Guild News

Summer Gala - HQS Wellington

15 June 2017

The Guild's Summer Gala could not have been more summery! More than 60 Guild members were blessed with the early evening sunshine aboard HQS Wellington (Livery Hall of the Honourable Company of Master Mariners), where a glass or two of refreshing sparkling wine was enjoyed on the Quarterdeck, whilst taking in magnificent views from St Paul's to Big Ben. We were welcomed by the Master Mariner, Captain Peter Reed and Commodore Angus Menzies, the Clerk to the Guild, who gave a fascinating talk on the history of the Ship. Afterwards members repaired for dinner to the Master Mariners Court Room; formerly the ship's engine room the Court room is now an impressive venue adorned with the Master Mariners' collection of silver and gold, set into cabinets in the wood panelling. Members enjoyed a delicious three course dinner with wine, followed by the Toasts and the Loving Cup Ceremony. The Master then introduced Captain Reed, who gave a speech full of interest and anecdotes. The Master thanked him and presented him with a Halcyon Days Box, before wishing everyone a safe journey home. Photos of the event can be found here.

Lunch and Show - Brick Lane Music Hall

31 May 2017

More than 70 members enjoyed an afternoon at the fabulous Brick Lane Music Hall, which is celebrating its 25th Anniversary. Surrounded by bunting, fairy lights and a shrine to Danny La Rue we enjoyed a 3 course lunch with wine followed by a fantastic and varied show admirably performed by the cast. There was a traditional music hall montage, complete with Pearly Kings and Queens, a medley of songs performed in tribute to some of the artists who have supported Brick Lane Music Hall during its 25 year history, an homage to James Bond 007, an hilarious comedy sketch performed by Vincent Hayes MBE and Paul James and a 12 days of Christmas finale show-casing each member of the cast. We heard about the excellent outreach work that Vincent and his team do with the elderly and local community in the Borough of Newham. Everyone left with smiles on their faces, especially the Masters' Lady, Pearl Allcard, who won a raffle prize. We will be back! Photos of the event can be found here.

Visit and Lunch - Royal College of Surgeons

17 May 2017

With the Royal College of Surgeons about to undergo a major redevelopment of its London home, the Master, Peter Allcard, managed to secure a last opportunity to lunch in the ornate surroundings of the Council Room in an atmosphere rich in surgical history and tradition. Around 60 members had the opportunity to peruse the world famous Hunterian Museum, followed by a sparkling wine reception and lunch. The Master introduced Mr Stephen Cannon MBE, Vice-President of the Royal College of Surgeons, who gave an interesting and entertaining talk on the history of the Royal College and the Museum. The Master thanked Mr Cannon and wished all members a safe journey home. Photos of the event can be found here.

Appointment of New Clerk

2 May 2017

The Court of the Guild of Freemen of the City of London is delighted to announce the appointment of our new Clerk, Mrs Christine Cook. Mrs Cook held senior management positions in the civil service, including the Foreign Office, Privy Council Office (where she remains Deputy Clerk of the Privy Council), Treasury Solicitor's and the Home Office. She has also had a long prior career in retail management. Mrs Cook is looking forward to meeting as many members as possible over the coming months and can be contacted at

The Court wishes Mrs Cook a long and happy period of service with the Guild.

The Guild Office moves to the City of London

2 May 2017

The Guild Office has moved from Kingston and has taken up two rooms at 65 London Wall, a newly refurbished serviced office building with many period features on the south side of London Wall, opposite Finsbury Circus. The new address is Guild of Freemen, Rooms 78/79, 65 London Wall, London EC2M 5TU. The new telephone number is 0207 239 9016. Visitors are welcome but please call the Clerk in advance to be sure that the office will be attended.

Annual Service - St Lawrence Jewry

27 April 2017

The Guild's Annual Service was held in the Church of St Lawrence Jewry. It was conducted by the Guild Vicar, Reverend Canon David Parrott, and was assisted by the Guild's Honorary Chaplain, the very reverend Dr David Ison, Dean of St Paul's, who delivered the sermon. The lessons were read by The Renter Warden, Mrs Elizabeth Thornborough, and the Master Peter Allcard. The Headmaster of King Edward's School Witley Mr John Attwater gave his permission for the Choir to sing throughout the service. They were conducted by Stasio Sliwka, Director of Music, and the organ was played by Catherine Ennis, organist at St Lawrence Jewry.

Reception & Dinner in Cutler's Hall

27 April 2017

After the Annual Service a reception and dinner was held in Cutler's Hall. During the reception the Master Peter Allcard thanked the choir for their contribution to the service and presented a cheque to the Headmaster of King Edwards School Witley, Mr John Attwater. This was followed by dinner (superbly catered by The Cook and the Butler). Mr Richard Regan OBE, Prime Warden of the Worshipful Company of Blacksmiths, was the guest of honour. Later the Master thanked all those involved in planning the Annual Service and arranging the dinner, introduced Christine Cook the new Clerk of the Guild and then wished everyone a safe journey home.

The Guild welcomes new members - Tallow Chandlers' Hall

12 April 2017

The Court welcomed new members of the Guild at the Joining and Welcoming Ceremony, which was held during a Court meeting. New members were formally presented to the Court and the welcome included the Ceremony of the Loving Cup. New members were then invited to sign the Roll of the Guild and receive their Warrants of Membership. After the Ceremony the Court joined new members, and their guests, for some refreshments.

Annual General Meeting and Court Supper - Tallow Chandlers' Hall

15 March 2017

The Master, Alderman Sir David Wootton opened the 107th AGM of the Guild of Freemen of the City of London at 5pm. The Directors Report and Financial Statements for the year ending 31st July 2016 were presented. Once the AGM business had been concluded the Master presented Brigadier Michael Keun with a cheque on behalf of Guild Members, thanked him for his 17 years of service to the Guild and wished him and his wife Belinda a long and happy retirement. He advised that a new Clerk would commence employment in May when the Guild Office would relocate into the City of London. The Master then presented Mr Peter Allcard with the Guild's Inventory Book and the Key to the Company Seal as symbols of high office of Master. The new Master thanked the Immediate Past Master and undertook to maintain the traditions and high standards of the Court. He then installed his Wardens. The Master presented an Illuminated Address to the Immediate Past Master and invested him with a Past Master's Badge

Reception & Dinner in Gray's Inn

3 March 2017

For his final dinner The master Sir David Wootton chose the banqueting hall of Honourable Society of Gray's Inn to celebrate his legal qualifications and career. A reception was held upstairs in the Large Pension Room before dinner in the Great hall. Grace was said by the Hon Chaplain, The Very Reverend Dr David Ison, Dean of St Paul's. A five piece salon orchestra from The London Banqueting Ensemble played throughout the evening. After the toasts they performed a rousing Post Horn Galop. The guest speaker - Master of the Bench at Gray's Inn - His Honour Judge Stephen Kramer QC, gave an interesting and informative speech before the master thanked His Honour and then wished everyone a safe journey home.

Please note: the photographs that illustrate these articles are the copyright of Peter Holland, the Guild's photographer, or of the Guild (unless otherwise stated). Anyone wishing to obtain copies should contact the Guild office.