Governing Benchers voted in favour of an Executive Committee resolution that the Inner Temple be authorised to proceed with expenditure in the implementation of the Project Pegasus scheme.
Sub-Treasurer's Report, January 2019
1. Bench Table
The Collector’s team have begun using electronic Bankline payments under £5,000 for invoices, expenses, reimbursements, refunds etc. Any payments above £5,000 are still paid by cheque at present.
The Estates Committee met on 4 December 2018. It was the last meeting under Master Fetherstonhaugh as Chair, who was warmly thanked and presented with a limited-edition print of the Inn for his 6 years’ service as Chair. Master Roger Stewart is the new Chair.
Following the Bench Table vote on Project Pegasus, a contract has been signed with Sir Robert McAlpine Special Projects (SRM), with mobilisation anticipated after Easter 2019 and a start on construction activity in early June. An inaugural meeting has been arranged with SRM to begin detailed planning and logistics.
The Surveyor is working with the various Inn Departments that will be displaced by the construction in order to agree alternative accommodation on site where possible, and off-site where not. This follows the rejection of the Inn’s planning application for temporary structures within the Inn’s estate by the City of London Planning Committee.
4. Education and Training
At a meeting of the Bar Council Vulnerable Witness Training implementation group, chaired by Andrew Walker QC, Chairman of the Bar, on 11 December, the Bar Council reported that 83% of those who would be described as core criminal practitioners have now been trained by the Inns and Circuits. Under the guidance of Masters Sarah Clarke and Peter Clark, Inner Temple have trained the highest number of practitioners so far and a recent quality assurance review of the Inn’s course was excellent. The plan is for the Inns and Circuits to continue to offer courses and to co-ordinate training dates throughout the year.
The Student Drama Society performed “Mother Goose”, featuring a striking cameo by Master Hodge, to two packed audiences in the Parliament Chamber on 17/18 December.
A Pupils’ Advocacy Introductory Evening on 10 January for 36 pupils marked the start of the second annual pupils’ course.
The focus of E&T work is currently on finding alternative venues for our events from end-April onwards, in the wake of the Project Pegasus vote. Finalising arrangements for the Trinity, Deferred-Trinity and Michaelmas Call Nights is a priority because details have to be included in Call Application packs which go to students in mid-February. The Call ceremony on each occasion will be in Temple Church but we need to find rooms for pre-Call registration and the subsequent reception.
5. House and Administration
A farewell drinks reception was held for Roger Ward, Head Porter, on 18 December, attended by many past Treasurers and Benchers as well as members of staff. Roger retired to Scotland on 29 December 2018. Roger's successor, Mr Robert (Bob) Ellis joined the Inn's staff on 7 January 2019.
A very successful Christmas lunch for members and their guests was held on 16 December 2018, followed by a children's tea party after the Nativity Play in the Temple Church.
Following the last Hall lunch of Michaelmas term, boxes of mince pies, Christmas puddings and fresh fruit were sent to a Southwark based charity for the homeless, the Manna Society.
Discussions and planning are underway with an office re-location company for moving the Treasury Building and Library administrative offices into alternative accommodation after the Easter vacation. Similar discussions are underway with appropriate organisations for the packing, removal and storage of the Inns' paintings and silver.
6. Information Technology
The new telephone system is now in place. The IT Department is working with Charterhouse to resolve several minor outstanding issues.
The IT Department is working towards the upgrade of all PCs to Windows 10.
IT staff attended a training event organised by City of London police on cyber security. It is intended that all Inn’s staff will attend a similar session at some point in 2019.
The Garden team completed planting for the spring, which included 6,000 bulbs and 4,500 spring plants with some exciting new varieties of foxgloves. They are currently extending the automated Irrigation system from the lawns so that it will also cover the High Borders. This includes lifting all the plants in the front of the border to install pipe and sprinklers.
8. The Temple Church and its Music
On 20 December there were three performances at the Royal Albert Hall with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of the timeless film ‘The Snowman’, accompanied by live orchestra. Two Temple Church choristers (Sam Glatt, aged 11, and Jian Hui Mo, the new Head Chorister) sang the famous solo ‘walking in the air’ to enthusiastic audiences. The Music Director and Organist reports that they performed to the highest level of musical and professional standards.
The Archives Committee will meet on 15 January to welcome its new Chair Master Cryan.
The presentation of the Book Prize Awards by Master HRH The Princess Royal took place on 12 December, following speeches by Master Treasurer and Master Rix. Master HRH The Princess Royal spent an hour and a half at Inner Temple, during which time she met prize winners, publishers, reviewers, Princess Royal Scholars and representatives from the Inn’s Education & Training, Advocacy and Outreach committees.
In December the archivist met Robin and Graham Lough, both former choristers in the Temple Church Choir and the sons of Ernest Lough the soprano Temple Church Choir boy who sang the famous solo “O for the Wings of a Dove”, from Felix Mendelssohn's “Hear My Prayer”, in 1927. This became HMV's biggest seller for 1927, and made the piece, the choir and the soloist world-famous. The Loughs have deposited their father’s extraordinary archive of correspondence and photographs from his time as a choir boy here, providing a fascinating insight into life in the church and the choir during the 1920s.
Records management at the Inn continues to be reorganised in line with new legal requirements and best practice, with a series of workshops for individual departments to help them spring-clean their shared drives and ensure that documents are stored in the most efficient and accessible way.
10. In Memorium
We report with sadness the death of Master Peter Singer on 22 December 2018. We understand that a memorial service is planned for Southwark Cathedral, probably on 23 January, followed by a wake at Middle Temple. The flag was flown at half-mast on the first day of term, 7 January.