The launch of a new guild is like the birth of a new star. Awe inspiring, filled with mystery and destined to lead to greater things.

The City and Mayoralty have seen a spate of new Guilds being born in the last two years with the Entrepreneurs following hot on the heels of the Guilds of Public Relations Practitioners and Freemen. The key point is the interest in the City of London and its Livery companies and the type of Guilds that are coming forward as part of a tradition that stretches back to 1130 for conversion. Guilds themselves can trace their roots back even further to Anglo Saxon times when they offered their loyalty and support to the sheriff of London, the oldest recorded post in the City. These new Guilds will ultimately take their place as Livery Companies and like a new star, establish their position in the firmament.

It was indeed a splendid affair with the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress processing into the Ironmongers Hall to the sound of trumpets and the beat of drums supported by Sheriffs, the Court of the new Guild, other dignitaries and with the Mayors guard at front and rear.

An ancient ceremony then took place as Sir Paul Judge as Master of the Guild with his Wardens and Court Members were sworn in with much pomp and circumstance followed by the rising of the Livery Company Masters in order of precedence to a rousing shout of “welcome Entrepreneurs”.

Of course this was all thirsty work and therefore a grand reception was held immediately afterwards which was just as enjoyable but perhaps not quite as mysterious as the installation ceremony. Perhaps some things have never changed, even when the timescales exceed 1,000 years presumably because the best aspects of any ceremony are worth keeping!

Graham F. Chase. Master

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