Hobson and Bird made Liverymen of Stationers’ Company


Fenner Paper marketing director Justin Hobson and Kolbus sales director Greg Bird have been cloathed as Liverymen of the Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers.

The traditional cloathing ceremony took place on 4 October at Stationers’ Hall in the City of London.

Hobson, who was made a Freeman of Stationers’ Company in 2015, has been in the paper merchanting business for 30 years, joining McNaughton Paper in the mid-1980s and moving to Fenner, where he is now marketing director, around 10 years later.

Hobson said Stationers’ Company was a vital part of the industry and its history. 

“Stationers’ hasn’t been in my day-to-day environment but when you’ve been in the industry for as long as I have, you do realise the company is there for a reason and it is still very relevant to us as an industry. That’s why I felt it was important to be involved rather than just sit on the sidelines.

“We are one of just a handful of livery companies that still has any relevance to the actual trade it was founded on, which I think is really important. They put on a lot of trade events and not just about ink on paper; they recognise the huge communication remit our industry now covers,” he added.

Becoming a liveryman in same ceremony at the beginning of the month was Greg Bird who also became a Freeman last year. Bird started as an apprentice bookbinder at Butler & Tanner in 1984 and rose to become manufacturing director, before deciding on a change of direction in 2008 and joining Kolbus, where he is now sales director. 

He said: “I was keen to become a liveryman because you are able to be fully involved in the company and that’s really what it’s all about. 

“It is seen as the pinnacle of the printing and journalism industry, so not only do you have the opportunity to meet some of the most influential people within that, but the company does very important work raising money and supporting education around the print industry. I felt that after 30 years it was time for me to give something back.” 

Stationers’ Company dates back to 1403 when manuscript writers and luminators joined forces to create a guild, incorporating the printing trade at the end of the 15th century. The guild received a royal charter in 1557 and became a livery company in 1560.

The company today has more than 800 members: 378 freemen, 537 liverymen and 18 corporate members. 

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