Common Hall and the election of sheriffs
The Mistress and I arrived at Guildhall to meet the Beadle who had brought my gown from storage beneath Stationers’ Hall. It was my first opportunity to wear the Master's gown and chain since my Installation. Dressing up is an important part of the pageantry of the City. A hundred or so Masters gathered at holding stations before being led up in procession into the Great Hall to take our places below the stand reserved for the Lord Mayor, Sheriffs, Aldermen and a cast of many more. After the Lord Mayor had taken his place, there followed a minute’s silence for the victims of the tragic events in London and Manchester. It was time for the election which followed an 800 years old democratic process. Two sheriffs were to be elected and two candidates were named: Timothy Russell Hailes and Neil Graham Morgan Redcliffe. Hands were raised in favour of each candidate, the two current Sheriffs counted the votes and, after a lengthy consultation, confirmed both candidates had been duly elected. A perfect example of a refined democratic process. The successful candidates addressed Common Hall and Sheriff-elect Tim Hailes announced our Past Master Fiona Adler would be his "wingman" or Consort for the year. The Lord Mayor led the procession out the Great Hall and we were soon in the bright sunshine in Guildhall Yard.