Past President of BLS is Bristol’s new Master of the Guild of Guardians banner

Past President of BLS is Bristol’s new Master of the Guild of Guardians

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Nigel Puddicombe, partner at leading law firm Veale Wasbrough Vizards (VWV), has been elected Master of the Guild of Guardians, the not-for-profit body that works to improve the quality of the civic life of the city of Bristol.

A specialist commercial litigator and skilled mediator, Nigel replaces incumbent Martin Whife as Master. During his year long stewardship, he will lead the Guild’s 50 strong corporate membership to help to develop Bristol's traditions and realise Bristol’s trade and commercial potential.

Nigel commented:

In my capacity as Master of the Guild, my chosen theme for the year is to highlight and celebrate what makes Bristol special. Part of that is the City's artistic and cultural heritage. Under my direction the Guild will look to enhance its links with Bristol’s vibrant cultural scene and to promote to a wider audience the numerous merits of the City Waits awards scheme."

Through the membership which currently includes senior executives from prominent business, professional services, banking, media, utilities, education and third sector organisations in Bristol the Guild of Guardians affords an opportunity for the private sector to discuss Bristol City Council’s policies with its senior politicians.

The Guild will also work in partnership with Bristol City Council and in conjunction with the Lord Mayor to support the newly-elected mayor of Bristol, George Ferguson to carry out his civic duties, a role it has fulfilled in relation to the Lord Mayor since its inception in 1978. This includes contributing to the ongoing upkeep and maintenance of the Mansion House on the Promenade in Clifton, the official residence of the Lord Mayor.

In addition, the Guild will focus its efforts on enhancing the traditions and the artistic and cultural reputation of Bristol throughout the region. This includes promoting the Guild’s annual City Waits awards scheme, where two young musicians from Bristol receive from the Guild and presented by the Lord Mayor, £750 bursaries in recognition of their outstanding contribution to the city’s music scene. In addition several other promising young musicians also receive Special Awards from the Guild to recognise their music potential.

The fact that many previous recipients of these awards have gone on to become professional musicians illustrates their significance and the role they have to play in preserving the City’s considerable and much-admired artistic heritage.

Nigel further commented:

The Guild of Guardians has worked tirelessly to enhance the traditions, trade and commerce of the City of Bristol for more than three decades. It is a tremendous honour to head a team of leading businessmen and professionals dedicated to maintaining and strengthening the commercial, social, cultural and artistic reputation of this great city while upholding the City's and the Guild’s fine traditions.”

Nigel, who joined VWV in 2001, has more than 30 years’ experience as a commercial litigation lawyer. He is also a past president of the Bristol Law Society, the oldest local law society in the country.

Each year, the Guild members’ charity fund supports and assists local civic and heritage causes, with past beneficiaries including the lookout at the Clifton Suspension Bridge and the British Empire & Commonwealth Museum. The Guild was also responsible for reintroducing the additional minute hand on the clock on The Exchange on Corn Street.