Freedom of the City of London

TV News London’s Managing Director, Roz Morris has received the Freedom of the City of London.  Roz was awarded the honour in October 2013 in a ceremony at the Chamberlain’s Court in the Guildhall , the headquarters of the City of London Corporation.

She was awarded her certificate by Murray Craig, Clerk of the Chamberlain's Court, pictured left with Roz and the Court Beadle. Roz is proudly displaying her framed copy of her freedom certificate after she had made the Declaration of a Freeman in front of an audience of her family and friends.

The Freedom of the City is one of the oldest surviving traditional English ceremonies and is believed to date back to 1237 when the term ‘freeman’ denoted someone who was not the property of a feudal lord.  From the Middle Ages onwards the Freedom was the right to trade enabling members of a Guild or Livery Company to carry out their trade or craft in the Square Mile.  

In 1835 the Freedom was widened to include not just members of Livery Companies but also people living or working in the City or with a strong London connection.  Roz is a freeman of the livery company, the Worshipful Company of Marketors, and therefore was eligible to apply for the Freedom of the City. The award of the Freedom to her was approved by the Court of Aldermen of the City of London Corporation.

Each freedom ceremony is tailored to the professional interests of each freeman and, since Roz’s work is in journalism, broadcasting, marketing and public relations, Clerk Murray Craig gave a very interesting talk about media luminaries who have received the Freedom. These included Sir Terry Wogan, Sir Bob Geldof, Sir Nicholas Parsons and Sir Henry Morton Stanley, the journalist who made his name in 1871 by finding the missionary David Livingstone in 1871 in what is now called Tanzania and was then known as ‘Darkest Africa’.

He also highlighted other famous people who have received the Freedom of the City including politicians  Margaret Thatcher, Nelson Mandela and Helmut Kohl among many others.  Before 1996, the Freedom was only available to British and Commonwealth citizens but it is now open to people of any nationality. Roz and her audience then left for lunch at nearby Davys at Woolgate Brasserie where Sally Muggeridge, the Master of the Worshipful Company of Marketors, led the event with the traditional toast to Roz  as the youngest (i.e. the newest) Freeman of the City of London.

“This was a terrific day and I feel really privileged to have the Freedom of the City of London,” Roz says. “I joined the Marketors as a Freeman in 2007 and I wish I had applied sooner for the Freedom.  I kept putting it off because of pressures of work and difficulties with many of my family living outside London. However this year I was determined to do it and I am so glad that I did.” 

“It was an amazing and unforgettable  day for me with my own special individual ceremony at the Guildhall witnessed by my family and friends, followed by a splendid celebratory lunch nearby.”

For more info see the City of London Corporation website.  

Published 28 October 2013


Women of the Year Lunch 2013

TV News London’s Managing Director, Roz Morris, attended this year’s Women of the Year Lunch at the InterContinental Hotel in London’s Park Lane, along with more than 400 other women of achievement from a huge range of backgrounds.  Illustrating that, Roz is pictured (Right) with ITV Daybreak presenter, Ranvir Singh, and with June Turvey (87) who plays the piano for a regular weekly sing song every week at the Duke of Kendal  pub  near Marble Arch in Central London.  

Roz is a member of the Nominating Council of  the Women of the Year Lunch and has previously been in charge of the PR for the Lunch. 

Roz’s table at the Lunch also included two of the Ford  Dagenham equal pay strikers from the 1970’s.  Pamela Brown and Sheila Douglass are pictured holding their Women of the Year Lunch Award.  The Women of the Year Lunch was founded in 1955 by the late Tony Lothian OBE, Odette Hallowes & Lady Georgina Coleridge to celebrate women’s achievements. This  year’s Lunch & Awards, which was compered by Sandy Toksvig,   is sponsored by Barclays, Good Housekeeping, Sacla’ and ITV’s Lorraine. This year marks the 59th annual lunch.

The 2013 Women of the Year Award winners are:

Andrea Coleman, Riders for Health co-founder, wins the Women of the Year Award sponsored by Barclays

Andrea co-founded the international social enterprise Riders for Health in 1990 with Barry Coleman. Since then Andrea has been a driving force behind the organisation’s work revolutionizing African transport infrastructure and health systems.

FGM campaigner Waris Dirie wins the Women of the Year Campaigning Award 2013 sponsored by Sacla’

Waris, who was herself the victim of genital mutilation at the age of five, founded the Desert Flower Foundation in 2002 to fight against the worldwide practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) and provide support for its victims. She is the author of five international bestsellers, including Desert Flower, which tells her own life story and have also served to bring the atrocity of FGM into public and political consciousness

Dagenham Women Machinists win the Good Housekeeping Women of the Year Outstanding Achievement Award 2013

At the Women of the Year Lunch to accept the award were eight women who took part in the strikes for equal pay and recognition of skill that took place in 1968, and again in 1984-5, at the Ford car plant in Dagenham, Essex. These were: Vera Sime (83), Eileen Pullen (84), Gwen Davis (81), Sheila Douglass (77), Dora Challingsworth (74), Pamela Brown (59), Sarah Kavia (60) and Bharti Patel (64)

ITV’s Lorraine Inspirational Woman of the Year Award has been won – on a viewers’ vote – by Marilyn Baldwin for her Think Jessica anti scamming campaign. The charity helps old and vulnerable people in the UK who are the potential victims of postal and telephone scams. Named after her Mum Jessica, who was a victim of scammers, the initiative is supported by the local community and local police.

The Awards presentation also featured a short video interview with Malala Yousafzai, who congratulated all 450 women in the room for being women of the year in their own right.  Speaking about education as the route to equality, she said: “My dream is to see equality in the world, to see every girl educated; especially in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Syria, Nigeria and India where they are suffering from terrorism, from violence. Women are very powerful, but they need education to go forward. In my opinion, every woman deserves a Women of the Year Award.”

President of Women of the Year, Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, said: “One year on from that near fatal shooting, Malala has been the recipient of many great honours and awards. Instead we wanted to celebrate her campaigning work and to champion her call for pens and books to be ‘the weapons that defeat terrorism’; so today I am pleased to announce that the Women of the Year Foundation will be making a donation to support girls’ education in Pakistan.”

There were many familiar faces amongst the attendees, with guests including actresses Olivia Colman, Maureen Lipman, Sally Phillips and Sheila Hancock CBE; writer and Children’s Laureate Malorie Blackman OBE; television presenters Lorraine Kelly OBE and Fern Britton; The Everydaysexism Project Founder Laura Bates; TV presenter and journalist Baroness Joan Bakewell OBE.

Helena Kennedy said: “The Women of the Year Lunch is a truly special event, an uplifting and joyous celebration of the women who are making a difference every day to the world around them.

“From the astonishing bravery of Waris Dirie, to the incredible self-belief of the Dagenham women and the extraordinary vision of Andrea Coleman – our winners demonstrate the myriad qualities and talents that women possess, and embody the vast scope of women’s achievements.

“Their triumphs, dedication and passion are an inspiration to women everywhere, encouraging us all to fulfil our ambitions, support others and stand up for what we believe in.”

The winners were selected by a judging panel. Both the President and the Chair of Women of the Year, Baroness Kennedy and Teresa Graham, were joined by a terrific line-up of judges including: Ann Cotton OBE, Founder and President of Camfed and former Women of the Year award winner; Rt Hon Dame Tessa Jowell, MP for Dulwich and West Norwood; Nicola Mendelsohn, VP EMEA at Facebook and Dianne Thompson, Group CEO, Camelot.

Published 25 October 2013