Tuesday, 17 August 2010

A beery summer interlude

Last week, in conversation with members of another Livery Company, I mentioned that our members were going on a pub crawl that evening, suitably presented under the title, "A City Walk: including traditional taverns of Smithfield and Clerkenwell". "Ah", they replied, "that's marketing for you!"

You may well laugh, but on a mid-August, mid-week evening, no fewer than 46 members heard Murray Craig (who does professional City guiding occasionally alongside his day job as Clerk of the Chamberlain's Court - the man who conducts the City of London Freedom ceremonies) telling us the history of Smithfield - ecclesiastical, poetic, poignant, occasionally bloody and frequently beery. Did you know that the Bishop's Finger was a signpost on the Pilgrims' Way pointing towards Canterbury?

And there was our own Freeman, Richard Teideman, handing out vouchers, good for a round at each of our tavern stops on the way. (Did you ever refer to five pound notes as "Blue beer vouchers" in your youth? Well there it was, only they were white.)

Despite the on-tap attractions, remarkably, the group stayed together for most of the journey - well done Murray and Richard.