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Beating the Bounds

Aldersgate Ward

16th June 2023

 

                                                                                                        Aldersgate Ward Club

                                                                                    Beating the Bounds Friday 16 June 2023

 

The beautiful warm sunny weather made this year’s Beating the Bounds particularly special for the 26 members who gathered in Postman’s Park on Friday 16 June.

 

After noting that the Aldersgate Ward Club tree planted in Postman’s Park in 2022 to replace the original AWC tree in Aldersgate Street is well and happy in its new position and with a group photo taken to mark the occasion, the first beat was carried out by Alderman Makin and we set off on the familiar path.

 

A fascinating talk by Past Master Allan Fallshaw on the church of St Anne & St Agnes, our second beat, traced the history of the church with reference to many famous historical names since its first mention in 1137, through damage by fire and bombs until it ceased to function as a church in 2013 and is now home to the VOCES8 Centre, providing vocal music, outreach and education.

 

As usual, our beating the bounds benefitted from visits to some of those historic symbols of the City, the Livery Halls.

 

No matter that it was destroyed twice by fire and once by bombs, a fate suffered by many Livery Halls, the Plaisterers’ Hall (our 4th beat) rebuilt on its new site in 1972 is the largest Livery Hall, and backs on to part of the original London Wall.

 

The Ironmongers’ Company ( our 6th beat ), having established on its present site its 4th hall in the 1920s, after three halls in Fenchurch Street were destroyed over the centuries, has fought off attempts by more modern City institutions to make it move yet again, as illustrated by the fact that the Museum of London ( now itself recently moved to a new site ) was obliged to build round the Ironmongers’ Hall when they dug their heels in and refused to move.

 

On such a warm and sunny day we were pleased to be able to sit in the delightful oasis that is the Ironmongers’ courtyard with its lilies and salamander fountain. We were also very grateful for the refreshments they offered us, and also those at the Plaisterers’ Hall and the Barbican Estate Office (our 7th beat).

 

Along the way, we were also greeted by the Pewterers ( our 3rd beat ) located in its third hall , and the Barber Surgeons ( our 5th beat ) who only ever shared the activity of tooth extraction and went their separate ways in 1745 with the Barbers retaining the Hall.

 

The morning was rounded off by an excellent lunch at nearby Vecchio Parioli Restaurant.

 

Our thanks to the Master for organising such a successful event.

 

Jean Dollimore

24 June 2023

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