London Montage

Corporate Governance and Administration with Wings

Date: 14 May 2013 18:00

Valerie Blackwell has been a member of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators since 1987 and a Fellow since 1995. Leaving school before her 15th birthday she joined Cooper McDougall and Robertson in Berkhamsted as a Junior Clerk and was sent to Slough College of Further Education on a part-time day release Secretarial Course including shorthand.  Next came service in the Women’s Royal Naval Service followed by several PA/Secretary roles before joining Clifford Chance where she was offered a more senior role and to take the ICSA examinations.  This led onwards to membership of ICSA and the opening of many doors including membership of a City of London Livery Company.

As a Company Secretary Valerie has worked in many sectors – industry, the professions, charity, government departments.  This path and its connections with ‘winged creatures’: “A flight from Troglodytes Troglodytes to Secretary Bird to a Dragon and the story in-between” will be covered in her talk.

The venue is one of the London City Livery Company’s Hall.   Freeman (members) of City Livery Companies vote in the elections of The Lord Mayor of The City of London.  These companies play a vital part in raising funds for charitable purposes asocciated with the City of London.

A Snapshot of The History of The Company of Lightermen and Watermen

In 1514 the earliest Act of Parliament for regulating watermen, wherrymen and bargemen received Royal Assent from King Henry VIII.    In 2014 the Company will celebrate the 500th anniversary of that Act.   Under this Act the Company introduced apprenticeships for those wishing to learn the skills of the Watermen. In 1700 the Lightermen (cargo) joined the Watermen’s Company. The Company is a working guild and is still actively involved with the life of the River and those that work on it.  The present Watermen’s Hall was built in 1780 being designed by William Blackburn for the Company. It is the only original Georgian Hall in the City of London.

The Doggett’s Coat and Badge” is the oldest continuously run single sculling race in the world. The race was first run in 1715 and is open only to newly qualified Freemen of the Watermen’s Company. The course is from London Bridge to Chelsea a distance of four miles and five furlongs, and the prize of the orange red coat and silver arm badge is much treasured by those Freemen who have had the honour of winning the Wager.   Further history of Livery Companies and the City connections will be covered during the talk.


1800 -1845   Networking and Light Refreshments

1845 -2030   Event (all times are appx)


Preferential Member Rate: £8 / Non-members and Guests:  £10

Booking form:

Select the link above and follow the instructions for booking and payment

Venue Directions / Transport Options 

16-18  St-Mary-at-Hill,  London EC3R 8EF.   Nearest tube: Monument –    Please note at Monument The Docklands Light Railway and The Northern Line are a long walk from Bank.   Nearest Underground is |Monumnet , exit to Fish Street and Monument and turn right and immediate left and follow the road at an incline, keeping on the right to the end where it joins Lower Thames Street turn left and immediately right (a very narrow road) for St-Mary-at-Hill and Watermens Hall is on the right and the door will be open.  Further details on finding the venue and other means of transport click here




Location: Company of Watermen and Lightermen