Latest News

Date for the Installation of the new Master will be Tuesday 9 April 2019 – please add this date to your diaries now!

Forms for our New Livery Event on Monday 26 October have been circulated. This is an ideal evening to introduce a friend or colleague who is new to Livery to discover more about the Upholders, our involvement with the City and commitment to our Trades and Charities.  

Walk & Pub Supper for Liverymen joined in last 5 years, Monday 24 September – unfortunately this event has had to be postponed until next Spring.

Mansion House Annual Banquet Wednesday 24 October – welcoming the Lord Mayor and the new Sheriffs and their Consorts.

Please visit the page ‘Other News and Links’ to find out how to contribute to the Chain Appeals of the two Sheriffs-elect. Any contributions will be gratefully received and acknowledged by them. 

Election of Sheriffs for 2018-19 took place at Guildhall on Monday 25 June

The election process took longer than in some years since this was a contested election with 4 candidates for 2 places so the coloured card votes were very carefully counted.

The two Sheriffs-Elect are: Vincent Keaveny – Aldermanic

The Hon Liz Green – Non-Aldermanic

We offer congratulations to both successful candidates and look forward to meeting them around the City following their Admission, traditionally on Michaelmas Eve.

Please visit the Charities page for the result of the adjudication of the Usher Travel Bursary for 2018.

The History Society recently visited the Conservation department of the British Library.  Look out for the write-up of this fascinating visit, available soon.


The Installation of the Master and Wardens for 2018-19 took place at Stationers’ Hall on Tuesday 17 April. Master Tim Solway was supported by Senior Warden Anthony Demby and Junior Warden Mrs Wendy Shorter-Blake FAMU, who gave the speech of welcome to the guests. The 177 guests were welcomed by Guardsmen from the Pikemen & Musketeers and musical entertainment was provided by Richard Exall and Amy Roberts. The Upholders’ banner was carried by our newest Liveryman who was clothed during the Court meeting before the dinner. The Speaker was David Stringer-Lamarre who gave the Toast to the Company and was presented with an Upholders’ Cushion by the Master.  Thanks to Toastmaster for the evening Roy Theobald FAMU and Beadle Phillip Chancellor RVM, not forgetting special thanks to Immediate Past Master Mrs Judy Tayler-Smith for a superb year in office representing the Upholders around the City and in Trade events in Lincoln, Salisbury and Hatfield as well as at our Sea Cadets in Chelmsford to launch a new rescue boat provided by the Upholders’ charities.

We are grateful to Peter Holland for his superb photographs of this event, soon to be available in the Members’ area of the website.                                                          S Nevard



Master’s Court Dinner at Dyers’ Hall, Thursday 22 March 2018


Photographs courtesy of Past Master Christopher Hayman and with Swanette dancers from    

On Thursday 22 March, 42 members of the Court and their guests attended the Master’s Court Dinner at Dyers’ Hall, where we were welcomed by a pair of swans – one black and one white – most appropriate for the Dyers’ Company!*

Although in most years this is an event for Court members and their Consorts only, this year we were pleased to welcome as Guests of Honour of the Company Margaret and Charles Cowling, widow and son of our late Chaplain the Revd John Cowling.

The food was exceptionally good and greatly enjoyed by all, as was the dancing of the ‘Swanettes’, accompanied on the piano by James Hall, who also entertained us during the dinner.

Written by Past Master & Father of the Company Alan Kinsey

*Representatives from the Dyers and Vintners Companies, travelling in traditional rowing skiffs along with the Royal Swan Uppers dressed in the scarlet uniform of Her Majesty the Queen, participate in the activity of Swan Upping which takes place annually on the River Thames. Swan Upping plays an important role in the conservation of the Mute Swan as cygnets are counted, weighed and their health is assessed.


Church Service Dinner at Armourers’ Hall, Tuesday 20th February 2018


The three tenets of City of London Livery Companies – Fellowship, Charity and Education – were well addressed at Master Judy Tayler-Smith’s last Livery Dinner of her year in office, which was a resounding success.

After our Annual Church Service of Evensong at St Michael’s Cornhill, beautifully sung under the directorship of Jonathan Rennert, we retired to Armourers’ Hall for a sumptuous four course dinner, preceded by drinks and rounded off by a stirrup cup.

We will all have our own personal memories of the evening, but “Fellowship” for me came in the form of the very many conversations with both new and established acquaintances. As a choral singer, it was very interesting to learn about the history of the music sung at the service from the Director of Music. But, there were many more conversations. These included one with a Brother of Charthouse and Past Master Lightmonger, Walter Balmford, guest of Past Master Michael Gilham. Walter is hoping to fly in a spitfire on his forthcoming “very significant” birthday and is so looking forward to it. Also particularly memorable was meeting John Allen, personal guest of our Clerk. John is the 5x great grandson of a former Master Upholder and is himself Clerk to the Gunmakers Company.

“Charity” was a generous donation to the Saint Francis Hospice and “Education” came when Alderman Peter Hewitt JP replied on behalf of the guests in an entertaining and highly informative account of the inner working of the City from an Alderman’s perspective. It was interesting to gain an insight into the variation in the makeup of each Ward’s constituents, learn who is entitled to vote at Aldermanic elections, and how Aldermen have to juggle supporting the interests of both residents and city businesses.

Very many thanks from everyone who came to the dinner to the Master and the Clerk for all their hard work behind the scenes. Dr Christine M Booth, Liveryman

The Master Upholder at the launch of City Giving Day


If you have recently been clothed in the Livery, or if you have been a Liveryman for several years but have not had the opportunity to attend, you are encouraged to book into a City Briefing at Guildhall.

They give a short introduction to the work of the Corporation, especially the relationship with the livery companies. Partners are welcome and there are refreshments afterwards and the chance to mix with members from other Liveries. The 2018 courses will take place on Wed 7 Feb, Mon 21 May, Mon 8 Oct and Tues 20 November.

The Installation of the Master and Wardens for 2017-18 took place on Wednesday 26 April at Saddlers’ Hall. 135 guests attended the celebration where Alderman John Garbutt JP was the Speaker and musical entertainment was by soprano Jennifer Witton and pianist Gavin Roberts appearing by permission of the Principal, GSMD.


Mr Tim Solway (left), Senior Warden, and Mr Anthony Demby, Junior Warden, pictured with the Master Mrs Judy Tayler-Smith.

 Photo courtesy of P E Holland Photographic Services

Results of Common Hall Election for the year 2017-18, held at Innholders’ Hall, 11.1.17:

Master:                  Mrs Judy Tayler-Smith

Senior Warden:       Mr Tim Solway

Junior Warden:       Mr Anthony Demby

As Mr Steven Dollond (Junior Warden 2016/17) is not progressing further at the present time, the Master thanked  him for his hard work developing the new Rules and his energy in tackling some issues challenging the Company.

Before the Election took place, Common Hall voted to adopt the new Rules of January 2017.

We are pleased to report news from the Chelmsford Sea Cadet Unit we support:


Congratulations to Cdt Sgt Alfie of TS Upholder, who was announced in December as the winner of the Halliday Trophy, the national Sea Cadet Award given annually to the Cadet with the best result at the RMC Cadet Corporal to Sergeant exams.

Results of Election for the year 2016/7

22.3.16 HAC visit
Master J Anthony (Tony) Lofts

Master: J Anthony (Tony) Lofts

Senior Warden: Judy Tayler-Smith

Junior Warden: Steven Dollond

The Master thanked Mr Graham White (Senior Warden 2015/6) for his service to the company as he has decided he is unable to progress further.