A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of heading along to a bar in Victoria to meet the five other people who, together with me, make up the six-person team running the Virgin Money Giving London Marathon – and fundraising – on behalf of the Pattenmakers Charitable Foundation this year.
And here we are in all our glory.
You might be wondering who the Pattenmakers are? Well, we’re one of over a hundred livery companies that form part of the commercial fabric of the City of London, dating back centuries to the time when all trades had their own guild or professional association whose job it was to maintain the highest quality of craftsmanship in their industry. You can find out more about livery companies here.
The Worshipful Company of Pattenmakers (including the ancient mystery of Galochemakers, who were incorporated in the 15th century) is the 70th ‘oldest’ livery company out of the 108 listed in the order of precedence (the Mercers are first). The origins of the Pattenmakers are uncertain, but there is mention of a mystery (or guild) of “Patynmakers” in City of London records dating as far back as 1379.
What do Pattenmakers do? Traditionally, they made wooden clogs that were slipped on as a form of undershoe, worn in the days before pavements, allowing women to preserve their shoes by raising them up above the filthy streets. Hence the Pattenmakers’ motto: Recipiunt Fœminæ Sustentacula Nobis, Latin for “women receive support from us”.
As with many of the traditional livery companies, while pattens no longer have a purpose, the company has itself not only survived but prospered as a social and charitable force for good, supporting educational initiatives in the footwear industry, in higher education and in the City, and helping wounded soldiers through the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre at Headley Court.
Every year the Pattenmakers have a small number of what are known as ‘golden bonds’ that allow the company to enter six runners into the London Marathon. With so much competition to enter the London Marathon it’s a privilege to have been chosen to receive one of these precious golden bonds – we’re keen to repay the faith shown in us.
So now we need to raise some money, which is where your own support for us would be greatly appreciated. If you are able to, please sponsor me, or sponsor the Pattenmakers’ London Marathon team: the money goes to the same good causes, whichever you choose.
Thank you for your support.