About The Guild of Guardians
The Guild of Guardians is a registered charity that aims to improve the quality of the Civic life of the City of Bristol. In partnership with the City, the Guild continues to support and enhance the Mansion House and Office of Lord Mayor. It is unique in that through its membership it affords the opportunity for the private sector to discuss with senior politicians the policies of the City Council. Each year a considerable proportion of the contribution from members’ fees and charity subscriptions is directed towards the building up of the charity fund for appropriate purposes.
The Mansion House
The Guild of Guardians took on as an early project the improvement of the Mansion House to assist the Lord Mayor in carrying out his or her Civic duties and this has remained the prime objective of the Guild to the present day. Over the last 30 years the Guild has gifted to the Mansion House a wide range of improvements to the fabric of the building and its surroundings, as well as commissioning sixty new dining chairs and acquiring sixty place settings of silver and the glassware. Recent projects include the formation of the Guild of Guardians Suite, renewing the Conservatory, improving the Hall and Stairway and new landscaping to the entrance and driveway.
Outside the Mansion House, the Guardians have been responsible for and given their support to a number of local projects. These have included new lighting in the Lord Mayor’s Chapel, the hanging of special hand-painted wallpaper in a restored room in Blaise Castle Museum, support to the Clifton Suspension Bridge Look Out and new gates for the Empire and Commonwealth Museum. The Guild was responsible for reintroducing the extra minute hand on the Corn Exchange clock to signify that prior to 1841 Bristol had its own time in that it was 11 minutes ahead of Greenwich Mean Time.
Additionally The Guild reinstated the office of 'City Waits' and each year two young musicians are selected to receive a bursary to assist in their future education. The recipients have the privilege to be photographed wearing the old 'Chains of Office of the City Waits' which date back to 1648.
In 1994 the Alfred Telling Scholarship was launched to give young people who are resident in the City an opportunity to explore or begin a career and develop initiatives which will lead to a greater development of the individual. A number of young people have now benefited from awards.