Friday, 16 December 2011
The Royal Hospital Carol Service was held in the glorious Wren chapel on 15th December and was as usual packed out. The chapel choir under Ian Curror is one of the finest in London and they performed flawlessly, especially in the singing of the extraordinary medley of carols by John Willcocks - A Christmas Pudding - which got a round of applause. Click here for some photos from the event and here for a video of the opening verses of 'Once In Royal David's City'.
Thursday, 15 December 2011
The Thomas Miller carol service was held at St Katherine Cree Church on 14th December and was very well attended by current and former staff. The firm has contributed to the restoration of the church as it has been connected with it for many years from the days when the firm was at 14-20 St Mary Axe (the site of the Gherkin today), Mitre Square and is still close by at 90 Fenchurch St.
The history of the church is interesting as it dates back to 1108. The present building was put up in 1631 and is the only Jacobean and Neoclassical church in London. The organ was built in 1686 by 'Father' Smith and rebuilt by Henry Wills at the end of the 19th C and has been played by Handel, Purcell and Wesley. The bells were originally placed in the tower in 1754 and had been silent for over 100 years until they were restored in 2007. They are referred to in the song 'Oranges and Lemons' as the 'Maids in White Aprons'.
After the Great Fire the church remained standing and was used by the Livery Companies to serve food to the workers as the livery halls were rebuilt. Coats of arms representing the then seventeen Livery Companies can be seen on the ceiling. 'Paradise Lost' was printed in a room off the nave at about the same time.
Thursday, 8 December 2011
The Wellbeing of Women Christmas Fair was held at the Drapers' Hall on 5th December, where more than 50 stalls sold cakes, clothes, silver, china, belts and gloves, chocolate, scents, jewellery, books and gifts of all kinds, to the accompaniment of carols from The Treblemakers. Champagne, coffee and sandwiches were available for those who needed a break. The event was even more splendid and better attend than in previous years and raised significant sums for the charity, the Drapers donating their premises for free. Click here for some photos and here for a video of the carol singing.