Well, our first Choosing Dinner since 2019 was a terrific evening. Although the numbers may have seemed down on pre-Covid times, at over 155 people present, it will almost certainly be by far the biggest dinner in the Trades Hall this year. There have been some difficulties with the new catering contractors but the company now delivering the dinners, Regis, did a wonderful job and I think everyone enjoyed their tasty food.
I was honoured that my top table guests included the Deacons of our sister Incorporations of Hammermen from Dundee, Paisley and Irvine. It is my hope that we can strengthen ties with them and the other Incorporations of Hammermen around Scotland, perhaps even to the extent of venturing into some sort of joint project. We were also honoured by the presence of the Prime Warden (the equivalent of our Deacon) of the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights, with her predecessor, clerk and a group of members. The Shipwrights, although a London livery company, have important links here with both industry and academia and traditionally use their trip to our dinner to also visit those contacts.
Other guests included the Glasgow Chain Gang 2022-23 and 10 of our own former Deacons, who were most generous in conveying kind words to me about the dinner afterwards. More personally, it was a delight to me to have most of my family present, several of whom are already Hammermen and others who may be ‘collectable’ shortly!
My guest speakers, Roger Kneebone and Carol Marsh, both old friends of mine, gave fascinating speeches leading up to the toasts to the Hammermen and the Trades House respectively. I have provided the text of Carol’s speech here and anyone wanting more information about Roger’s work is recommended to his website: https://www.rogerkneebone.co.uk.