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

Role of Honour WW2

To mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day the Company’s Second World War Roll of Honour please click here.

Carpenters’ Company Chronicle 2019

The Chronicle

Wood Awards 2019

Wood Awards 2019 winners announced

The winners of the Wood Awards 2019 were announced at a ceremony held on the 19th November at Carpenters’ Hall in London hosted by Priya Khanchandani, editor of Icon magazine. Established in 1971, the Wood Awards is free to enter and aims to recognise and encourage outstanding design, craftsmanship and installation using wood.

The judges selected Cork House by architect Matthew Barnett Howland, Dido Milne and Oliver Wilton as this year’s Gold Award and Private category winner. Judge Ruth Slavid commented, “This is a really exciting project. Not just a house, it is also a piece of research.” Cork House is built almost entirely from cork and timber. Monolithic walls and corbelled roof pyramids are built with loadbearing expanded cork made from the bark of the cork oak tree, a by-product from wine stoppers. The house is a prefabricated kit of parts. 1,268 blocks of expanded cork were CNC-machined off-site.

The Commercial & Leisure winner is Royal Opera House ‘Open Up’ by Stanton Williams. Striking the right balance between heritage and 21st century life, the transformation of the Royal Opera House reimagines the world-renowned home of ballet and opera. Improved access and transparency, a completely new Linbury Theatre and new foyers, terraces, cafes, bars, restaurant and retail facilities extend the building’s life outside of performance hours.

Cambridge Central Mosque by Marks Barfield Architects was selected as the Education & Public Sector winner. Judge David Morley says, “This building is an exemplar of how wood can enable a structure to become the primary representational element of a building.” The mosque is a calm oasis of contemplation inspired by an image of the garden of paradise. Repeating star octagons are converted into a continuous structural pattern. Alternate octagons are converted to the structural columns or ‘trunks’. The 30 trees create an overall impression of stillness, quiet and focus.

The Interiors winner is Battersea Arts Centre by Haworth Tompkins. In March 2015, a fire broke out in the northern half of the 1890’s grade II* listed building destroying the roof to the largest performance space. The original decorative plaster barrel vaulted ceiling was completely lost. Rather than replicating the lost ceiling, a contemporary plywood lattice ceiling was conceived. The new ceiling follows the curvature of the original and echoes the motifs in the plasterwork.

MultiPly by Waugh Thistleton Architects, the 2019 Small Project winner, is the is the first structure made from UK manufactured CLT. The vertical maze of stacked modules and staircases creates labyrinthine spaces which intertwine. MultiPly demonstrates how engineered timber structures can be reconfigured, reused, repurposed and ultimately recycled. Like a piece of flat-packed furniture, it arrives as a kit of parts and can be quietly assembled in under a week.

This year’s Structural Award winner is House in a Garden. Judge Nathan Wheatley said, “this is an exceptional structural form of elegant and slender timber ribs, a structural arrangement which is exciting, efficient and responds perfectly to the study of natural light.” The house is on ground and two basement floors surrounded by gardens, light wells and skylights. The roof curves into an oculus. Shaped and informed by light and shadow, the roof’s tent like form creates a new place for life to occur. Wood-lined ‘internal’ spaces (living rooms and bedrooms) are juxtaposed with marble-lined ‘external’ spaces (wet areas, pools and courtyards).

The Furniture & Product judges selected two winners within the Bespoke category. Alison Crowther’s The Kissing Benches were awarded for their simplicity and honesty to the material. The benches were made for the newly Figaro Garden at Glyndebourne. Gigantic beam sections of green English oak have been hand-carved to create a contemporary take on an old style of outdoor seating. David Gates’s Littoral Chances 1&2 received a Bespoke award for its singular vision and how it highlights just how much a material can be adapted to an individual’s style. This unmatched pair of collecting cabinets is based on the beauty of chance composition. Gates is drawn to industrial and agricultural architecture, including jetties and pylons, and the paraphernalia that populates these sites.

Ian McChesney Bench produced by Benchmark is the Production winner. Judge Sebastian Cox comments, “Seeing something in the production category that is so sculptural is lovely.” These highly crafted benches are made in two sizes. The gently pillowed top and bottom give the benches a very natural feel. They are carved initially on a 5 axis CNC machine and then assembled and finished by hand to create the elegant edge profile.

Within the Student Designer category there were two cash prizes; £1,000 for Winner and £500 for People’s Choice. The overall winner is Bio Iridescent Sequin by Elissa Brunato, which the judges praised as a refreshing alternative to finishes and colour within the fashion industry. Brunato’s sequin uses bio-technologies to create colourful shimmering sequins from naturally abundant wood. The People’s Choice Award was given to Udon Stool by Anton Mikkonen from The Sir John Cass School of Art. The stool consists of five parts, all CNC routed with a 2D CNC machine.

Further information about each of the winners can be found at

The Wood Awards 2020 call for entries will launch in March and run until 22 May.

Election of Master and Wardens 2019-2020

Lord Flight of Worcester (Howard) MA Cantab, MBA USA

Howard Flight was appointed to the House of Lords at the end of 2010.  He was the Member of Parliament for Arundel from 1997 to 2005, during which time he served as Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, and was a member of the Conservative Shadow Cabinet.  In the Lords, he is part of the Conservative working Peers’ teams covering Europe, Treasury Affairs, Financial Regulation and Pensions.  He was a member of the Lords’ EU Economic and Financial Affairs Committee until 2015 and a member of the Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee from 2015 to 2019.

Howard has worked for over 40 years in the Financial Services industry, starting his career at Rothschilds as an Investment Adviser in 1970.  He was co-Founder and Joint Managing Director of Guinness Flight, formed in 1986 and acquired by Investec Asset Management in 1998, of which Howard remained a Director until 2019.  He pioneered the umbrella Fund structure and built the substantial Guernsey (now Luxembourg) based, Guinness Flight (now Investec) Global Strategy Fund.

Howard worked for HSBC’s Merchant Bank in the second half of the 1970s in both Hong Kong and India.

Currently, Howard is Chairman of Flight & Partners, of Investment Trust, Aurora and VCT Downing Four; Director of Mercantile Ports & Logistics (Mumbai): a Commissioner (Board Member) of the Guernsey Financial Services Commission, Chairman of the EISA (Enterprise Investment Scheme Association) and a Consultant to TISA (The Investment and Savings Association).

Howard was installed as Master of the Carpenters’ Company on 7th August, 2019.  Members of the Flight family have been Master Carpenters going back 300 years.

Howard read History Part I and Economics Part II at Cambridge and was subsequently the Power Scholar at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where he obtained his MBA.

He and Christabel have been married since 1973 and have four children.

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

48th Annual Wood Awards Winners

The winners of the Wood Awards 2018 were announced at a ceremony held on the 20th November at Carpenters’ Hall, hosted by David Hopkins, Director of the Timber Trade Federation.

Storey’s Field Centre & Eddington Nursery by MUMA was awarded the Mears Group Gold Award, the winner of winners, as well as being the Commercial & Leisure category winner. Liveryman Stephen Corbett, chair of this year’s buildings judging panel, comments, “the best building rose to the top, for its winning combination of architectural merit, structural ingenuity and flawless execution.” The 100-place nursery is arranged around three sides of a landscaped courtyard. On the fourth side, is the civic-scaled community centre including a 180-seat main hall.

The Sultan Nazrin Shah Centre, winner of the Education & Public Sector category, houses a large lecture theatre, a student learning space, seminar rooms and a dance studio. Judge Ruth Slavid said, “This is a building of tremendous quality and atmosphere, where every detail has been thought through.” The architect was Niall McLaughlin Architects.

The winner of the Interiors category is Royal Academy of Music Theatre & New Recital Hall by Ian Ritchie Architects. The 309-seat cherry-lined Susie Sainsbury Theatre now forms the heart of the Academy. Above the Theatre, the European oak lined 100-seat Angela Burgess Recital Hall provides 230m of additional space for student rehearsal, public performance and recording.

The winner of the Private category is Old Shed New House by Tonkin Liu, a timber framed and clad home nestled within the landscape of North Yorkshire. Judge David Morley said that the project “seems perfectly suited to its owners: this building is simple and modest but also delicate and uplifting to visit.”

Look! Look! Look!, winner of the Small Project category, is a pavilion within a 18th century walled garden originally designed by Georgian landscape designer Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown. Designed by Studio Morison, the judges praised the project’s sense of fun.

The Structural Award winner is The Macallan Distillery & Visitor Experience. Judge Nathan Wheatley comments, “This unique roof unites architecture and engineering to create one of the UK’s largest timber structures in the UK, and is the crowning glory of the new distillery.” The architects were Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, the project was engineered by Arup.

Studio Weave’s Woodland Classrooms, Belvue School, a secondary school for students with moderate to severe learning difficulties and a range of other needs, was awarded the discretionary Judges’ Special Award.

The Bespoke winner is Cleft, a series of cabinets made from different Japanese tree species. Corinne Julius, head of the furniture & product judging panel, comments, “We were enchanted by Cleft’s doors: they make you want to examine the material and touch it.”  Designer Peter Marigold, worked closely with Tadanori Tozawa of woodworking manufacturer Hinoki Kogei.

The judges felt that the 2018 Production winner, Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby’s Ballot Chair, represented a masterclass in what an exercise in simplicity should look like.

Within the Student Designer category there were two cash prizes; £1,000 for Winner and £500 for People’s Choice. Voting for the People’s Choice Award took place at the Wood Awards shortlist showcase at London Design Fair in September. The overall winner was Objekt Bord by Ellen Svenningsen from the Building Crafts College. The People’s Choice Award was Super Desk by Ben Smith, also from the Building Crafts College.

Further information about each of the winners can be found at

The Wood Awards 2019 call for entries runs 12 March until 24 May.