Councilmen, the Committee is elected on a rotation basis and the Officers are elected annually.
Ward Club committee 2017 – 2018
|Alderman Sir Roger Gifford – President||Sir Michael Snyder – Vice president|
|Jon Norton – Chairman||David Tucker – Vice Chairman|
|Tom Moore – Honorary Secretary||Tom Hoffman – Honorary Treasurer|
|Keith Loney – Immediate Past Chairman||Mark Boleat CC|
|Alex Barr CC||Sam Walker|
|Rev George Bush||Michael Bunn|
|Tim Collerton||Darren Clayton|
|Carmen Hart||David Reynolds|
The Club currently has 260 members. Membership is open to anyone with an interest in the Ward. Anyone interested in joining the club is invited to contact the Secretary or complete and return the application form. The annual membership subscription is for the first year £50, thereafter £25 .
The Club organises various functions throughout the year for its members and their guests. Recent visits have included the Tower of London for the Ceremony of the Keys, Buckingham Palace, Guildhall Art Gallery and the Old Bailey.
The Club also organises formal and informal luncheons to which members are welcome to bring guests. There is an annual ‘members only’ luncheon which provides an opportunity for members to meet each other and to welcome new members to the Club.
The Club co-operated with the Worshipful Company of Cordwainers and the London College of Fashion to enter a float in the 2012 Lord Mayor’s Show.
The Club’s major event is The Annual Lunch which is held in December at one of the Livery Halls in the City of London, and the Club is usually honoured and privileged to have the Lord Mayor and one of the Sheriffs as its guests.
Forthcoming events include –
|13 June 2017 Crossrail site visit
6 July 2017 City Beerfest at Guildhall
September/October 2017 Visit to John Lobb’s Factory
September/October 2017 Tour of Freemason’s Hall and dinner
November 2017 Switching on of Bow Lane lights and soiree
8 December 2017 Annual lunch
January/February 2018 Wine and wisdom
January/February 2018 Tour of London Metropolitan Archives
Visit to Lincoln’s Inn – 7 June 2016
Thirty members and their guests visited Lincoln’s Inn for a guided tour followed by a three-course dinner and wine in the Barristers’ Common Room. The 90 minute guided tour covered the gardens, the Old Hall, the Chapel and the Great Hall. In the gardens, members saw one of the few street gas lamps that are still in use. In the Chapel we saw the Coats of Arms granted to Past Treasurers of the Inn, including a recent one which had the Treasurer’s hobby of a sail board as the centre piece with the Treasurer’s dog balancing on the board. In the Great Hall we were informed of the history of the Inn and its present day role for students and practising barristers. We were amused by the report of the Inn’s Wine Committee resolving at the start of World War Two that, in the event of an invasion, members would drink the Inn’s stock of wine to prevent it falling into enemy hands.
Annual Members’ Luncheon – Chief Commoners’ Parlour – Guildhall – 14 July 2016
On 14 July, 23 Members met in the splendid Chief Commoner’s Parlour at The Guildhall for the Annual Members-only luncheon. This occasion provides an opportunity for members to meet the newly-elected Officers and Members of the committee.
The Chairman expressed the Club’s gratitude to the Ward’s Alderman and Common Councilmen for making this special venue available. It was greatly admired. The Chairman also outlined the Club’s diary of events from September through to February and, in particular, the Annual Luncheon in the Vintners’ Hall on Friday, 9th December.
College of Arms Tour – 20 September 2016
At the invitation of Mr Timothy Duke, the Norroy and Ulster King of Arms, twenty members had a tour of the public rooms of the College of Arms, including the Earl Marshall’s Court, with Mr Duke explaining the history of heraldry and the present day role of the College. This was followed by a three-course dinner in the Cote Brasserie on Ludgate Hill. The numbers were restricted to 20 by the College to assist all to be able to view historical documents without undue delay. If there is sufficient demand, a further visit for unsuccessful applicants may be arranged in 2017.
Tour of The Queen’s Chapel of the Savoy on 19 October 2016
The Reverend Professor Peter Galloway, the Chaplain, welcomed twenty members and their guests. He went through the history and unique status of the Chapel. Members viewed the throne for the Monarch and the throne for the Master of the Royal Victorian Order, who is the Princess Royal, together with their respective banners. After receiving a description of the grants of arms of eminent members of the Order which were displayed on the panelling, members moved to the Robing Room. The Chaplain explained the displays of the five categories of the Royal Victorian Order and showed the Robe of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. Following the visit members enjoyed a dinner at the Waldorf Hilton Hotel in Aldwych. Some members then adjourned to the bar of the Savoy Hotel to sample the Cordwainer Cocktail on the bar’s list of City of London drinks !!
Annual Lunch on 9th December
The Club held its premier event, the Annual Luncheon, at the Vintners’ Hall. The guest of honour was The Right Honourable The Lord Mayor, Alderman Dr Andrew Parmley. He was accompanied by The Lady Mayoress, Wendy Parmley, Alderman and Sherriff William Russell and his wife, Hilary. The Guest Speaker was Richard Ashworth, a Member of the European Parliament. The historic Livery Company Hall was filled to capacity with 149 members and guests.
The Civic Toast was proposed by the Chairman, who referred to the numerous duties undertaken by The Lord Mayor and the two Sheriffs during their year of office. He made special mention of Alderman and Sherriff Peter Estlin who was the Sherriff at the Central Criminal Court that day. The Chairman presented the Lord Mayor with a cheque from the Ward Club for the Lord Mayor’s Charities.
The Lord Mayor responded and congratulated the Club on having held numerous activities during the year. He endorsed the Chairman’s remarks that the Ward is well served by its recently re-elected Alderman, Sir Roger Gifford, and the three Common Councilmen, Sir Michael Snyder, George Gillon and Mark Boleat.
The President, Alderman Sir Roger Gifford, proposed the toast to the guests. The Masters from the Butchers, Cordwainers and Tin Plate Workers Livery Companies and the Latvian Ambassador to the UK were welcomed.
Richard Ashworth responded with an informed view on how relations between the UK and other members of the European Union might develop during the negotiations to implement Brexit. He concluded by proposing a toast to the Club and its Chairman.
The Chairman closed the proceedings by thanking members for supporting the event. He expressed special thanks to Tom Moore, the Club’s Secretary and the Secretary’s Secretary, Karen Pond, for their hard work in making sure everything ran smoothly.
Tour of the Charles Dickens Museum – 23 February 2017
Thirty-four members and their guests enjoyed a private viewing of the museum which is housed in 48 Doughty Street, the house that Charles Dickens, his wife Mary and their first three children lived in from 1837 to 1839. The four-storey Georgian terrace house is furnished as it was when Dickens lived there. After a glass of wine, members were split into two groups each accompanied by a knowledgeable guide. We learned why forks and spoons on the dining room table were laid with the backs showing. This was to show the silver hall mark to impress dinner guests.
Following the tour, members adjourned to the Luce e Limoni Restaurant in the Gray’s Inn Road for a three-course dinner with an excellent Italian wine.
For information about the Ward Club contact –
Tom Moore, Secretary
Tel: 020 7566 3755