Only had contacts via support from them. Barber Surgeons, Apothecaries & Cutlers. Like the military they rubbed each other up over precedence in a banter sort of way. Excellent support from them for sqn/det activities. Also good source of funding for individuals doing various stuff. Most of the members were polite and considerate when I visited them, good food and accomodation as well if needed. Never been a member though, costly? Bit like the Masons?
IIRC this chap: | The Sun |News went to go and join one - I've a feeling that he was clerk of the Goldsmiths' Livery Company for a brief period. Might be worth calling him for advice on more than one topic.
PA, it depends upon which Company you're thinking about. There are over 100 of the blighters who have a strict order of precedence.* They used to be all about maintaining the standard of craftsmanship (except one which still does this) but most of them are now concerned with charitable giving...and damned good dinners. TBH, most are poor as church mice so I'd think twice if it isn't one of the 'Great Twelve'. Best thing to do is go along to one of their events. If you have a half-decent time (and don't end up by getting thrown out for chasing the waiting staff around the room naked except for a napkin ring on your tackle), I'd go for it.
*It wasn't always so. When they finally sorted one out there was a bit of a punch-up between two 'Worshipful' Companies about who should be No6 and No7. It was never agreed so the Merchant Taylors and the Skinners alternate each year. Totally useless piece of info except that its the origin of the phrase "at sixes and sevens".
the guilds and livery companies are ok if you don,t mind paying a big fine (entrance fee) and paying a fortune for four meals a year . If your business is willing to sponsor you you can eventually go onto be lord mayor of London . It cost a friend of mine a million squids plus for his year .
The companies have some fine old traditions and if I had the dosh I WOULD BE IN ONE LIKE A RAT UP A DRAIN PIPE. but i AM POOR AND DISTRESSED SO BELONG TO A WARD CLUB INSTEAD . AGH CAPLOCKS .
Its horses for courses really if you can afford to play well join if the City and its Traditions are what you like . Mind you it's cheaper to join most of the gents clubs in St. James than to be in one of the good companies.
Don,t forget if you work in the city you can go for the freedom , you would get that for free I believe if you are in Livery . A few of my mates are in and my wife was invited to join one years ago but never got around to it . Do you know much about the guilds and the way the city is governed at all ?
the guilds and livery companies are ok if you done mind paying a big fine ( entrance fee) and paying a fortune for four meals a year .
Its hourses for courses realy if you can afford to play well join if the City and its Traditions are what you like . Mind you it's cheaper to join most of the gents clubs in St. James than to be in one of the good companies.
I joined a Livery Company just under two years ago, and thoroughly recommend doing so to anyone who has an interest in the history, customs, ceremony and governance of the City of London.
A few orientation facts:
1) There are 108 Livery Companies, 2 City Companies without Livery, and 3 City Companies on the path to full Livery status.
2) The Livery Companies are nothing to do with the Masons.
3) Livery Companies only exist in the City of London, because they are a creature of the City's sui generis form of government.
4) The most ancient Livery Companies grew out of craft guilds, some formed prior to the Norman Conquest. The Livery Companies all have different characteristics, some are still very active in their craft, profession or trade, others retain regulatory roles, some are examination an awarding bodies, all are involved in charity and education, all have close links with the armed forces and cadets, about 1/2 the companies have their own hall with dining, catering, meeting and office facilities, some companies have accommodation in their halls, most of the older companies substantial rental portfolios and charitable endowments, all the companies have a strong fellowship and ceremonial side.
5) The Livery Companies are not secret societies or 'societies with secrets'.
6) Joining a Livery Company need not be expensive, and membership is not about attending dinners or donating a proportion of your income to charity.
7) Members of Livery Companies have the right (indeed are encouraged) to become Freemen of the City of London at the modest cost of £25 and 30 minute ceremony and great day out at Guildhall for the family.
More active and engaged members of Livery Companies may be invited to become Liverymen (senior members). Liverymen elect the Sheriffs and Lord Mayor of the City of London.
9) Most Livery Companies have a fantastic social and volunteering scene, whereby you get out of it what you put in.
10) Livery Companies all have Coats of Arms awarded by the College of Arms in recognition of their eminent status. Almost all Livery Companies have been awarded a Royal Charter (often more than one), and those the few that don't are on the path to achieving that status.
To discover a little bit about the fascinating history of the City of London and its unique system of government which is inextricably linked to the Livery Companies at every level, I recommend this two part youtube clip: The (Secret) City of London, Part 1: History - YouTube