Worshipful company granted Royal Charter

Published:  14 September, 2012

LONDON: It took four years to prepare for, apply and get the Privy Council to approve the grant of Royal Charter for the Worshipful Company of Builders' Merchants. And yesterday, it was presented.

The glittering event, which took place at Skinners' Hall, one of the older Livery Halls in the capital was a sell-out, with places for members and their guests snapped up early.

Attending on behalf of the WCoBM: Master Graham Ballinger and Averil Ballinger (wife and Liveryman), Senior Warden Andrew Day and Sara Day, Junior Warden John Poore and Linda Poore, immediate past-Master Gary Hopkins and Beverly Hopkins, and Clerk Tim Statham. Then, there were past-Masters, members and their guests.

Guests included HRH The Duke of Gloucester KG, GCVO who represented the Queen, and his equerry, the Baroness Garden of Frognal, His Honour Judge Richard Hawkins QC, plus 15 Masters, past-Masters and Clerks of other livery companies who had helped achieve the Royal Charter, Fiona Woolf Alderman CBE and Honorary Member, the Chairman City & Guilds of London Institute, Terry Parker Chairman Builders' Merchants Federation, Andrew Pine, President of the Institute of Builders' Merchants.

Before lunch, the Duke was introduced individually to all the members and their guests.

After the lunch and toasts, the Master gave a short speech and the Duke, who is an architect, gave an amusing and on-target speech. "It was refreshing to hear someone who really does know the industry and has a good sense of humour give such a talk," said Mike Rigby of MRA Marketing, the company responsible for the public relations activities of the WCoBM.

Now, the Worshipful Company of Builders' Merchants is Incorporated by Royal Charter. The actual wording and phrasing in the Charter is hard to follow and a little foreign to the modern ear, but conclusive none the less.

Complete with capitalisation and punctuation this is the result of everyone's hard work:

'ELIZABETH THE SECOND by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of Our other realms and Territories Queen, head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith:

WHEREAS the unincorporated organisation commonly known as The Worshipful Company of Builders' Merchants (hereinafter referred to as 'the former Company') petitioned Us for a Charter of Incorporation:

AND WHEREAS We have taken the said Petition into our Royal Consideration and are minded to accede thereto:

NOW THEREFORE KNOW YE THAT WE by virtue of Our Royal prerogative in that behalf and of all others powers enabling Us so to do of Our Especial grace, certain knowledge, and mere motion do hereby for Us, Our Heirs and Successors will grant, direct, appoint and declare as follows: Worshipful Company of Builders' Merchants'.

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