August 1, 2023
On Friday 28th July 2023, Master Cutler, Dame Julie Kenny DBE DL, hosted the annual Forfeit Feast on behalf of the Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire. This traditional feast was attended by the principal guest, Lord Mayor of the City of London, Alderman Nicholas Lyons, HM Lord Lieutenant of South Yorkshire, Professor Dame Hilary Chapman DBE RN, High Sheriff of South Yorkshire, Professor Jaydip Ray DL, The Lord Mayor of Sheffield, Councillor Colin Ross and Lord Mayors from the South Yorkshire region to name but a few. The aim of the Business Lunch and Forfeit Feast was to highlight the importance and diversity of manufacturing and engineering in the current economic climate within the Region, whilst also showing the potential and opportunity for development.
The Master began by welcoming all of the Company’s guests, its Freemen and Friends. She emphasised the importance of showcasing and promoting the diverse range of innovative and successful manufacturing businesses in the Region. This ranged from the traditional industries to those breaking new ground in terms of both new products and manufacturing methods. She stressed that South Yorkshire is playing its part in building the UK economy and asked the Lord Mayor of the City of London to use his influence to help invest in the future of manufacturing within the Region. The Master went on to thank Gripple for hosting the Shrieval Party on a tour whilst also demonstrating their different works, noting the level of skill, personalities and commitment of all of those involved.
The Lord Mayor of the City of London thanked the Master and the Company for their hospitality. He stated that he and the Sheriffs had been incredibly impressed by the lunchtime business briefings and the visit to such a dynamic company as Gripple. He spoke of ways in which investment might be leveraged to help grow manufacturing across the UK. The Lord Mayor of the City of London was particularly impressed with the diversity of businesses that he has been introduced to. He was able to witness firsthand the skills, creativity, and innovation that goes into every aspect of the manufacturing process as well as those continually developing new products and processes.
Following The Master Cutler and The Lord Mayor of the City of London’s speeches, there was an incredible musical interlude from Charlotte Kenny, before guests were invited to network and discuss ideas.
The Forfeit Feast origins can be traced back to the seventeenth century, fines or forfeits were imposed on members for non-attendance at meetings or misdemeanours committed at meetings. The money was collected in the last week of July and celebrated with a dinner which was partly funded by the forfeits. Originally the feast was not held at Cutlers’ Hall but instead hosted at one of the local taverns, since 1834 the feast has been held in the Cutlers’ Hall.
A truly informative occasion and an opportunity to highlight the strengths of manufacturing in the Region.
Photographs – Andrew Cox Photographer