On a balmy summer evening in Vauxhall, the first Inter-Livery Petanque challenge took place under the trees in the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, home to the London Petanque Club (LPC) who were our hosts and referees for the evening.
A total of 17 teams took part, 3 from the Distillers, 2 from the Educators, and others from the Coopers, Vintners, Ironmongers, Plaisterers, Furniture Makers, Entrepreneurs, Framework Knitters, Tobacco and Pipe Makers, Cooks, Dyers and two additional teams, the Cask Trade and Milroy’s.
Everyone was welcomed with a glass of Pimm’s mixed by our barman for the evening, Past Master Charles Maxwell, assisted by the Mistress, greeting guests and fellow participants on arrival. No doubt this helped in the preparation and practice for the heat of battle that was to follow!
The Master warmly welcomed everybody and thanked each Company for their support for the event. The experts from the LPC then took over the address, outlining the rules and directing everyone to their ‘pitch’ where all the league games would take place.
After each team had played each other in the leagues, four were left standing in the semi-finals, the Framework Knitters vs The Vintners and The Cooks vs The Plaisterers – the latter prevailing in both matches.
The final was played in front of a boisterous crowd of all teams who had stayed behind to witness the evening’s denouement contained more tension and suspense than a Hitchcock movie.
With quality petanque-ing from both teams Ian Harris, Lucy Marcusson and Emma Rice from the Vintners and Philip Cowen, Brian Geddes and Nigel White from the Plaisterers – the Vintners prevailed thanks to some devasting pitching in the final game.
The event was intended to be a very casual and informal way for all Livery colleagues to get together for some friendly competition and to wish each other well prior to our summer breaks.
Thanks must go to everyone at the London Petanque Club who hosted us so brilliantly, our magnificent barman, Charles Maxwell, and Liveryman Edward Bates, whose invaluable support in helping to organise the event was greatly appreciated.
A lot of fun, a very relaxed evening which also raised £360 for the Lord Mayor’s Appeal. We hope to repeat, with the Cooper’s help once more, again next year when the Vintners will defend their position as Livery Petanque Champions!