Our visit to the Sky Garden on September 3rd was certainly a Fellowship Walk with a difference – it was on a weekday evening, relatively unstructured and accompanied by live music.
From north, south, east and west almost 45 members and their guests gathered in one of London’s newest public spaces on the 35th floor atop the Walkie Talkie building (aka 20 Fenchurch Street). Certified Guides took up positions at the four sides to share their vast knowledge of the city we all love and to help us identify what we were gazing at on an ad hoc basis.
Arrival on the 35th floor is like entering Terminal 5 in the sky. With broad platforms to the north and south, and plantings over three floors on the east and west sides, the city spreads out in front of you on all sides.
The Walkie-Talkie, at 38-stories, is the fifth tallest completed building in the City of London and was designed in 2004 by Rafael Viñoly, the world-renowned Uruguayan architect based in New York City. Without increasing the building’s footprint, Viñoly successfully turned the idea that buildings have to be smaller at the top on its head. Putting in an urban experience at the top makes it all the more remarkable.
Our Guides (Jo, Herb, Dave and Jiff) were from Footprints of London, a group of friends from one of the London guiding courses who had the bright idea to pool their efforts to promote their walks. Each of them holds at least one of the accreditation badges issued by local London Guiding Associations; and are members of a variety of other history and/ or guiding related organisations. After spending quite some time answering questions and identifying points of interest, they joined us with parched and sore throats to continue conversations over drinks and nibbles. Many of us made one more circuit to take in the city after the sun set and lights came on far and wide.
‘It was thoroughly enjoyable, the food was good, a great opportunity to meet and socialise. This has encouraged me to commit to more Marketors events as a result.’ Freeman Stuart Lamb
These are words of thanks that warm the cockles of any Event Director’s heart. After all, one of the Company’s Aims is to foster fellowship, which is why the Master, the Events Committee and the individual Event Directors put so much thought and effort into the Master’s Programme of Events each year.
Liveryman Debra Marmor
Photography by Clerk D. John Hammond