A Glossop butcher has been granted the Freedom of the City of London, in a traditional ceremony in the capital last week.
John Mettrick, of JW Mettrick and Sons, on High Street West, applied for honour in order to become a liveryman for the Worshipful Company of Butchers.
He hopes to become a member in January, which will enable him to get more involved in education and training in the meat industry as well as the livery company’s charity work such as Farms for City Children.
The Manor Croft resident explained that most of the practical reasons for obtaining the freedom had now disappeared.
“It probably means I can drive sheep over London Bridge,” he laughed. “Not that I’ll be taking advantage of it!”
The 50-year old added: “I’m a freeman by redemption, not an honorary freeman, like Nelson Mandela. But it was still very nice to receive it.
“It’s nice to see the tradition and be part of the ceremony. The biggest shock was that the beadle, Ernest Brocklehurst, hailed from Tintwistle. His cousin used to work for me.”
The butcher explained that originally, the freedom meant the right to trade and dated back to the Middle Ages.
It used to enable members of a guild or livery to carry out their trade or craft in the square mile of the City for a fee and in return the companies would ensure that the goods and services provided would be of the highest possible standards.
On Thursday, John, one of 134 applicants admitted in September, attended a formal ceremony at the Chamberlain’s Court at Guildhall.
John told the Advertiser he had to read the declaration of a freeman and sign a book, before being presented with a framed copy of the freedom, a parchment document inscribed with his name, together with a copy of the Rules for the Conduct of Life.
The clerk, Murray Craig, then greeted him as ‘a citizen of London’.
In March, John was awarded with the title master butcher by Princess Anne, as part of the Meat Training Council’s accreditation scheme.