Image kindly provided by Kristof Ramon
For those who are regulars to our blog will know that Grant Young has been leading the way at Condor for the past three decades after taking over the role from Condor founder Monty Young. We are all extremely delighted that today Grant is recieveing the Freedom of the City of London.
The Freedom is the highest honour in the power of the City of London to bestow on someone. It has been awarded to Grant for his services to cycling—more specifically his continual drive to keep the skill and art of building high quality cycle frames by hand alive, and the support he has have provided to young London-based riders in cycle sport; riders that include Sir Bradley Wiggins, Tao Geoghegan Hart (both recent participants in the Amgen Tour of California) and Commonwealth games gold medallist Bob Downs.
"I am very proud to be given the freedom of the City, not least because I can herd sheep and cattle of London's bridges" quipped Grant. "It is wonderful that, through Condor's strive to make high quality handmade products, I – and ultimately Condor – has been recognised by the City of London."
The freeman system is one of the last vestiges of late 19th Century/early 20th Century local government. Once upon a time becoming a Freeman meant you could herd sheep and cattle over London's bridges. Traders could take their beasts over the bridge to Smithfield market and save themselves the cost of paying the toll. The traditional freeman role died out after changes to the law in 1835 because of Victorian reform of monopolies and cartels.
The Freedom ceremony will take place today on the 3rd June in the Chamberlain's Court at Guildhall and will be conducted by the Clerk of the Court. Freemen and their guests are escorted to the Court by the Beadle, who wears a top hat and frock coat.
Kristian House, Condor rider and former National Champion, has also been granted Freedom of the City.
Grant Young with Eddy Merckxx and Patrick Sercu - 1970s Six-Day event
A very young Grant Young adjusts an early set of Dura-Ace brakes