Politics at the moment seems to be largely about division and isolation, especially with US President Donald Trump attempting to close borders at seemingly every opportunity.
As City of London institutions, it would be easy to think that livery companies were equally guarded of their borders. In fact the opposite is true. For centuries, London has been a metropolitan melting pot, a hive of different communities and cultures; to the City’s – and its livery companies’ – great benefit.
Although livery company, focus on the City, we welcome members from across the country, and indeed have members who are based even further afield.
Liverymen must be able to attend London based events, but clearly those who live further away won’t be able to attend every one. There are over 1,200 liverymen who live in the North of England, for example, as well as countless others throughout the UK and worldwide who regard the North of England as their spiritual home by adoption, birth right or interest.
These members – and any City of London liverymen – are able to attend Brigantes events in northern England. The name derives from the Brigantes tribe which occupied a similar geographical area in pre-Roman times.
The Brigantes run a series of events that move between different northern cities each year. This year the popular Brigantes Breakfast – in the presence of the Lord Mayor, Alderman Dr Andrew Parmley – will take place in Liverpool and the Winter Gathering in York.
The 2016 Breakfast at Cutlers’ Hall, Sheffield, attracted over 300 Liverymen and their guests, with a number travelling by train to Sheffield from London for the day. We’ll be putting details of Brigantes’ events in Speed Read and on our website, so if you’re interested in attending keep an eye out.
As well as opening up activities beyond the City, the Brigantes events offers a great opportunity to mix with people from different livery companies. In a world that seems to be trying to close in on itself, I’m proud to be part of an institution that is more than happy to offer the hand of friendship outside its city walls.
Master of the Worshipful Company of Environmental Cleaners