Livery Schools Link Careers Showcase 2017
For the fourth time, the Masons’ Company supported a stand at this annual event, held at the Guildhall on Monday 20th March. There were about thirty Livery Companies demonstrating their crafts to around eight hundred pupils of Year 9 and upwards from 32 schools in the London Area.
It was an opportunity for many to see craft skills in action for the first time. Some of them had never even heard of the varied trades that were on offer.
Our stand was designed to allow children to “have-a-go” at carving their initial – under the excellent guidance of two students from the Building Crafts College. Jack Fonseca-Burtt, in his 3rd year, and Advanced Diploma student Martin Gwilliams were a credit to the BCC – and seemed to have a good although tiring time!
Sincere thanks to them and Freeman Nigel Gilkison, Area Manager of construction and of stonemasonry at the college - for arranging for Martin and Jack to attend, for providing the stone tablets and for loaning the equipment and stand. Also to Liveryman Alan Kraven and his firm F M Conway, for providing the transport to get it to Guildhall from Stratford and back. The Company representation was organised by Court Assistant Martin Low, Chairman of the Craft & Training Committee and supported by the Company charities.
A number of Company members – headed by the Master and Wardens – were also on hand during the day to extol the virtues of a career in stone. Little needed to be done to encourage the youngsters to take part – there was often a queue of those who had pencilled their initial and were waiting to go into the Perspex chamber to try their hand.
One of our first visitors was Mrs Lindy Estlin, wife of Sheriff Alderman Peter Estlin. He also visited us later in the day, as did his colleague Sheriff Alderman William Russell and the Lady Mayoress, Mrs Wendy Palmley. Unfortunately, the Lord Mayor was on an official trip to Estonia.
Lindy was very enthusiastic about the chance to “get on the tools” and produced a very creditable first stone carving of her “L”. She was also thrilled to be able to take it away with her, as were many of the students who followed.
The whole event seemed to go very well. It must have served its aim of introducing young people to the opportunities that lie outside academia – training for a craft rather than heading for university.
The BCC brochures explaining the courses and opportunities available there were certainly picked up by the careers advisers who came – for some of whom the day was an equal education!
The Livery Link organisation arranges a variety of events and activities during the year, as well as the annual Showcase. The art work from the schools project on World War 1 ‘Echoes across the Century’ funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund will be on display in the Guildhall Art Gallery from March 30 2017.
Fifteen Livery Companies and eleven schools have been involved in this project. The official opening ceremony with the Lord Mayor is on April 19. It promises to be a visually exciting and thought provoking exhibition and it is hoped that many members will visit before it closes in July.
Under the watchful eye of Court Assistant Mark Goldman
Article & Photos by: Bill Gloyn - Deputy Master