Electing Sheriffs

Common Hall for the election of Sheriffs for the ensuing year has been taking place for hundreds of years and as I sat in Guildhall I was reminded of the history of this event.   The Sheriffs were originally appointed by the King to keep order, but times changed and it is now the Livery who elect the Sheriffs.

This year’s election was contested. Alderman Michael Mainelli, World Trader, had been nominated by the Aldermen, and for the non-Aldermanic Sheriffs Chris Haywood and Erica Starry were competing for the position. Electioneering had started many months before with claims of over 1000 supporters for Chris Haywood and over 700 for Erica Starry.

As it turned out, Alderman Mainelli was elected along with Chris Haywood, and they will now start planning their year at the Bailey.

Armed Forces Flag Week

After a rushed post-election lunch it was time to head back to Guildhall for the ceremony of the raising of the flag commemorating Armed Forces Week. Guildhall Yard was filled with representatives from the Navy, RAF and Army, and Royal British Legion with music played by the Marines Band.

Lord Mayor in locum tenens Sir Andrew Parmley took the salute and he was joined by senior members of each of the Armed Forces.

Charitable Trust

All Livery Companies will play an active role in helping others and the Tylers and Bricklayers are no exception. The Charitable Trust, chaired by PM Ian Mitchell Grimshaw, have a very difficult task of choosing which charities to support with, what is always, a limited budget. Over the course of the year the Hon. Secretary receives many requests for charitable grants and the Trustees face the task, on this occasion, of picking just five to assist. The five will receive a payment over a three year period.

The Meeting also welcomed the Almoner and Charity Steward who both play an active role in the Company.

Celebrating 400 years charter anniversary with the Tobacco Pipe Makers and Tobacco Blenders

After the Charitable Trust meeting it was a quick dash to Temple Church to commemorate 400 years since the Tobacco Pipe Makers and Tobacco Blenders received their Charter from King James 1.

This was my first visit to this church set up by the Knights Templar in the Middle Ages and I was struck by the simple design of the church, and the beautiful stained glass windows over the Alter, made even more beautiful by the evening sunshine.

After the evensong the guests walked to Middle Temple Hall to continue the celebrations. Again this was a first time for me and I was struck by the beauty of the interior of the hall.

The Company presented each guest with some snuff as a gift and I hope that I don’t sneeze too much when I follow the instructions on the box!