The City of London, its Traditions & History
Sunday 18th March 2018, 3 pm
Chris Allen is a senior guide at St Paul’s Cathedral with responsibility for one of the 9 teams of volunteers and guides who greet and assist visitors to the cathedral. He is also one of the teachers who train new guides and is the editor and co-writer of the cathedral’s Guide Training Handbook. Chris is a London University graduate in Economics and Politics who worked for Hoechst, a German Chemical Company, for over thirty years becoming the Chairman and Managing Director of one of their IT subsidiary companies, HiServ UK . He retired in 2001 and soon after became involved in St Paul’s Cathedral as a working volunteer. In addition to his guiding responsibilities he is Assistant Secretary of the Cathedral Wandsmen, a group of sixty men and women who act as Ushers for the Sunday services as well as for the many ceremonial and special services. Active in the City of London, where he is a Freeman of the City, he is a Liveryman and a member of the Court of the Worshipful Company of Tobacco Pipemakers, a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Bakers and immediate past Chairman of the Queenhithe Ward Club, one of the twenty four ward clubs of the City.
The City of London is unique in the UK in having a separate governance structure dating back over 800 years. It has its own Lord Mayor elected each year by the Liverymen of the City who meet in the ancient Guildhall in the heart of the city on midsummer day to choose the candidates.
There are over 100 Livery Companies ancient and modern representing trades old and new and some representing trades which no longer exist. They all support charitable causes raising over £45 million last year.
There are two Sheriffs also elected by the Liverymen whose office is more ancient than the Lord Mayor’s. They support the Lord Mayor in his year of office and live in the Old Bailey which is the central criminal court, where they look after the Judges.