Tuckwell becomes new Master
John Tuckwell, a retired family meat business chairman, is the new Master of the Worshipful Company of Butchers.
He was elected in succession to Douglas Brydges at the Company's annual meeting in Common Hall.
Tuckwell pledged his year of office to further developing the Company's activities. "Change for change's sake is pointless, counter-productive even, but, however successful, every organisation needs to keep re-examining itself. Indeed, it is because we have done just that in the past that we are still, after 1,000 years of astonishing changes, vital and relevant" he said.
He added that, having completed a major refurbishment of the Butchers' Hall and built up its finances, "It is now time to take a step back and have a good look at ourselves, and perhaps reconfirm what we are and what we are here for. And I am thinking particularly of those two basic elements - two of the main reasons for which Guilds and Livery Companies were originally founded - education and charity.
The new Master, who can trace his links to the butchery trade back through history, with a Tuckwell even supplying meat to St James' Palace in London in 1712, said he would be supporting the final year of the Company's 400 Charter Appeal and the 'Talking Book' service of the Royal National Institute for the Blind.
He said Brydges had been an excellent Master, presiding over the Company with humour, understanding and his unique brand of gentle firmness.