Jailed & Bailed, Mansion House/The Tower

Wednesday 29th June 2016

Having been on the run for the past two weeks, I finally turned myself in to the 'authorities' at Mansion House where I faced a Kangaroo Court under the dubious jurisdiction of an Alderman and Sherrif Rigdon. Prosecuted on charges which included the attempted drowning of my principal guest at the Installation Lunch, smuggling brandy on to H.Q.S. Wellington and coming a cropper in the Poulter Company Pancake Race (which was displayed to inglorious effect as Exhibit A), I was obliged to admit all and be banged to rights. Shackled to a ball and chain, we were escorted to a collection of modern 'Black Maria's' (or Uber cabs which are the same thing), we arrived at the Tower to the delight of tourists and I've no doubt confused families will enjoy those images all over the world for time immemorial. I was chastened to see our own Beadle, Mark Anderson who had many choice words to say on the matter of his Masters disgrace, but was understanding in the end and, with accompanying Pike Men, we were escorted through the grounds to the mess of Royal Fusiliers where our rations awaited. Luckily, one of our fellow miscreants was James Simpson, a Vintner, and (handily), Chairman of Pol Roger. James had managed to convert our water into magnums of the stuff and in Churchillian style, we quaffed it in lusty gulps from silver goblets - the refills were instant and we soon forgot our misery, tucking into an excellent steak and kidney pudding with new potatoes - not a bread roll in sight. After a dessert of sticky toffee and ginger pie with clotted cream, we were summoned, one by one, to be finger printed and photographed and present our bail. Thanks to our excellent Company, and despite a late revolt from the Chaplain, I was finally released back into the Community having raised a more-than-passable £1,355.00 (or a little over £1,600 with gift aid). I sat next to Mark Kimber (Coach Makers) and discovered he was also an auctioneer - with Nicholas Somers (Turner and PM Art Scholars) present, we had to take a snap of the three of us, so typical that three Auctioneers would end up in clink! Walking to the underground with Vivian Bairstow (Coopers) and Elizabeth Green (Framework Knitters), Vivian showed us the little-known but very moving memorial to the merchant seamen who lost their lives in WW1 - enough to sober the worst offender and with that it was home for a cup of tea and a rest.