The Company enjoyed an enjoyable and informative day at the Royal School of Needlework, founded in 1872 and now based at Hampton Court since 1987. We were introduced to the work of the R.S.N. with a presentation by the Chief Executive Dr Susan Kay-Williams whose talk captured the style and versatility of embroidery and embellishment in fashion from the 16th century to the 21st century.
We were then given a chance to peek into a few of the schools 60,000 unique artefacts which included examples of Blackwork, Applique, Goldwork and Silk Shading.
Our tour continued with a visit to the studios were bespoke commissions were painstakingly undertaken; as well as bringing historical textiles back to life by restoring them to their original glory.
A buffet lunch was enjoyed by Glovers in the Tiltyard Café in Hampton Court grounds where the Master presented a pair of gloves to Dr Susan Kay- Williams. After lunch, the Master and Mistress took the opportunity to meet RSN first year degree student Anna Holmes, who recently won first prize at the Glovers awards Lunch, with her brief being to design fashion gloves with a symbolic message.
The Master presents gloves to Dr Sue Kay-Williams, Chief Executive of the Royal School of Needlework
Recently, the Company has engaged in a garden project at HMP Wandsworth and from which a generous letter of response was received by Liveryman Maggie Manwaring along with a report which is repeated below.
The Conservation Foundation was most grateful to receive a donation of gardening gloves for its Unlocking Nature project at HMP Wandsworth from the Worshipful Company of Glovers.
The Unlocking Nature project set out to establish new garden areas that transform the use and visibility of spaces at HMP Wandsworth and develop the skills and capabilities of the prison, men and staff through workshops.The project is undertaking work at six sites across the estate, including exercise yards, the training centre garden and staff canteen area. More than 50 workshops are also being run as part of the project in horticulture, bee keeping, and design to support the construction of the gardens and to expand the capabilities of the staff and men.The project is being managed by The Conservation Foundation, working with the prison and specialist contractors for design, horticulture, bee keeping, hen husbandry, evaluation and materials and tool suppliers. While the project was due for completion by September 2017, changes within the prison including the departure of the Governor and Head of Education made this impossible and it is to be extended to March 2018.
Training and workshops
Between March and August 2017 50 workshops have been run with the men at HMP Wandsworth to support the implementation of the new gardens and expand the capabilities of the men and staff.
Led by the former Blue Peter gardener Chris Collins, 20 workshops have covered cultivation, composting, season planning, propagation, seed sowing, turf care, slab laying and pointing, bedding displays, and dealing with pests. A full-time horticulturist will continue the workshops and include training and qualifications.
Twenty four bee keeping workshops have covered apiary rules, constructing hives, importance of record keeping and good equipment hygiene, disease prevention and recognition, bee handling, colony development, swarm prevention, preparing the bees for honey, assessing temperament, pollination, bee farming and producing and marketing honey and wax products.
Design and build workshops
Six design workshops with the men have included collaborative sessions on designing the garden, discussions on practical considerations of constructing and maintaining gardens, and construction of hen coops. Journalist and chicken expert Francine Raymond is leading the introduction of chickens to the prison’s Healthcare yard.
Gardens and construction
The prison’s existing garden has been improved through Chris Collins’ weekly sessions, which have included rebuilding beds, compost bins and hard landscaping to provide a suitable space for horticultural workshops and to provide plants and compost. Raised beds, planted with bee-friendly plants, have been created next to the hives. Similar work is also underway in Trinity yard. This is being carried out by a gang of men, under instruction from two staff and includes practical skills in bricklaying, pointing, rendering and painting.
Unlocking Nature is being evaluated by Coventry University to assess the project’s outcomes and impact. The Conservation Foundation is consulting with representatives of the horticulture industry to investigate the employment and work experience opportunities for men post release who have been involved with the project.
The warm weather of the past few weeks has been quite a challenging back drop to the many livery events that take place in June and July. It’s been a very busy time for me as Master and for Debbie as Mistress, but the highlight for both of us was the Master’s Weekend when 75 of you and your guests joined us for several days in Jersey. Thank you for your letters of appreciation, saying how much you had enjoyed the visit – and we were helped along the way with a lucky break in the weather.
The Master and Mistress with Mr Bill Amberg
Closer to home and sometimes in the City, I would just like to mention a few of the events that I have been delighted to attend, sometimes even being a participant, representing the Glovers Company. Too many to mention them all, but here is a flavour of the past two months:
- With the Master Carman and the Lord Mayor, “branding” old and new vehicles in the annual Cart Marking Ceremony in Guildhall Yard. A major City event for which we offer the essential fire protective gloves kindly donated by Past Assistant David Bennett.
- Presenting Long Service Certificates at Pittards in Yeovil to staff having reached 25 years of service with a chance to tour the factory that makes “World Class Leather”
- Visiting the London College of Fashion to see a Master Class on making gloves by Riina Oun for students who were clearly enjoying this new module in the College’s Accessories course.
- Along with 24 other London Livery Companies, a memorable visit to Lincoln Cathedral for the Heritage Skills Festival and to support the Glovers stand demonstrating the art of glove making.
- A visit to Shoreditch Trust to learn more about the essential work it does for the homeless and the distressed – and to understand what we can do to help.
- Attending the annual dinner that we have with our affiliated regiment, an opportunity to celebrate 62 years of the affiliation and to maintain our close relationship with them.
The Master processing with other Livery Companies at Lincoln Cathedral
Looking ahead, August is always a particularly quiet month in the City Livery calendar but for us we do have a new initiative in August: a special event to raise funds for our Glovers Charity involving a visit to Ahoy in Deptford and a tutored wine tasting. Then, energised after a summer break, we can look forward to the Glovers Croquet day on 16 September, a visit to the Royal School of Needlework and Hampton Court on 21 September, the Election of the Lord Mayor (and our Glovers lunch afterwards) on 29 September, all leading up to our Glovers Banquet at Mansion House on 3 October. Exciting times ahead!
Students at the London College of Fashion were initiated in the art of hand making gloves with two masterclasses at the end of term taken by glove maker Riina Ôun. The aim is to encourage the next generation of accessories designers to embrace glove design as a part of their craft and keep the gloving business thriving in the future. An earlier research trip to Dents confirmed that hand stitching gloves was the best route to take, as acquiring gloving machines and maintaining them can be problematic. Special funding from the Glovers made the two-day workshops possible covering the cost of the tutor, skins of Pittards hair sheep leather and all the necessary equipment.
Students were introduced to types of gloving leather, their selection and preparation. They were briefed on the tools of the trade and the anatomy of the glove before sampling different types of stitching for edge sewing and working the decorative points. By the end of the day they had cut out a standard glove pattern and started to stitch the points. On day two hand stitching a sample glove was the focus, for which a steady hand and patience is required to achieve a good result. The student feedback was very positive:‘ Thanks for your support with this, it adds a very welcome new element to our existing craft skills on the course.’ Another participant remarked: Very fun, interesting glove masterclass, would love more classes like these. Also incredibly inspiring for future projects.'
The Master added: We are delighted to have sponsored these masterclasses as it is a particularly relevant activity for us to support. Liveryman Lindsey Riley who organised the whole event concluded by saying ‘So, thank you Glovers for supporting the students and we hope to repay the gift by boosting our creativity with plenty of exciting glove designs in our future projects. We really hope we can build on this success with more workshops next year now we have got the momentum going.
Lincoln Cathedral invited City Livery Companies to come to Lincoln for their Heritage Skills Festival on 23 and 24 June. This was an opportunity to display traditional livery crafts and raise awareness of the livery companies outside London. Twenty-four Companies took part, including the Glovers’ Company, and the event was a great success. The Cathedral provided a magnificent setting, the Companies produced a range of very imaginative displays and craft demonstrations and a steady stream of visitors passed through the Cathedral on both days. For the Companies that took part it was not only a chance to show their crafts and trades to a wider public but also to meet members of other liveries on a scale that is rarely possible.
The Nave of Lincoln Cathedral
The Glovers’ Company stall had four parts. There was a display of historic gloves kindly provided by the National Leather Collection, curated by Mr Philip Warner who spoke to the Glovers group who visited Northampton last year. Assistant Mike Dodd of Pittards provided a variety of modern gloves, from high fashion via sporting gloves to hi-tech safety gloves, showing the range of the modern glove trade. Pittards and Bennett Safetywear also supplied gloves for sale to the public. Riina Ôun, an independent glove maker from London, provided a demonstration of glove making throughout the two days and made a pair of custom-made gloves as an auction prize.
The Glovers’ team consisted of the Master and Mistress, the IPM, the Renter Warden & Mrs Rowena Seth-Smith, Past Master Chris Dadson and Mrs Val Dadson, Assistant Daphne Cave & her husband, Peter, Assistant Mike Dodd and Liverymen Mike Redwood, Lindsey Riley and Jamie Weir supported by Riina Ôun. In the best Glovers’ tradition they worked hard but managed to enjoy themselves as well.
The Master Glover is keen to point out that it took a great deal of support from within the Company for this event to take place and for it to have been the success it was. Primarily the drive of Immediate Past Master Michael Orr who adopted this initiative during his year as Master but also members of the Glove Trade led by Assistant Mike Dodd and many Liverymen who helped on the day.
Left: The Glovers Stand at Lincoln Cathedral Right: The auction prize
The Company held its now traditional lunch in the Members Private Dining Room at Guildhall following the election of Sheriffs. 35 Glovers assembled and enjoyed a convivial time with each other and were honoured to have Mrs Jaimie Persson, Director of Organisational Wellbeing/Maternity Peer Educational Manager at the Shoreditch Trust, a charity with which the Glovers have a close relationship. Jaimie gave a most informative talk on the organisation after which the Master presented her with a pair of gloves on behalf of the Company.
left: The Master and Mistress with Guest of Honour Mrs Jaimie Persson Right: Glovers setting about what they are good at.
The Glovers held their 2017 Awards Lunch at Plaisterers’ Hall on 4th July 2017, much to the joy of the Mistress Glover who heralds from the Colonies. The Company were honoured with the presence of the world renowned leather designer Bill Amberg who presented prizes to the winners. He also delivered an inspiring talk to the students as well as spending 30 minutes chatting to them following lunch. In addition the Company were delighted to be joined by the Masters and Prime Warden of the Leathersellers, Girdlers, Saddlers, Cordwainers, Curriers, Plaisterers, Coachmakers, Loriners and the Pattenmakers.
Photographs can be downloaded at https://philmccarthyphotography.smugmug.com/Other-8/Prize-Winners-Lunch-July-2017/
As spring turns into summer with the sunshine brightening up the world around us, I look back over the past two months and remind myself of the many stimulating and unusual events that I have been delighted to attend on behalf of the Glovers.
A delightful mixture of visits in the City and outside, so here is a selection of them, particularly including those that specifically relate to our areas of interest and involvement in gloves, gloving and charitable giving:
• A visit to Cornelia James Ltd, glove maker to The Queen, to meet the creative director, Genevieve Lawson, who will shortly be joining our Company.
• A concert at the City of London School, where we have a Glovers Bursary student, to celebrate its 600th anniversary with the first ever performance of a specially commissioned composition and spectacular playing by the school’s string orchestra and its principal soloist.
• Together with the other Leathery Livery Companies, a long weekend visit to York to support the installation of the new Master Cordwainer of York
• Assisting in the judging of a bumper entry of submissions in the Students Glove Design and Safety Poster Competitions; the prize winners will be at our Awards Lunch on 4th July in Plaisterers Hall.
• Privileged to be selected to process at the United Guilds Service at St Paul’s Cathedral, the selection to process occurring only every 8 years or so.
• Attended the opening of the Leather Exhibition at Leathersellers’ Hall, as part of the London Craft Week, at which Riina Oun and Pamela Woods were demonstrating the craft of making gloves.
Looking ahead into June, many of you will be joining Debbie and I in Jersey, and this will be followed by the Go-Karts Grand Prix at Sandown, the Heritage Skills Festival in Lincoln Cathedral, the Election of Sheriffs at Guildhall, the Cart Marking Ceremony in Guildhall Yard and a Walking Tour of the Smithfield area of the City. So much to look forward to!
The Master and Mistress Glover joined the other Masters/Prime Wardens and Mistresses of the other Leathery Livery at a weekend in York for the installation of the Master Cordwainer of York.
A treat was in store for the 40 Glovers and their guests who joined The Master and Mistress on Lisa Page’s skilfully organised visit to the World Heritage City of Bath on Friday 21st April.
We met at Café Rouge for coffee before dividing into groups of 10, enabling us all to experience the treats in store in manageable numbers.
The Fashion Museum tucked away in Bennett Street, holds one of the world’s great museum collections of historical and contemporary dress, including the finest collection of gloves owned by our Glove Collection Trust.
We all met for lunch at Roman Bath Kitchen and toasted Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in honour of her 91st birthday. After this we continued our tour by visiting 1 Royal Crescent. The foundation stone of No 1 Royal Crescent, the first house to be built in this world-famous crescent, was laid in 1767.
The house became a museum in 1970 illustrating authentic room sets demonstrating what life was like in the 18th Century both upstairs and downstairs.
A short walk away was Bath Abbey, a truly magnificent building founded in the 8th Century as a Benedictine monastery. Now famous for its choir school and magnificent stained glass windows. Standing looking down the nave the Great East Window was breath taking. Those Glovers who stayed overnight gathered for drinks and supper at Carluccio’s to complete an memorable day out.
Glovers have to end on a high note and this was certainly the case for those who visited Dents on their way home the next day. Rosemary Harden led us through a viewing of the whole of Glovers’ General Collection of gloves, comprising some 1,300 items.
Earlier this year the Charity Projects Committee agreed to support a new charity. Worthing and District Scope have been active since the 1960s and support the needs of people with a disability, especially cerebral palsy, and their families. They run the charity through Day Centres which are fully equipped to give support to individuals and families.
Many attending the Day Centres are profoundly disabled. However through the wide range of activities offered to attendees one can see a real positive benefit to their lives. Oscar Holmes – Chairman of the Charity Projects Committee and Liveryman Jonathan Isaacs visited one of their Centres this spring and were impressed by the range of activities on offer which include arts and crafts, computer studies, basic cookery tuition, tailor-made fitness programmes and mini bus trips.
Our Livery has donated a stock of premium powder-free vinyl gloves for use by their extensive group of carers. One went away from the project with a mixture of wonderment and joy seeing how the centre is creating happiness and a real purpose to the lives of their group of profoundly disabled attendees.
Assistant Oscar Holmes, Chairman of the Charity Project Committee with Liveryman Jonathan Isaacs during a visit to Worthing District Scope
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