Sheffield’s London Livery Link

Successful Sheffield business man Dr. Glyn Cartwright recently hosted a 3-day programme to entertain, inform and educate his City of London marketing colleagues.  The activities gave Dr. Cartwright the opportunity to showcase the rich history, culture and industrial power of Great Britain’s vibrant ‘Steel City’.

Livery companies grew out of guilds can trace their origins back to the 12th century, with the earliest charter still in existence being granted to the Weavers' Company in 1155.

Those working in the same craft lived and work near each other, grouping together to regulate competition within their trade and maintain high standards. The early London guilds benefited their members and customers alike, controlling the manufacture and selling of most goods and services in the Square Mile.

As the guilds became more established, many set up their headquarters in large houses or Halls. As well as a meeting place, these became the venue for settling trade or domestic disputes. London street-names today still bear witness to areas where individual trades gathered and flourished.

The word livery derives from the colourful clothing that they wore to identify their trade or profession.

Today, there are more than 100 liveries, and though trading conditions changed, since their inception, their work is as pertinent as it always has been. Different in size, structure and interests they share the same ethos: supporting trade, education, charity and fellowship, working in the best interests of the communities in which they operate. The charitable dimension of their work now amounts to over £75m each year.

As well as broadening their horizons to include new skills, the livery companies became prominent supporters of industry through research funds, excellence awards, sponsorships and other carefully targeted trade support.

Building on these themes Glyn hosted a series of activities for attendees. These included: a trip to Magna Steelworks in Rotherham, a briefing from Dan Fell the CEO of the Doncaster Chamber of Commerce, as well as a tour of Sheffield centre and Kelham Island. The final day included visits to Hadden Hall and Chatsworth House.

The highlight of the weekend was a formal dinner for the Marketors and heir guests. This was hosted at the magnificent Cutlers’ Hall, courtesy of Dame Julie Kelley, Master of the Cutlers of Hallamshire.

The guest speaker was City of London Sheriff Andrew Marsden, a former Master Marketor. He too is a native of the city of Sheffield. The event was seen to be a great success and further developed the connection between two of the UK’s important commercial and civic centres.