And now in April…

On 9th, I was invited by Anne Godfrey, CEO of the Chartered Institute of Marketing to the Marketing Excellence Awards at Grosvenor House Hotel. Good to touch base with our professional body and see how it is moving with the times.

The following week (15th) Nic Birtles, Master of the Information Technologists held a dinner in their hall. There my discussions were about Ironbridge and to review the progress made following the support from the Marketors, the Information Technologists and the Management Consultants with their management when we next visit.

The next day (16th) it was the Lord Mayor’s Big Curry Lunch at Guildhall. Hosted annually by the Lord Mayor this event supports the Army Benevolent Fund raising vital funds that help care for those who gave service in the forces and their families. More than 5000 people were helped by this charity in the last year. HRH the Princess Anne attended. Two former Masters of our company, Sally Muggeridge and Michael Harrison were on the organising committee of what was a very successful event. That evening, I was a guest at the Court Dinner of the Makers of Playing Cards held at Cutlers Hall. Dr Zenna Atkins, former Chair of Ofsted gave the most enlightening talk about the dire state of education in our country. More than 47% of children leave education with qualifications below the minimum required by government. We can only hope that by raising awareness of this things improve.

The following week (22nd) I was surrounded by wall-to-wall academics – some in their gowns and mortarboards. It was the Chancellor’s Dinner at the Mansion House held by the Lord Mayor as Chancellor of the City of London University. It was interesting to hear what it takes to create and run a successful university – it is about maintaining the balance between home based students, overseas students and having enough funded research programmes to create an attractive entity. In other words it is all about branding their establishments and managing their international reputations.

On 27th April, Richard Christou, our Junior Warden and I had lunch at St Dunstan’s where we met the new Headmaster, Nicholas Hewett. Together with the Deputy Headmaster, Tim Kirk we talked about increasing our involvement with the school and of course, the next Lord Mayor’s Show.

The next day (28th) I was a guest of Professor John Uff QC, Master of the Worshipful Company of Arbitrators at their Common Hall Dinner at Cutlers’ Hall. The speaker at their Court Meeting had been none other than our IPM Michael Harrison talking about cyber security. A fun evening.

Later that week (30th) the Master and Wardens of the World Traders’ invited the Clerk and I to their Election Dinner at Stationers’ Hall. We were very entertained by the First Sea Lord General Sir George Zambellas and Admiral Burnell-Nugent (his predecessor) with humorous tales delivered with great panache but emphasising that most of our imports and exports still go by sea, protected by a contracting navy.

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