The Clothworkers' Company Annual Review 2014

Page 1


Clothworkers’ Annual Review


T H E C L OT H WO R K E R S ’ C O M PA N Y 2014-2015 Master Michael Howell Wardens Melville Haggard Michael Jarvis Andrewjohn Stephenson Clarke Oliver Howard Court of Assistants John Papworth Rear Admiral Michael Harris JP Christopher Jonas CBE Timothy Bousfield Anthony West DL Dr Carolyn Boulter DL Neil Foster Peter Langley Richard Jonas John Wake John Stoddart-Scott DL John Coombe-Tennant Henry McDougall Philip Portal Robin Booth Nicholas Horne Christopher McLean May Alex Nelson Michael Malyon Daniel Jago Antony Jones Denis Clough


S TA F F Clerk to the Company and Chief Executive of the Foundation Andrew Blessley (to 31 July 2015) Jocelyn Stuart-Grumbar (from 1 August 2015) Director of Finance and Administration Stephen White

Design by Chris Monk | Printing by Trident Printing |

Chief Accountant Andy Boon

Beadle and Hall Manager Michael Drummond

Grants Manager Philip Howard

Archivist Jessica Collins

CONTENTS Introduction Textiles Trusteeship Archives and Collections Affiliations

Opulent entertaining in a stunning and versatile space • Capacity for up to 350 • Dinners, receptions, seminars, workshops and meetings • Convenient City location

To find out more please contact ITA* Venues via 020 7871 0577 or

T H E C L OT H W O R K E R S ’ A N N U A L R E V I E W 2 0 1 4

3 4 8 9 12

The Clothworkers’ Company The Clothworkers’ Foundation Clothworkers’ Hall Dunster Court Mincing Lane London EC3R 7AH Telephone 020 7623 7041 Fax 020 7397 0107

Cover Detail from a bookbinding by Hannah Brown (see page 11) of British Textiles 1700 to the Present, inspired by a fabric design by Lucienne Day.

Introduction Founded almost five hundred years ago to promote the craft of clothworking in London, the Clothworkers is today a membership organisation involved in the affairs of the City of London, and which aims to invest its surplus resources in philanthropic endeavour. This Review covers the activities of the Livery Company, The Clothworkers’ Company, and its associated grant-making charity, The Clothworkers’ Foundation. Established by Royal Charter in 1528 through the merger of two older companies, the Fullers and the Shearmen, The Clothworkers’ Company was founded to promote the craft of clothworking in the City of London. It supervised the training of apprentices and protected standards of workmanship. Its members were all actively involved in the craft. Livery Companies have always had close connections with the City Corporation and their members elect the Sheriffs and Lord Mayor to this day. The Clothworkers’ Company accumulated considerable wealth over the centuries, largely through bequests of money and property from members, and by prudent management of its assets. The Company’s overall objectives are to administer its assets and affairs responsibly, play its part in the civic life of the City of London, support the textile industry in appropriate ways and seek to increase its charitable giving. Charity has always been at the heart of the Company’s activity, initially supporting members in need, but subsequently also outsiders. In modern times, the Clothworkers’ charitable activity has been channelled through its grantmaking charity, The Clothworkers’ Foundation,

established in 1977 with a significant endowment from the Company. The Company passes its income, having paid the expenses of running the Hall and its activities, across to the Foundation each year. This, together with income from the Foundation’s own investments, is distributed to a broad range of charities. The Company remains a membership organisation, although there are no longer direct links with its original trade. Members join as Freemen or Freewomen, and some are elected to the Livery, when they take a more active role in the Company. The Court of Assistants, headed by the Master, who serves for a year, runs the affairs of the Company, acting as a board of directors. The board of trustees of the Foundation is drawn from the Court and Livery of the Company. The Company has owned a Hall on the same site since the fifteenth century. This contains the administrative offices, together with function rooms used for member meetings and events. The latter are available for hire to third parties to make the venue accessible when not required for the Company’s own purposes and to contribute to the considerable cost of maintaining the building. This Review covers the key activities of the Company: in textiles (where the Foundation is also active), its commitment to trusteeship, the continuing interest in its heritage and collections, and its support for the armed forces. It also contains information on the broad range of charitable activity undertaken by the Foundation. The Review is directed both at the members of the Company as well as interested outside parties; we hope it will make interesting and informative reading on the modern role of an ancient City Livery Company.

The Company’s coat of arms over the centuries

T H E C L OT H W O R K E R S ’ A N N U A L R E V I E W 2 0 1 4



Textiles The Clothworkers’ roots are in textiles and support for the sector continues to be an important part of our activity. On the next few pages are a few examples of projects and initiatives we have funded. Our objectives are: Support textile technology and manufacturing in the UK ● Maintain our support of academic excellence and innovation in technical textiles, traditional textiles and colour science in the UK ●


Encourage young adults to pursue studies and a career in these fields ● Selectively support and reward excellence in textile design ● Contribute to the preservation and accessibility of textiles collections of national importance

British Library Although perhaps not the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of a library, the British Library houses a diverse range of textiles within its collections. This is because textile items and materials are inextricably linked to book and paper artefacts. The wide range includes banners, flags, and some 125 examples of western embroidered book bindings dating from the 14th century onwards. There are rare Russian books with textile bindings, Hebraic printed silk books, Indian and South East Asian painted, printed and embroidered textiles including scrolls, prayer books, marriage banners, wrappings and decorative panels. The collection even includes a silk Mr Punch costume (part of the magazine archive), African t-shirts and a ‘kanga’ wrap.

The Library has had no coherent preservation plan to care for textile items, or any catalogue of what is in the collection. Many of the textiles are in need of urgent treatment or unavailable for study.

Other items include Burmese talismanic shirts highly decorated in black ink, silk handbills advertising theatre in Exeter, an embroidery by Frieda Lawrence designed by her husband D.H. Lawrence, an 18th century embroidered binding, and an illuminated manuscript bound in peach silk with lavish 18th century silver metal thread embroidery. There is even an escape map of Berlin made from waterproofed silk, on the reverse of which is a map of Germany. These maps would apparently have been sewn into the linings of uniforms.

British Library Accordingly, we agreed to co-fund, with textile conservator the Library, the cost of employing a textile Liz Rose conservator for two years to create an asset register and condition survey, develop a preservation strategy, upgrade the storage, and undertake priority conservation work. In addition to this £41,500 grant, we have supported the British Library on other occasions, including £60,000 towards their new conservation centre and most recently an internship in parchment conservation.

In the Asian collections, in particular, textiles have traditionally been used to wrap scrolls and are often used as substrates for decorative panels such as Jain cosmic diagrams. Objet Or 1234 from the Chinese Collection

T H E C L OT H W O R K E R S ’ A N N U A L R E V I E W 2 0 1 4

We know Dr Cordelia Rogerson, Head of Conservation and Preservation at the British Library, well since she was a former Clothworker scholar at the Textile Conservation Centre. In 2007 she joined the British Library as Modern Materials Conservator and in 2009 was made Head of Conservation. She has held her current post since the beginning of 2015 and in February we were delighted to make her an Honorary Liveryman of the Company, having supported her early in her career and now able to tap into her skills and experience.

Textiles Clothworkers at the British Museum workbench conserve, study and display the collection for the future.

British Museum World Conservation and Exhibitions Centre The seven million objects in the British Museum’s collection tell the story of human experience in every corner of the world, from the dawn of human history to the present day. Their secrets are constantly emerging through scientific examination and care. Many objects are extremely fragile and at risk of deterioration and the need to conserve the collection for future generations has been at the core of the Museum’s activities since its foundation. Around the world, conservators and researchers look to the Museum for advice and training. A decade ago the conservation studios at the British Museum were scattered across the Bloomsbury site and beyond with little scope for the sharing of knowledge and facilities across the different disciplines. In 2011 a grant of £750,000 was made by the Foundation to the British Museum for the creation of The Clothworkers’ Organics Conservation Studio to be housed within the new World Conservation and Exhibitions Centre. This would bring together conservation and scientific research under one roof in specially designed studios and laboratories. The new Centre opened in 2014 and Jodie Rees, Head of Major Gifts at the British Museum, reports on the project. In order to continue to properly care for the collection and both guide and respond to academic requests, improved facilities are essential. To address these challenges, the Museum has built the World Conservation and Exhibitions Centre, thereby cementing its reputation as a world leader in the exhibition, conservation, examination and analysis of cultural objects from across the globe. Almost four years in the making, the WCEC will enable the Museum to build on current successes and to store,

Located in the north-west corner of the Museum’s Bloomsbury estate, the WCEC is one of the largest redevelopment projects in its 260 year history. In addition to the new public exhibitions gallery, the Centre provides state-of the-art laboratories and studios,world class stores for the collection, as well as facilities to support an extensive UK and international loan programme. These spaces will greatly improve the Museum’s operations on-site, and modernise facilities ‘behind the scenes’ and will allow it to extend support to UK and international partners in terms of increasing capacity for staff training and joint projects. The Clothworkers’ Organics Conservation Studio plays a key role, providing cutting edge facilities for the preservation of the most fragile parts of the Museum’s collections, those comprised principally of organic materials. The Museum has extensive organic collections, from all over the world. Many of the objects are unique and the earliest examples of their kind. The studio carries out work on objects such as British archaeological textiles, the Lewis Chessmen, bark cloth, raffia, Byzantine ivories, coffins, Egyptian basketry, Inuit gut parkas, Polynesian feather capes, Andean textiles and the Asante drum, among many other things. The large workshop contains flexible work benches to allow objects of all shapes and sizes to be examined, from wall hangings to canoes and cowrie shells. It is a bright and airy space located on the upper floor of the new building, and is lit from above by a large central skylight and windows along the entire north side. The Clothworkers’ Organics Conservation Studio will greatly enhance the Museum’s ability to engage with the many source communities whose material culture is represented in the collections and allows it to take advantage of the opportunity to examine objects that conservation provides. Visitors from the countries of origin and community groups from the UK are able to view these objects, reviving cultural memory and helping to keep alive ancient traditions and crafts.

The new Centre

T H E C L OT H W O R K E R S ’ A N N U A L R E V I E W 2 0 1 4



Careers Conference In October 2014, jointly with The Weavers’ Company and the Campaign for Wool, the Company hosted a careers conference in Bradford entitled Making It in Textiles. The aim of the two-day conference was to forge stronger links between education and the UK textile manufacturing industry.


The event was attended by over 100 delegates comprising final-year textile design students and a handful of tutors from twenty institutions around the UK. The idea behind the conference had stemmed from feedback from course tutors who felt there was little opportunity for students to learn about the textile industry first-hand by talking to manufacturers and observing the production process. With the UK industry experiencing a resurgence after 20 years of contraction, mill closures and an ageing workforce, there is now a severe lack of technicians with manufacturing skills, leaving the mills in danger of being unable to take advantage of growing demand for UK cloth. Currently there are many more textile design graduates than there are jobs available in design. Textile companies need young people with a range of skills who are interested in building on their design expertise to work in areas such as manufacturing and quality control. There is thus a real need to focus on getting textile design students interested in the wider textile industry. Over the two days the students heard from a number of experts who work in different areas of the sector from colour and dyeing, through yarn production, weaving and finishing. Guest speakers included Beryl Gibson, Sinclair Paterson (Sinclair Duncan Textiles), James Laxton (Laxtons), John Gillespie (Gillespie Designs), Harriet Wallace-Jones (Wallace Sewell),

Richard Humphries (Humphries Weaving), Gary Eastwood (Pennine Weavers) and Paul Johnson (W.T. Johnson & Sons). The presentations were inspirational and gave the students a useful insight into what it is like to work in the modern textile industry. At dinner Victoria Stapleton, Founder and Creative Director of Brora, spoke about the company’s advocacy for ‘making things here’. During dinner the students had the opportunity to network with the speakers, mill representatives and their peers from other institutions. On the second day, groups of students were taken by coach to visit one of five mills to see first-hand how a modern textile business operates. There was some very positive feedback from students and tutors on the conference and the intention is to hold a similar event in October this year.

T H E C L OT H W O R K E R S ’ A N N U A L R E V I E W 2 0 1 4


Charitable Grants 2014 University of Leeds – School of Design Purchase of equipment for the Textiles Department


University of Leeds – Department of Colour Science PhD bursaries £80,000 University of Leeds – School of Design PhD bursary in green chemistry


Cockpit Arts Bursaries for six weavers


Textile Conservation Foundation MPhil bursary at the University of Glasgow £27,400 University of Leeds – Department of Colour Science MSc bursaries


The Weavers’ Company Textile Education Fund Industry placement scheme £27,000 University of Leeds – School of Design MSc bursaries in Medical Textiles


University of Leeds – School of Design Post-doctoral research


7 Chichester Cathedral Conservation of John Piper tapestry


Textiles Intelligence Graduate work placement


Bradford Textile Society Fabric design competition




University of Huddersfield BA/BSc bursaries in Textiles with Surface Design £15,000 Royal College of Art MA bursaries in Textile Design


Central St Martins College of Art and Design Bursary and student materials fund £12,500

Company Support University of Leeds Clothworkers’ Innovation Fund


Textile Centre of Excellence Apprenticeship champion


Careers Conference


New Designers Printed textile prize




T H E C L OT H W O R K E R S ’ A N N U A L R E V I E W 2 0 1 4

Trusteeship The Company has determined that it should have a common purpose which binds its members together. In recognition of the serious shortage of individuals prepared to join the governing bodies of charities, we have chosen trusteeship as this common purpose.



Our objective over time is that the majority of our members should be actively involved in some form of pro bono activity, whether as a trustee of a charity, a school governor, member of a Parochial Church Council etc. This initiative will inevitably take time to gather momentum, but we are pleased that some 25% of our Liverymen are now actively involved. We encourage our members to consider suitable roles and provide support through access to the resources of Prospectus, one of the leading recruitment firms in the voluntary sector. At the end of 2014, we also agreed to support Cause4, a social enterprise which works with charities on strategic issues, and the merchant bank, Close Brothers, in the development of a modular series of trustee leadership programmes to educate and enthuse people to become trustees; our hope is that a number of our members will sign up for the programme and subsequently obtain a role.

Reach We have supported Reach for a number of years. This charity acts as a broker between volunteers seeking roles and charities seeking people. Their TrusteeWorks service has received several grants from the Company, and is growing well. They took a decision in late 2013 to make the service free to charities having income of

less than £1m. During 2014, trustee role registrations rose by almost 50% to 674 and successful matches (people to roles) grew from 218 to 372, a 70% increase. In addition to supporting Reach’s core costs, we have provided funding for their new IT platform, iReach, which is scheduled to be implemented in mid-2015. Our grants were made for two aspects of the project: a widget on the platform which allows the streaming of live opportunities, suitably filtered, to any third party website; and a ‘knowledge centre’ on the site which will include information and links to resources about recruiting trustees, building stronger boards, or becoming a trustee.

New Philanthropy Capital We continued our partnership with New Philanthropy Capital in mounting seminars for trustees at Clothworkers’ Hall. In 2014, four events were held with topics ranging from federated charities and campaigning, to ensuring an effective partnership between trustees and management, and financial oversight. Our collaboration with NPC on trusteeship goes back to 2008 when we commissioned them to write a review entitled Board Matters. Since 2010, we have hosted a dozen seminars on a variety of relevant topics, engaging trustees on issues that matter and encouraging good governance. Almost 1,000 people have attended these events, including a number of our own members. Briefing notes are written on each event which are widely accessed through NPC’s website. A further series is planned for 2015 on such topics as alternatives to grant funding and strategic oversight.

Governance Awards We have been working with our partners – NPC, Reach and Prospectus – to develop an annual awards event to celebrate outstanding governance in the not-for-profit sector. An extensive research exercise amongst charities was undertaken late in 2014 to determine whether there was appetite for such a stand-alone event; the results were overwhelmingly positive and as a result we are planning on launching a full-scale event from 2016.

T H E C L OT H W O R K E R S ’ A N N U A L R E V I E W 2 0 1 4

Archives This year CalmView, the catalogue of the Company’s archives, library and heritage collections was made available online. We are the first Livery Company to have made our catalogue publicly accessible and searchable in this way and have already received a number of enquiries from researchers across the globe who have discovered our collections for the first time.

Companies Online (, which provides free access to historic apprenticeship and Freedom records. We are delighted that ROLLCO now has ten Companies’ membership records online and that The Stationers’ Company has also recently agreed to join the initiative. We hope that other Companies will follow this lead, and have made some funding available to the CMH to facilitate this.

CalmView is the leading online catalogue software for archives and comprises detailed descriptions of the Company’s archives, photographs, estate records, books, bookbindings, paintings, clocks and other collections, together with a selection of images of particular treasures to give a flavour of our collection strengths. It can be accessed online at There will be updates to the CalmView site on a quarterly basis and the Company’s plate catalogue is scheduled for inclusion in 2015.

We are currently digitising a large collection of eighteenth and nineteenth century Wardens’ chits which we hope to make available online in the future, and have also provided additional funding to the CMH to make the research database from the People, Property and Charity project available online ( Comprising transcriptions of all references to Company properties and benefactors, tenants and recipients of charity over the period 1500-1688 from our Court Orders, the database will provide a very valuable resource, enabling in particular the opportunity to locate and research the very poor, who were previously all but invisible.

We have also embraced technology in other ways. We collaborated with the Centre for Metropolitan History (CMH) at the Institute of Historical Research to create ROLLCO, the Records of London’s Livery

Whilst all these projects allow a greater number of people to access our records remotely, we remain keen to support research. We continue to welcome academics and students to come to the Hall to consult the archives for their research and last year added a new display case to the Entrance Hall for temporary displays of the Company’s archives. In keeping with recent research trends, our present exhibition focuses on the Company and its early benefactors and charities.

T H E C L OT H W O R K E R S ’ A N N U A L R E V I E W 2 0 1 4



Collections We continue to preserve, make accessible and develop our collections, whilst supporting talented artists and craftsmen in a number of fields.

Silver 10

We have a fine collection of silver dating back to the seventeenth century, amassed largely through the generosity of past members; however, the Company has always separately commissioned pieces for practical use. Building upon this tradition of patronage, our present policy is to commission a piece from a talented British-based silversmith every other year in order to build a representative collection of the best of contemporary British silver. We have also recently revamped the display in our plate vault and are in the process of introducing new LED lighting to replace the outdated heat-generating tube lights currently used.

Jane Short goblet This year we commissioned a three handled silver loving cup from the up and coming designer Rauni Higson. We will also shortly take delivery of an engraved and enamelled goblet designed by the celebrated enameller Jane Short. The goblet is the Master’s gift of Robin Booth, Master in the Olympic year. The engraving represents the process of turning wool into yarn and finally billiard cloth, a speciality of the Booth family business. At the base the richly coloured flames rise from the ‘petals’ of Thomas Heatherwick’s iconic Olympic torch.

Tapestries We are fortunate to have three 18th century Brussels tapestries hanging on the Grand Staircase in the Hall, acquired in the 1970s with a legacy from a past member. They are in excellent condition for their age and are rare examples of the work of Franz and Jacob Van der Borght. No cartoons have survived nor are any duplicate sets known to have been woven.

Depicting the story of Cyrus, King of Persia, they are well suited to their prominent setting and the glazed dome above is artificially lit to aid their preservation. Conversely, the Brussels tapestry on the west Livery Hall wall, purchased as a stopgap in the 1980s, is a much less vibrant work and receives little attention from guests. As such, the Court has decided to replace this with a new contemporary work from a prominent artist. Chris Ofili, whose work was recently the subject of a major retrospective in New York, accepted the commission and his triptych design is currently being woven by Dovecot Studios in Edinburgh, one of only two surviving weaving studios in the UK. Complementing the Company’s support of the textiles sector more widely, the commission is a strong statement of our support for our root craft and we look forward to having the tapestry in the Hall once weaving is completed in 2016.

Dovecot Studios

T H E C L OT H W O R K E R S ’ A N N U A L R E V I E W 2 0 1 4



Hannah Brown binding


Supporting talent

The Company continues to support bookbinding, recognised to be an endangered craft.

We are pleased that the annual competition by students at the Royal School of Needlework to design a kneeler for use at our guild church St Olave’s has recently been revived. This year the theme was Samuel Pepys and two winning designs were selected for stitching. The church now has a number of kneelers provided by the Clothworkers, with a range of designs related to the Company or the church.

We support prizes in the Open Choice category at Designer Bookbinders’ annual competition, provide bursaries to bookbinders attending training master classes organised by DB and the Society of Bookbinders and are building a collection of fine bookbindings, displayed in two bespoke cases in the Entrance Hall. We currently have five books out with binders and recently took delivery of a binding by Hannah Brown of British Textiles, 1700 to the Present. The binding, housed in a bespoke oak box, features a diverse collection of leather designs intricately painted, embroidered, and onlaid onto the covers, inspired by the fabric samples pictured within the book. We are concerned about the decline in training opportunities for bookbinders and some years ago forged a partnership with QEST, The Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust, to co-fund a scholar in bookbinding on an annual basis. This has enabled a number of talented students to take postgraduate training in bookbinding and conservation at Camberwell and West Dean for example. Our present QEST scholar, Alison Heath, is undertaking an advanced bookbinding course at City Lit coupled with intensive 1:1 tuition with two master craftsmen. Our scholarship funding comes to an end in 2015, but we have recently agreed with QEST to establish an apprenticeship in bookbinding in order to help those at entry-level into the craft.

We also award a small monetary prize each year for the best Future Tutor student in any year at the School and are delighted that Christopher McLean May, the Immediate Past Master, has agreed that part of his Master’s gift to the Company – of a small hand-beaten Swedish silver cup – will now be presented to the winning student as part of their prize. We wished to create a book plate to be affixed to the inside cover of each of our bindings, and held a competition at the City & Guilds Art School amongst their fine arts undergraduates. The Clothworkers, like a number of other Livery Companies, have a longstanding connection with the Art School. The winning design, by Helena Crabtree, has now been produced and is in use.

Helena Crabtree book plate Alison Heath

T H E C L OT H W O R K E R S ’ A N N U A L R E V I E W 2 0 1 4


Scots Guards by Captain Neil McClelland, Unit Welfare Officer, 1st Battalion Scots Guards

Over the past year the kind donation from the Clothworkers to our Welfare Fund has allowed me as the Welfare Officer to organise lunches, activities, social events and outings for the families of 1st Battalion Scots Guards. Below are just a few of the highlights that have taken place in the last twelve months.


The families BBQ was the first weekend after the Battalion had deployed to Canada but still over a hundred family members attended and the rain managed to stay away for the majority of the afternoon. Entertainment for the children started with a Punch and Judy show, followed by plate spinning, magic tricks and a bubble machine. This was followed by a fantastic BBQ with more than one or two burgers consumed by all. Scarborough was our next big event and on a slightly overcast morning in July, 178 family members boarded the four awaiting coaches. In anticipation of an action-packed day at the seaside the excitement on the coaches was electric and, despite the early morning start, everyone was in high spirits. Fish and chips, sand, sea and sunshine were the order of the day. The weather was great, the food, the entertainment and the fun factors were superb and, all in all, it was another amazing trip. Our theme park outing was extra special and on Saturday 18th October 2014 we embarked on a long but eagerly anticipated journey to Blackpool, the Pleasure Beach and the world famous Blackpool Illuminations. Characters from the park welcomed the children and once dispersed, families headed off in every direction in search of the daring ride of their choice. The journey home was much quieter and as dusk fell the Illuminations of Blackpool shone bright whilst children looked on in amazement as they passed under the vast array of colour.

T H E C L OT H W O R K E R S ’ A N N U A L R E V I E W 2 0 1 4

The Children’s Christmas party this year was, as always, filled with festive laughter and cheer. Faces were painted and before long there was a multitude of fairy and Rudolph faces excitedly jumping around on the bouncy castle. With regular updates on his journey, the sound of Santa’s bell could be heard approaching from the distance. Santa worked very hard and, aided by his Little Helpers, every child received an amazing present to open and take home with them. The Ladies Christmas dinner was an outstanding success and a relaxing evening for the soldiers’ wives and partners to enjoy. For their resounding support and dedication the ladies were treated to a fantastic Dinner Night in the superb splendour of the Sergeants’ Mess. The transformed surroundings twinkled with sparkling silver and glistening crystal, and laughter rang out all night and into the small hours. The highlight of the evening was a visit from Santa who magically appeared to ensure all the ladies received a present. Events are already underway in 2015 with two cinema clubs having run in February and March, an Easter lunch for over 150 in late March and a theme park trip in mid-April. The Battalion will shortly be relocating from Catterick to Aldershot and our families will move south over the months of June and July with a view to them all being settled in our new home by the start of the September term. Without the generosity of the Clothworkers, none of the above would be possible so it is with heartfelt thanks I would like to once again thank you for your continuing support.


47 Squadron by Officer Commanding Wing Commander Dave Stewart

There has been much change on 47 Squadron in the past few months since I took over from Wing Commander Graeme Gault at the end of last year. We have grown almost fivefold by welcoming all of the 430 Hercules engineers into the Squadron family – but the operational tempo has not diminished, both in the middle-east and elsewhere. On January 1st, 47 Squadron became the largest Squadron in the Royal Air Force with the addition of the C-130 engineers. A change that led the new boss to reflect, ‘I am delighted to have them on board and believe that as the Squadron has been the primary recipient of their engineering output it makes good operational sense, but moreover it feels right to have the engineers with whom we have deployed and served for so many years finally sharing our history and wearing the Squadron badges.’ Operations put on ice Despite the radical change in the Squadron manpower there has been no change to the operational tempo. Leaving Afghanistan has not brought any kind of lull. The Squadron still have crews in the Falkland Islands and deployed in support of operations in Iraq that have followed on from recent humanitarian airdrop missions. During January and February a crew joined with XXIV Sqadron to take advantage of the austral summer to carry out air drop missions to British Antarctic Survey (BAS) research stations in Antarctica. BAS are wholly dependent on fuel barrels delivered by their Twin Otter and Dash-9 aircraft for heat, light and to provide transport between their remote locations. However, for every two barrels delivered a further three are consumed by the aircraft transporting them. The Squadron were able to air drop up to twelve barrels at a time. In all 37 loads, carrying 148 drums of fuel, were

delivered to Fossil Bluff over four sorties and the crew had the invaluable experience of planning and executing a series of missions into a truly remote part of the world. Squadron members recognised Two members of the Squadron were recognised by awards on the Operational Honours List for 2015 for their outstanding efforts during Operation PATWIN, which was humanitarian relief after super-typhoon ‘Haiyan’ struck the Philippines in 2013 causing 4,011 fatalities and 18,557 injuries. For their part in the rapid deployment and air-land missions that followed, Squadron Leader Calvin Bailey received an MBE and FS Samantha Green a Queen’s Commendation for Valuable Service (QCVS). 47 nears its centenary The Squadron was delighted to accept the Master’s invitation to dine at Clothworkers’ Hall in March. There, the outgoing and incoming Squadron bosses were able to say thank you for the fantastic support afforded by the Clothworkers in the past year, as well as to invite the Clothworkers to return to Brize Norton later in 2015 for a visit, and to join with the Squadron as it starts to look ahead to next year which will be its 100th anniversary. I know that 100 years is a drop in the ocean compared with the history of some of the Company’s other affiliations or indeed the Clothworkers Company itself, but as we outdate the RAF itself by a couple of years we are pretty excited about sharing our centenary with our newly grown squadron cadre, as well as our old friends and affiliates.

T H E C L OT H W O R K E R S ’ A N N U A L R E V I E W 2 0 1 4