Having been a Freeman of the WFCM for almost two years and been fairly active within the Company, Anthony was approached at a reception at Furniture Makers Hall in London and invited to become a Liveryman. This means that he now has a stronger ‘voice’ and more influence within the Company.
The ceremony took place at the Furniture Makers Hall, a Queen Anne building in Austin Friars – a small, elegant street in the centre of the City of London (the ‘Square Mile’) on the 23rd June. The ceremony itself happened behind closed doors with the entire Court of the Livery present. It’s both formal and welcoming at the same time and followed by a delicious lunch to welcome the new Liverymen.
Liverymen are recruited whenever there is a vacancy within the 300 limit imposed by the Court of Aldermen. To be invited to become a Liveryman implies that a person must be ‘engaged in or with the Furniture Industry in the United Kingdom’, in addition to become a Liveryman it is first necessary to be granted the Freedom of the City of London. Liverymen can vote in Common Hall, to elect the Lord Mayor of London and the Sheriffs.
The Company is particularly keen to recruit Liverymen from those Freemen who have firm ideas on the direction that the furniture industry and related areas such as interior design should take in terms of national policy, student training, standards of craftsmanship and manufacture and Anthony definitely have ideas on all of these things!
|Anthony shaking hands with The Company Master Hugh Garford-Bless|
As a Liveryman, Anthony can now sit on the WCFM student training committee. This ensures that there is a serious dedication to the benefit of the Company and the industry as a whole. The student training company is particularly fortunate in that it includes both the Master and Past Master of the Company as well as established craftsmen and committed academics.
|Signing of the official records|
The committee is involved in establishing relationships between students and industry, influencing policy on design education and investigating the most effective ways of assisting graduates within the wider furniture industry.
Anthony is thrilled to progress within the company, “I feel a combination of being very proud, very humble and very honoured to be a part of such an illustrious Company. If one looks back at previous Liverymen it is a veritable who’s who of British furniture. There is a real sense of history and responsibility associated with the position.”
Being a Liveryman is more about what you can do to better the industry and move it forward rather than personal gain. That said; there is indeed access to privy information and greater knowledge of the industry through acquaintance with other Liverymen.
A certain ‘stature’ within the industry is almost assumed to have been achieved by Liverymen so it is really a meeting of equals working together to hopefully ensure a bright future for the furniture industry.