Company News

2016 Open House - Sunday 18 September 2016

Drapers’ Hall was once again opened for the annual Open House. 
This event celebrates the architecture and design in the 33 London boroughs, giving access to some 750 venues that are not normally open to the public. They include private homes, government buildings, historic sites and educational establishments.
For the Drapers’ Company, this is an excellent opportunity to enable people to see the Hall and the art on display, as well as to learn about the philanthropic work of the Company and its charitable trusts. 

The Hall has remained a popular venue with some 2,220 people visiting this year, many of them queuing before the opening time to get in.  Visitors were very complementary and many positive comments were made.  This year, younger visitors were given a puzzle to do – finding objects and paintings – which proved to be popular with the adults as well.
It is only possible to open the Hall in this way because of the members who volunteer to be room Stewards to welcome and show people round throughout the day, explaining the Company’s heritage and activities. We warmly thank the 26 Drapers who gave up their time this year.



Election of Master Draper  2016 - 2017

William Francis Charnley Esq

Following election by the Court of Assistants, the Master and Wardens were sworn into office on 26 July 2016 and ceremonially crowned in one of the Company's oldest ceremonies at the Election dinner that evening.

William Charnley was born in 1960, educated at Rivington & Blackrod Grammar School and graduated from Lancaster University in 1983 with a Law degree.  William also has an MA from Cambridge University.
He started his solicitors training in 1985 with what is now Addleshaw and Goddard becoming a Partner in 1989.  He has since been a partner at Simmons & Simmons, McDermott Will & Emery, Mayer Brown and is currently with King & Spalding where he has been since 2012 and heads the European Corporate Practice.
He holds additional posts of:  Fellow of Hughes Hall, University of Cambridge; Honorary Fellow of the Law Faculty, University of Lancaster; Lecturer Hertford College, University of Oxford and Non-executive Director, Bank & Clients plc.
William Charnley became a Freeman of the Drapers’ Company by Redemption in 1997, was called to the Livery in 1999 and was appointed Junior Warden and a Court Assistant in 2010.  He will be elected Master Draper from 27 July 2016 to 25 July 2017. 
His recreational interests are impressionist and modern Scottish art, keeping fit, country pursuits, classic motor cars, music, food and wine.
He is married to Kathryn and they have two children, a son and daughter.  Kathryn is a solicitor specialising in environmental law.


The Company Barge at the Lord Mayor's Show - 14 November 2015

On Saturday 14 November, the Company Barge (Royal Thamesis) took part in the annual flotilla that escorts the new Lord Mayor from Westminster Boating Base down the Thames to HMS President, prior to his parade through the City.  Sadly the winds were so strong this year that Gloriana, the Lord Mayor’s usual mode of transport down the Thames, was unable to leave St Katherine’s dock so a standby pleasure cruiser was used in her place.    The Barge set off from Putney at 7.15am to collect the Master and his wife Crescent, from Westminster Boating Base, before the arrival of the Lord Mayor and his entourage.  

The crew comprising the Barge Master (Andrew Thomson), Assistant Barge Master (Nevill Rogers), Tristan Rogers (his son), Patricia Newton, Celia Devereux, Tom Foakes, Robert Hicks, Eric Chipperfield and the Clerk, felt extremely well dressed in their matching waterproofs as it began to rain soon after they left Westminster...  

The Hall had nearly 200 Drapers families and friends for lunch, all of whom braved the grim weather to see the Lord Mayor’s procession.