Sheriffs Ahoy

At 10:15 on Friday, 1 October 2021, at Temple Pier, the Lord Mayor of the City of London, Alderman William Russell, piped away his two Sheriffs, Alderman Professor Michael Mainelli and Chris Hayward CC.  Having completed an extraordinary two-year term of office, the first time since 1228 AD, the two Sheriffs boarded the City of London Corporation Thames Waterman ​cutter to be rowed away downriver and out to sea by a rowing crew under the command of Jon Averns, Director of Markets & Consumer Protection [don’t worry, they were safely ashore at Tower Pier about 11:00].

left to right: Michael Mainelli, Elisabeth Mainelli, Hilary Russell, The Rt Hon The Lord Mayor Alderman William Russell, Jon Averns, Christopher Hayward

10:00 – London Port Health Authority Thames Waterman Cutter, ‘Lady Gillett’ and ML Londinium III arrived at Temple Pier.

10:15 – The Lord Mayor of the City of London, Alderman William Russell, Alderman and Sheriff Professor Michael Mainelli, Sheriff Christopher Hayward CC, Elisabeth Mainelli and guests met at Temple Pier.

Au revoir!
(photo courtesy of Biagio Fraulo)

10:20 – Crew embarked Lady Gillett: Alderman & Sheriff Professor Michael Mainelli and Elisabeth Mainelli rowed with Sheriff Christopher Hayward CC as a passenger. Guests embark ML Londinium III.

Ending at Traitors’ Gate, ouch
(photo courtesy of Biagio Fraulo)

10:25 – Londinium III and Lady Gillett departed Temple Pier and headed down river towards Tower Millennium Pier.

Whew, 30 minutes of rowing later
(photo courtesy of Biagio Fraulo)

11:00 – Londinium III and ‘Lady Gillett’ arrived at Tower Millennium Pier where the guests disembarked.

What a way to end two years!!

Lord Mayor waving off his two Sheriffs – can you see the tears in his eyes?

My sincere thanks to Adrian Evans and the Totally Thames Team of the Thames Festival Trust, but even more to Jon Averns and the City of London Corporation rowers of Lady Gillett.

Carry On Sheriffs

Well, all good things come to an end, and after two years rather than one, a good one.

Our address to Common Hall was as Carry On Sheriffs for our Late Sheriffs Reply To Vote Of Thanks

Common Hall, Wednesday, 29 September 2021, Guildhall

Election of Alderman Vincent Keavney as Lord Mayor Elect, Guildhall, City of London, United Kingdom, 29th September 2021

Two “muted” signs in front of microphone stands.

Michael Mainelli

My Lord Mayor, Fellow Liverymen:

No, this is not the Silent Ceremony.

Michael Mainelli unmutes self.

Chris and I were thrilled to be elected by you, our livery brothers and sisters, over two years ago at Midsummer.  A number of you have commented that we truly are the ‘carry on’ Sheriffs.  As we like to remind the Lord Mayor, we are the first Sheriffs to serve two consecutive years since 1228 AD, when Henry III declared himself of age to assume the throne.  Thus we’ve had two Sheriffs’ Challenges for young people; two sheep drives, two Pearly Kings & Queens; and three Sheriffs’ Bravery Awards.  The great thing is that the two of us still get on despite our prison term being doubled at the Old Bailey.  Don’t we, Chris?

Christopher Hayward gesticulates.

In true Carry On fashion, I often say to Chris, “May the great God Russell bring blessings on your house.”

Christopher Hayward starts to talk.  Michael Mainelli walks over and unmutes, staying there.

Christopher Hayward

 “And on yours.”

Michael Mainelli mutes Christopher Hayward and returns to his microphone.

Michael Mainelli

“And may his radiance light up your darkness.”

Christopher Hayward walks over, mutes Michael Mainelli and returns to his microphone, and unmutes.

Christopher Hayward

“And up yours.”  In the immortal line from “Carry On Up The Jungle”, I often say to Michael, “I’m flabbergasted, my gast has never been so flabbered.”  Rather than gaining weight, many of you know I wound up losing 46 lbs for charity, the same amount a prisoner receives on release.  Over the course of our two years we were thrilled to raise well over £150,000 net for charity through a combination of things such as my weight loss, Michael’s Ride Round the Range, the fifth Sheriffs’ Ball, and over 60 tours of the Old Bailey.

Then in March last year we were struck by the dreadful Covid pandemic.  Five months of Shrieval social whirl came crashing to a halt as we worked out how to adapt the Old Bailey, the Shrievalty, and the City to the pandemic.

Michael Mainelli gesticulating, Christopher Hayward unmutes Michael Mainelli, returns, mutes himself.

Michael Mainelli

Oh mute on me, mute on me, they’re all putting mute on me.  Yes, the pandemic led us to change many things.  While we and the Lord Mayor missed out on civic travel, we Sheriffs chaired or presented at some 800 video-conferencing webinars.  We held two virtual ‘movie’ evenings at the Old Bailey that had 1,300 people watching the legal documentary “Life Is Wonderful: Mandela’s Unsung Heroes”.  We held eight Financial Services Group of Livery Company events to highlight the need to strengthen and simplify anti-money laundering.  We still managed to lunch, or dine, with 1,000 people personally.  Along the way the City of Xi’an provided us with a permanent gift to the Old Bailey of a terracotta warrior, nicknamed “Mike” for some reason by the staff.  And, yes, one dark afternoon I was allowed to play my bagpipes, alone, in the Grand Hall.

Michael Mainelli unmutes Christopher Hayward, returns, and mutes himself.

Christopher Hayward

“Oooh Sheriff”.  But we didn’t do it alone.  The thanks we owe to everyone are copious.  Doing an extra year meant our businesses donated another year of our time to the City.  Every livery company and ward club radiated positive, can do, energy.  Each livery company and ward club seems to be outdoing the others in a wide range of events – history, architecture, science, crafts, politics, economics, and the environment.  Our City was mentally and virtually alive as never before. 

We had outstanding support from everyone at the Old Bailey starting with the Recorder, Common Serjeant, and judges to our fantastic footmen, Sean and Nick.  The cleaning, security, and administrative team supported us superbly, and discreetly.  The catering team have been a constant threat to both Michael and my waistlines as we fought to endeavour to keep ourselves trim. Our colleagues on Common Council and the Court of Aldermen, and the entire Mansion House and Guildhall teams never wavered in trying to find new ways to do old things.  And new ways to do new things as well.

Michael Mainelli unmutes himself.

Michael Mainelli

Thanks to so many supporters could go on and on from the Cook & Butler at that first breakfast to the City rowing team that will take us away downriver this Friday, but we’d like to single out two special thanks.  First, to the two Mayoral teams we worked with, two great introductory months with Peter & Lindy Estlin, and then twenty-two wonderful months with William & Hilary.

Christopher Hayward

But the biggest thanks of all must go to our wives and families for all of their support, especially when faced with the idea that in my case our two teenage children would spend another year with us in the Old Bailey. To my darling wife Alexandra I say a heartfelt ‘thank you’. I could never have carried out the many civic duties of this very high office without your love, support, encouragement, and understanding. And although not with us today I too want to recognise our two children Richard and Elizabeth who have suffered much to allow Daddy to be Sheriff.  Indeed, they have embraced the opportunity despite the demands of the role on our family life.

But our time is over and we wish Alison and Nick every success in their year as Sheriffs.

Michael Mainelli

Like Chris, my biggest thanks go to Elisabeth and our family.  To lose one family year for our beloved City is fortunate, but to lose two years begins to look careless.  The City is always about continuity and change, conducting our rituals while seeking to renew our relevance.  So, in partial thanks, we’ll leave you with the big lesson we learned these past two years:


Turn to each other, then look to audience.

Just “Keep Calm and Sheriff On.”

Christopher Hayward – So it’s goodbye from me

Michael Mainelli – and it’s goodbye from him!

Turn and look at each other, then look back to audience.

BOTH – Good Bye.

left to right: Alexandra Hayward, Christopher Hayward, Michael Mainelli, Elisabeth Mainelli

Alderman & Sheriff Professor Michael Mainelli’s Ride Round The Range Of The City, 15 September 2021

We, Michael & Elisabeth, must thank everyone most warmly for their fantastic support last week.  We truly appreciate everyone’s contributions, whether financial, organisational, or libational.  We had a simply wonderful time, and a terrific closing event for our two years in the Old Bailey.

By way of follow up:

1 – some 240 photos are here – (sample above).  These photos are courtesy of Mark Duff, our official photographer.  Mark has donated them all without copyright, so you are free to use them.  We hope that one or two might suit your wall, your livery, a newsletter, or social media.  Mark has rendered them all for 5×7, but has kindly said that if you particularly want another size, please just ask him at Aberthau Consulting

2 – the results of the fundraising for the Sheriffs’ & Recorder’s Fund – – are:

Raised on JustGiving         £8,683.57 from 267 people.

Direct contributions          £4,201.78 including two particularly significant contributions from the Worshipful Company of International Bankers and C Hoare Charitable Trust

Total                                       £12,885.35  

A simply wonderful result.  The fundraising link will be open for a few more weeks if any of your colleagues want to add a bit – – but the big thing was the wide participation from over 350 people.

There were too many highlights from the trip, but it was fantastic to get round Mansion House, some 17 livery halls, and a lot of iconic City locations, including riding into Haberdashers’ yard to put hoof marks on the lawn for the first time.  We thank everyone for being so generous with champagne, wine, port, beer in tankards, sloe gin in thimbles, juices, and water (don’t underestimate how great water can feel after three hours in the saddle), and more generous to the horses with apples and carrots, including some bags of fruit and vegetables to take home (Leo and his team of trusty steeds say thank you).

The route was: Sweetings 09:25, Mansion House 09:30, Grocers 09:40; Furniture Makers 09:50; International Bankers 09:51; Drapers 10:08; Carpenters 10:15; Armourers 10:22; Girdlers 10:34; Wax Chandlers 10:41; Saddlers 10:51; Goldsmiths 10:58; Pewterers 11:05; Plaisterers 11:12; Ironmongers 11:19; Farmers & Fletchers 11:27; IT Hall 11:36; Founders 11:42; Cutlers 11:50; Old Bailey 12:15.

left to right: Commanding Officer Alan Willis, Ruben, Elisabeth Mainelli, Lady Mayoress Hilary Russell, Alderman & Sheriff Professor Michael Mainelli, Leo, Charles Gillow

There are too many thanks to get everything right, but let’s start with Caroline Quested, Yard Manager of the HAC Light Cavalry at  Flemish Farm, Windsor, and her team on the day led by Joy.  The two City of London Mounted Police and two City of London Bicycle Police made our route smooth shod. Our sincere thanks to the accompanying fundraising squad of Yvonne, Margaret, and Linda handling buckets and ‘tappers’.  Thanks of course to Mark for being our most generous official photographer.  Thanks to Sean, Philip, Rebecca, and the Old Bailey and Mansion House teams for costume arrangements and accompanying us, as well as all the administrative arrangements.  To William Hunt of the College of Arms for a bicorn (where else would you get one?).

The biggest thanks of all must go to Officer Commanding Alan Willis and the entire HAC Light Cavalry for their superb organisation and execution.  Alan personally walked the route over six times to get it right, given frequent changes in availability and roadworks.  Charles kindly let Michael ride his favourite horse Leo, and kept trying to train Michael en route. The whole team made Michael feel most confident; perhaps too confident as he’s now booked to go riding twice next month with his daughter.  At the beginning Alan told Michael that “this will be the highlight of your two years as Sheriff”.  He couldn’t have been more right.

Pint of Spitfire in a proper pewter mug with Mistress Pewterer

There is one final Totally Thames event open to one and all, “Sheriffs Ahoy!”, no fundraising involved, on Friday, 1 October, at 10:15 am if you want to go to Temple Pier and wave Michael & Christopher off as Sheriffs as they’re rowed down river and away by the City of London Thames Watermen Cutter, captained by Jon Averns –  If you’re in the neighbourhood, it would be great to see you there.

So what’s next?

Opening Up The City

What a week! The Lord Mayor and the Civic Team had the privilege of continuing to ‘open’ the City. During the week of 12 April we participated in a significant number of events showing that shops were open. During this week of 17 May we participated in a significant number of events showing that hospitality locations and clinics were open. Just on Monday we ‘opened’ a hormonal replacement therapy clinic, an especially ‘green’ dental practice at the edge of recycling everything possible, Tower Bridge’s visitor centre, the Barbican, two pubs, a drinking club, and a hotel reception overlooking the Tower for the Central London Alliance.

Of all these, perhaps the most telegenic was Shepherd Neame brewery bringing up a dray and horses to go from Mansion House to one of my favourite pubs, a haunt for 40 years, and one of the oldest pubs in the City (1610, present premises 1666). The Lord Mayor and our host, Chief Executive of Shepherd Neame, Jonathan Neame, led the dray through the City streets, ‘guarded’ by two panting Sheriffs straggling behind, for there was no room at the ‘inn’.

And here you can see the amazing things that emerge from behind horses’ backsides from time to time…


Well, the Elf went home, the weather warms, and all good brewing seasons must come to an end. We managed to squeeze in a final batch. This time it was a porter, although my nephew Sean points out, strictly, they should always be a porter. At 6.8%, it packed a punch, fermented on coffee and barrel-matured on cocoa with a touch of cinnamon and ginger. After 10 days of fermentation and a month in the barrel we cracked it last night (anzapfenned it as we say in our household).

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Two Nights At The Old Bailey Watching Movies – “Life Is Wonderful: Mandela’s Unsung Heroes”

“Life is Wonderful: Mandela’s Unsung Heroes” is a documentary film by Sir Nicholas Stadlen, former judge of the High Court of England and Wales. He captured the personal experiences of the last remaining trialists and their defence lawyers, sharing the human stories and the legal arguments used in the Rivonia Trial. A wide team of people organised a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity for participants to understand the complexities of the times and to engage with Sir Nicholas Stadlen, who had much to share that did not make the final cut. Then we had a ‘second in a lifetime’ event…

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