Carmen and their guests witnessed our new Master Nicholas Kenneth Laister, Senior Warden, Andrew Turner, and Junior Warden, make their pledge at St Stephen Walbrook on the 20th October 2021.
The Master Carman, Peter Cordrey, and Carman Consort, his wife Carol, led the procession following the Standard Bearer and Beadle from Grocers Hall to the combined installation and remediation service which was held at St Stephen Walbrook.
Revd Stephen Baxter made us all very welcome and Carmen’s Honorary Chaplain, Revd Canon Huw Mosford, conducted a wonderfully uplifting and inclusive service. The musical arrangements from our organist, Derek Carden, and our choir master, Michael Woods together with the Carmen’s choir and trumpeters from Christ’s Hospital were all absolutely outstanding.
The new Master Carman, Nicholas Laister (“Nick”), and Carman Consort, Joy, led the procession back from the church to Grocers’ Hall. Nick then hired his cart for the year from its owner, his wife and Carman Consort, Liveryman Joy Laister – a 1915 Fiat Box Van which was originally used in France as an ambulance during the 1914 -1918 War.
Grocers’ Hall not only met our expectations but exceeded them. The venue speaks for itself in its contrasts of classy modern rooms and then the magnificence of the Great Hall itself is breathtaking. The food was absolutely delicious and the front of house service was professional and unobtrusive. We had the Master Grocer, Master Fueller and Master Clockmaker & Consort all with us on the day.
We would like to warmly welcome:
- Court Assistants Allison Kemp and Vince Dignam who attended their first court meeting on installation day;
- Our newest Carmen members who were presented to the Court during the court meeting, prior to the installation;
- Apprentice Zak Kemp-Howard, son of our new Court member Allison Kemp; and
- Honorary member Roz Heffer
The Worshipful Company of Carmen have always been lucky in their choice of Honorary Chaplain and this was exemplified by the Reverend Tom Heffer, who in 2015 agreed to accept that office. Tom was then on the executive staff of the Mission to Seafarers, whose President is our own Past Master Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal. Tom became an Honorary Liveryman in 2006 and the Company was fortunate that he continued to be our Chaplain when in 2009 (because his vast knowledge of the shipping world made him the outstanding candidate) he became Secretary General of the Mission. Tom was a true Carman for when undergoing his religious training he worked as a bus driver in Aylesbury, something his wife, Roz, recalls he loved doing. Tom had met Roz, when they both worked in Singapore and their daughter, Abi, has accompanied her mother today. Tom died, tragically young, at just 43 years of age in April 2012. In the six-and-a-half years Tom was our Chaplain he displayed his warm personality, his gift for friendship, his interest in people and his zest for life. As with our current Chaplain, Huw, people would instantly warm to Tom. He was one of those rare people whose own qualities brought out the best in everyone else. It is public knowledge that Tom was a passionate advocate for organ donation and after death he gave the gift of life to two people who underwent liver transplants, one of whom had been on a waiting list for over three years.
We also warmly welcome those who received their freedom of the Company becoming Freemen:
- Christina Yeardley, wife of Liveryman Dominic Yeardley;
- Lieutenant Colonel Deborah “Debs” Taylor, who is Commanding Officer of our newly affiliated 151 Regiment, Royal Logistics Corps;
- Flight Lieutenant Christopher Chapman, who served with the Army prior to his commissioning in the RAF;
- Graham Funnell a civil engineer, who is passionate about digital transformation, mental health and general well-being, as well as the promotion of diversity within the industry and women in engineering – Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
Also, we had the pleasure of welcoming the following Freemen of the Company, clothed in the Livery on installation day:
- Lieutenant Colonel Elizabeth Sedgwick who came over from Paris especially for the event, where she is currently working for the British Army as Liaison Officer to the French Army;
- Lieutenant Colonel Richard Castle a relatively new and very active Military and Membership Committee Member who has worked extremely hard to achieve the 151 Regiment affiliation.
And last but certainly not least we welcome our Liveryman by Court Resolution:
- Master Fueller, Carrie Marsh – the Fuellers and Carmen have a reciprocal annual arrangement. We look forward to enjoying more happy times and our long tradition of joining you for the Woodmongers’ Supper
Welcome to you all and we hope you will enjoy many years in the Carmen family, together.
We congratulate our Award Winners:
- Clive Warcup MBE, Carmen’s Life Time Achievement Award Winner; and
- Sonya Byers who is our 2020 Special Industry Award Winner.
You can read more about them and their outstanding contributions to the transport industry in our News section.
Nick first came to Carmen events as a guest of Liveryman Stephen Burgess and eventually joined the Carmen in 2005, he joined the court in 2012 and while he lives in Yorkshire, he and his wife Joy, also a Liveryman, have been at most events during their time with Carmen.
Andrew Turner joined the Carmen in 2009 and Iain Golder joined as a 14-year-old apprentice in 1976. Both take their place in their family history as Carmen following in their fathers’ footsteps as liverymen. Indeed Iain’s father, Gerald Golder, was Master Carman in 1995 – 1996.
We send them all of our congratulations and support as together we look forward to a fantastic year ahead.
A stirrup-cup concluded the celebrations and we now look forward to meeting again soon.