Beating the Bounds with Lunch at Haz
16th June 2017
The sharp eyed amongst you will have noticed that we did not celebrate the annual perambulation of our Ward on St Botolph's Day itself i.e. 17th June, because it fell on a weekend. This did nothing to detract from an event which was very well attended. We should all be grateful to Past Master Donald Silk who revived the custom of Beating The Bounds exactly 40 years ago, because it has become such a popular staple in the club's calendar.
We assembled at the Watts' Memorial in Postman's Park where everyone was issued with a willow wand, ready for the first "Beat". Led by the Master, we all chanted the historic warning to apprentices - "Cursed be he who removeth his brother's landmark" - as we beat the ground to mark the boundary of the Ward. Traditionally after most of the Beats any child who "volunteers" is tossed 3 times in a fireman's blanket! We were once again very pleased to be joined by pupils from the Prior Weston School who were smartly dressed as apprentices and clearly enjoyed proceedings. We were also delighted to be joined for the first time by girls from the Preparatory Department of the City Of London School For Girls who played wind instruments and sang as they led us around the Ward with our trusty Marshal, Past Master Tony Croot. This was an excellent innovation and much appreciated by club members.
On our subsequent tour round other parts of the Ward Boundary we stopped seven more times to "Beat" at significant places (click here to see the Beat Map). These included Pewterers' Hall, Barber-Surgeons' Hall and Ironmongers' Hall, all of which we were invited into for refreshments and had the opportunity to see some of the treasures within. The Clerk to the Ironmongers, Col. Hamon Massey particularly enthralled the children when he showed them his Livery's medieval treasure chest with the shrapnel damage it had sustained during the Second World War.
The walk finished as usual on the terrace outside the Barbican Estate Office where further refreshments were enjoyed before we adjourned to the nearby Haz restaurant for a tasty and substantial meal.
Thanks to the Master and all participants for their "Beating" prowess and two special mentions, the first for Past Master Kevin Kiernan who carries the fireman's blanket around every year (a true unsung hero!) and the second for Committee Member, David Herbert, who went to great lengths to capture the atmosphere of the day with his splendid photos.
Rod van Tienen