On Friday 23rd June, the Company joined some 25 other City Livery Companies at Lincoln Cathedral to participate in the Heritage Skills Festival focused on those crafts and arts involved, in the widest sense, in the restoration and conservation work of the building. The Festival itself lasted 2 days but involved a considerable amount of preparation work and handicraft by some of our Liverymen and other Embroiderers over the previous weeks and months; the results were certainly worth it.
Located in a prime spot in the Cathedral nave, the Broderers’ stall attracted a great deal of interest from the public and fellow Livery Companies, alike. Isobel Lattimore’s exquisitely embroidered scissor cases sold extremely well, raising over £1,000. Amongst other items on show, the Bishop of London’s mitre (almost uniquely allowed out of St Paul’s for the Festival - albeit into the care of those Broderers who had originally made it!) drew much attention and admiration, as did the demonstration of extremely fine embroidery by Liverymen Anita Ferrero and Judy Hardy and by Masako Newton, a Broderer of St Paul’s. Centre-stage, however, was the absolutely stunningly embroidered sewing box produced by Isobel, Anita, Judy and Masako for the charity auction at the Festival’s end.
In all, some 16 Members of the Company, with spouses and partners, were present at some point over the 2 days with many generously giving their time to man the Company’s stall and that of the Grange (one of the charities supported by the Broderers’ Charity Trust) set up by the Warden and Jackie Crouch.
The first day closed with a procession of the Lord Mayor and the Masters of the participating Companies from the Castle to the Cathedral, followed by Evensong and then an organ recital by the Lord Mayor. Dinner that evening was a formal, black tie event held in the amazing setting of the Cathedral transept, with some 200 Liverymen and others enjoying a drinks reception and delicious dinner. Notably, not only did the Broderers fill more than 2 tables (i.e. a tenth of the capacity), but the Master and a few diehards were the last of the guests to be ‘persuaded’ to leave at the end of the evening (albeit in the august company of the Bishop of Lincoln).
Naturally, Saturday was an even busier day with thousands of people in Lincoln (no doubt helped by the coincidence of Armed Forces Day and the fact that Cliff Richard was to perform at the Castle that evening). Members of the Company will be disappointed to learn that although the Clerk, by means of CCTV, espied the Master participating in the dance routine at the end of the Worshipful Company of Parish Clerks’ Medieval Mystery Play, he arrived too late to capture the scene on camera - the image will have to rest in readers’ imagination.
The finale of the Festival was the auction of various crafts, products and promises from the Livery Companies, which raised a staggering £23,164 (approximately half of which was generated by the stonework produced at the Festival by our Associated Company, the Masons). Appropriately, the Broderers’ embroidered sewing chest was purchased for the benefit of the Company jointly by the Master, on behalf of the Court, and by James Neill, secretary of the Livery Committee, on behalf of the Livery.
Huge thanks for enabling the Company’s involvement in a thoroughly enjoyable and worthwhile enterprise must go to Liveryman Isobel Lattimore for her organisation and sterling hard work, as well as to Liverymen Judy Hardy and Anita Ferrero for all their efforts, too.
Footnote. (With apologies to Private Eye Lookalike) It seems that the Company’s links with Lincoln go back much further than previously appreciated).