Last Friday found me chowing down at Mansion House – yes the Mansion House; home and office of The Lord Mayor of the city of London.
How did I find myself dressed in my finery, sipping champagne in the magnificent, if somewhat oddly named Egyptian Hall? (Oddly named in as much at it isn’t remotely Egyptian in decor and is based on designs by the classical Roman architect Vitruvius – go figure).
The answer, to those of you who are still with me, is because this fell through my letterbox:
An invitation from The Worshipful Company of Pattenmakers to attend a charity function. “All well and good, but who are these Pattenmakers of which you speak?” I hear you cry – – – really, I have incredibly good hearing.
The Worshipful Company of Pattenmakers is a City of London Livery Company which was awarded its Royal Charter in 1670. First recorded as a trade association for the makers of pattens in 1379, the actual trade of patten making dates back to the 12th century.
And, for those of you desperate to know, pattens were ‘under-shoes’ which were designed to be worn outdoors, their sole purpose (see what I did there) was to lift the wearer, their shoes and ladies’ dresses above the less than desirable mire that passed for city streets.
“Hmm” I hear you think – – – yes I’m also telepathic – – – “very nice, but what on earth do pattens have to do with the 21 century?” Today The Company is a charitable foundation which funds the design and bespoke fabrication of orthopaedic shoes, with a particular focus on injured UK service-people.
So now you know, and now I’ll stop rambling and show you some pretty pics of the dinner:
We were running late and it was really difficult to get any shots of what I actually wore. I can picture it now; “Pleasure to meet you Lord Mayor, now if you could just step to one side so that my husband can take a few snaps for my blog……”