[If you wish to publish a livery related news item, please email]

Lord Mayor's Overseas Visits programme 2014-15

The programme of overseas and regional visits for the mayoral year may be viewed in the Useful Links page of this website.

Note - in November 2015, Remembrance Sunday (8th November 2015, the Sunday nearest 11th November) will fall the weekend before the Lord Mayors Show (14th November 2015, second Saturday in the month). See also the Diary.

Wednesday 17th June 2015    

Banquet to Commemorate the 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo

The Guildhall is the venue for this event being organised by a committee of Old Wellingtonians with connections to the City.

Liverymen and friends are warmly invited to join the evening and celebrate this milestone in our country’s history.  Tickets are available at

Wednesday 29th April

Ascot Race Day Luncheon (organised by the Sheriffs

For details please email, in aid of the Lord Mayor's Appeal 

Thursday 9th April 2015

Letter to The Times

Sir, Eugene Suggett (letter, Apr 4) refers to a “workman” re-lettering a worn gravestone at Westminster Abbey. Not so. This man was a stonemason, as skilled as the Cotswold stone carver who carved the stone eagle, recently discovered in London, nearly 2,000 years ago.

Next year will mark the 660th anniversary of the Worshipful Company of Masons. We help hundreds of young stonemasons to learn the skill. Please don’t let us be cast as odd-job folk.

Patricia Langley

Liveryman, the Worshipful Company of Masons, London EC4

23rd March 2015

Her Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant for Greater London

The Queen has been pleased to appoint Mr Kenneth Olisa OBE FBCS FRSA as Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Greater London to succeed Sir David Brewer CVO CMG when he retires on 28 May 2015.

Ken is a past master of the Information Technologists' Company, and a member of the First XI past masters' association. More and biographical notes at Gov.UK

20th March 2015

United Guilds Service

The 73rd Service of the United Guilds of the City of London was held at St Paul's, when representatives of the Livery Companies packed the Cathedral to capacity. The UGS was first held on Lady Day in 1943 "to help lift the spirits of the City following the Blitz during the Second World War".

Opening the service, The Very Reverend David Ison, Dean of St Paul's, said: "We give thanks to God for the fellowship and service of the Livery Companies: for the customs which carry the memory of times past into the future with confidence and hope; for the skills and talents which they represent and promote in each generation; and for the generosity of their charitable work which provides opportunities for others to share the many blessings that we enjoy.

The service is no longer held on Lady Day, but usually two weeks before Good Friday - hence next year 11th March 2016; and always preceded the night before by the LM dinner for Masters.

7th March 2015

Marine Cadets at the Stationers' Company - The Times report

The Times newspaper carried a full report today on the news that outstanding Royal Marines cadets were honoured during a ceremony at the Stationers’ Hall last week. Ian Locks, the Master, presented the Stationers’ Cup. Full report at Times online.

5th March 2015

Freedom of the City of London

Freedom proposals, including an increase in the Freedom fine to £100, were approved by Common Council today. This is the first increase since 1994. Accounting arrangements will be put in place to ensure that the same quantum from the fines goes to the City of London Freeman's School bursary scheme as previously. The effective date for the increased fee is 1st April. For more on this contact the Clerk to the Chamberlain's Court.

4th March 2015

Common Serjeant

The Queen has appointed His Honour Judge Richard Marks QC to be the Common Serjeant of London on the advice of the Lord Chancellor. He will be based at the Central Criminal Court (The Old Bailey) with effect from 9th March 2015. Judge Marks succeeds His Honour Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC, recently appointed the  Recorder of London. In addition to duties as the second senior judge at the Old Bailey, the Common Serjeant oversees the elections at Common Hall. Judge Marks is a member of the Cooks' Company. 

2nd March 2015

33rd annual Inter-Livery Bridge Competition

60 Team Pairs attended the event at Drapers’ Hall representing 41 different Companies 

The Highest overall placed Champion Pair were Mark Nichols and Roy Griggs of the City Solicitors’ Company, who were presented with their trophy by the Lady Mayoress.

Other awards were announced by the Master Cardmaker Captain Michael Davis-Marks OBE RN, and presented to pairs from the Actuaries’ (best Company), Spectacle Makers’ (best married couple), Dyers’, Chartered Accountants’ (improvers) and the Makers of Playing Cards, the latter of course, being the organisers!

Next year's 34th annual event will be on Monday 7th March 2016. See also the Diary.

17th February 2015

Shrove Tuesday 

The inter livery Pancake Races took place in Guildhall Yard. The overall winners were the Butchers' Company, in this annual event organised by the Poulters' Company, with the support of the The Cook & The Butler. Next year's races will be on Shrove Tuesday 9th February 2016.

16th February 2015

Lynn Painter-Stainers’ Art Prize

Many liveries were represented at this event at the Mall Galleries, for the Private View and prize giving, for the 10th annual award organised by the Painter-Stainers' Company.

The winners of the various awards were as follows:

Lynn Painter-Stainers’ Prize £15,000 - Wladyslaw Mirecki - Viaduct and tank traps

Runners-up: £1500 each:

Patrick Cullen - Death in Varanasi, burning ghats at Dusk

Danny Markey - Tom in Summer field

Peter Archer - Grounded

Daisy Cook - Between the Witterings

Jeanette Barnes - Canary Wharf Cross Rail Station nearing completion

Young Artist £2,500 - Louis Appleby - Planet of the Apps

Past Master Brian Botting Prize £5,000 - Ema Pina - Bóbó

23rd-24th January 2015

Inter Livery Ski Championships

Thirty Livery Companies participated with nearly 200 skiers in four races of slalom and giant slalom at Morzine in the French Alps. Despite poor snow falls at the beginning of the season racing took place in near perfect conditions over two days. The Vintners' Company won the best livery company trophy narrowly beating the Leathersellers' and Shipwrights'. The ages of the skiers ranged from 21 to 75 and the abilities from brilliant to questionable. None of these factors effected the genuine pleasure that these Championships gave to those who participated.  Next year the seventh Championships will again be organised by the Ironmongers' Company, and will take place on 22nd and 23rd January 2016. For more visit

Tuesday 20th January

Bakers' Cake marks the 750th anniversary of the Montfort parliament

To mark the Houses of Parliament’s 750th ‘birthday’, the Bakers' Company and the National Bakery School presented a giant cake to The Speaker of House of Commons. The cake, shaped as the Palace of Westminster, was 2’ wide’ by 3½’ long and 1’ tall. 

The gift marked the anniversary of Simon de Montfort’s parliament (20 January 1265), which is widely recognised as the beginnings of the House of Commons.

Accepting the gift, and before cutting the cake, The Speaker, the Rt Hon John Bercow MP, said: “We are truly grateful to the Worshipful Company of Bakers for this gift and for the talent and effort it took to create it. This magnificent cake really is testament to the excellent work of the National Bakery School."

The cake was eaten by visitors to Parliament, including school groups, tourists, visitors to the gallery and constituents visiting their MP, in Westminster Hall.

The event also marked the start of the year of Parliament in the Making, including of course the Magna Carta 800.

The City Livery Club Root and Branch Award

Applications are invited for the annual Root and Branch Award, which is given to the Liveryman (or group of liverymen) who have contributed exceptionally to the work  of their Livery Company or in the collaborative work with several other Livery Companies.   This could cover all areas such as education, apprenticeships, professional or civic involvement, charity and philanthropy. Applications need to be endorsed by the Master of the Livery proposing the individual but the process is intended to be easy to enter. More details are on the Club website and the closing date is 28 February 2015. You can also email the chairman of the Judging Panel Alderman Alison Gowman.

The Curriers’ Company London History Essay Prize 

The prize for academic research into the history of London this year will be presented by The Lord Mayor, on Thursday 9th April at the Mansion House.

The prize judges are from the Institute of Historical Research (IHR) and the London Journal Trust.

The winning essay is by Mr Ian Stone of King’s College, on Arnold fitz Thedmar: his place in London; and the proxime accessit is Dr Peter Jones of Queen Mary University on Redressing Reform Narratives: Victorian London’s Street Markets and the Informal Supply Lines of Urban Modernity.

Saturday 17th January 2015

The Defeat of the Floating Batteries at Gibraltar

This picture by American-born John Singleton Copley, one of Britain's largest oil paintings, has recently been rehung at the Guildhall Art Gallery. It was commissioned by the City of London in 1791 (depicting the battle in September 1782). The Gallery is free and open to the public.

Thursday 1st January 2015

New Year's Honours

Fiona Woolf, lately Lord Mayor, created DBE (promoted from CBE)

His Honour Judge Brian Barker QC, Recorder of London (shortly to retire), CBE

Common Councilman Wendy Mead, a member of the Livery Committee, OBE

Peter Wynne Rees, long serving Planning Officer at Guildhall (now retired), CBE

Wednesday 10th December 2104

Bishopsgate Aldermanic election result

Patricia Scotland 125 votes

Adrian Waddingham 66 votes

Simon Duckworth 54 votes

James De Sausmarez 22 votes

Baroness Patricia Scotland was therefore elected as Alderman for the Ward.

More at

Friday 5th December

Dowgate Aldermanic election result

Alison Gowman 101 votes

Henry Pollard 18 votes

Alison Jane GOWMAN was therefore re-elected as Alderman for the Ward.

More at

Wednesday 19th November 2014

Lord Mayor's Address to Masters, Prime Wardens and the Upper Bailiff

The Lord Mayor, Alderman Alan Yarrow, spoke to the masters and clerks of the 110 livery companies in Mansion House, and then answered questions. the text of his address may be read here. See also the item Lord Mayor's Speeches at the Useful Links tab.

The Times profile of the Lord Mayor, to which the Chairman of the Livery Committee referred, can be downloaded at this link.

Wednesday 19th November 2014

Mary Berry made a Baker!

At the traditional ceremony at Guildhall, "celebratory chef" Mary Berry CBE (of The Great British Bake-Off) was today made a liverymen of the Worshipful Company of Bakers, following her grant of Freedom of the City. She had previously been an Honorary Liveryman, but her City Freedom has made her eligible to receive the full livery of the Bakers'.

Tuesday 18th November 2014

Queenhithe Dock Heritage Mosaic Timeline

Queenhithe Wharf is on the North bank of the Thames, between Southwark and Blackfriars bridges. It is believed to be the only remaining Anglo Saxon dock in the world. An impressive new Mosaic has been unveiled by the Lord Mayor and celebrates the key events and personalities that built, used and lived around Queenhithe in the form of a 30m long timeline mosaic on the wall of the Dock. The layers of meaning and symbolism in the 160 mosaic panels and 240 river tile surrounds echo the Bayeux tapestry and stained glass windows when most people could not read and enjoyed visual imaginations.

The project was undertaken by Southbank Mosaics, and was the vision of the alderman for the ward, Gordon Haines.

Saturday 8th November 2014

Lord Mayor's Show

Following the formal swearing on of Alderman Alan Yarrow at the Silent Ceremony in Guildhall the previous afternoon, the new Lord Mayor paraded through the City streets in a spectacular Show, featuring many of the livery companies, including his own the Fishmongers, and also the International Bankers and the Launderers. Also with floats were the Feltmakers, the Lady Mayoress's livery, and the joint beneficiaries of this year's Lord Mayor's Appeal, Mencap and Scope.

The Times profile of the Lord Mayor, published this day, may be read at this link.

Monday 3rd November 2014

Poppy Ceremonies

The Masters of the 110 livery companies, together with other representatives of the City of London, and the Lord Mayor and Sheriffs, were present at a service to open The Garden of Remembrance at St Paul's Cathedral. Each placed a poppy cross in memory of their liverymen who died in the two World Wars and subsequent conflicts.

The service was conductd by the Dean, the Very Rev David Ison, and it marked the start of Remembrance week, culminating in the 2 minute silence at 11 o'clock on 11th November, Armistice Day.

Tuesday 14th October 2014

World Traders receive their Royal Charter

At a ceremony at Mansion House, presided over by the Lord Mayor Locum Tenens, Alderman Sir David Howard, the newly installed Master World Trader, Mr Mark Hardy, received the Company's first Royal Charter from the Windsor Herald.

The World Traders were formed as a guild in 1985, became a company without livery in 1993, and took their place as the 101st livery company in 2000, the first new livery company of the new millennium! At the that time, the Court of Aldermen required a gap of at least seven years between each stage of the progression to livery.

Friday 5th June 2015

Inter Livery Rifle Shooting Meet, organised by the Bakers' Company will take place at Bisley on 5th June. It is intended to have 20 teams, each representing one livery company of three people each – 60 contestants in total. The RAF Target Rifle Team will make all the arrangements, and the format will be similar to last year, with six different shooting disciplines. Full details will be available from the Clerk to the Bakers in January 2015, although he will be pleased to receive expressions of interest prior to that.

23rd-24th January 2015

Inter Livery Ski Championship, organised by the Ironmongers' Company, will be held in Morzine, France in January. Enter now, either a team or an individual, to race in the Slalom and Giant Slalom races. Neither age nor experience is a barrier with skiers from over 35 livery companies competing. It is an event like no other when all livery companies compete on equal terms in the Corinthian Spirit of the Alps. The skiing is followed by a livery dinner that no liveryman will ever experience in the City. More at


Elections and appointments

Lord Mayor. At Common Hall on Michaelmas Day, Alderman Alan Yarrow was elected to be the new Lord Mayor. His Silent Ceremony of installation will be on Friday 7th November, followed by the Lord Mayor’s Show next day.

Sheriffs. Immediately prior to the Sheriffs’ Breakfast on 26th September, Dr Andrew Parmley, Alderman and Musician, and Mrs Fiona Adler, Citizen and Tobacco Pipe Maker were admitted to serve as Sheriffs, in a ceremony at Guildhall.

Recorder. It has been confirmed that the new Recorder (the senior judge at the Central Criminal Court) is to be His Honour Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC. Judge Hilliard is presently the Common Serjeant at the Old Bailey, and he will succeed the current Recorder, His Honour Judge Brian Barker QC, early in 2015.

Speechwriter. Mr Robert Coppin has succeeded Hugo Deadman as Senior Speechwriter to the Lord Mayor, arriving from positions at the Department of Health and the Government of Qatar.

Livery Committee. At the recent meeting, Nigel Pullman was re-elected as the Chairman for a further year, and Ian Seaton CC as his deputy.

New Members

Following their appointment at Common Hall on Midsummer Day, the three new members of the Livery Committee were welcomed to their first meeting on 10 September. Mr Robin Booth, Clothworker (the liveryman representing the Great 12), Mr David Cole-Adams, Tyler, (one of four liveryman representing the Fellowship Companies – those without halls), and Mr Philip Grant, Clerk to the Needlemakers and Secretary to the Fellowship of Clerks (one of two clerks representing the Fellowship). Each of these will serve for three years. A full list of all 20 members of the Committee may be found at

Gregory Moore has been appointed as the Committee Clerk.

10th September 2014

Inter Livery Tennis competition

This annual event organised by the Feltmakers' Company at Queen's Club was another popular and successful day, followed by dinner and prize-giving.

It was won by the Horners' Company pair, who beat the World Traders 6-4 in the final.

In the Plate competition, the Feltmakers beat the Carmen 6-2 in the final.

1st September 2014

Members' catering contract in Guildhall goes to The Cook & The Butler

Following the decision by the Court of Common Council to put the catering in the Members dining area and other rooms to tender from outside contractors, that tendering process has now been completed, and won by The Cook & The Butler (Mark Grove). 

They will now be responsible for catering in the  Club Members dining room, the private dining room, the Aldermen's dining room, and The Bar for the next three years. The Cook & The Butler will also assume responsibility for booking these facilities where appropriate.

They will also provide the catering requirements in the meeting rooms, but not be responsible for the booking of those rooms. Finally, The Cook & The Butler remain on the list of approved caterers for events in the public rooms at Guildhall.

22nd July 2014

Presentation of Gloves to the Lord Chief Justice

The Glovers’ Company has a long tradition of presenting gloves to the holders of major offices of state. Every year gloves are presented to the Lord Mayor and the Sheriffs in the City and for many years embroidered gloves have been presented to the Lord Chief Justice on taking office. In the past this was a private ceremony but a new tradition was established when the Master Glover, Alderman Alison Gowman, presented gloves to the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, in open court at the Royal Courts of Justice.

In her speech the Master talked of the origins of the custom of presenting gloves to the judiciary and described the process by which these unique gloves were made. In reply Lord Thomas praised the workmanship of the gloves and also spoke to the students of London College of Excellence who had been invited to attend the ceremony and to tour the Courts afterwards, hoping that the visit would awaken an interest in a legal career.

The Glovers’ party included Mr Greg Pearce of Chester Jeffries who made the gloves and Assistant Liz Elvin, representing Jenny Adin-Christie of the Royal College of Needlework who carried out the embroidery but was sadly unable to attend.

15th July 2014

Race for Doggett's Coat & Badge

Harry McCarthy, a Waterman, won the historic Race for Doggett’s Coat and Badge on 15th July, and was greeted with an embrace from his father, Simon McCarthy, who won the race in 1984.

The 22-year-old completed the race from London Bridge to Cadogan Pier in Chelsea in 24 minutes and 35 seconds, where he was presented with a bottle of champagne by His Royal Highness, The Duke of Edinburgh.

The Race for Doggett’s Coat and Badge is sponsored by Thames Tideway Tunnel, a project to build a 25km long tunnel which will reduce the amount of sewage overflowing into the River Thames. The event, first rowed in 1715, (and hence arguably the oldest continuous, annually-staged sporting events in the world), is organised by the Fishmongers' Company.

4th July 2104

150th anniversary celebration of the founding of the Livery Committee

The chairman hosted a dinner at Haberdashers' Hall on 4th July, marking the anniversary on the exact day in 1864 when the records show the first meeting of the Committee was held. The Livery Committee had been created to bring order to the increasingly rowdy and ill disciplined proceedings at Common Hall in those days, and to organise the elections of the Lord Mayor and Sheriffs. Roles the Committee continues to fulfil to this day, as well as now seeking to improve communications and good practice across the livery.

5th October 2014

Sheep Drive across London Bridge

The Woolman are organising another Sheep Drive across London Bridge this year, on Sunday 5th October, even better than last year’s!

The entry fee is £50 per person, which will cover the provision of sheep, their health and well-being, and a personal certificate signed by the Master of The Woolman confirming that their rights have been exercised in accordance with tradition.

As last year, all proceeds will be divided between the Lord Mayor’s Appeal and The Worshipful Company of Woolmen’s charitable trust.

If you wish to take part in this ancient and honourable tradition, please email Bill Clark: and he will send you an application form.

24th June 2014

Election of Sheriffs - Guildhall

At Common Hall on Midsummer Day, the Livery elected Ms Fiona Adler, Citizen and Tobacco Pipe Maker, and Dr Andrew Parmley, Alderman and Musician to serve as Sheriffs from 28th September, for one year.

There were three vacancies on the Livery Committee, and the Livery confirmed the nominations of Mr Robin Booth, Clothworker (the liveryman representing the Great 12), Mr David Cole-Adams, Tyler, (one of four liveryman representing the Fellowship Companies – those without halls), and Mr Philip Grant, Clerk to the Needlemakers and Secretary to the Fellowship of Clerks (one of two clerks representing the Fellowship). Each to serve for three years.

A full list of all 20 members of the Committee may be found at


13th June 2014

First Inter-Livery Rifle Shooting Competition  

Liverymen from 13 companies met on Friday 13th June 2014, at the RAF Target Rifle Club pavilion at Bisley. This first Inter Livery Rifle Shooting Competition was sponsored by the Bakers’ Company.

Shooting was in five disciplines: a 900 yard target rifle range; a 300 yard McQueen sniper rifle competition; a 50 yard gallery rifle; antique pistol; and a 50 yard .22 competition.

All liverymen had a coach at each event who ensured that even the novices were worthy competitors.

After an excellent lunch back at the clubhouse, we were back in action on the ranges for the afternoon, until shooting ceased at 4.30pm. While scores were computed and prizes decided upon, most visited the Museum at Bisley which highlighted many of the great occasions and the weapons used during its 150 plus years of its operation. Many people do not realise that in the late 1900s the Imperial meeting at Bisley attracted far larger crowds than Wimbledon or Wembley attract today and a visit was part of the summer social scene.

The overall winning livery team were the Gunmakers, closely followed by Clothworkers who fielded the winning individual. The day achieved a financial surplus of £5,000 that was donated to the RAF Benevolent Fund. Some photos of the day at

6th June 2014

Ironbridge Weekend - one master's report

“You must go to the Masters’ Ironbridge weekend” – these words were frequently said, but with little explanation, so here is one view of the “what” and the “why”.

The “what” is easy – every Master and Consort are invited by the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust to attend the weekend, which begins at Coalbrookdale; Saturday was spent visiting various parts of the area that encompasses “Ironbridge" before returning to The Engine Shop at Coalbrookdale for the President’s Summer Ball. Then deep discussions to create the “2014 Past Masters’ Association” on the Sunday, before the Costume Project and the Darby Houses.

Were we amazed at what “Ironbridge” did for the future of the World? Yes – and its particular relevance to so many of the livery companies active at the time of the Industrial Revolution.

The “why” is less obvious until you go. You have the best opportunity to meet with most of your “year” – the other Masters and their Consorts – in relaxed circumstances, and thus get to know them.

Was it as good as we had all expected? No, it was much better!

6th June 2014

Feltmakers plan to unite Sir Thomas More’s Hat and his Chain of Office

At their forthcoming Summer Banquet next month, the Worshipful  Company of Feltmakers plan to unite Sir Thomas More’s Hat and his Chain of Office for the first time in over 480 years!

It has recently come to light that Stonyhurst College in Lancashire has a Felt Hat, which belonged to Sir Thomas More. That it has survived in such good condition owes much to the fact that Thomas More ‘lost’ this hat when he left it behind during a visit to friends in Holland as a young lawyer. After his execution in 1535, his friend Godfrey Gillekens kept the hat carefully and wore it each year, as Chancellor of the Supreme Court of Guelderland, on the anniversary of the Saint’s death. He gave the hat to the Jesuit College of Roermond and after passing through various hands it came to Stonyhurst College in 1835, where it has remained ever since as the property of the Jesuit Province in Britain.  Coincidently the current Master of the Feltmakers, Simon Bartley, is an alumnus of Stonyhurst, as is Jonathan Bates, the Master of the Haberdashers,  from whom the Feltmakers grew in 1604.

Sir Thomas More’s Chain of Office as Lord Chancellor belongs to the City of London. The Lord Mayor, Alderman Fiona Woolf, has kindly agreed to bring the Chain of Office to the Banquet.

15th May 2014

The Prince Arthur Cup Inter-Livery Golf

Organised by the Coachmakers' Company, the "original" inter livery golf competition was held at a Walton Heath on 15th May. The weather was balmy and as the club was hosting a US Open qualifier later in the month the course was in top condition.  There were 53 Livery teams of two pairs, playing foursome golf over one of the two top courses in the morning and the second course in the afternoon.

The Cup went to the Leathersellers for the second successive year, with the Cordwainers in second place, 3 strokes behind. Other prizes went to the: Wax Chandlers, Apothecaries, Brewers, City of London Solicitors and International Bankers. The Leathersellers are the most successful golfing company having now won the event a record 10 times.


14th May 2014

A Night in Havana

In 1954, prominent members of the Briar Pipe and Tobacco Trades met in the City to recreate what was to become the third livery company of their craft, now named the  “Worshipful Company of Tobacco Pipe Makers and Tobacco Blenders”. And so this year marks the Diamond Jubilee of the third incarnation of the Company, when a Cuban themed celebration party was arranged at the fine offices of British American Tobacco, on their smoking terrace overlooking the Thames, and with spectacular views across the City skyline. As the Master said in his speech of welcome to the over 80 visiting Masters and the representatives of the Pipe Makers numerous charities: "the two previous companies were unique in being the only two tobacco companies in history to have gone bust!"

To say it proved a jolly evening is something of an understatement, and when the Master explained that he wanted his modern company to arrange something a bit different, he was not exaggerating. Perhaps he had reckoned without the hospitality provided to some of his guests at the earlier Barts View Day reception.

13th May 2014

The Festival of the Sons and Friends of the Clergy

This takes place each year at St Paul's, and dates back to the origins of the Sons of the Clergy in 1655.  Then, a collection was taken at the service on behalf of the families of clergy who had remained loyal to the Crown following the execution of Charles I and who had been deprived of their livings by Cromwell, thus leaving many of them penniless.  The service was followed by a dinner in the Merchant Taylors' Hall.  These became regular annual events which still continue 360 years later.

The Festival service is notable for a fine sermon from an eminent preacher (this year the Dean of St Paul’s, David Ison), wonderful music (the choirs of Peterborough and Wakefield cathedrals joined the choir of St Paul’s) and pageantry.  The service also symbolises the coming together of Church and State, with Bishops processing with the Aldermen of the City of London.

But behind the splendour of the occasion its purpose remains the same as that of the first service in 1655 – the work of the charity.  It is a service of worship combining both thanksgiving for the work of the Sons of the Clergy, and also a reminder of the charity’s own need for on-going financial support to enable it to continue performing the vital supportive role it has been performing for more than 350 years. 

3rd May 2014

Festival of Flowers, St Peter's Church, Lilley, Hertfordshire

Not the most obvious news item, but as a demonstration that the City's livery companies spread their influence far and wide, and perhaps often further than we realise, this Festival held over the early May bank holiday weekend was themed Livery Companies of the City of London. By all accounts it was a great success, and included displays featuring the Broderers, the Gardeners, and the Makers of Playing Cards. More at

12th April 2014

Cadet Force units seeks Livery affiliation

The Masters of the Makers of Playing Cards and the Fan Makers’ have visited Middlesex & North West London Army Cadet Force headquarters at Hammersmith. Detachments of the ACF presented an illustrated report on their recent visit to Flanders to mark the Great War centenary. The sector Commandant Colonel Mark Hodson TD is seeking a Livery affiliation for 21 Company located in North West and North London. 

Any livery company seeking a cadet unit affiliation and would like to learn more, is invited to contact

4th April 2014

United Guilds Service

The 72nd Service of the United Guilds of the City of London was held at St Paul's, when representatives of the Livery Companies packed the Cathedral to capacity. The UGS was first held on Lady Day in 1943 "to help lift the spirits of the City following the Blitz during the Second World War".


Opening the service, The Very Reverend David Ison, Dean of St Paul's, said: "We give thanks to God for the fellowship and service of the Livery Companies: for the customs which carry the memory of times past into the future with confidence and hope; for the skills and talents which they represent and promote in each generation; and for the generosity of their charitable work which provides opportunities for others to share the many blessings that we enjoy.

To read the Dean's Sermon, please follow this link.

A special feature of this year's service was the choir's Anthem, a new work (Fire, Silver, Gold composed by Samuel Bordolicommissioned by the Founders' Company to mark the 400th Anniversary of the granting of its Royal Charter in 1614.

The service is no longer held on Lady Day, but usually two weeks before Good Friday - hence next year 20th March 2015; and always preceded the night before by the LM dinner for Masters (see below).

3rd April 2014

Lord Mayor's Dinner for Master and Prime Wardens

To read the Lord Mayor's speech at Mansion House, click here.

To read the Master Mercer's speech at Mansion House, click here.

26th March 2014

Blacksmiths’ New Treloars Arch

It was 12 months ago during the then Lord Mayor’s visit to Treloars when the Prime Warden Blacksmith was rather publicly bounced into producing a new Wind Vane (to replace the rather decrepit one on top of the College entrance.)

But it quickly became clear that what was really needed was an Arch (a very much more ambitious project), through which all students symbolically will pass on graduation. 30 Blacksmiths duly combined to produce a hugely impressive arch, which was formally opened by the Lord Mayor during her visit to Treloars in March. Photos at

The new arch was first seen in last November's Lord Mayor’s Show on the Blacksmiths’ float, towed by a Sultan steam lorry.

Treloars, a residential School and College in Alton, founded by Lord Mayor Treloar over 100 years ago, educates severely physically disabled students, and is actively supported by many of the Livery Companies.


18th March 2014

Livery Schools Link

The second Showcase Event at Apothecaries’ Hall last month featured over 25 livery companies demonstrating their crafts to over 300 students. With plenty of interactive stalls, students had the opportunity to talk to liverymen about the connections between the livery and the modern world of work. More at this link.

An LSL Open Meeting for all livery companies will be held in the City Marketing Suite on Monday 19th May at 3.45pm. The main agenda item will be a discussion about the City of London’s new education policy, in particular, how the livery might best lend their support.

The Education Conference for head teachers is on Thursday 26th June at Staple Inn. The aim is to strengthen links between the livery and schools. The Lord Mayor will address the conference, and presentations about current support for education will be followed by a panel discussion about future developments.

 4th March 2014

Shrove Tuesday Pancake Races

The Poulters' Company, supported The Cook and the Butler, and many others, hosted the 10th Inter Livery Pancake Races in Guildhall Yard. Photos. Results.

Next year's event will be on 17th February.

3rd March 2014

Inter-Livery Bridge Competition

Some 59 Pairs from 38 Companies competed in the annual Inter-Livery Bridge competition organised by the Makers of Playing Cards, at Drapers’ Hall on 3rd March. The Master Cardmaker Anthony Carter, greeted the Players, and the evening was managed by EBU Tournament Director Neil Morley.
The Lord Mayor’s Consort Nicholas Woolf, himself usually a participant for the Tax Advisers, presented the trophies and prizes.  The overall winners were the Loriners’ Company, whilst the winners of the Flitch prize (the Actuaries Trophy) were the Spectacle Makers. Full results.

The proceeds of the evening will shortly be donated to the Lord Mayor’s Appeal as usual.
The next Competition is on Monday 2nd March 2015. 

27th February 2014

Girl Power in World Trade

27th February saw the XXVIIth World Traders’ Tacitus Lecture, with the Great Hall at Guildhall again filled to capacity. The formal elements for this annual event follow a strict unchanging routine: The Clerk opens the proceedings, the Master welcomes the guests, and the Lord Mayor introduces the Speaker, who then delivers her Lecture.

And so it was on the platform this year – Gaye Duffy, followed by the Master, Dr Heather McLaughlin; then the Lord Mayor, and the lecturer Angela Knight. Not a man to be seen anywhere!

But it was the subject of the Chief Executive of Energy UK’s lecture that would have especially appealed to the Lord Mayor – “Is Energy just another Power Game?”, as it did to the capacity audience.

19th February 2014

Good-bye to GAPAN

Possibly the ugliest of Livery acronyms, the Air Pilots and Air Navigators have stuck to their use of the description Guild long after becoming a livery company in 1956. It was their new Royal Charter which really started discussions in earnest about a change of the name, and it was their Patron, Prince Philip, who originally suggested it. And as with the Master Mariners in 1926, their royal patronage has allowed them to become Honourable.

They do still include navigators (the AN of GAPAN) in their ranks, although the decision was taken to drop ‘Navigator’ in the company title in recognition of the fact that the role simply no longer exists.

So, the Honourable Company of Air Pilots it now is, and the Grand Master Prince Andrew having replaced his father some years ago.

Meanwhile, as reported in the last Livery Briefing, The Worshipful Company of Arts Scholars became a livery company in February, and they too have stream-lined their name, losing the Dealers and Collectors when they progressed from Guild status.

The Livery Companies Apprenticeship Scheme

The scheme is well on the way of meeting the target of signing up 52 apprentices by 31st July 2014.  As the Livery  Briefing goes to press, 23 apprentices have been enrolled at the following companies – Wheelwrights, Clockmakers, Wax Chandlers (in the activity of bee farming), Blacksmiths, Spectacle Makers and Dyers.  Both more apprentices and companies will join the scheme in the coming weeks. These apprentices have been taken on by small or micro businesses in their trades under the Employer Ownership of Skills Pilot Scheme. This scheme is supported by public money.




© Nigel Pullman 2015