Last Monday, along with four other candidates, I was admitted to the Freedom of the Company at a ceremony in the Court Room at Stationers' Hall.
After the Freedom Ceremony, there was a further "cloathing" where Dr Vinton Cerf (VP of Google) accepted Honorary Freedom and Livery of the company and Lord Hague of Richmond and Mr Keith Nelson Wallach were also cloathed by the Master.
I would like to thank my sponsors Margaret Willes and Martin Randall. Together with the other new Freeman, we were invited for Lunch, which was a very grand affair with over 230 guests.
The Stationers' have a very impressive hall in Ave Maria Lane, close to St Paul's. The original hall was destroyed in the Great Fire of London and the current hall was completed in 1673 and is Grade 1 listed. It is a wonderful venue and is hired out to organisations for corporate events, meetings and weddings. In fact Stationers' Hall won 'Best Livery Hall' at the London Venue Awards which took place only two weeks ago.
How it all began: 600 years ago most craftsmen in London were itinerant. However the manuscript writers and illuminators decided to concentrate their efforts and set up stalls or ‘stations’ around St Paul’s Cathedral. Because of this they were given the nickname ‘Stationers’ and this was the obvious choice of name for the guild they established in 1403
When printing came to England in the late 15th century, the Stationers had the good sense to embrace it and have continued to adapt to the many changes in the Communications and Content industries ever since. The technology may have changed from pen and inks to print and on-line links but the name has always remained the same.
The present day...
Today the Company has over 900 members, the vast majority of whom are senior executives in the complete range of trades within the Communications and Content industries, from paper, print, publishing, packaging, office products, newspapers, broadcasting and online media. Membership is drawn from across the UK and increasingly throughout the world and now includes major companies as well as individual members.The Company uses Stationers’ Hall for the purpose for which it was built all those years ago: to bring together the major players in our industries so that they can enjoy each other’s company, learn from one another, swap ideas and together develop strategies for the future of industries that are vital to global economic growth. Activities range from formal dinners, informal lunches, lectures, seminars and intimate round-table sessions to online reports and discussion fora. The care and maintenance of the historic and important archives is another important feature of the Stationers' guardianship for future generations.
Charity and Education...
The Company’s involvement in training and education began around 1557 when ‘Apprenticeship Indentures’ were drawn up by the Company and Printing Houses were obliged to present their apprentices at Stationers’ Hall, for the fee of sixpence, during their first year. Today, through the Stationers' Foundation they support a Secondary School (Stationers' Crown Woods Academy) in South London as well as Saturday Schools, and a variety of Bursaries, Scholarships and awards.
You can read more about the Stationers' online or you can speak to me! https://stationers.org/