22nd January 2020

Minutes of the meeting from 13.1.20



ON MONDAY 13TH JANUARY 2020 at 7.00pm

Present :-

The Lord Mayor, Councillor Vaughan Williams, in the Chair, Nigel Back Chairman of the Freemen’s Committee and Chairman of the Norwich Town Close Estate Charity, Michael Quinton, Hon Secretary to the Norwich Freemen’s Committee. Robert Lloydd City Crier.

Nigel Back(Chairman), Michael Quinton. (Hon sec), Nigel Watson, Oliver Quinton, John Rushmer, Stuart Lamb, Elizabeth Barber, Annabel Barber, Melanie Kent, Julie Houghton, Robert Self, Robert S. Watson, Stephen Quinton, Joanne Yaxley, John Burton, Robert Palmer, Phil Armes, Phillip Yaxley, Mary Barker, Cynthia Cooke, Katie Back, Jenny Plunkett, Andrew Burton, Emmeline Pavlyuk, Andrew Rushmer, David Reeve, Owen Gibbs and Julie A Gibbs (guest).


  1. Notice convening the Common Hall

The City Crier read aloud the notice convening the Common Hall.

  1. Apologies for absence.

Secretary Michael Quinton told the meeting that apologies for their absence have been received from;-

David Barber, Paul Clarke, Ros Davis, Phillipa Foster-Back, Peter Lister and Elizabeth Reddaway. Subsequent apologies were received from Arnold Day.

  1. Opening remarks.

The Lord Mayor welcomed the Freemen and said that “The Freemen of Norwich have played a significant role in the affairs of the City of Norwich for many centuries and in fact until the early 19th Century the local government of the City was entirely in the hands of the Freemen. Furthermore, the fact that in the 16th Century, Norwich had grown to the second largest city in the country in size to London, was largely due to the successful commercial activities of the Freemen in their various trades and professions. Today, their role is somewhat diminished but nevertheless they still remain an important part of the life of the City”

  1. Hon Secretary’s report

The Honorary Secretary presented his report into the affairs of the Freemen’s Committee, outlining the work of the Freemen’s Committee over the past five years. He said that in 2017 the Norwich Freemen celebrated 700 years since the first ever Norwich Freeman. The Freemen’s website, with online Freeman record search was launched. The move to email for all Freemen’s correspondence is now in place, and with GDPR – All permissions have been given for the purposes of administrating the Freemen’s Committee business.

Thanks were given to Maxine and Laura -the Civic office staff for their help over the past five years dealing with Freeman matters and the staff of the Charities Office, particularly Vanessa Soer and Jean Browne.

Mr Nigel Back, Chairman of the Norwich Town Close Estate Charity spoke of the increased asset value of the Charity, and of the 60% increase in expenditure over the previous five-year period in grants to Freemen and to projects providing for the people of Norwich & Norfolk.

The change of the name of ‘The Norwich Town Close Estate Charity’ to ‘The Freemen’s Charity’ is still awaiting the legal approvals.

Thanks were given to staff of the Norwich Charitable Trusts – the Charity’s management organisation. David Hynes, Becky Bird, Vanessa Soer and Nick Saffell.

  1. The rules for the election

The City Crier read out the rules for the election

  1. The names of the Retiring Representative Trustees and Committee

Members to be read.

Nigel Back read out the names of those retiring:

Richard Gurney, John Symonds, Claire Wilton, Ros Davis, Andrew Watson and David Watson.

  1. Confirmation of election of the 25 members of the Freemen’s Committee.

Robert Self read the names of those whose election is to be confirmed:

Phillip Armes, Katie Back, Nigel Back, David Barber, Elizabeth Barber, Michael Burgess,

Andrew Burton, John Burton, Paul Clarke, Cynthia Cooke, Phillipa Foster-Back, Owen Gibbs, Julie Houghten, Melanie Kent, Stuart Lamb, Robert Palmer, Emmeline Pavlyuk, Jenny Plunkett, Michael Quinton, Oliver Quinton, Stephen Quinton, David Reeve, Andrew Rushmer, John Rushmer and Joanne Yaxley.

Confirmation was unanimous. This completed the Election of the Freemen’s Committee, which stands at 25 members.

  1. Confirmation of the election of the 8 Representative Trustees

Robert Self read out the names of the 8 Representative Trustees.

Nigel Back. David Barber. Cynthia Cooke  Owen Gibbs. Melanie Kent Stuart Lamb. Michael Quinton. John Rushmer.

Confirmation was unanimous. This completed the Election of the 8 Representative Trustees.

  1. Vote of thanks to the Lord Mayor

Nigel Back, Chairman of the Freemen’s Committee, on behalf of the Freemen present, thanked the Lord Mayor for convening and presiding over the meeting. Thanks were given to the City Crier and the Civic Office staff for arranging this Common Hall.

  1. The Lord Mayor declares the meeting closed

The Lord Mayor declared the meeting closed and invited those present to join him for light refreshments in the foyer.

M.J. Quinton. Hon Sec.

Norwich Freemen’s Committee

14th January 2020


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