Cutlers re-write past at installation

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New Master Cutler Tony Pedder had a double date with history at his installation.

Mr Pedder, who is chairman of steel and engineering company Sheffield Forgemasters International, has chosen to use a badge of office from the Cutlers’ Company’s collection first worn in 1908 by Douglas Vickers, grandson of the founder of the Vickers steel and engineering dynasty.

Exactly 150 years ago this year, Douglas’s father, Tom, moved the company to the River Don site where Sheffield Forgemasters is today.

Meanwhile, this year’s installation wrote a new chapter in the Cutlers’ Company’s history.

Traditionally, Company members and guests process across Church Street to Sheffield’s Anglican Cathedral for a service of thanksgiving, after the ceremony in the Cutlers’ Hall.

However, major restoration of the Anglican Cathedral made that impossible, so this year, the service took place at St Marie’s, the city’s recently restored Catholic Cathedral.

“This is not a religious statement,” Mr Pedder joked at his installation, before thanking the Catholic Bishop of Hallam, the Rt Rev John Rawsthorne, and the Cathedral’s Dean, Fr Christopher Posluszny, for enabling the service to take place.

Mr Pedder recalled that 52 years ago, when the Catholic church didn’t allow its members to attend services in Protestant churches, the newly installed Master, Gerard Young, was himself a Catholic.

While most of the guests at the 1961 installation attended the service of thanksgiving in the Anglican Cathedral of St Peter and St Paul, Mr Young, his wife and a handful of guests went to St Marie’s for a separate service.