Carpenters’ Company Chronicle 2022

Chronicle

Election of Master and Wardens 2022-23

Brigadier John Meardon DL, Master

John Meardon was born in Devon in 1947, raised in Sussex and then spent the next 34 years visiting many parts of the world as a Royal Marines officer.  Although trained as a commando and parachutist, he also qualified as an Army helicopter pilot, flying small reconnaissance and anti-tank aircraft in every climatic condition, but especially in the Arctic.  Displaying ultimate flexibility, he was staff trained by the Navy, Army and Royal Air Force before commanding a helicopter squadron and what is now 43 Commando Royal Marines, responsible for the security of the UK’s nuclear submarines and their ballistic missiles.

Retiring from the military in 1998, John was fortunate to be appointed Receiver General of Canterbury Cathedral, beginning an 18 year connection with one of England’s most wonderful buildings.  His long-held interests in archaeology and historic architecture were inspired by the ability to work in such an environment and to have the care of the Cathedral and the community that lived and worked around it.  The opportunity to closely examine the work of centuries in the company of leading experts was matched by the appreciation of the skills of the modern stonemasons.  He helped found the Cathedrals Workshop Fellowship to raise the professional standards of young people training for careers in heritage conservation.

Involvement with the training of future masons led to John’s introduction to the Carpenters’ Company through the Building Crafts College and he joined the Company in 2009.  He was installed as Master in August 2022.  Connections with stonemasonry have inspired him to take up stone and wood carving, often using stone rejected by the Cathedral masons, although a recent project resulted in the carving of a half-ton stone cross in an extremely hard Armenian stone which now sits in the Cathedral’s Memorial Garden.

John and Ann live in Canterbury and have three children and six grandchildren.  He keeps bees, is involved with local choral and archaeological organisations and has been a Deputy Lieutenant of Kent since 2007.

The Wardens for this year are Senior Warden – Dr Allen Zimbler, Middle Warden – Dr Loyd Grossman CBE and Junior Warden – Mr Steve Corbett. The Company’s Clerk is Brigadier Tim Gregson MBE.

Country Life feature

This article appeared in the Country Life magazine dated 2nd March 2022, and we thank them for allowing us to place this feature on our website.

Carpenters’ Company feature

Wood Awards 2021 winners

Six structures and two product designs were announced as the Wood Awards 2021 winners at a ceremony held at The Building Centre in London on 25th November. Established in 1971, the Wood Awards is the UK’s premier competition for excellence in architecture and product design in wood. The competition is free to enter and aims to encourage and promote outstanding timber design, craftsmanship and installation. The independent judging panel visits all the shortlisted projects in person, making it a uniquely rigorous competition. The Awards are split into two main categories: Buildings and Furniture & Product. The Gold Award is given to the project that the judges deem to be the winner of winners.

The judges chose Magdalene College Library by Niall McLaughlin Architects as the Gold Award and Education & Public Sector category winner. It is an arrangement of simple brick volumes with timber windows and pitched roofs that echo the gabled architecture of the college. The interior spaces are created by a glulam and CLT structure, supported on load bearing brickwork and populated with oak shelves and tables. Liveryman Jim Greaves, chair of the buildings judging panel, comments, “Magdalene College Library is a tour de force of architectural design and achievement. The different forms of the reading rooms are beautiful and experienced sequentially as they lead one through the building. The brick, timber and stone has been designed exquisitely with a thorough understanding of their intrinsic qualities.”

The Commercial & Leisure winner was The Alice Hawthorn by De Matos Ryan. In medieval times, the village of Nun Monkton was an important river hub with many travellers staying overnight. In recent years, the village’s last remaining pub, a critical community meeting point, had come under threat. This community-led project transforms the pub’s sustainability with the addition of twelve guest bedrooms, eight of which use an entirely timber frame construction centred around a new courtyard.

The Interiors winner was St John Street by Emil Eve Architects. This large Victorian apartment was acquired as an empty shell with an industrial palette of exposed brickwork and concrete. It has been reimagined as a warm, inviting home that retains the building’s industrial character. A series of contemporary interventions are distinct from the existing fabric, with carefully crafted joinery running throughout.

The judges selected The Boathouse by Adams Collingwood Architects as the Private winner. This practical family residence respects the outstanding natural beauty of its surroundings and looks out over the Salcombe Estuary. Natural materials are at the heart of the project. Yellow cedar tiles and cladding adorn the roof and exterior, while the upstairs floor is made from Douglas fir.

Built: East Pavilion by OGU Architects + Donald McCrory Architects was the Small Project winner. With cultural identity being a divisive issue in Belfast, it was important to find cultural common ground shared across the neighbouring communities. The site has a rich industrial history, and the Belfast truss used represents the area’s history of manufacturing ingenuity.

The Structural Award winner was The Welcome Building RHS Garden Bridgewater by Hodder + Partners. Sitting within the new RHS garden on the site of 154-acre Worsley New Hall, The Welcome Building is predominantly one open space that acts as a gateway to the gardens but also contains a visitor meeting and interaction point, restaurant, gift shop, offices, and educational spaces.

Gayles Farm 5 by Wycliffe Stutchbury was the Bespoke winner. The sculptural piece has a flowing appearance, made up of thousands of small oak tiles glued to an open weave cotton twill. The wooden curtain is hung on a hinged, three panelled oak frame with hemp rope and cleats and can be height adjusted.

Iso-Lounge Chair designed by Jasper Morrison for Isokon was selected as the Production winner. The chair’s cutting-edge design started life as a single sketch, where the hand flowed from the back of the seat to the floor. Plywood was the only choice of material to follow the curve of the cantilevered design.

Further information about the Wood Awards can be found at www.woodawards.com.

Carpenters’ Company Chronicle 2021

Chronicle 2021

Re-election of Master and Wardens

On Tuesday 20th July at our General Court of the Livery the Master and Wardens were re-elected to stand for another year. They are Master – Mr Michael Morrison; Senior Warden – Brigadier John Meardon; Middle Warden – Dr Allen Zimbler and Junior Warden – Dr Loyd Grossman CBE.

They will formally be re-installed at the Court Meeting on Wednesday 4th August.

Dr Simon Thurley’s lecture

By Royal Appointment: Carpenters and Masons at the Court of Henry VIII“.

Dr Simon Thurley CBE is a leading historian, curator and heritage expert; and he recently delivered this lecture, which you can view below.

Carpenters’ Company Chronicle 2020

The Chronicle

Election of Master and Wardens 2020-2021

Mr Michael Morrison

Michael Morrison was born in Hertford in 1948 but spent most of his childhood in north Derbyshire where his father had opened his architects’ practice in 1950.  He was educated at Repton, before reading Architecture at Bristol University.  He married Catherine in 1973 and they moved to Norfolk when Michael joined an architects’ practice, Purcell Miller and Tritton, who specialised in the repair and conservation of historic buildings.  This move  was intended at the time as a short stay, whilst they decided where they really wanted to live – but 47 years later they are still in the same place and living in the same 17th Century farmhouse house purchased in 1974 with a demolition order hanging over it!

Michael became a partner in the firm in 1979 and was for many years the Managing Partner and then Chairman of the business, overseeing its expansion across the UK and into Europe, Hong Kong and Australia, before retiring from the practice in 2019.  His own work has been largely on museums, galleries and country houses.  He has been a member of the National Trust’s Architectural Panel, the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Expert Panel, a Trustee of the Greenwich Foundation and he is currently a Commissioner for Historic England (formerly English Heritage).

Michael’s introduction to the Carpenters’ Company was through the Wood Awards, where he chaired the judging panel for several years – a most rewarding thing to do.  He joined the Company in 2008 and was installed as Master in August 2020.  He and Catherine have three children and five grandchildren.  Michael has a keen interest in carpentry and joinery with a well set up workshop in a barn at home where he has built a couple of racing dinghies.  He is also a keen gardener.

The Senior Warden for the year is Brigadier M J Meardon, the Middle Warden is Dr Allen Zimbler and the Junior Warden is Dr Loyd Grossman CBE. The Company’s Clerk is Brigadier Tim Gregson MBE.

Field of Cloth of Gold

This summer marks for 500th anniversary of the Field of the Cloth of Gold. Please click here for an article on The Field of Cloth of Gold – Henry VIII and Humphrey Cooke