The Ward of Cheap Club Shield
The Ward of Cheap Club Shield



Talk by The Folio Society

4th June 2024

The Ward of Cheap Club had a fantastic evening with the Talk by The Folio Society on the 4th of June! The event was hosted by Joanna Reynolds, CEO of The Folio Society, Tom Walker, Publishing Director, and Kate Grimwade, Production Director. Their hospitality and insightful presentations made the evening truly special for all our members. Attendees were given the unique opportunity to delve into The Folio Society’s remarkable journey, gaining a deeper appreciation for their craft and dedication to producing exquisite editions.

The Folio Society, a London-based publisher founded by Charles Ede in 1947, has transformed dramatically over the years. They produce illustrated hardback editions of classic fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and children’s titles. Folio book editions feature specially designed bindings and include artist-commissioned illustrations or carefully researched artworks and photographs. Initially, The Folio Society operated as a membership-based book club, with a commitment of four books per year. However, in September 2016, the company ended its membership-based structure and reinvented itself.

Today, The Folio Society crafts exquisite editions that are not only works of art but are also designed to be read and thoroughly enjoyed. They have become one of the exceptional British businesses that have successfully established themselves in the fiercely competitive US market.

RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2024

21st - 25th May 2024

As many of you know, the RHS Chelsea Flower Show stands as the pinnacle of horticultural excellence. Formally known as the Great Spring Show, this renowned garden show is held for five days in May by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) on the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea in Chelsea, London.

A number of our members enjoyed a day at the Show, and we would like to thank one of our newest members, Siyuan Ren, for providing access to tickets that are normally very difficult to obtain.

Canadian Indigenous Investment Summit at Mansion House

7th May 2024

A number of members of the Club chose to attend The Canadian Indigenous Investment Summit at Mansion House, which aligned with our President’s theme, “Ties That Bind The UK and Canada,”. Our Patron, Alderman Robert Hughes-Penney, provided an excellent summary of the day’s discussion to close the event. The day ended with the awarding of the Freedom of the City of London upon Mr Robert Brant, a descendant of Chief Joseph Brant and a member of the Ward Club, along with three venerable chiefs: Chief David Jimmie of the Squiala First Nation and Ts’elxwéyeqw Tribes, Chief Derek Epp of the Tzeachten First Nation, and Chief Donald Maracle of the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte. Our President was honoured to represent the Ward Club at this very special ceremony.

Afternoon Tea at TĪNG Lounge, Shangri-La The Shard

11th April 2024

It was wonderful to see so many of our Club members come together to enjoy culture and companionship at the Bees in Bloom Afternoon Tea at TĪNG Lounge, Shangri-La The Shard. This event showcased our commitment to cultural appreciation and engaging activities and offered high-quality culinary experiences that reflect our Club’s standards. It was also very pleasing to have new members and not-so-new members attend one of their first events! 

The afternoon was filled with delightful conversations and the enjoyment of exquisite tea offerings, set against the stunning view of the city skyline. This event truly embodied the spirit of our Club, fostering connections and celebrating shared interests. We look forward to many more gatherings that continue to bring our members together in celebration and camaraderie.

Wardmote at St Lawrence Jewry

20th March 2024

On 20th March, City workers and residents in the Ward of Cheap came together for the annual Wardmote—a historic meeting of citizens in the City of London. This gathering provided an opportunity for the local team of Common Councillors to update the community on their efforts to keep the City and Cheap safe, vibrant, and competitive.

Our Alderman, Robert Hughes-Penney, supports the Lord Mayor’s work as an ambassador for the City. Local businesses, City workers, and residents engaged in discussions on a wide range of topics, including support for homeless people, cycling, SMEs, and strategies to revitalise Cheapside. The event saw a great turnout, with members of the wider community, including the Ward of Cheap Club, participating actively.

The 2024 Fundraising Show "State Trials & Error"

19th March 2024

In celebration of 400 years of legal history, Court No.1 hosted a spectacular fundraising show titled “State Trials & Error” on 19th March. Our members of The Ward of Cheap Club had a great evening, and we even had a prize winner! The show featured vignettes and songs exploring the various ways the state has intervened in trials.

Devised by HH Peter Rook KC and directed by Ellis Sareen, the production offered an immersive experience in the world’s most famous courtroom. Sir Andrew Parmley and the BBC’s Colin Sell served as musical directors, featuring a star-studded cast from the Bar, Judiciary, and the City. This year, it was dedicated to the memory of the late Anthony Arlidge KC, one of the founders and first director of Trial and Error. 

The event was a resounding success, with proceeds shared among charitable causes, benefiting The Schools Consent Project, focusing on legal education in schools to reduce offending rates, The Sheriffs’ & Recorder’s Fund, aiding prison leavers, and Pan Intercultural Arts, supporting the vulnerable through arts for social change.

Canada House Tour and Trade Commissioner Service

22nd February 2024

Last 22nd of February, we marked the first event of The Ward of Cheap Club President’s 2024 Programme under the theme of “The Ties that Bind Canada & the UK” for the members of the Club. It was hosted at High Commission of Canada in the United Kingdom on Trafalgar Square, and we were welcomed by Edward Malota and his colleagues. Colin Barker delivered an engaging presentation showcasing the invaluable support and services offered by the Trade Commissioner Service and the Canada House team to both Canadian exporters and UK investors in Canada. Nigel Bacon also provided an overview of the activities of the Canada-UK Chamber of Commerce which uniquely is also based at Canada House. It was followed by a delightful tour of Canada House. It has drawn upon the diverse talents of Canadian artisans and craftspeople from coast to coast in order to deliver a building that celebrates the very best of Canada in the 21st century.

Installation Dinner

22nd January 2024

In 1863, at the Guildhall Coffee House, the Ward of Cheap Club was established to foster neighbourly and social connections. Fast forward to January 22, 2024, when Mark F. Magnacca became our new President, alongside Robert Hughes-Penney as Patron & Senior Vice-President and Anne Keates as Junior Vice President. With Mark’s dual citizenship in Canada and the UK, our 2024 program focuses on “The Ties That Bind Canada & the UK,” blending social and business events. Rob Brant, Managing Partner of McCarthy Tétrault’s London office, was the Guest of Honour, delivering a riveting speech on the historical injustices and current opportunities facing Canada’s Indigenous peoples.


Business breakfast

18th October 2023

The second business breakfast of the year was held on 18th October 2023 at the offices of Invested in Gresham Street. Our speaker was Janine Hirt, CEO of Innovate Finance. Innovate Finance is the industry body representing the world-leading UK Fin Tech sector. Janine is passionate about driving transformation to create a more democratic, transparent and inclusive financial services sector for all. Janine talked about the Fin Tech sector in the UK and the City, its development and opportunities.

City of London Blitz walk

20th September 2023

On 20 September 2023, Clive Harris led a guided City of London Blitz walk. Since completing his service in the Army, Clive has worked as a speaker, writer, researcher and guide for tours not only of the London Blitz but also of Gallipoli, Palestine, Italy, Normandy and Arnhem. 

It was a most enjoyable and interesting walk and we all learned so much about the effects of the Blitz on the City of London. It is remarkable that it survived so well but that was in no small way due to the efforts of the people of London who were engaged in the war in so many different ways. We heard stories of firefighters, ambulance drivers, bomb disposal experts and others which demonstrated their determination to support the war effort.

The walk was followed by lunch at The Tokenhouse in Moorgate.

Visit to Highgrove Gardens

13th July 2023

On 13 July 2023, our group enjoyed a guided tour of Highgrove Gardens, the gardens of the private residence of Their Majesties King Charles III and The Queen near Tetbury in Gloucestershire. The gardens, which are renowned as some of the most inspiring and innovative in the UK, include a large kitchen garden, a stumpery and a majestic arboretum. The tour was followed by lunch in the Orchard Room and a visit to the Highgrove Shop, which sells a range of branded gifts, many designed exclusively for Highgrove. 

Visit to the Charterhouse

13th June 2023

On 13 June, a group of members and guests visited the Charterhouse in Clerkenwell. The Charterhouse was built in 1371 as a Carthusian monastery which flourished during the later medieval and early Tudor period. After the dissolution of the monasteries, the Charterhouse became a mansion for wealthy noblemen. In 1611, it was bought by Thomas Sutton who converted it into an almshouse for seamen, soldiers and merchants who had fallen on hard times (the Brothers) and a school. The school was moved to Godalming in 1872 but the almshouse continues today. 

We enjoyed a very interesting tour with our excellent guide who not only described the fascinating history of the Charterhouse but also brought the tour to life with many stories which included providing a refuge away from the centre of London for Elizabeth I and later, James I.

Battersea Power Station to the Chelsea Physic Garden Walk

18th May 2023

On 18 May a group of members and guests walked from Battersea Power Station to the Chelsea Physic Garden. The walk was led by Angela Waddingham who gave us an interesting tour of the new development at the Power Station and then led us along the Thames, over Chelsea Bridge to the Chelsea Physic Garden where we enjoyed lunch outside in the beautiful gardens. Angela talked about the many landmarks on our route, including the American Embassy, the new development at Chelsea Barracks and the Royal Hospital Chelsea. 

Marble Hill Visit

19th April 2023

On 19 April a group of WOCC members and guests visited Marble Hill on the banks of the River Thames in Twickenham.  This Georgian house was built by Henrietta Howard, Countess of Suffolk, who is best known as a mistress of George II.  The house is now owned by English Heritage. The President, Patricia Edmunds, who is a guide with English Heritage, led the tour of this fascinating house.

Ward of Cheap Club ‘Breakspear The English Pope’

24th February 2023

On 21 February 2023, the Ward Club, in conjunction with the Bank Churches, hosted a meeting at St. Vedast-alias-Foster Church in the City.  Past President Adrian Waddingham gave a talk about his recent book ‘Breakspear The English Pope’, the story of Nicholas Breakspear who was elected as Pope Adrian IV in 1154, the only Englishman to have held this office. 

The talk was introduced by the Revd. Paul Kennedy, Rector of St. Vedast, and the vote of thanks was given by the President, Patricia Edmunds.

Ward of Cheap Club Business Breakfast

1st March 2023

The Ward Club held a business breakfast on 1 March 2023 when Richard Burge, the Chief Executive of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry spoke about the global challenges facing the City of London in 2023. 

The event was sponsored by the Cheapside Business Alliance and held at Saddlers’ Hall.


Ward of Cheap Club Business Breakfast

10th June 2022

The Club hosted a business breakfast on Thursday 10th June at the Guildhall, in conjunction with and sponsored by the Cheapside Business Alliance. 

35 of us, including Club members, guests, workers and residents from within the Ward heard from the Chamberlain of London, Caroline Al-Bayerty, about her role and some of the challenges faced by the City in its many guises.

The phrase ‘there is so much more than meets the eye’ could easily have been coined for talking about the City and its finances. Caroline reminded us that while the role is essentially that of Finance Director, she also has a key part to play in the ‘Silent Ceremony’ when the new Lord Mayor is admitted to office each year, and when she presents the symbolic items of crystal sceptre, sword, purse and seal to be touched by the new Lord Mayor.

Guests were reminded about the purpose of our Club and, encouragingly, a number subsequently showed interest in applying to join us.

Ward of Cheap Club Business Breakfast

11th May 2022

Club members and guests were treated to a really interesting and enjoyable voyage of discovery by Anne and Andrew Keates on May 11th 2022, as they took us round a number of the small and sometimes not-so-small City gardens, including Postman’s Park, the Charterhouse garden and glorious Christ Church Greyfriars Church garden, to name but a few. 

We couldn’t linger but we could have spent much more time in each of them, soaking up the current peace and quiet – and also the staggering history of most of them.

We then removed to the Butchers’ Hall for their traditional carvery lunch and some easy chat.

Ward of Cheap Club visit to The Honourable Artillery Company

20th April 2022

The Club visited the Honourable Artillery Company (HAC) on Wednesday 20th April 2022. 

Our tour was hosted by the Officer Commanding, Light Cavalry, Honourable Artillery Company, Alan Willis. Alan has been the Officer Commanding for 8 years and has a continuous history of escorting the Lady Mayoress in the Lord Mayor’s Show for almost 40 years. His knowledge is second to none and his enthusiasm is infectious. The HAC has a very long history which will not be recounted now. The museum covers several centuries, and the medal room is something to behold.

After the tour we joined the soldiers for Drill Supper and lively conversation.

Our sincere thanks was given to Alan Willis and also a donation to the HAC charity, by the club.

Ward of Cheap Election update

23rd March 2022

On Wednesday 23rd March a Wardmote was held at Wax Chandlers’ Hall and it was my pleasure to take the Chair as Alderman for the Ward and act as Returning Officer at the uncontested election of Common Councillors for the Ward. 

This year’s election was unusual in two respects; first, the term that candidates were elected for is three years, which differs from the standard four year term because the last term was extended by 12 months to five years due to Covid-19. Secondly, the election in Cheap was uncontested, unlike the vast majority c.20 of other Wards that had contested elections.

As a result, I am delighted to report that candidates and incumbents Nick Benstead-Smith, Tijs Broeke and Alastair Moss were all successfully returned. Congratulations to them! In many ways the fact the election was uncontested is testimony to their hard work on behalf of the electorate, workers and residents in the Ward over the last few years. I believe it also reflects the strength of the Ward team and the cohesive and collegiate nature of the relationships, which is not something that can always be taken for granted but one that I, as Alderman, am extremely grateful for. I am sure we all wish them well for this term of office and say, “keep up the good work!”.

I am also pleased to confirm that I have appointed Alastair Moss as Deputy once again and am grateful to him for undertaking this role.

At the Wardmote we were pleased to welcome a few voters from the Ward who, after hearing from the candidates, were able to ask questions and raise issues and concerns.

As usual the Wardmote was expertly organised by the Ward Clerk, David Cox, and I was in the right place at the right time in the right order of dress thanks to my Beadle, Bob Lovell. We were also very grateful to the Wax Chandlers for kindly providing the venue for the Wardmote.

Elsewhere in the City, on Thursday 24th March, election day, there were a number of significant changes and departures. These included the loss of the Chairman of Finance and two former Chairmen of Finance – I wonder whether anyone is going to be brave enough to step into their shoes given these apparent omens. However, the departures also mean a significant number of individuals have been elected for the first time and we look forward to getting to know them and work with them in the months ahead.

Robert Hughes-Penney, Alderman
Patron, Ward of Cheap Club

Ward of Cheap Election update

March 2022

Club members and their guests were treated to a fascinating tour of St Paul’s Cathedral in early March 2022. 

Our guide told us that, with a party of 14, we were the largest guided group to visit the cathedral since before the pandemic. Yvonne, our guide was most entertaining and knowledgeable, showing us a variety of public and private areas including the Dean’s stairs, otherwise known as the Geometric staircase, designed by Wren in 1705. Some members admitted to recognising the staircase from the film Paddington! After the tour of the ground floor and also the Crypts we were given tea and cakes in the Chapter House before returning to the Cathedral to sit in the Quire for sung evensong – a rare treat. Predictably the tour passed all too quickly and we all felt that there was so much else to take in. Another time! We finished the day at Pizza Express for a jolly supper and jovial conversation.

Visit to the Goldsmiths’ Hall

22nd February 2022

The Club visited the Goldsmiths’ Hall on Tuesday 22nd February 2022 and 23 members benefited from the tour given by Mr Simon Hutchinson MBE, the Deputy Clerk of the Company. 

His knowledge and enthusiasm was in abundance and gave us a relaxed, sociable and educational experience of the Hall. This focused primarily on the main rooms and did not include the Assay office, for security reasons. As Simon pointed out this was not a reflection upon the integrity of the Club’s members! We learned about the history of the building, it’s paintings and some of the astonishing craftwork. The photos show the club members who enjoyed the afternoon and also the key plates that sit behind the Prime Warden at Livery dinners and occasions such as the Trial of the Pyx.

The Club donated a portion of the Club’s event cost to the Goldsmiths’ 1327 fund, a charitable fund set up to mark the forthcoming 700 years of the Company and help educational endeavour in the craft.

Members repaired to Haz for tea and reflections on the tour afterwards.


Civic Lunch

November 2021

Wizardry in Wood exhibition - Carpenters Hall

October 2021


Advent Carol Service

December 2020

Classical Guitar Recital Wednesday

November 2020

Guitar Recital

Visit to St Paul's Cathedral

March 2020

15 members of the Club enjoyed a visit to St Paul’s Cathedral on 11th March, led by our President Charles Ledsam and his wife Debbie. We enjoyed the services of a volunteer guide, Janet Payne, who did an excellent job in showing us some of the hidden treasures of the cathedral which many of us will have visited on numerous occasions, but doubtless missed some of the detail. 

We started in the Chapel of St. Michael and St. George where Janet described the beautiful carvings and the role of the Order, which mainly comprises former senior diplomats or members of the military.

We moved to a magnificent spiral staircase near an entrance used occasionally by the Queen when she wanted to avoid the main steps. The individual stairs in this stone structure were only set 4 inches into the walls and each cantilever structure was supported by the next lower until a firm structure was reached. This on over 100 steps was an astonishing feat of engineering – and faith, at least the first time you had ot walk on them!.

Something many visitors will have passed by, despite its size, is the enormous white marble font designed by Francis Bird in 1726. Janet explained that it is sometimes referred to as “The Bird Bath” – it would probably take an albatross sized bird!

We learned that the original structure as left by Wren was plain white and that the mosaic ceilings above the quire were additions in the late 19th century, a response to Queen Victoria complaining how “dull, dingy and undevotional“ the place was. Janet also explained how the cathedral had been cleaned of centuries of grime from candles by the use of latex to remove the soot particles.

The tour finished in the crypt which is something of a hidden gem. The most spectacular items contained are the tombs (an insufficiently grand phrase to describe enormous marble and granite structures) of Wellington and Nelson. But there are tombs or memorials to the great and good of the English over centuries. For example you can stand on the tomb of Parry (he of Jerusalem), which is next to that of Sir Arthur Sullivan (this writer could not spot anything for WS Gilbert, who does have a memorial on the Embankment) and close to a memorial to Sir Alexander Fleming (he of penicillin fame). There are also memorials to the painters Reynolds, Turner and Milais, the poet Blake, and Florence Nightingale. A whimsical thought provoked by the immense diversity of the great and good who have tombs or memorials in the Crypt is “What sort of committee decides who gets a place, and where it goes?”

Janet had a portfolio of photos and pictures of St. Paul’s thorough the ages, of which some of the most remarkable were those showing the effects of bombing during World War II. The overwhelming impression was how lucky we are that more of the bombs did not detonate, and the bravery of those on the ground at the time who dealt with them. The previous Victorian altarpiece was one of the areas that did suffer bomb damage, and the present high altar dates from 1958, with a baldacchino based on that in St. Peter’s in Rome.

After a break for well earned refreshments we were installed in stalls in the Quire for Evensong. By this stage the late evening sun was streaming through the West Window, casting long shadows in the nave. We could enjoy the service, including excellent singing by the boy choristers of the Nunc Dimitis and Stabat Mater, doing their best against the notorious St Paul’s echo. The acoustics were probably made worse by the shortage of other visitors as a result of the coronavirus.

After the service we moved for supper to Pizza Express just off Cheapside. Thanks are due to our President for an excellent outing.


President’s Weekend – Norwich & Sandringham Estate

September 2019

A hardy group of intrepid 7 Members assemble at the hotel, the Maid’s Head Hotel for a welcome drink at the bar and excellent dinner at the Wine Press restaurant. The Maid’s Head claims to be oldest hotel in England. The hotel was mentioned frequently in the C J Sanson historical novel, Tombland, featuring the lawyer, Matthew Shardlake. 

Saturday 21st September

After a fortifying breakfast, we report for a group photo before embarking on a mini bus to the Forum and met our guide for a walking tour. We started at the Market Square, walked past the City Hall (where Adolf Hitler would have made his East England HQ had he won WW2) and viewed the St Peter Mancroft Church, and entered to inspect its beautiful interior and rare 16th Flemish tapestry in excellent condition. We proceeded to the Guildhall (second largest in England) which served as a Court house, debtors’ prison, and HQ of the City constabulary. We paused outside an entrance to a former goldsmith’s shop (the stone was pillaged from a dissolved monastery) and inspected a whipping chain for the unfortunate miscreants of a bygone age!

Proceeding on, we walked through the fine Victorian Royal Arcade and dived into the mediaeval backstreets of Elm Hill, admired a flint covered mansion the Bridewell, and see some original Flemish weavers’ cottages (the City ‘s symbol, the canary, is derived from the canaries the weavers kept to accompany their work). We strolled past the River Wensum and towards Tombland and admire Augustus Seward House (the numbered timbers at the back showed one of the first examples offsite building prefabrication!).

Then onto the Cathedral, to admire the architectural glory of Norwich, the highest tower in England (the spire is the third survivor). Our cathedral guide shepherded our group for a fascinating tour of the cloisters, encouraged us to look up at the magnificent roof bosses, mediaeval altar panels, choir stalls (one of the misericords shows a cook trying to stop a fox stealing food, whilst behind her a pig is sticking his snout into the cooking pot). We could have spent more time there! But now, we wanted some free time to roam around the City, look for our own lunch venues (but not spoiling our appetites for dinner later) and relax.

A comfortable 52 seater coach picked us up from the hotel for the short trip the Assembly House, where we enjoyed a fine three course dinner in an atmospheric private dining room, the Hobart Room, sampled our delicious three course dinner, amid the period features of the original Georgian fireplace, sash windows and décor. We returned to our capacious coach for the return trip to the Maid’s Head, for a comfortable night’s sleep after a very satisfying day.

Sunday 22nd September

After another good breakfast, we clambered aboard our spacious coach for the transfer to the Sandringham Estate. Before entering, we inspected the wares of a local farmers’ market. We approached the main entrance for a group photo. We stepped inside before being sternly warned that no indoor photography is permitted. We admired the interior, are amused by the weighing stool Edward VII used for his guests to see how much weight they had gained during their stay! The rooms contain fine furniture, ceramics, paintings yet it retained a homely, intimate charm, not at all overwhelming.

We enjoyed a stroll around the beautifully kept gardens, and some of us had time to go to the Sandringham Exhibition and Transport Museum.

Time for a roast lunch at the Café and Coffee shop, where most of us chose locally reared Sandringham Roast Lamb as our main course.

Finding that we had enough time left, we explored one of the most famous parish churches in the world, St Mary Magdalene, admired the sumptuously decorated chancel, the silver pulpit and the many memorials.

Time up and we returned to our capacious coach and a final trip to the Maid’s Head in Norwich, where we said our thanks and farewells, took away our fond memories of an interesting itinerary and renewed our friendship.

Thames Boat Trip

June 2019

15 persons assembled for the somewhat chaotic embarkation at Embankment Pier to board the Glass Room boat operated by Bateaux London, to the accompaniment of a jazz band and a welcome prosecco. The boat travelled at first upstream, and turned near the Houses of Parliament to head downstream, through Tower Bridge, past HMS Belfast, Wapping, Isle of Dogs, Cutty Sark and then to the O2 before returning to Embankment Pier. 

A special premier 5 course lunch was served and consumed amid the leisurely atmosphere of the jazz band as wonderful sights slipped gently by. All too soon, the trip ended but our club members disembarked with the pleasant memories of a nautical Sunday afternoon excursion, convivial company and first class cuisine.

Walk “Secretive London” and Lunch at the Vestry

May 2019

26 walkers rendezvoused at St Paul’s tube station to be led by our experienced guide, Kevin Larder of “Real London Walks”. The theme was to explore places around Smithfield that most people would not notice or take a second glance. These included Panyer Alley (and the Panyer Boy bas relief next to Café Nero), Paternoster Square (look for the vents at the base of the Monument), Temple Bar, Postman’s Park (and the memorial of glazed tablets established by GF Watts, commemorating acts of bravery), St Vedast and its tranquil courtyard garden (with Roman pavement and an unexpected sculpture of a bust by Jacob Epstein), the Watch House overlooking St Sepulchre’s (to guard against body snatchers!), the Golden Boy of Pye Corner (marking the westerly extent of the Fire of London), Smithfield (and the memorial for William Wallace) and finally Charterhouse Square (including the burial ground of the Great Plague uncovered by Crossrail excavations). 

After so much exploring, it was time for lunchtime refreshment at the nearby Vestry, where 21 walkers took their leisure in a converted vesting room of St Sepulchre’s to sample a delicious three course lunch and quality wines.

Civic Luncheon

April 2019

Heathrow Animal Rescue Centre

March 2019


President’s weekend visit to Belgian Christmas markets

December 2018