Page 5 - July 2019
P. 5

The Dinner for Liverymen 2019 First time our Dinner is held in the City
 Liverymen from left to right Peter Mansi, Peter Cowland, Graham Woodhouse and John Goodrum
 The Livery Dinner was held for the first time at our new home, the Wax Chandlers’ Hall, right in the heart of the City on a site that the Wax Chandlers have owned since 1501.
The current brick and granite styled building is the sixth design of the Hall on the same site, having lost previous designs to the Great Fire of 1666, town planning and general disrepair.
In 1501 the Company acquired the ‘Cock on the Hoop’ (an alehouse and micro-brewery) together with some shops with flats above. It took a generation to convert these buildings into a livery hall, the biggest work being the formation of a meeting hall, a parlour, kitchen and buttery. By 1528 the Hall was ready for use. A new hall was built in 1657 but much of it was damaged ten years later in the Great Fire along with 44 other livery halls.
The third hall was built in 1668
by Edward Jarman, a leading architect of his time whose portfolio included the Royal Exchange and other livery company halls such as the Mercers and Apothecaries. In 1791 the Hall was demolished
due to its ‘ruinous condition’ and a much smaller one was built in its place. This was refurbished in 1834. Hardly had the Court finished congratulating itself on “securing
superior accommodation, comfort and respectability” than the town planners started thinking about building Gresham Street, which would involve the demolition of the Hall. The fifth hall was designed by Charles Fowler, designer of the old Covent Garden market amongst others in an Italianate style.
The granite faced ground floor was the only part of the Hall to escape destruction in the World War II bomb damage and was incorporated in the sixth Hall that was completed in 1958. Refurbishment of the current hall took place in 2004 to make better use of space, be compliant with the Disability Discrimination Act, achieve significant energy and water savings and to bring much more light into the building.
It is indeed a great privilege to be able to dine at a Hall with such a distinguished history behind it.
 Robert Faquhar Editor
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