The New Clerk of the Drapers’ Company
Colonel Richard Winstanley OBE became the Company’s new Clerk on 20 December 2012.
Richard was commissioned in to the Grenadier Guards in 1984 and immediately deployed to the jungles of Belize. Thereafter, the early part of his career was interspersed with deployments to Northern Ireland, and postings in London, the south of England and Germany. A stint at the Army’s Staff College in 1996, another staff (desk) job in Germany and company command in Northern Ireland saw him appointed Academy Adjutant at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. Promotion to Lt Col and a deployment as the Military Assistant to the Chief of Staff of the NATO mission in Kabul, Afghanistan followed. After another staff appointment he took command of the Allied Rapid Reactions Corps Headquarter’s Support Battalion returning to Afghanistan to provide life support and protection to the Corps HQ during its deployment to Kabul in 2006-07.
He was awarded the OBE in recognition of his command in Afghanistan. Promoted to Colonel in 2009, he spent two years in the Army’s Personnel Centre in Glasgow before return to Warminster to become Colonel Infantry responsible for the personnel and regimental challenges facing the Infantry as it downsizes on its withdrawal from Afghanistan. He remains the Deputy Grenadier Regimental Lieutenant Colonel.
He is an active Trustee of the Afghan Appeal Fund, which seeks to advance the education of children in Afghanistan, where he has oversight for identifying and seeing through to fruition school building projects.
He is a keen shot and fisherman, enjoys his cycling and is a novice gardener who has much to learn.
Richard is very much looking forward to working for the Company and being involved in its many activities, and both he and his wife (Caroline) very much look forward to meeting the Company’s membership in the New Year 2013.
The Twelve Great Companies 2012 Olympics Fund
In 2010, the Twelve Great Livery Companies of the City of London agreed to make a three-year joint charitable grant to the Ron Pickering Memorial Fund in order to support 21 very talented, young track and field athletes as their gesture towards the support of the London Olympic Games. These Athletes were all under the age of 23 and were not receiving financial support from any other source. While the 2012 Olympics were the focus for this initiative, realistically the chances of any of these young athletes making team GB were pretty small. 2016 was the more likely target.
It was really wonderful therefore that, as the Olympics drew near, an extraordinary total of nine of the 21 were chosen for the British team. As the events unfurled five of those nine made the final of their event. Many achieved personal bests, one broke the British record, one came fifth in the World and one, the high jumper Robbie Grabarz, won a bronze medal.
Some of the athletes supported by the Great Twelve Olympic Fund
To celebrate this tremendous achievement, a reception was held in Drapers’ Hall on 29th October. It was attended by representatives of each of the Twelve Great Companies, officials and trustees of the Ron Pickering Memorial Fund, British Athletics and most of the original 21 young athletes.
The appreciation of the Companies’ support was very evident from the ‘stories’ of the athletes, and was highlighted by Charles van Commenee, the former UK Athletics head coach, in his speech at the reception.
Mrs Pickering, The Master and Mr Simon Leatham
As a very special mark of recognition, Mrs Jean Pickering (Ron’s widow) was presented with the Honorary Freedom of The Drapers’ Company in front of the assembled guests by the Master Draper, Lady Victoria Leatham, whose original idea the grant had been, in recognition of her Father, The Marquis of Exeter and himself a Draper, who as Lord Burghley had won the gold medal for the High Hurdles in 1928. The Master said that this was a way of expressing the Company’s deep admiration of Jean’s work on behalf of athletics in general and the Ron Pickering Memorial Fund in particular.
Her Majesty The Queen Opens Drapers' Academy
Her Majesty the Queen, the Drapers’ Company’s most illustrious Freeman, honoured the Company by visiting Drapers’ Academy
on Harold Hill on Friday 26th October 2012 to open its magnificent new school building. It was only the second time in Her reign that She had visited the London Borough of Havering, and the excitement in the local community and amongst the children and staff was palpable.
Her Majesty The Queen meeting students at the Academy
Her Majesty was received at the entrance by The Lord Lieutenant of Greater London, Sir David Brewer, who in turn presented to Her, amongst others, the Master Draper, Lady Victoria Leatham, the Chair of Governors, Past Master Major-General Adrian Lyons, and the Principal, Mr. Matthew Slater.
She then toured the new building, which the staff and students had moved into last month. It was designed by the Architects, Feilden Clegg Bradley and built by Kier Construction.
Her Majesty The Queen being shown a science project
Year 10 students showed The Queen their science projects and the arts department also performed a scene from The Little Shop of Horrors. She visited a Gymnastics class and met members of Staff, Governors, the Drapers’ Company Wardens and representatives of the London Borough of Havering and the Drapers’ co-sponsors Queen Mary, University of London. She was then entertained by the School Choir.
The Queen took luncheon in the school dining hall with students from the new Sixth Form, which started in September, and some 60 other dignitaries and members of staff. The Academy’s chefs cooked the three-course lunch, which was served by a team of waiting staff from Drapers’ Hall. The Chair of Governors gave a short speech of welcome and proposed a toast to Her Majesty.
Her Majesty The Queen meeting chefs and waiting staff after lunch
Before She left, The Queen unveiled a Foundation stone which commemorated Her visit, and received a posy which was presented to Her by Grace Taylor from Year 10.
Her Majesty The Queen unveiling a Foundation stone to commemorate her visit
Her Majesty The Queen being presented with a posy by Grace Taylor of Year 10
She then departed, but on Her way out of the building She was greeted by a cacophony of cheering from a flag waving crowd of enthusiastic children from the nearby Primary and Special Needs schools.
Her Majesty The Queen departing the Academy
It was a wonderful day, which the young people from Drapers’ Academy will remember for the rest of their lives.
Election of The Lord Mayor
The Master and six other Liverymen from the Company took part in the annual historic ceremony of Common Hall at Guildhall to elect the next Lord Mayor on Monday 1 October 2012. Alderman Roger Gifford was elected as the 685th Lord Mayor of London for the year 2012-13. Amidst all the tradition and ceremony, the Livery plays an important part each year in the election of the two Sheriffs, the Lord Mayor and other City officers.
He takes office at the Silent Ceremony on 9 November and on Saturday 10 November he will travel in the State Coach to the Royal Courts of Justice to swear loyalty to the Crown in the 3.5 mile procession which makes up the Lord Mayor’s Show.More information on the Lord Mayor's Show can be found by clicking here
Open House London 2012
The annual Open House London took place over the weekend of 22-23 September 2012. It was the biggest celebration yet of London’s architecture with nearly 800 buildings, walks and events show cased. Drapers’ Hall was open to the public on Sunday 23 September and 30 members of the Company attended as volunteer guides to help and inform our visitors. Despite the rain, a record 2,163 people visited the Hall.
Next year’s Open House London will take place on 21 and 22 September. For more information click here
On 6 September over 50 members of the Company, led by the Master, visited Drapers’ Academy situated on Harold Hill, in the London Borough of Havering, to celebrate the opening of the magnificent new school building. Drapers' Academy's new building, designed by the architects Feilden Clegg Bradley and built by Kier, provides excellent facilities that will allow everyone involved with the Academy to continue the transformation of education in Harold Hill. The new accommodation will help the pupils to achieve even greater success. As the Principal, Mr Matthew Slater, said: ‘They will be motivated and their aspirations will be elevated to a new level, one which they deserve’.
Already Drapers' Academy's results are impressive. The 2012 GCSE results showed 62% of pupils attaining 5 good GCSEs including English and Maths, which makes Drapers' Academy one of the fastest improving schools in the Country.
Victoria was fascinated by “old things” from an early age and began haunting sale rooms, buying paintings and furniture to furnish their London house. Some years later, she began working for Sotheby’s in Bond Street with added responsibility as valuer and “business-getter” in the East of England. At this time she joined the BBC Antiques Roadshow as a “Miscellaneous” Expert and was a regular contributor to the programme for 20 years.
When her father died in 1982, Victoria and Simon were appointed as custodians of Burghley House and ran Burghley for 25 years. Together they made a number of improvements and Burghley now has some of the best facilities of any House open to visitors in the country. When Victoria and Simon went to Burghley there were 48,000 visitors per year; this had risen to 97,000 when they left in 2007. Her daughter, Miranda Rock, now lives there with her husband and their four children.
Victoria has recently retired from running Ancestral Collections, a successful mail order catalogue company that she founded some 13 years ago.
She was honoured to serve as the Honorary Colonel of 158 Royal Anglian Regt. TA for seven years. She has two honorary doctorates, one from Bishop Grosse Teste College, part of the University of Hull, and based in Lincoln; and the other from De Montfort University in Leicester. She now lives in Northamptonshire with her husband and two dogs.
Victoria was the chairman of the Drapers’ Company’s Heritage Advisory Committee for some years and successfully oversaw many refurbishment projects at Drapers’ Hall.