December 5 saw the 84th British Allied Trades Federation’s Christmas Benevolent Society Ball take place at The St Johns Hotel Solihull, with Jewellery & Watch as Headline Sponsor once again. Incorporated within this longstanding annual charity event were the National Association of Jewellers’ Awards, hosted by Harriet Kelsall NAJ Chairman and Simon Forrester NAJ Chief Executive.
The awards are designed to flag up all that is most excellent about the UK’s extremely diverse jewellery industry: it’s bright new talent, it’s design skills and creativity and it’s capacity to truly serve it’s customers whether they are other businesses, on-line jewellery buyers or the consumer in the High Street.
The Benevolent Society Ball attracts guests from the jewellery, giftware, surface engineering and travelgoods and accessories associations, which are member organisations of the British Allied Trades Federation.
This year’s Ball had a true festive feel with a guest appearance from Santa Claus himself. The guests were enthralled to be “piped” into dinner by the Shirley Pipe Band, who, once again gave a wonderful performance as guests took their seats.
David Doyle, the Society’s Vice Chairman was delighted to ask the Benevolent Society’s Chairman, Simon Dawe of TH March onto the stage in order that he could tell the guests about some of the worthy causes supported throughout 2019. Peter Wong was also asked up onto the stage to do the raffle prize draw and a huge round of applause erupted in appreciation for all that he and Wongs Jewellers do in their fundraising for Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.
The Benevolent Society was particularly grateful that once again Jewellery & Watch had agreed to be the Headline Sponsor for the charity evening. This progressive events company continues to engage and work closely with all sectors of the jewellery & giftware trades for the benefit of all.
A charity auction was conducted by David Doyle of Jewellery Brokers, the Society’s Vice Chairman and Treasurer, and early indications are that over £35,000 was raised on the evening for the Charity. Lots donated for the auction included a day’s hospitality sailing on the yacht Fuller Spirit for 6 people, donated by ex Weston Beamor Chairman, Patrick Fuller, and bought by Martin Bach of Cooksongold.
Another highly sought-after auction lot was the annual T H March Clay Pigeon Shooting Day and Dinner with fiercely competitive bidding by several interested parties. After much tough bidding this lot was eventually bought by long term Ball supporter Patrick Sheehan of HS Walsh & Sons Ltd.
The Birmingham Assay Office once again offered a Lunch for 10 people for auction and this was bought twice – once by Paul Platnauer and also for the second time by Gary Williams of Pressman Mastermelts.
Andrew Macgowan made the most wonderful one-off Silver Bowl which resulted in some very fierce bidding, eventually with the BATF securing this magnificent piece for their Silver Collection.
A beautiful Wine Decanter donated by Tom Green of Charles Green & Sons was paired with the most wonderful Magnum bottle of Margaux donated from the wine cellars of Goldsmiths Hall and was bought by Paul Thandi CEO of The NEC Group.
The hugely successful tombola and raffle were generously supported as always by The Giftware Association.
Tables at this year’s event were taken by many companies, including Jewellery & Watch, Cooksongold, Charles Green & Sons, Weston Beamor, Hockley Mint, Clogau Gold, T H March, Diamonds Please and Mastermelts to name but a few.
The date for next year’s Benevolent Society Ball is Thursday 3rd December and it will again be held at The St John’ Hotel, Solihull.