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Common Hall – Election of Sheriffs and other Officers, Guildhall


This is an important occasion in the City year when all the Livery Masters turn out in their gowns and bling. The Masters, Prime Wardens and Upper Bailiff of the several Livery Companies and the Livery Committee assembled in the Crypt. Then the Livery Committee, followed by the Masters, Prime Wardens and Upper Bailiff of the several Livery Companies (Senior Companies last) walked in procession from the Crypt to the Great Hall. The Masters and Prime Wardens of the twelve senior Livery Companies, and the Livery Committee, took their seats on the platform, and the Masters, Prime Wardens and Upper Bailiff of the remaining Companies took their seats in the front rows filling in from the back. (The first end up at the back.) It is a very formal occasion (turn off your mobile phone!).
After the Lord Mayor, Aldermen, Sheriffs and Officers are seated, the Common Cryer proclaimed silence, and directed “All persons to be uncovered in the Hall”, and “All those who are not Liverymen to depart the Hall on pain of imprisonment”.
Common Hall was then opened by the Common Cryer. The Proceedings of the last meeting of Common Hall were read by the Deputy Town Clerk, after which the Recorder informed the Livery of the occasion of their meeting. The Common Serjeant read to the Livery a list of those nominated for Sheriffs, Bridgemasters, Ale Conners and the Auditor. There was a competition for Bridgemaster, the first after 200 years, and one candidate was a woman. There having been no female Bridgemasters in the past, this was revolutionary! The election process was conducted by the Deputy Town Clerk and started with a show of hands. Fortunately the results were very apparent so a paper vote was not sought. The revolution passed off peacefully
The report of the Livery Committee was summarised by the Deputy Town Clerk and the Common Cryer put to the meeting the Motion “To agree with the Committee in their Report” and declared the result. The Common Cryer then dissolved Common Hall with the words “God Save The King”.
We all then left the Great Hall and returned to the Crypt to remove our gowns.

The contingent from the Water Conservators (joined by the Consort) headed off to the Guildhall for lunch.

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