ALDERMAN Tim Hailes and Neil Redcliffe, the Sheriffs of the City of London, will take to the water today to raise funds for a charity that helps ex-prisoners get a new start in life.
The pair will row down the Thames today, starting from Westminster Boating Base down river towards HMS President in The Lady Gillett, the City of London Corporation’s Cutter, in aid of The Sheriffs’ & Recorder’s Fund.
They will be accompanied by former Sheriff of the City of London, Fiona Adler, and Neil’s wife, Emma, who will act as Wingman and Consort respectively.
The Royal Navy will deploy an Archer Class warship, which will be joined by HMS President’s Cutter, Arthur Tisdall VC; the Company of Watermen and Lightermens’ passenger barge, Jim Holt; an RNLI boat; and the Port Health Authority vessel, Londinium III, which will act as a safety boat during the event.
Tower Bridge, which is owned and managed by the City of London Corporation, will be raised as the four rowers on The Lady Gillett approach the iconic bridge. HMS President will host a reception afterwards.
Sheriff Alderman Tim Hailes said:
“Serious crime has, undeniably, tragic consequences for the victims and their families and friends, but also for those who committed the offences and are sent to prison, sometimes, for more years than they have already lived.
“The Sheriffs’ & Recorder’s Fund, which was set up over 200 years ago, provides financial assistance to ex-prisoners on probation in Greater London and their families by offering small and practical grants to help them get their lives back on track.
“We are proud to support the charity’s sterling work by taking part in this rowing challenge, which also serves to celebrate the maritime links and the history of the City and its iconic river.”
The office of Sheriff of the City of London is one of the oldest in existence and dates back to the Middle Ages, with many Aldermanic Sheriffs becoming Lord Mayor. Their modern-day duties include supporting the Lord Mayor in his or her civic duties and serving as ambassadors for the UK-based financial and professional services industry, at home and abroad, by promoting the UK as a place in which to do business.
The City of London Corporation, which owns and manages the Central Criminal Court (Old Bailey) and the Port Health Authority, invests over £100m every year in heritage and cultural activities of all kinds. It is the UK’s largest funder of cultural activities after the government, the BBC, and Heritage Lottery Fund.
The City Corporation is also developing Culture Mile between Farringdon and Moorgate – a multi-million-pound investment which will create a new cultural and creative destination for London over the next 10 to 15 years. This includes £110m funding to support the Museum of London’s move to West Smithfield and £2.5m to support the detailed business case for the proposed Centre for Music.