Master and Wardens' Tour 2023

28 November 2023

The Brewers’ Company’s annual Master and Wardens’ Tour took place in November.

The Master and Wardens had the opportunity to visit the property estate in Islington which generates income for the Dame Alice Owen Foundation, the Hickson’s Almshouses in South Mimms, the Aldenham Foundation and Dame Alice Owen’s School. The visit forms part of the Company’s governance of its charities, contributing towards the Company’s aim “To be the Trustee and to administer the assets of various charities, including their endowed funds, in order to support both today’s and future beneficiaries”.

Tours and visits by the Master and Wardens have been a mainstay of the Company’s activities for years. The Master still attends Visitation days at each of our schools annually. These days Visitation events are opportunities for celebrating the successes of the students and awarding prizes, but historically they were inspections by the Court to review progress, view displays and take inventory of the schools’ property. Our Archivist has also found reference to a series of visits to the Almshouses by the Master in the 1960s:

Court minutes 10 May 1962

The Master reported that he had visited both the Hickson and Platt almshouses. While the improvements at the latter were very satisfactory, he felt that similar improvements (provision of bathrooms etc.) were needed at the former, and that some additional maintenance expenditure could greatly improve the general appearance of the almshouses and make them an obvious credit to the Company.

Court minutes 9 May 1963

The master reported that he had recently visited both the Platt and the Hickson Almshouses and that the improvements effected at the former were very satisfactory and much appreciated by the occupants.

Court minutes 14 May 1964

The Master reported that he had visited the Hickson and Platt Almshouses and Earls Farm. The Hickson improvements were admirable and had delighted the occupants; but the garden needed attention… It was agreed to employ a gardener if one could be found.