Far from being some form of medieval torture, the ceremony marked the moment when Jonathan Simons, James Chau and Josh Bell became Freemen of the City of London. It also formally ended their Apprenticeships, much to the pleasure (or perhaps relief) of Tony Cooper, Simon Ettinghausen and Paul Williams, their respective Masters. Ian Roberton, the Clerk of the Chamberlain's Court, officiated, and his assistant Murray Craig, a keen historian, gave a brief presentation on the various books and papers he had brought up from the archives for the occasion.
Jonathan Simons was the very first of our Apprentices, and a photograph of him entering into his Apprenticeship appears in 'Sheep over London Bridge', the Corporation's booklet detailing the history of the Freedom of the City of London. The picture shows Jonathan,James and Josh in the Chamberlain's Court, with their Freedom Certificates.
At the beginning of September a large contingent of members visited the Thames Police Museum at Wapping. The Curator gave a most enlightening history of the Thames Police, from the early 1700's through to the modern day. The Museum is situated in the original boat house and is packed full of interesting artefacts and regalia. After the visit we wandered down Wapping High Street - where the old wharves have now been dramatically changed into up-market apartments and restaurants - to The Captain Kidd, for an excellent buffet and superb views up and down the river.
In the background we have been steadily building our Apprenticeship schemes, and are currently seeking ways to start a new one at the City Freemen's School. In addition we have been holding regular meetings of our Venture Group, run by and for our y ounger members. If you are interested in their activities, please email Simon Mann at Simon,Mann@capitaland provident.com
Members of the Guild should by now have received details of our Second Annual Assembly, which is being held at CLS on Friday 4 February 2000, followed by a buffet supper in the Dining Room. If last year's event is anything to go by, attendees will be in for a splendid evening.
Among other things, the Guild helps old pupils of the City Schools to become Freemen so please contact Peter Mayhew, our Clerk, if you are interested in joining. As always, we are looking for new Masters, so please also contact Peter if you are a Freeman (but not a Liveryman), and would be prepared to consider taking an Apprentice. Peter can be contacted on 01689 825182, or write to him at Lewth House, 56 Willett Way, Petts Wood, Orpington, Kent, UR5 1QE.
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