Inter-Livery Golf Day 2023

Inter-Livery Golf Day 2023

Tandridge Golf Club, Thursday October 19th 2023

The second Distiller’s Inter-Livery Challenge took place at Tandridge Golf Club, Surrey on Thursday October 19th.

The Distiller’s team of (l-r) John Barnes, Paul Varney, Chris Porter and Farren Drury

Hosted by Immediate Past Master, Chris Porter and Distiller’s Golf Secretary, Liveryman Graham Franklin, teams from the Worshipful Companies of Draper’s, Butcher’s, World Trader’s, Insurer’s, International Banker’s, Tylers & Bricklayers, Weavers, Makers of Playing Cards and Distillers all took part.

Playing in a four-ball-better-ball stableford format, the day was a little dank, but mercifully free from downpours enabling some enjoyable golf to be played on a course that was in fabulous condition.

A welcome dram of The Distiller’s Master’s Cask greeted every player upon completion of their rounds before heading everyone headed into the sanctuary of the clubhouse for the legendary Tandridge lunch!

Prize-giving followed, with only 11 points separating the top from the bottom team, with the Insurers emerging victorious. They were the proud winners of the magnificent print of Tandridge, freshly framed and engraved, presented especially for this annual Challenge by the inaugural winners, The International Bankers. Sincere thanks must go to their Immediate Past Master, Jason van Praagh for arranging this.

The Butcher’s finished in second place, finishing just one point behind the Insurers, with the International Banker’s making a very fair defence of their title, in third.

A very relaxed and enjoyable day spent in great company and fellowship. Thanks to everyone who took part and roll on next year!

Chris Porter
Immediate Past Master

Distillers Car Club “Tour de Yorkshire”

Friday September 22nd – Monday September 25th

Our trip was truly blessed with fine weather in “Gods Own Country”. On Friday September 22nd, everyone met at The Black Swan in the picturesque market town of Helmsley on the edge of the north Yorkshire moors which was to be our home for our long weekend.

Kids in a candy shop

In the morning we were off bright and early to visit the location of the popular TV classic car auction programme “Bangers and Cash”, most appropriately named! Wow, probably 500 cars or so to suit all our age groups, Bentleys to MGB’s with the odd Morris Marina and Austin A35 thrown in. Just the place to buy if you are interested in a cheap run around. No auction that day, just viewing. Rumour has it that Steve might be bidding for a tasty Ford Cortina!

The rest of the day was free, some choosing to visit the magnificent views of Sutton Bank acclaimed by author James Heriot as the “Finest in England”, others visited the stunning UNESCO world heritage site of Rievaulx Abbey, set in a secluded valley, and founded by 12 Cistercian monks in 1132.

Sunday was the driving day criss-crossing the sweeping purple heather covered moors of North Yorkshire with unforgettable and breath-taking landscapes bathed in sunshine. Driving through timeless villages, it is a special place of great beauty and tranquillity, though the throb of Nick’s V8 and Steve’s V12 engines did startle a few moor hens. Our destination, the seaside town of Whitby, famous for fish and chips, Dracula, and Captain Cook. Fish and chips did not disappoint with delicious fresh fish, oysters, and prawns. After lunch, some of us ventured on a boat to see the view from the sea. Others took a detour to Goathland to see the celebrations of the 50th Anniversary of the North York Moors Steam Railway, as we all returned to Helmsley crossing the moors again.

A weekend enjoyed by everyone with a particular welcome to David and Cara Wilson, two new members who joined us in their beautiful Austin Healey. Please come again. Grateful thanks to our Hon sec Nick and Chair Steve who pulled together yet another memorable DCC trip. Thank you.

Paul Finch
Liveryman

Post-Scottish Dinner Golf

The morning after the Scottish dinner, an intrepid group of four (Messrs Gammell, Mills, Urquhart, and Williamson) held the annual Scottish section golf match at the Bruntsfield Links Golfing Society.

L – R: Matt Gammell, Nigel Mills, David Williamson

Founded in 1761, Bruntsfield is the fourth oldest golf club in the world and a challenging parkland course, with some deep bunkers that can cause havoc with a score card.

Hard fought throughout, Nigel set the pace showing the power, skill, and finesse of the low handicapper.

After a slow start, the higher handicapped chasing pack had to use the Stableford system to its full potential to keep things close.

Each of Matt, Michael and David had moments to remember, reducing the points difference to keep the galleries entertained. Michael’s tee shot to the par three 10th, which flirted with the hole, was particularly memorable.

In the end, Matt’s driving and consistency around the greens was enough to pip Nigel to the win in increasingly wet conditions. Victory was toasted over very welcome soup and sandwiches in the club house afterwards.

Many thanks to Matt for making the arrangements and his hospitality on the day.

David Williamson
Liveryman

Inter-Livery Pétanque

On a humid but mercifully dry evening at the start of August, in the leafy confines of the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, representatives from 17 Livery Companies made up 28 teams taking part in this year’s Inter-Livery Pétanque Tournament.

The Vintners’ Company were keen to defend their victory last year and hang on to the coveted Cask Trophy, donated for this sporting purpose by the Coopers’ Company.

The Distillers fielded 3 teams, The Master & Mistress plus IPM Chris Porter, in team one, Master-Elect Lorne MacKillop and Mistress-Elect, Seana, and Immediate Past Consort, Alison Holdom in team two and a third team led by Edward Bates. Sadly, only Edward’s team prevailed through to the knock-out stages, only to fall foul of the Framework Knitters in the quarter finals.

We offer our congratulations to the winning team from The Architects’ Company, who were also each presented with a bottle of Master’s Cask and to the runners up from The Entrepreneurs’ Company.

Other Liveries that took part were from the Leather Sellers, Coopers, Vintners, Playing Card Makers, Butchers, Tax Advisors, Tobacco & Pipe Makers, Stationers, Young Freemen, Clockmakers, Dyers and Cooks.

“It’s been such a good evening. I think we may need a bigger pitch site next year, having had 17 teams last year and 28 this time. The Inter Livery Pétanque Challenge is clearly one that appeals, very competitive, yet played in the best spirit of fun and friendship which exists with fellow Livery men and women”

Event organiser, Chris Porter

Huge thanks go to Assistant Liveryman Ian Harris for his help and support with the organisation and to Mark Hadsell and Monty Quaia at the London Pétanque Club for their guidance and keeping everyone in order!

Last but by no means least, to Rob Dixon and Stephen Cronk from Maison Mirabeau who most generously provided a number of bottles of their wonderful Mirabeau Classic Provence Rose wines for everyone to enjoy.

It was the perfect accompaniment to an evening of Gallic pastime in a south London summer.     

Chris Porter
Immediate Past Master

Distillers Golf: RAF 603 Sqn vs Distillers Golf 2023

On Friday 16th June we met at Kinross Golf Club in beautiful sunshine. We agreed the formalities and set off to play Montgomery one of the two courses.

The course was in superb condition with beautiful mature tree lined holes framing the greens. The course was superbly laid out with a number of well-placed lateral water hazards and the greens were well guarded with sand. This made for a challenging round especially when coupled with the very dry conditions as the hard greens were very difficult to hold on to.

All the matches were tightly contested and as the scores came in it was neck and neck, thankfully for us Cammy was not able to pull off the same heroics as last year and I am pleased to report that the Distillers were eventually victorious and won back the shield.

L-R: Kenny Mackay, Andrew Macaree, Michael Urquhart. Matthew Gammell, Flt Lt Nick McGlynn, Air Specialist (Class 1) Garry Campbell, Flt Sgt Joyce Souter, Flt Lt Cammy Dalziel, Flt Sgt (ret’d) Jason Robson

Thank you to Nick and the team at 603 for hosting a very enjoyable day and for putting on such great weather. We look forward to next year and I am sure another tight contest.

Matthew Gammell
Liveryman

Keith Garrard to step down as President of the Distillers Golf Society

Our esteemed and long-serving President – Keith Garrard – has taken the decision to step down after 15 years of guiding the Distillers Golf Society to the place it is today. We now have at least six external matches per year against other livery Companies, three Golf Days per year, as well as knockout competitions in both England and Scotland, which are enjoyed – and closely fought – both sides of the border. All these golfing events enable members to meet in a sociable (and competitive) environment, and Keith is to be thanked most wholeheartedly for everything he has done over the past 15 years.

Keith Garrard, Master 2006-2007

Of course, we are incredibly fortunate to have the most efficient Hon. Sec in livery golf circles – Graham Franklin – someone who organises, cajoles and sometimes even bullies us (in a nice way!) to ensure that the golf section of the Distillers is run like clockwork. Graham and Keith have made a great team!

I felt incredibly honoured to have been asked by Keith to take over from him as President of the Distillers Golf Society and am delighted to follow in his footsteps. I will try – with Graham’s help – to keep up the traditions of the society, and to make sure that the Golf Section of the Livery not only thrives, but also grows, both in numbers of golfers and in the esteem in which we are held in the livery world.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the match managers who ensure that we field a strong team for each of the matches, and please note that the first match is on Monday 3rd April v the Vintners Company. As I am now the President of the Distillers’ golf society, the fact that I am on the Court of the Vintners is irrelevant – my place is with you!

I would also urge you to put Tuesday 2nd May 2023 in your diary – as well as being my 68th birthday (all presents gratefully received), it is also the date of our Annual Golf Day at Beaconsfield.

May I wish you and your families a happy Christmas, and I look forward to seeing you all in 2023. Remember to keep your head still and your swing slow!

Ian Harris
President, The Distillers Golf Society

Inaugural Distiller’s Inter Livery Golf Day

On a foggy, soggy morning in the Surrey Hills, teams of 4 from 10 Livery Companies assembled at Tandridge Golf Club to take part in the first Inter-Livery Golf Day, organised by our Master and Hon Golf Secretary, Graham Franklin

A great day was had by all, with the team from the International Bankers (captained by their Master, Jason van Praagh) emerging triumphant, with the Tylers and Bricklayers (captained by Master, Simon Martin) finishing as runners up. The team from the Butcher’s Company also achieved a podium finish in third place.

The less said about the Distiller’s performance, the better! However, many thanks to Liverymen Ian Harris, Paul Varney and Jonathan Clark who made up the Master’s team and to Liverymen Neil Stevenson and Toby Cutler who joined up with two members of the Cordwainers to take part in the day.

The Distiller’s didn’t go away empty handed however, as Toby won the “nearest the pin” competition, putting an exquisite 8-iron tee shot to 2 feet from the hole at the 15th.

Toby Cutler receives the nearest-the-pin award from The Master

Above all, thanks to Hon Golf Sec, Graham Franklin, for his expert admin and organisation skills, making sure that the day went without a hitch.

Many good comments and enjoyed by everyone who took part – here’s to next year!

Chris Porter
Master 2021-22

Distillers Golf Society: Scottish Distillers VS RAF 603 (Edinburgh) Squadron

The Royal Burgess Golf Society, Edinburgh

We met at The Royal Burgess Golf Society on a beautiful fresh sunny day in early October and after a coffee and bacon roll we headed to the first tee. The weather was perfect for golf with glorious early autumn sunshine and a slight breeze.

L–R: Michael Urqhart, Matt Gammell, Nick MGlynn (603), Cameron Dalziel (603), Fergus Hartley, Archie McCallum (603)

The course was in superb condition with the green being perfect and providing a fast pace for putting. The teams were mixed into two 4 balls with the Distillers 3 players being nominated, and we then scored our Stableford scores against the course.

All the players made a good start with strong scoring until we reached the 141 yard 5th hole, where Cameron played a crisply hit 8 iron. The ball landed on the left fringe of the green on the edge of the bunkers and then rolled sharply right onto the green and straight into the hole!

This was his first hole in one as well as the first I have witnessed, and resulted a net Zero and 5 Stableford Points!

The competition continued to be tight, and we all enjoyed a great round of golf. After the round we retired to the clubhouse for a light lunch and refreshments while we counted the scores.

The result of the 3 scores was 97 points to 96 points with 603 Squadron narrow winners and Cameron’s Hole in One clearly proving vital.

The trophy was presented to Nick McGlynn and it was agreed that we all had a wonderful day out.

Matt Gammell handing the trophy to Nick McGlynn

Distillers

Matt Gammell – 35 points
Bill Wemyss- 32 Points
Fergus Hartley – 29 Points

603

Nick McGlynn – 35 Points
Archie McCallum – 35 Points
Cameron Dalziel – 27 points

Inter-Livery Petanque Competition

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.

The Cooper’s Cask Trophy, kindly donated for the event by the Cooper’s Company

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!