Fellowship & Friends

Social occasions within the Livery

In common with all other Livery Companies, we have an annual programme of formal social occasions, all of which are designed to promote fellowship. We hold quarterly Court Luncheons in Apothecaries' Hall and an annual Livery Dinner in a larger Livery Hall within the City.  These are splendid occasions but not something we do every day!  Like most hard-working organisations, work goes on behind the scenes.

Besides allowing the Company to offer hospitality to members of other liveries and to prominent persons in the City and the optical world, formal lunches and dinners provide members with excellent opportunities to entertain guests in unique surroundings, to step outside business pressures and to talk to their fellow liverymen about matters of professional interest in an open but private environment.

Freemen do not have a right to attend these lunches or the Livery Dinner. Occasionally, if we are using a very large Hall, the offer of seats at the Livery Dinner may be advertised to Freemen.

Freemen will receive their own special invitation to Evening Drinks parties, usually held every two years and are always included in invitations to “Eye to Eye” open discussions at conferences, trade events and venues around the country.  Our most recent Freemen's Drinks party was held within the Old Bailey - a special privilege granted by our Alderman as Sheriff of the City of London. 

Much of the social life of the Company is conducted in less formal surroundings. All Freemen and Liverymen automatically become members of the Spectacle Makers' Society, which organises an annual programme of day and weekend visits and “pop up “ events, intended to appeal to members of different ages, backgrounds and interests.  

 Liverymen and Freemen who express an interest in music, art, military spectacles or sports, including bridge, golf, go-karting, skiing or even pancake racing will receive email notifications of any inter-Livery competitions in which they might like to take part. Each member pays their own way in inter-livery sporting events but is accorded full honour for their achievements.

See here for more information about the SPECTACLE MAKERS' Society AND SPORTING LIFE IN THE LIVERY

There are many other opportunities for small gatherings,  perhaps on a “historic hostelry tour”, at the Butchers' Hall Carvery or one of the other open lunches which take place each month in Livery Company halls, enjoying a drink in The Black Friar or Harry's Bar en route to a function or just meeting for a quick coffee before a Committee meeting.  Spectacle Maker Freemen and Liverymen quickly make friends.