April 17th 2017
The 10th Lord Mayor's Big Curry Lunch, held at Guildhall on the 6th April, was the Gardeners’ Company’s third year in creating a horticultural centre-piece based on a First World War theme. This year it was Passchendaele.
Liveryman Stephen Crisp, with Assistant Ron Froud, created a thoughtful interpretation which was greatly admired. The display was flanked by two pull-up banners, supplied by the Clerk, which gave a short explanation of the battle and what was going on in the area at the time. The Royal guest, HRH The Duke of York, spent some time talking to Stephen and Ron before going on to The Livery Stalls in The Ambulatory.
One thousand five hundred Lunch guests enjoyed drinks in The Old Library before walking past the display on their way to their curry lunch. After lunch the guests had to pass a barrage of stall holders with the Gardeners, the Fruiterers, the Leathersellers and the Turners all doing their best to sell their produce.
The Gardeners had the first stall which treated the lunch-goers to a riot of colour and smell from the beautiful jasmine. There was an array of beautiful orchids, azaleas, baskets of plants and a wide range of garden plants and shrubs. There, Liverymen Marjorie Dowbiggin, Helen Potts, Laura Fraser, Caroline Russell Stoneham and Shannon Farrington hit the passing crowds with their sales techniques.
Court Assistants Martin Panter, who sourced the house plants, and Dennis Espley worked hard advising the suitability of plants and selling to everyone who paused. Past Masters Nick Evans, who planted the baskets, Rex Thornborough and Liveryman Tyrone McGlinchey helped care for the Company Guests.
The Big Curry Lunch is held to raise funds and awareness for ABF, The Soldier's Charity, and the target was to raise the profit from these lunches to £2million for the charity over the last 10 years. A fun and hard working day for us all.
Follow this link to see ABF's photographs from the event: