The Master’s Blog

I have been persuaded to write a Master’s Blog describing where I go as Master and what I get up to. I will add to it from time to time.

My first event after my installation on 12th July, there was a memorable dinner at the Girdlers Company who have a lovely Hall that sits like a small country house just off London Wall. The girdle in times gone by was an important item of clothing for both men and women, what we would now know as a belt.

Next up was dinner with the Founders who have a Hall in Cloth Fair near Smithfield. Founders were casters of metal, chiefly brass and brass alloys. For the reception, they used the churchyard of St Bartholomew the Great with a Jazz Band. The food and drink on these occasion is exceptional as each Company tries to put on its best fare for visiting Masters, everyone trying to outdo others.

The Company is working closely with Totally Thames a Thames based Festival that runs mainly cultural events for the whole of September. I was invited with my wife to the launch of the Festival at the Chain Store on the dockside at Trinity Buoy Wharf. It was a lovely occasion bringing together everyone involved in the Festival.

I do not want you all to think the life of a Master is all food and drink. I volunteered to cycle from the Watermen’s stone at Teddington to Watermens Stone below Gravesend in aid of the Company’s Lighterage Committee. This Committee seeks to involve apprentices in barge driving, learning local knowledge of the Thames and arranging for retired and senior Lightermen to get together to share reminiscences. It was long way!

Whilst this was underway, I had to ask my Senior Warden Dr Iain Reid to represent the Company at the Merchant Mariners Service in Trinity Square. We feel it is important that the Company plays its part in occasion of this nature.

I was asked to speak at an event held at our Hall by the Corporation of London’s Health and Wellbeing Committee so I was telling guest about the Company’s rowing activities from our Thames Traditional Watermen’s Cutter races, to sculling best boats training for Doggett’s Coat and Badge Wager to rowing Barges. I think they were impressed with all this sporting activity.


McCarthy, Simon The Master, Mr Simon McCarthy

The Company of Watermen and Lightermen, 16 - 18 St-Mary-at-Hill, London, EC3R 8EF

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