The customary hugs and handshakes when meeting old friends were replaced with elbow bumps and ‘namaste’ greetings when liverymen and guests met at Furniture Makers’ Hall to attend the annual Frederick Parker Lecture shortly before the rapidly changing scene advised the restrictions on social gatherings across the nation. Naturally over tea the conversation turned to speculation over the coronavirus pandemic.
However following an introduction by Past Master and Frederick Parker chairman David Dewing, minds were taken off the world crisis by two excellent presentations.
The first was an exploration of the life and work of Sir Gordon Russell by Verity Elson, Curator and Director of the Gordon Russell Design Museum in Broadway. In the short time available she introduced us to a mass of information on the man and his influence, touching on so many aspects which would be deserving of a presentation in their own right.
The second took us all by surprise when Stewart Linford, in the guise of his hero, Sir Winston Churchill, gave us the history of the classic Windsor Chair from the origins in the 17th century up to the present day, illustrated with some actual examples of his own beautifully made chairs for which he acquired a deserved reputation of fine craftsmanship. His amusing presentation, interspersed with anecdotes and audience participation, certainly relieved the atmosphere that day
The champagne reception and dinner following gave all attending the opportunity to enjoy the usual camaraderie of the Company with friends, old and new.
An auction of lots, ranging from cottage holidays to woodworking machine tools, and furniture to antique books, generously donated by members of the Company and presided over by David Dewing.
The whole evening raised £3,800 towards the development for educational use of the Frederick Parker Collection.