08.08.17 Peter Dias

Summer Reception at Girdlers’ Hall


This year the annual Summer Reception was held at Girdlers’ Hall in Basinghall Avenue – a privilege, as the Hall is rarely made available to other Livery Companies.

In 1431 Andrew Hunt bequeathed the Girdlers Company buildings and land which are substantially the site of the present Hall. Hunt’s buildings became the Company’s Hall, which was developed and improved over the years. In common with many other livery halls, this building was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666. The replacement, built in 1681 at a cost of some £1,500, was destroyed by enemy action in 1940, and rebuilt in 1961.

 

The Hall contains a number of items precious to the Company, including the Bell Carpet, commissioned by Past Master Robert Bell (a prominent member of the East India Company) in 1630, woven in Lahore and presented in 1634.

The Garden at the rear of the Hall is an oasis in the City of London, dwarfed on all sides by skyscrapers. We all took advantage of these pleasant surroundings to chat and drink Champagne.

The Master presented John Knightly with the Coachmakers’ Annual Award for his superb work on arranging tours for Coachmakers, especially overseas trips.