Thursday, 22 September 2011

Chains of Office

The Sheriffs were elected a short while ago but this week saw the presentation of the Shrieval chains to Alderman and Sheriff Alan Yarrow and Sheriff Wendy Mead. Chains of office are elaborate, individually designed by the wearer, very expensive and very impressive. Justifiably so as Sheriffs once held the highest office in the City as the Kings representative governing the City until they were bumped off the top spot by the institution of the Mayoralty in 1189.

Wendy Mead held her presentation in Carpenters Hall where the chain was on display. Because chains are so expensive an appeal is made to raise funds and all those who had contributed are invited to the presentation. Speeches follow and the champagne flows. Beside the chain is a beautiful hand written ledger detailing the names of all those who had contributed.
Alan Yarrow had his presentation ceremony in Fishmongers Hall and it followed the same format. His chain was significantly different. This is because the centre piece of the chain is a badge containing a coat of arms designed by the College of Arms representing the interests and achievements of its owner, together with a chosen motto.

These events attract a large crowd of supporters from the City as well as from the Livery although it was a pleasure to catch up with Masters I know. We are in Master 'change over' season now so many I know are now being replaced by their Senior Warden . I have a lot more new faces to get to know.

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