Today I hosted my first luncheon with the Judges and five guests. An amazing re-introduction to the hard work all the judiciary do, particularly as the case we followed today was rather harrowing with children and murder involved. For some light relief, a dear friend, Bill Joseph, sent the following limerick to start off a year of luncheons, for obvious reasons it featured a puffin:
There once was a rather smart puffin Who distracted the Lords from their judgin. In his new shrievel chain With its symbols arcane, He astounded the room they had lunch in.
Chris Hayward and I headed out for our first day of duty as Sheriffs. On a drizzly Sunday we attended two events. The first is the now traditional Sheep Drive & Wool Fair. This event is kindly hosted by the Worshipful Company of Woolmen, with much other livery support, and this year the organisation was led by a great friend of ours, Judith Pleasance CC. The event itself was inaugurated by the World Traders (have to get that inter-livery rivalry in).
The big day, Friday, 27 September, finally arrived. Chris Hayward CC and I were sworn in as Sheriffs of the City of London. Here we are just coming out of Guildhall together after swearing our oaths and on our way to the traditional sumptuous Break-fast.
Banker Baron Overstone, on seeing the “unmitigated disappointment” of his new Overstone Hall in Northampthonshire (now derelict), grumbled, “We have fallen into the hands of an architect, in whom incapacity is his smallest fault.”
Well, I certainly don’t feel as morose as Baron Overton. In the case of my Shrieval chain and badge, as well as Elisabeth’s brooch, all we can say is that we fell into the hands of a silversmith, in whom genius is his smallest fault. We are so delighted with Grant Macdonald’s work.
The Shrieval Chain and Badge of Office
presented to Alderman Professor and Sheriff-Elect Michael Mainelli on 19 September 2019
Despite being three months away from assuming office, our services were called upon within days to assist the current Sheriffs in an unusually fishy matter.
When attending a service in the Dutch Church to commemorate the Dutch eel trade, like you do, Elisabeth and I encountered a delegation from the Frisian Islands. They came on the good ship eel barge Korneliske Ykes II, with greetings and gifts from the mayor of Súdwest-Fryslân to our Lord Mayor…
On 24 June at Common Hall Chris Hayward CC and I were delighted to be elected Sheriffs to take effect at our installation on 27 September. Here we are pictured outside Cutlers’ Hall with our wives Alex and Elisabeth as we toured nine livery companies in ninety minutes to thank the nearly 1,400 people who turned up to vote!