At the Master and Wardens' meeting on Monday, 19 March 2018 the Master made Georgina Brown free of the Company. Georgina is Foundation Manager of the Wilbur and Niso Smith Foundation. We look forward to seeing Georgina at events at the Hall in the very near future.
It is with profound shock that the Company has learned of the death of Court Assistant Brenda Dean. Brenda was taken ill on a business trip to Nottingham and died in hospital on 13 March 2018. On learning this the Master, Nick Steidl, said “This is such tragic news - a great loss to her family but to the Stationers’ Company too. Brenda had the wisdom of King Solomon and with it charm and humour”.
Brenda, the Rt Hon The Baroness Dean of Thornton-le-Fylde, joined the Company on 20 April 2009, was cloathed on 1 December 2009 and was made a Court Assistant four years later on 3 December 2013. Her contribution to the work of the Court was, as Past Master Hempenstall has said “on the money”. She cut through to the meat of any argument and presented her views with clarity and acuity. Whichever side of the argument she was on all members of the Court valued her opinions and loved her company.
Brenda served on the Master and Wardens’ Committee from 2011 to 2012 and at the time of her death was a Trustee of the Stationers’ Hall Charity and Chairman of the Hall Fundraising Committee.
Much will be written about Brenda’s work as General Secretary of SOGAT and latterly in the House of Lords where, as ever, she championed the communications and content industries but it is as a member of the Stationers’ Company that we mourn her loss and our thoughts are with her husband Keith McDowall CBE and with Diane Russell, who had been Brenda’s PA for over 40 years.
Liveryman Christopher Roycroft-Davis reports:-
The imminent death of print journalism might be, as Mark Twain said of his own death, greatly exaggerated. But attendees at the Annual Lecture and Dinner on March 12 – among them a host of past and present Fleet Street journalists - were left in no doubt of the gravity of the prognosis by guest speaker Emma Tucker, Deputy Editor of The Times.
Her message was that in the long run, there was no question that print journalism was dying and she produced worrying statistics about sales and advertising revenue to support her warning that “the last two years have been brutal.”
The crisis wasn’t restricted to the national media, she said. The regional press too was facing an existential threat. The fact that the press benches in courts and council chambers were increasingly empty was bad news for all who cared about the need for a spotlight to be shone constantly on the workings of justice and democracy, she said.
Does this actually matter? Her answer was an emphatic yes, a view which was fully supported by questioners from the floor.
There was little light at the end of the tunnel. Some £1billion of revenue had disappeared from newspapers in eight years and income from digital activities was in no way making up the shortfall.
Today 85 per cent of advertising revenue was going to digital powerhouses like Facebook and Google, which did not accept they should shoulder the costs or the responsibilities of reliable, quality journalism.
“Good journalists you can trust do not come cheap or free,” the speaker reminded us. “So the real question is can the worthy practices of print journalism survive? Is there a future for journalism you can trust?”
The thought-provoking evening, moderated by Court Assistant Michael Binyon OBE, a distinguished former Times journalist, was best summed up by the speaker’s closing warning: “You will miss us when we’re gone.”
Many of the attendees then went on to a sumptuous Dinner in the Court Room at which the Master thanked Emma and presented her with a book.
Photos by Lucie McCord and Giles Fagan
It is always good to catch up with what our Bursary recipients are doing and so we were delighted to hear that Freeman Chris Szkoda (aka ‘Holoboy’ for his work in holography and teleportation at
Ravensbourne University) who received his bursary in 2015 will be a part of the Ravensbourne team invited to demonstrate at the Visual Media Conference, 27 March, Leeds.
Liveryman Robert McClements who has curated the conference reminds all Stationers that they are invited to this ‘free to attend’ one day conference and exhibition. Full details can be found at www.visualmediaconference.com.
Liveryman Alison Baverstock, Associate Professor, Department of Journalism, Publishing and Media at Kingston University writes:
As you may know, for the past few years the Kingston University MA in Publishing course has run an industry dissertation mentoring group, offering industry professionals and friends of the MA Publishing course the chance to supervise a Masters dissertation at Kingston.
The students benefit greatly from the one to one interest of an industry professional and the associated mentoring – and many of these relationships continue long after the dissertation has been handed in.
This year the initial briefing session will take place on 20 March starting with an an early lunch at 12.00 in the David Jacobs Room, which is on the second floor of the Rose Theatre Kingston, and then progressing into the adjacent Gallery for a session with the students Full details are on the Members' Noticeboard which you can access by logging in as a member and then clicking here. If you might be interested you will be able to let Alison know via link from that page.
Livery David Hudson and four other Stationers with partners making up the numbers have done the Company proud at the 2018 Inter-Livery Bridge Tournament. You can read David's report here.
These Inter-Livery competitions are great fun and any Stationer wanting to get involved should let the office know at which sports/skills they could represent the Company. When the notifications from the organising Company comes in we can then alert you!
The January Shout:
1st Prize Duncan Spence
2nd Prize Frank Rice Oxley
3rd Prize Sandra Hull
4th Prize Len Davidge
5th Prize Paul Anderson
The February Shout:
1st Prize George Demetriou
2nd Prize Mrs M T Wilson-Beales
3rd Prize John Paine
4th Prize Janet Attwood
5th Prize Peter Gell
For more information on how to join please click here.
At the Master and Wardens' Meeting on 19 February there was a Freedom Ceremony for five new members. They are (from L-R in the photo):
- David Morgan, Graphic Designer, Morgan Design
- Benedict Richards, Designer and Teacher, Graphicacy
- Asa Bennett, Brexit Commissioning Editor, Telegraph Media Group
- Nicholas Button, Creative Director, On The Button Design and
- Harry Mount, Editor, The Oldie
We wish them all well and look forward to seeing them at events at Stationers' Hall.
On 13 February 2018 over 200 Stationers and their guests gathered at Stationers’ Hall to process over
to St Paul’s Cathedral where the annual John Norton Service was held in the Chapel of St Faith-under-St Paul’s (photo Matt Crossick).
The music was provided by the choir of Reed’s School and conducted by Iain Carnegie, their Director of Music. The organ was played by Simon Johnson and all who attended thought the music was very beautiful. The congregational hymns were traditional favourites and certainly proved that Stationers are able to raise the roof musically.
This year the Company was lucky to have one of its own, Court Assistant the Right Reverend Dr Stephen Platten, preaching the sermon and certainly there will be several in the congregation who are keen to find out more about Margery Kempe who featured in the sermon. Bishop Stephen has kindly agreed to make his sermon available and it can be read in full here.
After the service there was the usual cakes and Ale feast back at the Hall and it was great to see so many old friends getting together and enjoying not just cakes but pancakes too! Bishop Stephen was
presented with his fee of 10 shillings (photo by Court Assistant Mike James) and the Clerk received the traditional thirteenth bun in the dozen from the Master.
At the Court Meeting on 6 February the Master cloathed three new Liverymen as follows (L-R in the photo):
Richard Mendelsohn - Director, The Short Publishing Co
Anne Somers - Deputy Chairman, Auction Technology Group and
Christopher Roycroft-Davis - Journalist, Author and Media Consultant.