On 25th November I was invited to be the principle guest and speaker at the Broad Street Ward Club and enjoyed crafting a speech that pointed up the rivalry with my own Ward of Dowgate but also the interconnectedness of the City and our friendly links. My speech as delivered:
"It is such a delight to be here in person in this historic 12th century crypt of the Guildhall and be able to celebrate this annual Broad Street Ward Club lunch.
Thank you Chairman for this invite and on behalf of my consort Glenn and all your guests, thank you for this wonderful lunch.
I am one of the not so new Sheriffs in town and am pleased to have a public chance to pay tribute to Alderman Professor Michael Mainelli and Christopher Hayward – both Broad Street stalwarts who both play an enormous part in the City in their existing roles but then as Sheriffs - two termers – they were vital in keeping the City functioning and encouraging the return and support that is proving so successful. They have both been tremendously helpful to me personally and I am very grateful to them as should the whole City
It is just as well we are here in the Guildhall – sort of neutral territory between Broad Street and my Ward of Dowgate as we have a few issues to resolve between us.
I know from my research that Broad St claims Richard /Dick Whittington as your own. But, of course he lived in Dowgate - my Ward and we have the blue plaque to prove it. His will left money to the Church of St Michael Paternoster Royal in my Ward and also to provide 64 latrines - I am glad to say that there was no gendered thinking in the 15th century as there were 32 long drops for men and an equal number for women – built on the boundary of my Ward. We in Dowgate have always led the way in hygiene and safety with the Cleansing station for the City neatly at the outpouring of the River Walbrook into the Thames. That tributary is the boundary of my Ward and the rubbish dump is safely on the Vintry side.
Talking of water – you claim the Plumbers as one of your Livery Companies but they started in Dowgate where their Hall stood until Cannon Street Station bulldozed it down and we hold dear both a sign as to the Hall’s erstwhile location, as well as the wonderful Plumbers’ apprentice statue on the station concourse.
You might claim that St Margaret Lothbury is at least partly in Broad St but in fact the Glovers Livery ( my mother livery) lay claim to this with our stained glass window and my long term friendship with Rector Jeremy Crossley dating back to our university days.
Well all of this goes to show not that we want to start an argument but that the history and current workings of the City are so intertwined and enmeshed. We can share these links.
The Church’s doors are, I am sure Jeremy would say, open to all; the history of Dick Whittington is universal of rags to riches and fits very well the new Lord Mayor’s theme of people and purpose: investing in a better tomorrow ….
His aim under the banner of “People” is to make sure that we invest in the skills which the City needs, and that all people have the opportunity to thrive and progress in their careers.
Not just getting in, but getting on.
A foot in the door leading to them climbing up the ladder as well.
This chimes so well with our shared history of Dick Whittington making good.
As to the plumbers we can share the pipework - I can take the female fittings and you the male – as despite your name there are no broads in Broad St – or at least none as elected members this side of the upcoming Common Council elections. So let me give a plug to the new electoral role and encourage all of you with businesses in the City to sign up without delay to the new register – you have until 16 December and maybe that will bring in both new voters and new candidates – the City wants to create a wider diversity whilst not losing our excellent members who have a lot more to give to this wonderful City. This is all on the City’s website under #SpeakupfortheCity.
I have been speaking up today for this wonderful City as I do daily in my work as an Alderman and Sheriff. Thank you for listening – if you were – and can I ask you to rise to drink a toast
To the Broad Street Ward Club"