The mix of the traditional and the modern is one of the things that makes London such a great place to live, work and visit. Walk down an unfamiliar street and you just don’t know what will be waiting around the corner; will it be an ancient church or a vibrant new office block? And will it be the same next time you go around? The City of London Corporation reports that over 50% of buildings have been redeveloped since 1997.
When you work in commercial building maintenance, including high level cleaning, like we do, you really get to experience the rich tapestry that makes up London. One site we work on is just by St. Paul’s Cathedral. So we’ll be at the top of a modern, largely glass, office block and can see not only the Cathedral, but the Millennium footbridge and Tate Modern, as well as the Tower of London and a host of City offices like the ‘Cheesegrater’ and ‘Walkie Talkie’ beyond.
This melting pot is captured brilliantly by the City of London’s livery companies. They bring together the very traditional – think gowns and ceremonial halls – with modern business to give people the opportunity network with professionals from across their industry and to get involved in socially responsible initiatives, such as supporting education.
There are 110 such livery companies. Here at CAM, a number of us are Freemen or Liverymen of the Worshipful Company of Environmental Cleaners. In fact, my colleague Matt and I recently organised an event for potential new members so that they could find out more about what being a member of the Worshipful Company really means. In summary, members can network and socialise with over 200 people at work in the cleaning industry whilst also engaging in charitable and community activities.
At CAM, we’re passionate about the cleaning industry, and about attracting bright, ambitious people to join it. We believe the Worshipful Company is highly relevant, combining the traditions and mystique of The City with the changing needs of a major 21st Century Industry. It exists “to encourage and foster the craft of Environmental Cleaning and kindred occupations by means of professional and social intercourse and the mutual exchange of information between those concerned with the craft and those occupations.”
We think that, like London itself, the livery company’s mix of old and new is the recipe for success.