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Merchant Venturers' Blog

A personal perspective on our activities and developments within Greater Bristol from the Master of the Society of Merchant Venturers.

The Merchant Venturers Blog: First Quarter 2015

The first three months of 2015 have again been a period of high activity for the Merchant Venturers. In education the project has kicked off to create Bristol Autism Free School. The Department for Education gave approval for this in March. The school will open in South Bristol in September 2016. It will eventually have 84 students on the autistic spectrum aged from 4 to 16. We have also announced…
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The Master’s Voice – January 2015

My overwhelming sense in my first two months as the overall leader of the Merchant Venturers as Master has been of the dazzling energy and activity levels of this diverse group of 75 individuals who comprise the Society of Merchant Venturers, as we pursue the wide range of projects and programmes in which the Society is engaged for the benefit of the community of Greater Bristol. There are different impressions…
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Master’s Voice, October 2014

It seems almost incredible that an entire year has passed since I became Master of the Merchant Venturers on Charter Day last year. On Charter Day, 10 November this year, I will in turn hand over the chain of office to the new Master, Chris Curling. I will do so in the full confidence that the Society will be in very good hands for the coming year. It has been…
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The Master’s Voice – August 2014

The summer has been a period of frantic activity and August is a good time to take stock of all that has taken place during a period blessed with the most marvellous weather. The Merchant Venturers obtained their first Royal Charter under Edward VI in 1552 and although the organisation was active well before that date we very much enjoy our association with the London Livery Companies whose charters are…
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The Master’s Voice – June 2014

Recent weeks have been the most busy of my year so far. The first triangular schools` sports tournament was held in the magnificent 30 acres of grounds of Colston`s School at Stapleton. Happily, at the dinner in the evening at Merchants` Hall, attended by 80 exuberant 15 year olds, I was delighted to present a cup each to Merchants` Academy for football, Colston`s Girls` School for netball, and Colston`s School…
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THE MASTER’S VOICE – MAY 2014

PROGRESS SINCE THE MILLENNIUM We value our strong relationship with the London Livery companies, who include the Merchant Venturers in their fellowship with great warmth. Last week we were delighted and privileged to welcome the Lord Mayor of the City of London, Alderman Fiona Woolf to Merchants’ Hall. We share with the City of London livery companies a long tradition of commitment and philanthropy. We believe that our role in…
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The Master’s Voice – March 2014

The miserable start to the year in terms of the weather that we have all had to endure has been robustly offset by the inspiring achievements of the schools that the Society supports – their achievements have gone a long way to raise my spirits. Education is incredibly important to the Merchant Venturers. We believe that it is vital that we give our young people the very best possible start…
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The Master’s Voice – December 2013

LOOKING BACK ON 2013 Christmas is a very special time in the Merchant Venturers’ calendar. I am enjoying attending carol concerts and seasonal celebrations with pupils and staff at the schools and residential homes for older people that we support in Bristol. This is a time to reflect on what has been achieved over the past year and to look forward to the opportunities and challenges in the year ahead.…
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The Master’s Voice – November 2013

Charter Day is the great day of celebration of the history of the Society of Merchant Venturers and it is also the day on which the offices of the Society change. Three new members join the Standing Committee, the executive Board, in place of retirees, and a Junior Warden is elected who is expected in successive years to become Senior Warden and then Master. The magnificent service at Bristol Cathedral,…
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The Master’s Voice – August 2013

Merchant Venturers are involved in so many different aspects of life in Bristol, helping to make a difference. In 1997, our Junior Warden, Chris Curling, was instrumental in establishing the Underfall Yard Trust to take over and restore derelict parts of this boatyard in Bristol’s historic harbour. It raised over £1m to restore the buildings and slipway and now runs a thriving boat yard. In August, the Society will announce…
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