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Agincourt Dinner 2011 on St Crispin's Day 2011

The Bowyers Dine in Style at Armourers' Hall and Celebrate
the Victory at Agincourt in 1415

The Agincourt Dinner 2011, held at the atmospheric Armourers' Hall, was described by one Liveryman of long standing as "about the best Bowyers event" he had attended. Without raising the moot point about the meaning of "about" in this context it did appear that all guests had a most enjoyable time and an outstanding dinner. The Champagne Reception had commenced on time when the Master and Wardens received guests and members alike in the magnificent Drawing Room. The event for the second year was a "sell-out" with a total of eighty-five attendees and a waiting list.

At 7.30pm the Beadle called for everyone to move through to the Hall, dinner was about to be served. The menu was adventurous but received much praise for its quality. Roasted quail accompanied by a pistachio and pomegranate salad was followed by roasted loin of veal with a mini steak and kidney pudding. The final course was steamed ginger pudding with custard. The meal was accompanied by a very good Olivier Leflaive Burgundy 2008 and an equally acceptable St Emilion Grand Cru, Bordeaux, 2006. The high standards, set over recent dinners, were being maintained if not surpassed.

Dinner was followed by the customary Loyal, Civic and Company toasts all of which were proposed by the Master. The stage was now turned over to two very talented students from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Miss Marion Wyllie (Soprano) and Mr Peter Foggitt (Piano) who entertained the company with a excellent short recital. The encore "Land of Hope and Glory" was especially appreciated on a celebration of a famous English victory.

Court assistant Hugh Colver proposed the health of the guests in a most proficient and charming manner. Lieutenant-General Jonathan Riley CB, Director-General and Master of the Armouries, as well as a noted military historian, was invited to reply. As a member of the Armourer' Company he was no stranger to the Hall. Dr Riley responded with an erudite, informative and interesting speech highlighting the importance of the Battle of Agincourt in a wider context than just the ongoing contretemps with the French.

The Clerk proposed the toast to the Company coupled with the name of the Master, who duly rose to a warm welcome. His speech was well received as he not only underlined what a privilege it was to preside over a dinner with such eminent guests, support from the membership but also included a couple witty anecdotes with just a touch of anti-Franco sentiment. We were after all celebrating a famous English victory.

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