'Jailed and Bailed'

Wednesday 29th May 2013

I was innocently enjoying the company of some twenty other Masters in one of the Mansion House drawing rooms when we were rudely interrupted by the tooting of Police Whistles. Sheriff Nigel Pullman was most put out as, one by one, we were 'arrested' on various charges. I pleaded guilty to smoking in the wrong place but reckoned that the additional charge of using a No Smoking sign as an ashtray definitely involved framing.

After that, it was off to The Tower of London, plus ball and chain,in a vintage Police Bus complete with ashtrays. To the delight of the tourists, who presumably assumed they'd stumbled on some splendidly arcane daily ritual, we were escorted inside. The sponsorship by Pol Roger ensured that the time passed very pleasantly unitl we were relieved of our bail money and set free to re-offend. Some £38,000 was raised for the Red Cross, a fine example of the Livery Companies' ability to enjoy fellowship in a good cause.

And, as I prepare to hand over the Mastership to my successor, John Nokes, that's really what it's about.