This year Morley Riches & Ablewhite nominated Robert Pomery to The Colchester Association for the Protection of Property and the Prosecution of Housebreakers and Thieves within the Liberties of the Borough of Colchester
On the 2nd December 1783 a group of Colchester tradesmen met in the Moot Hall and formed “The Colchester Association for the Protection of Property and the Prosecution of Housebreakers and Thieves within the Liberties of the Borough of Colchester”.
The object of the Association was self-evident from its title and an annual subscription of 11 shillings was required from each member, which financed any prosecutions. Members were also required to pay one half of any compensation awarded to them into the funds of the Association. The first prosecution came in January 1784 when a man was sentenced to a whipping for stealing a pair of sheets from a Member.
In modern times prosecutions have of course passed into the hands of law enforcement agencies, the last arrest by the Association being in the middle of the 19th century. However, since 1805, with the exception of the two World Wars, an annual dinner has been held at various venues within Colchester Borough. Menu cards for several of these dinners, ranging between 1973 to the present day can be seen in Colchester Local Studies Library. The Dinner has become one of the principal local functions attracting speakers eminent in Government, Business, Law and the Armed Services.
It is noted in the records that in the year 1866 there were 171 members which is close to the current membership of just over 200. In order to become a member of the Association it is a requirement that the candidate lives or works within the confines of the Borough of Colchester and has attended the Annual Dinner at least once before as a guest. If this criterion has been achieved then the candidate must be proposed and seconded by two existing members at the Annual Dinner. The proposal must take the form of a rhyme, the subject of which will contain some details of the candidate’s business and personal life. Acceptance of any proposal is determined by the volume of applause by the assembled gathering.
Peter Riches and Jon Ablewhite have been “Thieves” since the late 1980s. This year Peter had the pleasure of proposing Robert Pomery at the annual dinner held on February 7th. Here is Peter’s poem and we are pleased that the volume of applause was enough for Robert to become a Thief.
Born in the 60s to a military man
Moved to Thirsk and became a Leeds fan
With the demise of Don Revie
And arrival of Cloughie
Robert decided he needed a plan
His father, he wasn’t a fool
He sent Robert to Stanway School
But at Lexden Grange
You may find it strange
He became Head of Development Control
Robert was born in Berlin
Despite this, he said with a grin
My name is Rob
I do a good job
I’ll get you planning before you begin.
In 98 he married Corine
(She’d never been to Berlin)
With little palaver
They produced baby Tara
Followed later by little Erin
This gamekeeper decided on poaching
So went to work with Andrew Martin
It wasn’t that tough
But he’d soon had enough
So decided to do his own thing
In 2011 he set up Pomery Planning Consultants which is a rubbish name for a business as it doesn’t rhyme with anything!!!
So gentlemen I will be brief
His credentials will give us no grief
He may support Leeds
But there are no other mis-deeds
Robert Pomery should be elected a thief!