Musicali tea at Church of the Holy Sepulchre

Musicali-tea: a weekly event at the Church of The Holy Sepulchre in the North-West of the City near the Old Bailey.

Musicali events feature a musical performer followed by a short talk by a City of London Guide.

I had the pleasure of giving a talk recently and hope to go back and give a second one.

Details of this and other events at:

Musicali is free but must be booked in advance.

Holy Sepulchre Church, Holborn Viaduct, London EC1A 2DQ, corner of Holborn Viaduct and Giltspur Street. City Thameslink station is nearby.


Lord Mayor’s Show 2023


The annual procession to welcome in the new Lord Mayor is on Saturday November 11th.

Schedule and route at for details

After the procession, City Guides will be providing free guided walks starting at 3pm from Number One Poultry which is just next to Bank Junction, postcode EC2R 8EJ at the junction of Poultry and Queen Victoria Street. No booking, just turn up.

Half-Marathon 2023

Andy Ellis and Warren Forsyth (right)

On April 2nd, City Guides offered free short walks to the public to complement the annual London Half Marathon.

Walks started from locations in Walbrook and Cheapside as well as Tower Hill where I was stationed along with fellow guides Katie Davies, Rosalind Pearson and Warren Forsyth.

Our stops included the Merchant Navy memorials, Tower of London, public executions, Port of London Authority, Trinity House and the Roman Wall.

Andy & Katie Davies


In the course of 3 hours we entertained around a dozen small tour parties. It was most enjoyable and we got good feedback.

One intrepid lady came on the walk twice with a different guide each time.

Andy, Rosalind Pearson, Pat Honey and Katie

She remarked that it was interesting how two guides could present the same tour stops in very different ways. Am glad to report that she enjoyed both tours.

Fen Court (2022)

In November 2022 I conducted one of the free walks following the Lord Mayor’s Show.

At Fen Court I was saying [of St Mary Woolnoth church] “In the late 1700s the rector of the church was a man called John Newton. You may not know the name but may be familiar with a famous hymn which he wrote”.

At this point I noticed that a lady in my tour party was smiling, so I asked “Do you know what it is?”. When she said yes I said “Will you tell us?” to which she replied “I’ll do better than that, I’ll sing it”.

She had a beautiful voice and everybody joined in – I had the whole tour partly singing Amazing Grace!

London Guiding Day

Local London Guiding Day – Saturday October 8th

This is the day when, across London, newly qualified guides are unleashed on an unsuspecting public.

The City Guiding “Class of 2022” will be providing free 60 minute tours every hour at least, hopefully every half hour, from 10 to 4.

The theme is “Leaving their mark” – about people, organisations and events that have left their mark on the City of London.

These will depart from outside the Co-op by exit 2 from St Paul’s Underground.

You may either just turn up or, to secure a place, may book via Eventbrite (for free): details at


There is a transport strike on the day affecting trains nationwide. You can, however, still get into the City. It is believed that the following are running:

Croydon Tramlink (doesn’t go to City but might help make a connection)
Docklands Light Railway
Elizabeth Line (some disruption)
London Underground (some disruption; Richmond and Wimbledon District line may be affected as these are part run by National Rail; also Wimbledon station is closed for engineering works)
Southern Railway (limited service, check on the day).

There may be a skeleton rail service by other rail companies. Bus services unaffected.

Check Transport for London and National Rail for information nearer the time.

City Officials, 2021-2022

City Officials, 2021-2022

Lord Mayor

Vincent Keaveny

Alderman for Farringdon Within; past master of the Solicitors Company

The Lord Mayor heads up the Corporation of the City of London and also acts as ambassador for the nation’s financial and professional services.


Caroline Al-Beyerty

Chief Commoner

Simon Duckworth – Councillor, Bishopsgate Ward

In a role first introduced in 1444 the Chief Commoner (CC) is elected by the whole of the Court Of Common Council.

He or she keeps an eye on training and development of councillors and also takes the lead in Corporation hospitality.

The CC represents Common Councillors in terms of rights and privileges but also ensures integrity and good practice.


Paul Double


Alison Gowman – Alderman, Dowgate ward; Deputy Master, Plaisterers.

Nicholas Lyons – Alderman, Tower ward; member of the Merchant Taylors

The post of Sheriff is a necessary pre-requisite for becoming Lord Mayor.

Historically the sheriffs collected taxes and enforced justice.

Today the sheriffs attend the Lord Mayor at official occasions in the City and all over the world. A sheriff though, still attends the Old Bailey when a trial is in progress.

Town Clerk and Chief Executive

John Barradell

Common Cryer/Common Sergeant

Richard Marks


Tim Rolph

City Marshal

Philip Jordan


Christmas Past

Christmas Past – some historic titbits

Henry VIII is believed to be the first monarch to have turkey for Christmas.

The Christmas Cracker was invented by a chap called Tom Smith who set up a shop in Clerkenwell. The idea was inspired by the French sweet called the Bon-Bon. The original ones didn’t go bang though. Smith got the idea for that when he was sitting at home and heard a particularly loud crack from a log in the fireplace.

The twelve days of Xmas arise from an edict by Alfred The Great that nobody should do any non-essential work during this period.

Santa in the sky? This may derive from the story of the Norse god Odin who, at midwinter, would mount his eight legged horse and fly through the night distributing bread, trinkets and good luck to the worthy and curses to the unworthy.

Working class Victorians could not generally afford to go out and buy a goose just before Xmas. Instead they would join a Goose Club which was usually run by a local pub. They’d make payments through the autumn and have a bird for Xmas day. Most homes, though, had open fires but no oven so the goose was taken to the local baker to be cooked.

If you are going to church on the 25th and want to keep legal then leave the car at home. In 1551 Edward VI passed a law ruling that everybody had to walk to church on Xmas day. The law has never been repealed.