In mid-January, out of the blue, I received a phone call from a lady who introduced herself as Sylvia and asked me if I had heard of the Guild of Burgesses of Aberdeen.  I was aware of the title but I had no idea of what it meant or what being a Burgess involved.  In an interesting conversation, Sylvia explained that the Guild of Burgesses of Aberdeen were about to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the granting of their Charter, making them even older than Magna Carta which is also 800 years old later this year.  The anniversary was being celebrated with a dinner for 525 people to be held in the Beach Ballroom in Aberdeen and would we be interested in providing table decorations for the event?  Well, a quick email round the committee came back with a resounding "yes" .






Our brief was to provide 40 tall table centres and suitable decoration for the top table which was to be front facing.  Sylvia provided us with a copy of the artwork being used inthe celebrations and after a brainstorming session a couple of mock-ups were i n place.  The problem of visibility across the table in a tall arrangement was overcome by using twigs which gave the required height without being a solid mass.  Stability was another consideration and we used a glossy black designer cube as the container.







Our colours were chosed to tie in with the Burgesses Charter, twigs were sprayed black and gold, red roses were taken down through the twigs and into the cube, white eryngium and pieris completed the design.  A ribbon of leopard skin print was glued around the cube to break up the shiny expanse of black and represent the two leopards on the Aberdeen Coat of Arms.


Preparation of the tall table centres

 For the top table we transposed the design from vertical to horizontal keeping the same theme but allowing good visibility to and from the top table where the speakers for the evening wre seated.

prep top table

One of the top table designs under construction

small table


one of the small arrangements in situ







Our brief was for forty table centres and three low arrangements for the top table.  However, nshortly before the event and additional twelve table centres were requested.  These were to be located on small tables for four in the balcony rather than the large twelve person tables down in the ballroom; a rethink was needed to produce something in keeping with the overall theme but on a smaller scale.

Square taank vases were filled with black water pearls, gold twigs and red roses were added and a piece of the leopard print ribbon gave consistency with the larger arrangements - problem solved!



overview 2


It was a great thrill for us to be part of the event and I would like to thank Sylvia for the opportunity, the talented ladies of Aberdeen and County Floral Group (Ann, Johan, Rose, Stella, Maureen, Heather, May, Jenny, Kate, Betty, Heather and Fiona) for their hard work and our local branch of J Van Vliet for their patience in sourcing the materials we required.



The Beach Ballroom looking stunning prior to the arrival of the burgesses and their guests