Protecting the Consumer and Servicing
the Trade with Independence and Integrity

IMG_3491 This year’s Annual General Meeting of The Guardians of the Standard of Wrought Plate in Birmingham, otherwise known as The Birmingham Assay Office,  marked a succession of “firsts and lasts”. There was a good turnout for the meeting and an extremely positive mood amongst Wardens, Guardians and the Senior Executive of The Assay Office.    The Act of Parliament which founded the Office requires the appointment of a maximum of thirty six “Guardians” who can  appoint up to nine Wardens, as a Board of what are effectively non Executive Directors.  Only one third of Wardens or Guardians can be from the Trade, leaving the balance of power with the laymen.   [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="307"]IMG_3495 L-R: Kate Hartigan with Stella Layton[/caption] It was Kate Hartigan’s first AGM as Chairman of the Wardens and Stella Layton’s first since the announcement that she will be the next Chief Executive and Assay Master, when Michael Allchin retires in early 2014. Stella has been a Guardian of the Office for several years and her new appointment was very well received by her peers attending the AGM .  Michael delivered his usual informative and entertaining view of the year, and in his last AGM report as Chief Executive Report made some astute observations about the way the market has changed since he joined The Birmingham Assay office in 1998,  and will continue to change in the next few years.   [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="384"]IMG_3493 L-R: Kathy McMillen (Hallmarking Operations Manager) with former Chairman Kay Alexander[/caption] Warden and former Chairman Kay Alexander stepped down as a Warden, although she remains a Guardian and Norman Price retired from the Wardens and the Guardians as he reaches the age threshold of 70 this weekend, but he will continue to work with the project team focussing on the new building.  [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="307"]IMG_3492 Norman Price with Kate Hartigan[/caption]  Kate Hartigan thanked Michael Allchin for the excellent job he has done over the past 15 years and congratulated him on his success in diversifying the business. The meeting concluded with a buffet lunch, allowing the Guardians, who come from a very wide range of professions and interests, to exchange views and ideas and demonstrate their support for The Birmingham Assay Office.   

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