On 21 June, Kenneth (Ken) Cupitt was installed as the 61st Master of the Worshipful Company of Launderers in a traditional ceremony which took place in the River Room at Glaziers Hall, the premises shared with The Worshipful Company of Glaziers and the Worshipful Company of Scientific Instrument Makers. Following the installation, Past Masters, current Wardens, Liverymen and guests processed to Southwark Cathedral for a special evensong accompanied by the soaring voices of the choir before returning to the Hall for a celebratory dinner and speeches.
Master Cupitt here delivers his statement:
“There are currently 110 active Livery companies in the City of London and between them they play an important part in the charitable sector and social and networking activities of the City. They have a long and proud history of cultural, charitable and education patronage. Liverymen retain voting rights for the City of London Corporation, the local authority with extensive local government powers of the City.
The Livery companies, with a history going back to the 12th century, were originally the trade associations or guilds in the City of London.
Today, most of are known as the "Worshipful Company of..." their relevant trade, craft or profession, for example The Worshipful Company of Launderers, which is sometimes referred to as a ‘modern Livery’ company. The reference to ‘modern Livery’ is because prior to 1926 no Livery Companies were formed in the previous 100 years and the Launderers were only formed in 1960.
I am the 61st Master of our Company, newly installed together with the two new Wardens, Senior Warden Sarah Lancaster and Renter Warden, Simon Fordham. We will each serve a one-year term. In 1963 a charitable and education trust was formed, by the Launderers’, which aims to gives scholarships for the further education of people pursuing studies relevant to the laundry industry.
Looking to the future, one of the initiatives the Launderers’ Company is seeking to introduce, is training and lectures to support the exchange of knowledge within the industry.
Together, the City of London Livery Companies raise over £70 million a year for charitable causes and in my year of office, I will be raising funds for the Dementia and Alzheimer's societies and for Admiral Nurses who work with the people and families who suffer from these diseases. There are currently around 850,000 people with dementia in the UK and the prevalence of dementia among the over 65s is 7.1%, based on 2013 population data, and is one in every 79 (1.3%) of the entire UK population, and 1 in every 14 of the population aged 65 years and over.
Jailed and bailed
I also hope to raise funds for the Red Cross and will, therefore, be Jailed at the Old Bailey, on 6 September, then, along with 30 other Livery Company Masters, be taken by members of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers to the Tower of London until I, and the others, are bailed by the raising of funds of at least £1,000 from each Master. I hope that I have sufficient supporters to help make my stay be minimal by contributing what they can afford towards raising at least this amount.
The money raised through this event will help Red Cross work across the UK and overseas. That includes making sure people have the connections they need, so that our communities are more resilient and can stand strong to face the future. Red Cross teams are also supporting people who have been hit hardest by Covid-19, with financial and emotional help, as well as assisting at hospitals and vaccination centres. In 2020 the Red Cross made 87,748 food parcel deliveries and 13,176 medicine deliveries, helping people stay safe and well at home. These doorstep acts of kindness have made all the difference to recipients: one saying: ‘This is a great help. I really worry and you’ve helped. You’ve no idea how you’ve helped.’
There will be an active programme of events during my year, updated details of which you will be able to find at regular intervals on the website www.launderers.co.uk together with news of the current activities.’
LCN wishes Ken a successful tenure as Master.