2022/23Given the new appointments to the Committee the year kicked off on the 16th June with a Committee workshop at Guildhall. It was agreed that given the changes in social habits and working practices following the pandemic and looking to the Clubs future evolution it was appropriate to stand back and review the Clubs strategy and operations. This was important in order to optimise the available resources and build a strong and attractive proposition to the current membership and one that would attract new members into the future.
The Club was fortunately in a strong financial position and could afford to invest in its development and its membership in order to sustain its long term survival in the new world and new City that it found itself being a part of. It was agreed that the Club should look to include in its programme both virtual events along with physically attended events. This allowed the members who were remote or less able to travel to continue to participate in the Clubs activities. Examples of virtual events have been talks by the Worshipful Company of Fletchers, Historic River Pageants and Pollinating London these proved to be successful and that programme will continue.
In order to make these changes and to ensure that members had a consistent point of contact at the Club it was agreed to contract some administration support to assist with communication, marketing, event organisation and information management. This role was successfully filled during the last quarter of 2022 by Laura Osbourne who many of you will have now had contact with. It was agreed that it was important that the Ward Club looked to develop its relationship with those Corporates within the Ward. A programme was undertaken to develop a database of businesses within the Ward in order to facilitate engagement.
This has been a significant task but I am pleased to report this has been now been built and is in place. I would like to thank member Daniel Liau and Laura for their efforts. The feedback that we have had is that businesses are keen as a part of their social responsibility to have their staff engage with local organisations. This assists them in bringing staff back into the office and to provide them and their staff with access to a local events programme to benefit them individually and expand their horizons. It also provides them provide them with an opportunity to promote their business as a part of the community and an off the shelf means of contributing to their ESG and local community programmes. It also enhances their understanding of the City and the resources available to them. We are looking to further leverage this investment in the coming year. We will be working closely with our new Alderman and Common Councillors in this area.
In 2023 we had both Elections for Common Councillors in the Ward and with Sir Alan Yarrow’s retirement the election of a new Alderman. I am pleased to report that Hugh Selka, already a member of our Committee, was elected to Common Council and Tim Levene also a member of our Committee was elected Alderman and who was also appointed President of our Club. This maintains the Clubs close relationship and alignment with the Wards Civic representation. At this point I would like to pay tribute to Sir Alan Yarrow and his wife Gilly for their long service in support of the Club and its activities.
Over the past year we have developed our relationship with the Livery Companies that are either in or in the proximity of the Ward. Last November it was very satisfying to have our annual joint lunch with the Scientific Instrument makers reinstated. A very enjoyable affair held at their Hall. We also have a collaborative programme with the Glaziers Company and were proud to support the “Women in Business and the Arts” event on the 27th March at their Hall attended by several of our members. A programme of other events is planned. Master Glazier David Stringer-Lemarre has become a member of the Club further building the relationship between the two organisations.
We have had a great year with regard to our Civic events. Our lunch after the Lord Mayors Show was well attended at Guildhall. At our Civic Lunch this year on the 14th April we were honoured to have the Lord and Lady Mayoress and both Sheriffs present. It was a splendid occasion with all of the pomp and ceremony that such an occasion deserves. The Company of Pikemen and Musketeers providing the guard of honour was indeed a sight to behold.
It is appropriate that I thank Father Philip Warner for his support and maintaining the close relationship that the Club has with St. Magnus the Martyr. On December 1st we had our Advent Carol Service. The Choir at St Magnus were excellent as usual and there was a rendition of popular carols at the end of the service so that all concerned could really exercise their lungs. After the service a truly gourmet buffet was delivered by the team lead by Kelly Kelly whose catering skills have been well noted and will be enlisted again on December 13th the date of this year’s Carol Service and one to note in your diaries now as we plan to have some surprise guests.
The Committee this year has considered the Club’s own social responsibilities as a part of the Bridge Ward Community. In this respect we have begun working on two programmes one relating to Education and one relating to the Environment.• The Bridge to Financial
Understanding – to assist young people at schools in Southwark to get to grips with their own personal finances.
• Pollinating Bridge Ward Together –This is looking to increase the number and diversity of pollinators in both Bridge Ward Within and Bridge Ward Without. We are the first Ward Club to work with the Pollinating London Together supported by the City Corporation and a number of Livery Companies to improve the quality of our local environments.
Many of you will have seen that we have invested this year in updating the website and our processes. Thanks to both Jacy Morbey and Steve Hodgkinson for making this happen. We have had several other events of note in the programme this past year including a visit to Angels the largest film and theatrical costume providers in the world. This was followed by a visit and lunch at the RAF Museum at Hendon. On International Women’s Day on the 8th March we were hosted on an excellent and informative visit at the Women’s Museum where we saw many actual artefacts from the suffragette movement held as a part of this thought provoking collection. The Committee is very conscious of the stresses caused to our members by the cost of living crisis and have been making a real effort to minimise event costs. We will continue to do so and look to offer our members the best value that can be achieved in these difficult times.
We have this year reviewed and updated the Club Rules this was an important issue to deal with as points had been raised by members on several occasions and it’s appropriate that a review will take place annually to ensure that the Rules are fit for purpose and reflect best practice. The proposed updates are discussed in item 6 of this agenda.
Finally I would encourage your personal participation in the Club and the Clubs activities. This could be attending physical or virtual events, getting involved with our Education or Environmental programmes or even dare I say working as a part of the Committee. The Club is here for its members and that’s you.
Thank you for your support and I look forward to seeing you over the coming year.
John GavinChairmanMay 2023
I hope that this finds you well as we once again find ourselves in Autumn which of course means the appointment of the Lord Mayor and the Lord Mayors Show.. The oldest parade of its kind in the country, this year will be as spectacular as ever, bringing together the whole City community of those who live,work and study here. We still have a few places for our members lunch at the Guildhall Club.
This is a real gourmet experience starting with a refreshing glass of sparkling wine followed by three delicious courses rounded off by cheese and biscuits. The meal includes wines and port to accompany your cheese. It is truly a great opportunity to give friends and family members the experience of a traditional City dining experience. It is also a time where members of the Club can come together and also meet those attending from other Ward Clubs and City organisations in the congenial and exclusive surroundings of the Guildhall Club.
After lunch we are planning a trip to the Guildhall Art Gallery to see the latest additions to this unique collection. The Gallery’s focus is to collect works of direct relevance to the capital, whether in relation to the artist or to the subject of the work, and to programme exhibitions and events with a focus on London. A great way to take some exercise after lunch and be inspired by a collection promotes cultural appreciation of our great City.
To remind you the Club only has a restricted number of places and these will be allocated on a first come basis – So, don’t delay, please email Bridgewardevents@gmail.com to confirm your reservations with the names of everyone in your party giving details of any dietary requirements ,Then kindly pay by BACS to Bridge Ward Club, Sort Code: 40-15-05, Account No: 61267027 using the reference LMS and your surname.
I look forward to seeing you there.
Bridge Ward Club.
Then kindly pay by BACS to Bridge Ward Club, Sort Code: 40-15-05, Account No: 61267027 using the reference LMS and your surname.
All enquiries please email: firstname.lastname@example.org