This website started in 2011 when I was elected Master of the Tylers and Bricklayers Company. I have a poor memory for names and faces, and I thought it would be helpful to have pictures of the other Masters in order to greet them properly when I met them, and to be able to remind myself of what they looked like at a later date. I have run a small web design business since 2002, so I put the pictures on this website, and they proved useful, to others as well as myself. At that time, the only other website concerned with the individual livery companies was run by the Fellowship of Clerks, primarily for the benefit of the Clerks, and it did not include any photographs, though these have now been added.
The website grew in popularity with many Masters, and looked as if it would have a successful future. When my year as Master ended in October 2012, my first thought was not to continue running the website, because it was too time-consuming to run as a voluntary activity. But |I was reluctant to leave what had become a successful innovation, and I was fortunate in finding that Mark Grove of The Cook and The Butler Events Company Ltd was willing to sponsor it - and even more fortunate that he has been happy to go on doing so ever since.
The website continued to be successful, and, following a suggestion from Walter Gill, Clerk to the Carmen's Company, we started to produce a hard copy booklet twice a year. This was called the Masters Picture Book, and it became very popular - many Masters have told me that they never leave home without it!
In the summer of 2014, Lady Ribeiro, who was Mistress of the Barbers Company, sent me an Email suggesting that the Mistresses and Consorts should have a similar website. I had considered this idea previously, and had rejected it on the grounds that it would be even more difficult and time-consuming than the Masters website. But her suggestion prompted the thought that, if the Mistresses themselves were willing to make a contribution to getting the pictures in, and to the time required to run it, then a Mistresses website might be viable. So we registered liverycompanies.net, and established a Steering Committee of Mistresses and Consorts to help with it. This method proved successful after the first year and Mark Grove then kindly agreed to sponsor this website as well.
We had a meeting of the Steering Committee in the Guildhall Club in the autumn of 2014, and Mark Grove suggested that it would be a good idea to have a party for Mistresses in the Guildhall Club on the same day as the newly-installed Lord Mayor gave his Address tot he Livery. We organised this at rather short notice, and over 50 Mistresses attended as well as the Lady Mayoress. She told me later that "all the introductions were a huge factor in making it such a successful year". She also kindly invited me to her farewell "At Home" party as the Mansion House, at which she had a long list of thank you's to give to some of the people who had helped her during her year, and I was both surprised and delighted to be included in the list, and presented with a souvenir spoon. It was a very kind gesture which reflected all the effort put in, not only by me but also the Members of the Steering Committee.