The Worshipful Company of Turners

Supporting the Craft, City and Charity for over four hundred years

As I write this I find I am now over half way through my Master’s Year.

We have put our Wizardry in Wood exhibition to bed, the Liverymen of the City of London have elected Alderman Andrew Parmley as the new Lord Mayor and the Mistress Turner and I have just dried out after getting exceedingly wet processing in the Lord Mayor’s Show!

To be Master of this ancient and noble Company is the greatest privilege to which any Liveryman can aspire. However to be Master during the same year that the Wizardry in Wood exhibition is held is the icing on the cake!

From the many congratulatory letters and emails I have received from the Masters and Clerks of other Companies, from visitors and exhibitors, the exhibition was undoubtedly a great success.

Of course it would be difficult to mount such an exhibition without the keen support of the Carpenters’ Company and the generosity of our principal sponsors, Consolidated Timber Holdings, Accsys Group, Charles Stanley, Reveal Security Services and Party Ingredients Catering. The dedicated hard work of our exhibition committee members led by the Renter Warden, David Batchelor, and other helpers from the Company was also key to the success of Wizardry in Wood.

the Tuesday evening City of London reception, attended by many Masters and their Clerks, was a sell out. We were honoured by the attendance of the two new Sheriffs.

Sheriff Alderman William Russell kindly opened the exhibition and this was followed by Sheriff Alderman Peter Estlin presenting Liveryman Reg Hawthorne with the ‘Master in Turning’ certificate for his services to the craft.

The Competitions attracted the largest number of entries to date and visitors often had to queue to view the amazing array of works. Prizes were presented on the Saturday afternoon by Alderman Alison Gowman to whom we were all very grateful.

The majority of turners exhibiting at Wizardry in Wood reported steady sales throughout the week, with some achieving their best results of any shows they had attended.

The Association of Woodturners of Great Britain, the Register of Professional Turners, the Society of Ornamental Turners and the Association of Polelathe Turners and Greenwood Workers were all represented and reported keen interest.

Visitors also greatly enjoyed the amazing collection of fascinating wooden objects and timbers shown by the royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and the superb Daniel Collection of contemporary turned wood, curated by Shirley Sinclair and Jonathon Cuff.

The raffle comprised over twenty turned prizes, all generously donated by the turner Exhibitors. The magnificent sum of £5,000 was raised due to the enthusiastic selling of tickets by members of the Charity Committee. This means that my two chosen charities for my Master’s Year, Theodora Children’s Charity and the Catterick, Phoenix House Wood Workshop Fund will each receive £2,500.

I have always seen my principal responsibilities as Master as being to promote and support the craft of turning, together with its associated charities and training schemes, and therefore to attend as many events that I can.

Since becoming Master on 5th May, I have attended over one hundred and fifty such events. These have included visits to schools and other Companies, numerous Livery lunches, dinners and receptions; lectures, award and admission ceremonies and meetings. I can assure you all, if the opening of an envelope would benefit the Turners’ Company…. I will be there!

It just leaves me to wish everyone a very Happy and Peaceful Christmas and New Year.


Nicholas Somers

Master 2016 – 17




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