For the City of London November means the Lord Mayor’s Show and the transition of power with a new Lord Mayor. The other international event was the COP26 Climate Summit and a pivotal time for the City and the world to transition to net zero.
Installation of new Lord Mayor
The weekend starts with the Silent Ceremony – the most moving event in the calendar as the new Lord Mayor makes a short declaration and the insignia of office are presented to him in silence. Next day, the Lord Mayor’s Show is a full programme of fun and purpose. Watch highlights at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uyu9guWMczk I was pleased to see both the Glovers’ and Plaisterers’ floats in my honour this year! I also enjoyed the Upholders where I am an honorary Liveryman alongside the Lord Mayor. Photo credit: Gerald Sharp
For the Lord Mayor, the Show is punctuated by two formal events – one is the blessing at St Paul’s Cathedral and secondly the stop at the Royal Courts of Justice to make the oath of allegiance to the Queen in front of the Lord Chief Justice and other senior judges. Neither have I been able to photograph as I am not present at St Paul’s (being in an earlier carriage) and the Courts ban photography. See my book The City of London: who, what, why if you want to know more! Find it at: - https://www.alisongowman.org/how-the-city-of-london-works.html
On Monday 15th November the Lord Mayor’s Banquet took place and the splendour and delight of the Guildhall is a wonder to behold. The Banquet is hosted by the Lord Mayor and the Sheriffs and we believe our planning came to a successful conclusion. Fine speeches by the principal guests included a tour de force by our new Lord Mayor Alderman Vincent Keaveny.. Read it at: https://news.cityoflondon.gov.uk/lord-mayor-calls-on-city-to-boost-social-mobility-and-deploy-finance-for-social-impact/
The Prime Minister spoke on foreign policy - https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/pm-speech-to-the-lord-mayors-banquet-15-november-2021 And the Archbishop of Canterbury delivered a thoughtful speech reminding us of the important foundations of people, vision and God’s faithfulness which should make us bold and give us hope -https://www.archbishopofcanterbury.org/speaking-writing/speeches/archbishops-speech-lord-mayors-banquet
Old Bailey news
A dedicated member of the Shrieval team retired just at the end of October, Nick Lee. Nick had been a footman at the Bailey for decades and was a font of knowledge and stories about the place and the people. It was a testimony to his popularity that so many City folk knew him. He was an invaluable help to Sheriff Nick and me in the start of our year. He leaves for a happy retirement with his boat in Devon.
We have had a cautious start to the lunches with the Judges and are now hosting guests on about 4 days a week. I held the first themed lunch in November which was on the topic of Property – one of my focuses this year. The coats of the arms of the Sheriffs appear on the wall in the Judges’ Dining Room and ours are now on show in the long line with all the previous Sheriffs who have served the City so well.
The international event that I have been working towards for some time and on which the whole world is depending landed in Glasgow from 1 – 12 November. You cannot have missed it! I attended in the second week for the day focussing on Cities, Regions and Built Environment. I took part in the Green Zone Carbon Trust panel session:
Enhancing ambition on climate change in cities and regions, speaking about the work of the City of London’s Climate Action Strategy; our huge ambition and how to achieve it. I attended various other events including the UK100 hub, which is a confederation of cities and regions of the UK who have pledged to meet net zero.
I had a useful bilateral with a representative of the Mexican Minister of Finance, pursuing my work in Latin America. Since COP I seem to have done a lot of talking or writing about it! Including at the Rotary Club in Mayfair and with the World Traders’ Livery online.
Read my blogs here https://www.alisongowman.org/blog
My mother Livery Company, the Glovers, held an impressive seminar on the history of gloves and glovemaking at the Old Bailey and had the benefit of noted medieval historian Professor Caroline Barron as well as our own Liveryman Mike Redwood and Peter Brown. We learned a lot about the medieval context in which the glovemakers thrived and created beautiful and intricate gloves for adornment. Supreme examples of these are part of the Glove Collection Trust held at the Fashion Museum in Bath -
I have attended several Livery dinners and learned a lot about the various companies. A distinct theme has been developing around the maritime industry and the interplay with the aviation sector regarding the use of heavy fuels and transition to more sustainable energy sources.
It started at the Green Aviation Conference convened by the Air Pilots and Scientific Instrument Makers where I spoke ( see contemporaneous article in Air Pilot - https://www.airpilots.org/news-and-comment/air-pilot-magazine/) A really compelling story was discussed of the need to innovate but with news of ideas and improvements over time. The air sector were looking to maritime to collaborate on ideas and dining with the Shipwrights, Master Mariners and Baltic Exchange ( all separately) it was clear that this was a common aim. I hope that some engagement might blossom in this important area as the success of these sectors is vital to our trade.
Alderman & Sheriff Alison Gowman