The Master and Liveryman Oscar Holmes attended the St Paul’s Cathedral School Speech Day on 15 July in the splendid surroundings of the Milton Court Concert Hall in the City of London.

The outgoing Headmaster Neil Chippington made special mention during his speeches of the invaluable support provided by the Livery Companies for the students. Our current student chorister is Lucas Emmott and he seems to be following in the excellent footsteps of Nicholas Evans, the previous chorister we helped support. Neil’s position as Headmaster will be taken in September by Simon Larter-Evans who is presently at the Yehudi Menuhin School. Neil himself will become Headmaster of St. John’s College School, Cambridge.

The Guest of Honour was Catherine Bott who may be familiar to many through her live singing and recording and her regular work on radio in such shows as The Early Music Show, Radio 3’s Live in Concert and on Classic FM. She was most encouraging to the students and also reminded them of what a privilege it was to be able to study and sing amidst the world-famous surroundings of St Paul’s Cathedral.

Finally, one has to pay tribute to the maturity and wit of the students as their musical and speech-making abilities were of the highest order.

In September the Master, Liveryman Oscar Holmes and the Clerk Mark Butler attended Evensong in St. Paul’s Cathedral at which the Glovers’ Bursary Chorister Lucas Emmott was singing. After the beautiful Service Lucas and the other Choristers had their photographs taken with the visiting Livery Company Masters.

After this a most enjoyable reception was held in Admiral Lord Nelson’s crypt hosted by the recently appointed headmaster Simon Larter-Evans. Our chorister is doing very well at the school and the headmaster expressed his gratitude to the Glovers’ Livery Company for our continued support.

Charlotte Hannibal with the ITV This Morning Team at which she acknowledged the part played by the Company.

To see the full piece go to:

The Trustee’s intention is to feature different gloves for each Newsletter. Here are the first pair:-

A pair of men's tabbed gauntlet gloves, cream kid leather with embroidered canvas work design of a stag and dog surrounded by robins, pansies and carnations, edged with metal thread bobbin lace and sequins.

These gloves were acquired by the Trustees in June 2014 at auction in Bonhams, their provenance details they were inherited through one family from the original owner Baron Honywood, who was granted his Baronetcy by Charles 1. The gloves passed through numerous members of the Family, including John Wastell a race horse trainer, a Worshipful Member of the Jockey Club and owner of the Oaks winner in 1802 (he married his housekeeper!). A member of the Family eventually put them into the Auction.

Wouldn’t it be fantastic if we could walk around nowadays with gloves like these?

If you want to see more of the Collection please go to our web page

Or to see High Definition pictures of our gloves on the Bridgeman Images web page you can now follow this link:


The Clerk was lucky enough to get a call from a Mrs Margaret Pipe who had been cleaning out her attic when she came across some belongings of her husband John who had died 10 years previously. She sent a copy of his apprentice indenture (left) which is now in the Archive. But her letter provides a real feel for what it was like to work in gloving in the 50’s when those that worked in the factory also played together in their free time.

Margaret wrote saying:

Dear Glovers,
Please find attached two photos. I would say looking at them he must have been in his apprenticeship when the photos were taken, because he looks quite young in them. I think the cup is the football FA Cup. I completely forgot about them, it was on my way home I remembered them. Astoria Glove traded from Virginia Park, Pontygwindy Road in Caerphilly and John had a good two minute walk to work as he also lived on Pontygwindy Road.

John was 10 years older than me and I didn't know him until about 1966 after I had been working at the factory for a while. When the ordering system changed I used to receive all the orders and had to go over to the Cutting Shop to use the order printing tool that was installed there.

By then the factory was known as Western Glove and they made gloves for Marks & Spencer, Woolworth, Dent, Millington and others that I can't recollect. As far as I'm aware we only made ladies gloves.

The owner then was Herbert Altschul and he had a brother that we knew as Willie.


In both pictures John is the third one in. The other people as far as I'm aware are cutters except second one from left bottom row is Mick Smith who was the general handyman. Bottom row on both photos first on right is Ken Lorrey. Top row first on right on bottom photo is Ken Huxtable who was my boss and manager of the ironing room.

I used to help out if it was busy and also had an iron at home. I'm sorry if I'm going on about me, but I don't really know much about John’s glove cutting career, except that he was a leather cutter - but I do know that he was very proud of evading National Service because of his apprenticeship. I have the letters from the Ministry of Defence.

He was a good sportsman and from the age of about 17 he played table tennis. In later years he was in the premier division of the Cardiff and District League. He knew everything about football and rugby and also played tennis.

Unfortunately he passed away in January 2002.

Margaret Pipe



Liveryman Lindsey Riley has written this short piece on her final year student, Louise de Groote's conceptual gloves, created as part of her final collection and which should be of interest to all Glovers.

Talented London College of Fashion, BA Cordwainers Bags and Accessories student Louise de Groote was awarded a First Class honours degree in for her exceptional final year collection entitled ‘Cult of Identity’. Her work explores the intense relationship between individuals, brands and possessions within our fast-fashion world.

A combination of technology and craftsmanship were used to create sculptural pieces emphasising parts of the body, representing our personal identity. Materials used were velum, blown glass and human hair - her own. Louise retuned from the summer holidays with her long blond hair cropped off in anticipation of the project!

Of particular interest to Glovers are the delicate molded velum ‘gloves’ created using casts of her own hands. Another piece appears to float, with velum fingers grasping a molten glass form.

Students on the course target their designs with a particular consumer profile in mind, usually from High Street to luxury level. Louise took a more conceptual route with her bag and glove artifacts intended for an art gallery installation rather than an everyday customer.

Louise has already gained experience honing her leather craft skills on an internship year split between Bill Amberg’s London design studio and Belgian luxury leather brand, Delvaux, This along with a C.V. boasting the LCF Excellence in Technology award and first prize for the prestigious international Craft the Leather competition puts Louise is in a strong position to take the next step in her career as a fully-fledged accessories designer.

To see the full collection visit:

by Mark Butler

Hmmm. I wonder what will happen if I push this…..

Liveryman Vivienne Littelchild starts the Domino Tumble over 6 kms of the City

Another Year?! Did you say the Clerk was staying for another year?


Victor Spencer Bowater Liveryman
1891 – 1967
and Other Members of the Bowater Family

Victor came from a very privileged and entrepreneurial family and although he played no part in working in the family business saw his family's wealth spiral ever upwards throughout his 76 years. He was content to live life as a gentleman and by all accounts enjoy life to the full. It was remarkable that the City of London appointed four members of his family to be Lord Mayors' of London, a feat that has not been matched in recent times. The Glovers' Company were indeed fortunate to have Victor as a Liveryman whilst his eminent relatives reached the highest positions running the City of London.

In researching this article I was unable to find a picture of Victor but was able to find photographs of his family.

Download full article with photographs as pdf here.

Liveryman David Thorp Writes:

The mixed doubles tournament was held at Queens Club on the 7 September hosted by the Feltmakers Company. 24 couples competed in six round robin groups in the morning followed by the last eight going through to the afternoon knock out stage.

Christine and I represented the Glovers and played the Grocers, Pewterers and Tallow Chandlers in our group. We won a close set against the Grocers. The Pewterers were anything but leaden as their lady member was reminiscent of the former 'Martina' with her dazzling shots. We redeemed ourselves sufficiently against the last pair so that we came second in our group and just qualified for the quarter finals.

We came up against the Drapers and for the second year running lost mainly due to their male tennis coach who unpicked our game with skill. They were then beaten by the Salters who went on to win against the Tallow Chandlers first team in the final.

David and Christine Thorp with Jeremy Bedford, and his tennis playing partner Hilary of the Farmers Company.

Our thanks to the Feltmakers for their excellent organisation. At least we reached the same stage as Andy Murray did at the US Open even though our world ranking and career earnings are somewhat different.



Liveryman Nicholas Shaw has offered periodically to provide a little extra historical background to the Company.  On this first occasion Nicholas has unearthed an interesting story behind the Master Glover of 100 years ago.

Sir James Roll 1st Baronet 1846 – 1927 & Master Glover 1916-1917

Sir James Roll 1846 - 1927

Alderman Sir James Roll died on Sunday, 30th January 1927, aged 80 years of age.  He was the youngest son of Mr Nathaniel Roll and his wife Emma Roll née Gilding and was born on 9th December 1846 at East Ruston, near Norwich.  His father was a tenant farmer in the same village.

“His rise from humble circumstances to his present exalted position forms one of life’s romances.  Mr George Plummer, a retired wheelwright and carpenter, went to school with him.  Education was an almost negligible thing in village life sixty odd years ago, and young Roll bade farewell to the little national school when he was about 12 to go to work on a neighbouring farm.

Early in his teens, Alderman Roll left home for the ‘city paved with gold’.  Though he did not exactly set out with his bundle on his back, he and his belongings were taken by road to Yarmouth, where the journey to London was done by sea.  Hard work at self-improvement and undaunted perseverance enabled him to overcome many of the drawbacks of his early schooling and he soon began his business career as a junior clerk in an insurance office.  It was his mother’s brother who encouraged him to come and work in an insurance office”.

It was reported in the Eastern Daily Press on Friday 12 June 1925, that Sir James and Lady Roll, formally opened the handsome village hall which he donated and presented to the inhabitants of East Ruston.  Villagers assembled in large numbers for the ceremony and Sir James and Lady Roll were accompanied by their son, Frederick Roll and his wife and also a past Lord Mayor of London, Sir Thomas Varsittart Bowater, and Colonel Sir J. Vansittart Bowater MP. He began his career as office boy to an agent of the Pearl Assurance Company, then in a modest way of business in the City, and by 1927 it was one of the largest organisations of its kind in the Kingdom.  He became one of the company’s agents in the north of England. 

James Roll was appointed a district superintendent for the North then a Director in 1882 and Chairman of Pearl Assurance in 1892, a position which he held for over 20 years, retiring in 1916 after 50 years’ service, aged 70.  He was a colourful character and it was alleged that he made fun of his fellow Directors at a meeting of the field staff in 1916.  As a result he resigned and was replaced by Francis Bowles. 

It was in 1916 that James Roll became Master of the Glovers Livery Company.  His mother Company was the Horners Livery Company.

Mr P.J. Foley (Managing Director) encouraged James to seek election as a Corporator of the City of London in 1903 and his municipal career began in 1903 when he was elected a Common Councilman for Bridge Ward; Sheriff  in which at Adelaide Place, London Bridge, the Pearl Assurance company’s headquarters were then situated. 

In 1909-10 he served the Shrievalty of the City, the Lord Mayor being Sir John Knill, 2nd Baronet.  During the year the position of Alderman of Billingsgate Ward fell vacant, and Mr Roll, after a contest with his Co-Sherriff, Mr Ralph Slazenger, was elected.  He became Lord Mayor in November, 1920.  In his year of office the Prince of Wales was entertained at Guildhall and gave an address on his visit to Australia and other Dominions overseas.  Later in the year, first the Crown Prince of Japan and afterwards the King and Queen of Belgium visited the city and were welcomed by the Corporation.  Prince Henry, the King’s third son, took up the Freedom of the City by patrimony during the summer.

In June, 1920, the King, accompanied by the Queen, visited the City to open the new Southwark Bridge.  At the close of his year of office, the Lord Mayor was made a baronet in November 1921.  Sir James Roll was a member of Glovers’, Horners’ Paviors’ and Carmen’s Companies, and in the Masonic world was a prominent Freemason and reached the craft rank of Past Grand Treasurer.  He was very fond of driving, and was a member of the Old Pickwick Coaching Club.  Sir James, as president of the club, was known as ‘Mr Pickwick’. He was also Chairman of Charles Webster Ltd and Chapman & son, Eastbourne Ltd.

He married on 8th September 1867 to Emma, daughter of Mr James Gilding.  She survived him with two sons, who were both connected with the Pearl Assurance Company.  His funeral took place at the City of London Cemetery, Ilford on Friday February 4th 1927 and is buried in the City of London Cemetery and Crematorium, Aldersgate Road, Manor Park E12, Grave Reference 65635 square 64. He lived at the Chestnuts, Wanstead E.11, which is now a care home today.

Liveryman Nicholas Shaw


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