News archive

Return of Deacon Stevenson

As part of its commitment to the Trades Hall, the Incorporation of Cordiners funded the restoration of the portrait in the Grand Hall of Ex Deacon John Stevenson, our Deacon in 1705, 1706, 1709 and 1710. The painting has now been returned to its position first right as you enter the Grand Hall.

Deacon Stevenson

Apprentice of the Year

At our Box-Opening on Tuesday 9th May 2017, Deacon Pierotti presented the Incorporation of Cordiners' Apprentice of the Year award to ROBERT McLATCHIE of Muirhead Leather. Congratulations, Robert!

Apprenticeofthe Year

Sad News

We are sorry to record the death of our Collector, John Lloyd. Funeral arrangements to follow.

Congratulations Ellen!

"Congratulations to everyone who took part in the recent The Glasgow School of Art Interior Design leather competition sponsored by Trades House of Glasgow Cordiners.

From the array of diverse concepts, the winning prize, 'One Hide' by Ellen Hurst, displayed an extremely refined interiors collection which utilised every part of the hide resulting in no waste."  (from Muirheads Facebook Page)




Muirheads nominated

Andrew Muirhead & Son is proud to announce that we are the first of eight to be nominated as a Finalist for the Global Tannery of the Year Award 2018! The Managing Director, Colin Wade, is a member of our Master Court.

Muirhead Tannery

Deacon Pierotti gives us a cracking Choosing Dinner!

Deacon Pierotti's Choosing Dinner last week was a triumph of humour and good fellowship. The principal speakers were Professor Pamela Gillies, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Glasgow Caledonian University and Late Deacon Janet Pierotti who proposed a witty toast to the Incorporation despite the Deacon's determination to put her off by antics involving his SeeYouJimmy hat kindly provided by the visiting craft, the Weavers. The evening raised well over £2000 and was a great success.


St Crispin's Day 2016

Get the champagne cracked open for tomorrow - the feastday of St Crispin, our patron:


ExDeacon Dr Christine Linnell at the V and A:

Starting next week in the Victoria and Albert Museum is an exhibition of the wonderful English pre-Reformation needlework known as Opus Anglicanum: the exhibition is accompanied by a series of scholarly talks given by the world experts in the field, foremost among whom is our own ExDeacon Dr Christine Linnell. You can read about it here:


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Choosing Day - September 16th 2016

As usual, the first Craft to elect its Deacon, at the breakfast hour of 8.45, was the Cordiners. First of all we had the AGM at which the Accounts were duly passed. As well as thanking the Master Court and Clerk for their support during his year of office, the retiring Deacon took this final opportunity to admit a new member, duly sworn in by the Clerk: he is Colin Wade, Managing Director of Muirhead and Son Ltd in Bridgeton, who has given the craft so much support ths year. We proceeded to the election of the Deacon, Dr Adrian Pierotti, and the Collector, John Lloyd.  Also elected onto the Master Court were Colin Wade and Professor Ewan MacDonald.

Auld Deacons' Dinner - Edinburgh Castle September 9th 2016

Thanks to the hospitality of Late Deacon Colonel Beverly Bergman, we were once again privileged to enjoy our Auld Deacons' Dinner  in the historic surroundings of the Officers' Mess at Edinburgh Castle. We had a goodly turn-out of Ex-Deacons, including Ex-Deacon Tom Cordiner from 1974. During the evening, Deacon Devlin presented the Master Cordwainer of London, John Rubinstein, with his diploma as a Cordiner as well as his Burgess ticket. 


l to r: Clerk Tom Monteith, Master Cordwainer John Rubinstein, Deacon Devlin, Late Deacon Colonel Bergman

Members' Evening at Andrew Muirhead and Son August 22nd 2016

The members enjoyed a wonderful evening of information and hospitality at the international leader of the upholstery leather sector, Andrew Muirhead and Son - suppliers to most of the world's major airlines, Morgan cars and the Houses of Parliament. We began with a most interesting talk by the leather-designer and craftsman, Volker Koch, of Studio Ruuger in London, one of whose handbags is currently on exhibition at the V and A. As some of his works can take 300 hours of work, Volker is very much at the luxury end of the market. Burgess certificates were then presented to our two Apprentices of the Year, Dylan Murray and Cole Fletcher and membership of the Incorporation of Cordiners awarded to Volker Koch. Also being admitted to the Craft on the same evening was a former Lord Mayor of York, Master Cordwainer Janet Greenwood who honoured us by her presence along with her husband, Past-Master Cordwainer Michael. The rest of the evening was a marvellous tour of the Factory conducted by the Managing Director, Colin Wade, who showed us something of the astonishing quality and international reach of the 176-year-old company - surely one of the most important and innovative businesses in the country. 

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Volker Koch

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MD Colin Wade shows us an untreated hide.

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The Deacon with our new members: l to r: Cole Fletcher, Dylan Murray, the Deacon, Master Janet Greenwood and Volker Koch.

Children's Classic Concerts

Another charity which is dear to the hearts of the Cordiners' Master Court, as two of its members are Directors, is Children's Classic Concerts, providing wonderful musical experiences for even very young children. At the Members' evening, the Deacon presented Ex-Convener Jimmy Miller, who is a director of the charity,  with a cheque for £1000 to help with their programme for children from disadvantaged backgrounds who would not otherwise experience the joy of live music. 


Old People's Welfare Association

The Incorporation was pleased to support the David Cargill Club in Cathcart which provides a great service to the elderly over a wide area of south Glasgow. The Deacon  presented the Manager, and trustee Jim Gibson with a cheque for £1000 on Friday 19th August 2016.



The 71st Glasgow Disabled Scout Troup

Once again the Cordiners were delighted to support the fanstic work of the Glasgow Disabled Scouts, who are just back from another terrific week's camp, this time in Northern Ireland. This is one of the best youth activities in Glasgow and we are proud to be associated with it. Here is the group at the Titanic Museum in Belfast:

Chazin NI



Late Deacon Beverly Bergman gains a Doctorate

The degree of Doctor of Philosophy was conferred on Late Deacon Dr Beverly   Bergman at a ceremony at the University of Glasgow on   Thursday 30th July   The picture shows Late Deacon Beverly celebrating with a glass of bubbly   after the ceremony.   Her PhD thesis was on the long-term health of military veterans in   Scotland and, as she is a former Colonel, she graduated in military uniform.


The Shoemakers' Guild of Basel

The Deacon represented the Incorporation at the annual dinner and outing of the Zunft zu Schuhmachern Basel. The hospitality shown by the Guild was outstanding in every way and the use of heraldry was exuberant. Here is the Deacon with (L TO R): Master Cordwainer John Rubinstein (London), Meister Robert Graf (Shoemakers of Basel), Meister Christoph Streib (Tanners of Basel), Meister Marc von Schulthess (Tanners and Shoemakers of Zurich).

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The Deacon spoke after the magnificent lunch in the lovely Swiss town of Brig:

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First Box-Opening

 Most of the Incorporations still possess their Charter Chests from long ago.  The chests originally held the documents and money which belonged to the Incorporations.   At least two keys were required to unlock the boxes, to ensure that the contents could not be stolen. There is some doubt as to the whereabouts of the Cordiners' chest or Box: one dating from around the time of Queen Anne certainly appears in the guide to the Empire Exhibition of  1938, held in Bellahouston Park. The Master Court decided some time ago that while the search could continue, it would be worth commissioning a new Box and we are grateful to Late Deacon Dr Beverly Bergman for carrying this project to such a successful conclusion and to Late Late Deacon Dr Christine Linnell for providing the leather panel without which a Cordiner's Box could hardly be complete. The work was entrusted to the fine craftspeople of the GalGael Trust in Govan, under the expert direction of Alasdair Watson: the Box was made by Alan and the coat of arms carved by Vic. The wood is elm and was obtained from the Royal Park at  Holyrood.

During the evening, seven Deacons spoke about their years of office and places some memorabilia in the Box: Alistair Dorward (1996), James Y. Miller (2001), James H. Roulston (2010), Adrian Pierotti (2011), Christine Linnell (2013), Beverly Bergman (2014) and Liam Devlin (2015). A highlight of the evening was the presence, and skilled performance on the piano, of Tim Melville, a visiting music student from New York State, who is a Fifth Generation Cordiner and who found himself installed as Trades Goudie for the evening,  opening the Box along with Deacon's Goudie, Dr. Natalie Pierotti. 




Liam Devlin, Beverly Bergman, Christine Linnell, Adrian Pierotti, James Roulston, James Y Miller, Alistair Dorward.


Deacon Devlin installed as Pursuivant

The Deacon Convener, the Collector of the House and most of the Deacons and Visitor were present in the Court of Session in Edinburgh on February 29th to see the Lord Lyon King of Arms install Deacon Liam Devlin as HM Unicorn Pursuivant in Ordinary. Two Pursuivants Extraordinary, John Stirling WS as Linlithgow, and Sheriff George Way of Plean as Falkland, were installed at the same ceremony, witnessed by the Duke of Hamilton as Assessor to the Lyon Court.

Unicorn BatonUnicorn Audience


Deacon's Choosing Dinner February 5th 2016

Thanks very much to all who attended our Dinner - G1 caterers, thanks to the superb leadership of Louise and planning of Elaine, did us proud. Many thanks to our speakers, Hardeep Singh Kohli, and J. Douglas Anderson, and our peerless musicians, soprano Ann Archibald, pianist Tom Gibbs and piper Isla McLennan. The envelope collection on the evening raised £6310 for Kinship Care before Gift Aid and ticket receipts so thank you all very much indeed.


In the course of the Dinner, the Deacon was pleased to present Colin Wade, MD of Muirhead and Son Ltd, with a Cordiners' Award to mark the company's 175 years of top-class leather work in the City - their current client base includes British Airways, Morgan Cars and those famous benches in the Houses of Parliament. We also presented two young apprentices, Cole Fletcher and Dylan Murray, with Apprentice of the Year certificates and membership of the Incorporation.



Helen Lennox, Ex-Convener James Y. Miller and Gillian Miller

Among our special guests were the Master of the Worshipful Company of Cordwainers of London, Master of the Company of Cordwainers of York, Master of the Worshipful Company of Pattenmakers of London, The Treasurer and Secretary of the Guild of Shoemakers of Basle, and the 2013-2014 Chain-Gang.


A Night at the Ballet

A party of 47 Cordiners and guests attended a Conversazione at the Theatre Royal on Wednesday 13th January. As well as a profusion of delicious canapés prepared for us by Richie Holmes, chef at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, we had an excellent presentation on the work of the Scottish Leather Group - with clients as diverse as Morgan cars, British Airways and the Houses of Parliament. We also enjoyed a brief introduction to the Ballet, appropriately for us, CInderella by Prokofiev, from Chris Hampson, Chief Executive and artistic director of Scottish Ballet who directed and choreographed the wonderful production we enjoyed. He also thanked us for the substantial donation we made to the Cinderella Shoe Appeal.

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Mediaeval Methods still work!

Here is an excellent little film showing an Australian shoe-maker, using kangaroo skin and mediaeval methods to create bespoke footwear:


Happy patronal feast!

Happy St Crispins Day


Late Deacon Dr. Beverly Bergman in the News

The  Sunday Times today published an article on the research carried out by Late Deacon Bergman into whether military veterans living in Scotland were at higher risk of motor neurone disease than civilians. The press release quoted includes this interesting passage:

"Researchers at the University of Glasgow looked at 57,000 veterans in Scotland who were born between 1945 and 1985 and who had a wide range of experience and lengths of service in the Armed Forces over a 50-year period. Their results were similar to the 2005 US study; they found a 50% increased risk after military service, compared with people who had never served, but there was no link to any operational deployment and the risk did not worsen with longer service.

Lead researcher Dr Beverly Bergman said, "This is an important study which has confirmed an increased risk in military personnel. We also showed that there was a higher risk in everyone who had experienced an injury, but the risk was greater in people who had served in the armed forces. Because the cases occurred over such a long period of time, we are confident that there is no specific link to Gulf War service, although higher rates of military smoking may explain the increased risk. This is a very rare disease and veterans should not worry unduly." The study, which used data from the Scottish Veterans Health Study to examine rates of hospitalisation and death from motor neurone disease, is published in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine."


Buchanan Bespoke

Local Glasgow  shoe-makers, Buchanan Bespoke, is now making amazing hand-made footwear for the rich and famous and has a short promotional film shot at Mar Hall.


History of Shoes

The family-run Bata Shoe Organization, based in Switzerland, has produced a superb history of shoes which Cordiners will be interested to read. "All about Shoes" can be read for free on Google Books here.


Bata also has a virtual shoe museum here.


Incorporation of Masons Dinner - Friday 18th September 2015

The Deacon was a guest at the Dinner of the Incorporation of Masons, ably hosted by Deacon David Bannerman.  An impressive array of young stonemasons was awarded prizes and certificates and we congratulate them most heartily on keeping one of the great Glasgow crafts going to such a high standard.


Deacon's Choosing Day

On Friday September 18th, as usual the Cordiners were the first to elect their Deacon and Collector, followed by breakfast in the Glasgow Tea-room.

The new Deacon is Liam Devlin, and the Collector is Dr Iain Lennox. After many years' service on the Master Court, Dr Iain Jamieson has retired and we thank him for his contribution. The full line-up can be found in the Master Court section.


Auld Deacons' Dinner

Deacon Colonel Beverly Bergman, entertained the Master Court and Old Deacons of the Incorporation of Cordiners to a wonderful evening of hospitality in the Officers' Mess, formerly the Governor's House, at Edinburgh Castle on Friday 11th September.  



77th Glasgow Disabled Scouts

The Cordiners were delighted to support the terrific work of the Glasgow Disabled Scouts, currently fund-raising to build a new lodge at Auchengillan. They ran a fantastic summer camp at Culzean Castle this year.



Cordiners support renovation of painting

As part of the on-going renovation of the Trades Hall, the Cordiners has paid for the renovation of the early eighteenth century painting of John Stevenson (Deacon of the Cordiners four times between 1705 and 1710), which is the first painting on the right as you enter the Hall from the staircase. Deacon Stevenson was a generous donor to the Incorporation in his will and also left 200 merks per annum to the poor of the trade. Here is the portrait in its current state:



Glasgow Caledonian University Fashion Show 2015

The GCU website says: 

"The Glasgow Caledonian University 2015 Fashion Show showcased the latest innovative designs on the runway as part of students' business-focused fashion degrees.Students from the BA (Hons) Fashion Business programme exhibited their original creations at the annual celebration, which took place during two catwalk shows in the University's Carnegie Lecture Theatre."

The Cordiners' Prize went to Stephanie Gill (far right), seen here with her creation along with Deacon Beverly Bergman and Ex-Deacon Adrian Pierotti. 



V and A Exhibition sponsored by the Worshipful Company of Cordwainers

Cordiners visiting London over the summer should not miss the exhibition Shoes: Pleasure and Pain which is on from June 13th 2015 until January 31st 2016.



Deacon Chairs Fossil Five Awards

On Tuesday 24th March 2015, Deacon Beverly Bergman chaired Scotland's Fossil  Five Awards ceremony at the Hunterian Museum in Glasgow.  The event marked  the culmination of a nationwide public poll to choose Scotland's five
favourite fossils, which was organised by the Scottish Geodiversity Forum  and had been running since last year. The winning fossils were Devonian  fossil fish, Jurassic dinosaurs, early tetrapods, trilobites and fossil  trees.  Certificates were presented by Bailie Phil Greene to researchers and  enthusiasts representing each of the winning fossils.  The photograph shows  (l to r) MSP Sandra White (Glasgow Kelvin), Bailie Phil Greene (Springburn),  Deacon Beverly Bergman and Margaret Greene (Chair of Strathclyde  Geoconservation).   Deacon Bergman said "I am proud to support this  excellent initiative, which has encouraged many people of all ages to take  an interest in Scotland's marvellous fossil heritage".

Beve Fossils


Deacon Beverly Bergman receives her Grant of Arms from the Lord Lyon

Deacon Bergman was this week presented with her Letters Patent granting her a coat of arms from the Court of the Lord Lyon. Also in the picture is the heraldic painter, Yvonne Holton, Dingwall Pursuivant of Arms. Congratulations.




Ex-Deacon Stewart Wright

Today's Herald (24/3/2015) carried an obituary of Ex-Deacon (and former Deacon Convener) Stewart Wright. We send our condolences to his wife and family. 



Choosing Dinner 2015

Deacon Bergman's Choosing Dinner was held on February 13th 2015 and was a wonderful celebration of the heraldry of the Trades House. We had balloons in our livery colours (gold, silver and blue, or "Or, Argent and Azure" to be more correct), edible coats of arms on our desserts, hosts of table-banners made by Deacon Bergman with our coat of arms and of course a full menu based on the coat of arms of the House - everything from the "bird that never flew" to a "giron in a ring brunatre". Fittingly the principal speaker was the Lord Lyon King of arms, Dr Joseph Morrow, seconded by Brigadier Dr Alistair Macmillan DL. Here are the first of many photographs, taken by Edward Mallinson, of a wonderful evening.


Deacon Bergman with Dr Joseph Morrow, Lord Lyon King of Arms


Here is a sample of the table-banners, showing (l to r) Cordiners, Deacon Bergman impaled with Cordiners, Deacon Bergman. 


Our very talented prizewinners this year were Stephanie Gill and Jacqueline Meade: 

Stephanieand JAcqueline

Many more photographs of the Dinner can be found at our Dropbox:


We congratulate the winners of this year's prizes which the Cordiners award to encourage the leatherwork craft. 


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We had to wait until HM had left the building, then Lyon said let's go but we could not find our cars: we went first of all to the door we had come in by, and then down to a sort of James Bond basement carpark with only one car in it, a police landrover waiting for the Duke of Hamilton and the Crown.

At this point, I suddenly remembered it was Dingwall's birthday so I whispered that to Lyon and we cheered ourselves up by singing "Happy Birthday" to her very loudly. Then the idiot functionary from the Scottish Parliament office trecked us upstairs again, through an endless warren of rooms and out of the front door with a great deal of self-congratulation. Out we went, thanking her like fools, to discover no cars and that we were in the middle of the damned Riding. Lyon and Adam were going to Aberdeen so needed to get away so Lyon shouts, "Quick march, get into the Riding." so the eight of us start tramping along Holyrood Rd past the Palace to the strains of a Caribbean band as there was no other way to get through the crowds and round the building. We looked like the opening credits of "Dad's Army".

When we got to the back of the building, at Dynamic Earth, we were told someone had seen the cars but they had left to find us. we waited the best part of an hour before getting into taxis, leaving LC to meet the cars if they ever appeared. LC was in a pure raja.