Our founder Eric Hill – with 43 likeminded individuals – met on 22nd October 1972 to establish The Guild of Cleaners. Since then we have been recognised as a Livery, awarded our Royal Charter and, most recently, the Chartered Practitioners Register. So fifty years later we really have something to celebrate.
The Company was delighted to welcome so many of our members and their guests to celebrate such an auspicious occasion. Even the railway disruption failed to dampen the spirits!
The day began with a service of thanksgiving and blessing at St Olave’s Church. It was fitting that The Reverend Arani Sen, Rector of St Olave’s and our Chaplain, took time to remember another of our founders Doreen Hayes, whose generous bequest of a stained-glass window bearing our coat of arms rests proudly above the church entrance.
We were honoured to have Andrew Marsden Esq, recently appointed Sherriff, to deliver the first reading at the church service. The service concluded with afternoon tea and cakes delivered from Betty’s of Harrogate; an added bonus for the Sheriff who confided his Yorkshire heritage with a twinkle in his eye at the thought of consuming such delicacies. Reverend Sen also took joy in the same having originated from Yorkshire too.
Onward to the Leonardo Royal City Hotel for the evening festivities which began with a champagne reception.
Our fabulous MC for the evening, Gary Henstock (you certainly found a new vocation!) arranged a Heads and Tails competition with unique prizes per table of a bottle or Port and Baileys to round off the evening. Nearly 200 guests had enjoyed a sumptuous meal followed by ‘Bandeoke’, a mixture of excellent music from a six-piece live band with contributions from the floor led by Master Gary Fage. We were all surprised by the singing talent of the cleaning industry and also by a few more who think they have talent!
During the evening the Silent Auction bids came flying across the screen. The many superb prize donations from members of the Company and their guests – with a selection of sports and art memorabilia – resulted in raising over £14,000 for the Charity Trust with a further £1200 for the Mistress’s charity, The Harper Asprey Wildlife Rescue.
Such an event cannot be successful without the generous support of our sponsors so a big ‘thank you’ to ARK Pest Control, Ceris Burns International, Hive Cleaning, NIC Services Group, Pearroc and The Hill Club and the sterling work of the committee Junior Warden Lorraine Larman and Court Assistants Gary Henstock, Jo Long & Lynn Webster.
Thank you to everyone who joined us.