The 400th Anniversary
On 12th June 2004, the Worshipful Company of Turners celebrated the 400th anniversary of the grant of the Company’s first Royal Charter. A number of special events were planned for the year, two of the most memorable being participation in the Lord Mayor’s Show, for the first time since 1911, and the Wizardry in Wood exhibition held in Pewterers’ Hall.
The Lord Mayor’s Show took place on 8th November 2003 and a splendid float was organized for the procession.
The Project Director was Past Master Colin Field while the detailed planning and execution were the responsibility of the Livery Committee chaired by George Keiffer. Freeman Stuart King and Liveryman Andrea Cenci di Bello undertook the art-work for the float which was one of the largest seen in modern times.
The base of the float was loaned by the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers and consisted of a Foden 6×6 Recovery Tractor and 20 tonne Tasker trailer with a total length of 68 feet. 400 years of the Turners’ craft was represented: a pole lathe operated by Stuart King, a treadle lathe by Kathleen Abbott RPT, a Hegner lathe by Stephen Cooper RPT, a shave horse by Nick Abbott and a portrayal of an original bodger’s shelter reproduced by Stuart King. Liveryman Emily Field took the part of St Catherine, with a large cartwheel as the torture wheel.
The Master and Wardens traveled on the float. The Master sat in a 4ft 6in high, 90 gallon wassail bowl, designed by Stuart King and turned in poplar on a Hegner lathe by Stephen Cooper. The float was accompanied by 40 Whifflers, including the Clerk and a number of children, all clad in matching blue fleeces embroidered with the Company crest.