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.
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:
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
Auld Deacons' Dinner - Edinburgh Castle September 9th
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
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.
MD Colin Wade shows us an untreated hide.
The Deacon with our new members: l to r: Cole Fletcher,
Dylan Murray, the Deacon, Master Janet Greenwood and Volker
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
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
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).
The Deacon spoke after the magnificent lunch in the lovely Swiss
town of Brig:
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
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
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
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
Helen Lennox, Ex-Convener James Y. Miller and Gillian
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.
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: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-australia-34274471
Happy patronal feast!
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."
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. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2gfa65hkgW4
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
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
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
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
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
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".
Deacon Beverly Bergman receives her Grant of Arms from the Lord
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
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
Our very talented prizewinners this year were Stephanie Gill and
Many more photographs of the Dinner can be found at our
We congratulate the winners of this year's prizes which the
Cordiners award to encourage the leatherwork craft.
Ljubodrag GrujicStevana Supljikca 95/126101 PancevoPAK
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