It was great fun to be part of the Young Stationers event held at the Hall yesterday evening jointly with the Younger Inter-Livery Group.
The highlight of the evening was a tug-of-war match between the City of London Police and the City of London Sea Cadets. The former are the reigning Olympic champions, having won gold in the 1908 London Olympics and successfully defended it four years later in Antwerp, after which tug-of-war ceased to be an Olympic sport. The burly policemen looked certain victors against a very young team of sea cadets and their first round victory seemed to confirm this. However they had peaked too soon and, thanks to a supreme effort by the cadets, cheered on by a crowd of very enthusiastic Young Stationers, the police dramatically lost the second round and then the decider. Stationers' Hall is not well-known as a venue for Olympic events and perhaps it was the slippery surface of the floor that contributed to their defeat. Whatever, the roar of the crowd was ever bit as spectacular as those we heard from the Olympic stadium in Stratford ten days ago!
I was very pleased to see the Hall and the garden being put to good use by over a hundred young people, drawn from our own industries and from the other 107 London Livery Companies. The Young Stationers' calendar is a busy one with a Society of Young Publishers Quiz Night coming up soon and a dinner with Lord Black of Brentwood next month.
I would like to say a massive thank you to Pádraig Belton, Chairman of the Young Stationers, and Eleanor Mason Brown of the Pewterers' Company for organising a great evening and, once again, proving that some of the stereotypes of City Livery Companies are completely wrong.