By this stage of the year one is beginning to put names to faces and badges of office to particular companies and we all seemed to be looking forward to our imminent visit to the Ironbridge Gorge in a week or so.
Suddenly there were police whistles and the room was "invaded" by two burly policemen to the great indignation of our host. All became clearer when a "detective" turned up and said he was here to make arrests in response to reported crimes carried out by the disreputable bunch present.
|I stand accused|
One by one we were called forward and presented with our somewhat entertaining misdeanours and despite protests of innocence and "it wasn't me" the verdict was unanimously decreed "Off to the Tower". After our arraignment at Mansion House confronted with the misdeeds of myself and others we were ordered to be lined up and presented with a ball and chain and directed to our awaiting prison van - or rather a rather ancient 1930's bus. We were driven off to the Tower and on arrival we were frog-marched much to the amusement (or was it bemusement) of the visiting tourists to the Fusiliers Museum. There we were lined up by the Beefeaters and Pikemen and offered gruel and water (actually salmon en croute and Pol Roger!) while we were "processed" - fingerprinted and bail money demanded. After an excellent release we were allowed to leave in our full regalia and with tourists busy clicking cameras we left the tower.
Over £38,000 was raised for the British Red Cross - a record for this annual "Jailed and Bailed" account. My thanks to the Marketors Trust and to those many Company Members who donated monies to support my release. A day of great enjoyment but also food for thought as Red Cross workers had been involved in an attack the same day in Jahalibad - a reminder that work is carried out in areas of some danger.
|Felons lined up outside The Mansion House|