Membership of the Company is by invitation to people who are prominent
in the business and commercial life of Worcester and Worcestershire and in
control of, or heading, a commercial enterprise or organisation, which is being
conducted to the highest possible standard. Membership of the Company
represents both a privilege and a responsibility. Although membership confers
few tangible benefits, it signifies an unbroken continuity between past and
present, which differentiates this historic Incorporation from a professional
association or social club.
The Company still elects its High Master at a Convocation Meeting, held on the Friday after Whitsunday at which meeting the High Master, following his election, appoints his Wardens and other Officers for the ensuing year. Two Beadles attend upon the Company at this and its other meetings which are held quarterly on the second Tuesday after each quarter day. An Annual Dinner is held at The Guildhall on the third Tuesday after Michaelmas.
Today The Clothiers Company serves as an interesting reminder of the powerful position occupied by such trade guilds in former times when they vied with the established authority of the Crown and the Church for influence and wealth. The Membership of the Company presently comprises a varied body of individuals, some with ancient family connections with the Company, others are elected from old Worcester families with long connections of trade in the City, but unfortunately the disappearance of cloth and allied wool trades from the City has resulted in a loss of any connections with such trades and only the trappings of the Worshipful Company's distinguished past now remain.
Members are expected to be willing to give their time and skills in support of the Company which may benefit from their expertise and experience by participating directly in civil society, and contributing to the funding of the Company.
The High Master
High Master of The Worshipful Company of Clothiers
Henry Berkeley was born and bred, intermittently, in Spetchley, Worcestershire, enjoying the outdoor life that living on an estate provided in between bouts of competitive sibling rivalry.
He was educated at Ampleforth College and RMA Sandhurst before a fun and lengthy spell as a cavalry officer, living the dream of travelling around the world on both business and pleasure.
On leaving the army Henry worked for Citibank in London, an interesting side-line after time in the Army. However derivatives did not really manage to fill the hole left by playing on enormous tanks and so Henry decided to head, firstly to Gloucestershire and then Worcestershire to learn and take on the role of running an estate.
Henry married Kate, a nutritional therapist, in 2000 and they have two fantastic Children, both of whom started their education is Worcestershire at Abberley Hall.
Worcestershire has so much to offer and is so often overlooked as one of the greatest counties in the Country. It has been the perfect place to be brought up and in which to bring up children. Part of the Spetchley Estate is dedicated to tourism and supporting the local communities and as part of its strategic outlook it wants to help promote Worcestershire to those travelling through the county as well as living within its boundaries.
Henry loves his cricket, is an avid country sport enthusiast and an amateur historian, indulging in myriad books of various historical contexts and trying to teach, but often failing, his children the importance of understanding history.
John has been living in Worcestershire for 50 years. He is married to Anne and has two children who now live away.
John trained as a Quantity Surveyor and is a Partner of Firmingers LLP Chartered Surveyors based in Worcester. The practice is a market leader in the retail sector and operates in many other sectors including heritage schemes.
John is a Trustee of the Community Board at Worcester Warriors. John is also a founder member of the Worcestershire region of Wooden Spoon and has been Chair of the region for 15 years. He was Chair of the Board of Trustees of Wooden Spoon from March 2013 to March 2018. He also is a Trustee of the Trading Board of St. Richard’s Hospice.
John enjoys supporting Worcester Warriors and has helped players Craig Gillies and Jonny Arr in their testimonials. He is a member of Worcester Vigornia Rotary Club and supports many other local charities.
The Past High Master 2018-2019
Past High Master of The Worshipful Company of Clothiers
Andrew Perrins is Worcestershire born and bred and proud of his local roots, being the great grandson of Dyson Perrins of Worcestershire Sauce fame. He is 70 years old and has been married to Nicky for 36 years: they have three children and are expecting their first grandchild.
He was schooled at Marlborough College but claims that he was educated while working on seven different properties in the outback in Australia – a steep learning curve for an 18 year old. After qualifying as a Chartered Surveyor at Cirencester Agricultural College he worked as a Land Agent for a few years before returning to the family farm near Upton on Severn.
The farm has diversified in other areas over the years but he is still “hands on”, dealing mainly with the flock of sheep. He has been involved with a number of other organisations over the years, chairing both the CLA and FWAG. He was a Trustee of the Royal Porcelain Museum for a number of years. He was also High Sheriff in 2001.
He takes a keen interest in matters rural generally and conservation in particular. He tries to run his farm on environmentally friendly lines and thinks his lasting legacy will probably be the woodlands he has planted. His ambition is to beat his wife at golf but he fears that it is a distant dream.
- Quarterly meeting - Tuesday 8th January 2019
- Quarterly meeting - Tuesday 2nd April 2019
- Convocation - Friday 14th June 2019
- Quarterly meeting - Tuesday Tuesday 2nd July 2019
- Quarterly meeting - Tuesday 8th October 2019