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Highgate journalist celebrates ‘a lovely honour’ – but what is it?

PUBLISHED: 14:34 20 February 2019 | UPDATED: 14:34 20 February 2019

Liz Gill (centre) with Erin Wirz and Steve Burry as she became a liveryman of the Stationers. Picture: Stationers Company

Liz Gill (centre) with Erin Wirz and Steve Burry as she became a liveryman of the Stationers. Picture: Stationers Company

Archant

Freelance writer and former Daily Express reporter Liz Gill told the Ham&High she was delighted with a “lovely little honour” to mark a long and varied career in journalism.

Now, after being “enclothed” as a liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Stationers – which puts her in the company of notable figures in the media world including Rupert Murdoch – Liz, of Highgate, explained why she was delighted about it.

She said: “It’s not really much of an award, but yes, I suppose it’s a lovely honour.

“First you’re made a freeman and then you can start the process of becoming a liveryman.”

The Stationers were founded in 1403 and became an organisation representing people working in the fledgling publishing industries.

They then became a livery company – one of the City of London’s historic guilds.

Nowadays, being invited to become a liveryman – a full member – of such a guild is a rare honour. Historically, it was one of the only ways of voting for the City of London’s MPs.

Being a stationer, Liz explained, is about more than the fancy garb and days out.

She explained: “Part of it is the social events, yes. Of course, they have a wonderful old hall going back 400 years.

“But there’s a charitable arm too. They give bursaries to young people looking to get into journalism or publishing – usually by helping them onto Master’s courses – and even fund an academy down in Eltham.”

“There’s a lot of mentoring, and that’s something I’m really keen to do more of.”

Since stepping down as a staff writer when she had children, Liz has had a varied freelance career writing about health, travel and lifestyle– she’s evenwritten about travel for the Ham&High in the past.

Considering her career, so far, she said: “I came down to London from Bradford and ended up at the Daily Express, and before that the Standard. I’ve dotted around north London – I lived in Muswell Hill a long time, and before that Tufnell Park and Hampstead. The Ham&High has long been my local paper in one edition or another.”

As for the florid terms and traditions of the Stationers, Liz said: “The organisation’s very modern in its outlook, but I do love the traditional side of it.”

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