In 1953 Mr. Max Miller. a Lighting Engineer, had
the idea that a society should be formed to “foster good fellowship in the
lighting and associated industries allied with benevolence towards charity”.
At the inaugural meeting, the names of fifteen Founder Members were recorded
and the objects of a new Society known as ‘The Lightmongers’ was broadly
defined and a President and other Officers were appointed.
Following the drafting of Object and Ordinances, the “Guild of Lightmongers” was established on the 6th January 1967. Two of the objects being:
(a) To foster the art and science of lighting by bringing together those practising the many different skills involved and to promote goodwill in the industry.
(b) To encourage invention and imagination in the use of light by prize, scholarships and other appropriate means.
In May 1979 a petition was submitted to the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen for recognition as a Company without Livery and this received approval on the 17th July 1979. The petition required the approval and support, which was readily received from the Worshipful Company of Tallow Chandlers and the Worshipful Company of Wax Chandlers.
Following the submission of a further petition to the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen a Grant of Livery was approved by a meeting of the Court of Aldermen on 17th July 1984. The Membership of The Worshipful Company of Lightmongers represents all sections of the Lighting and Electrical Industry and these include Lighting Fittings Manufacturers, Electrical Contractors, Electrical Wholesalers, Public Lighting Engineers, Consulting Engineers and Lighting Research Engineers. The Company maintains very close links with all the professional trade and commercial organisations connected with the Lighting and Electrical Industry, and the majority of the members are also members of one or more of these.
In the field of charity, donations are made annually to both City and national appeals. On a long term basis the major beneficiaries will be charities associated with the welfare of the blind, the partially sighted, the deaf and organisations closely connected to them. The Company continue to extend their educational activities and now its some 18 awards cover students at The South Bank University, The Bartlett, University College London, City University, UMIST and The Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Awards are also given via the Society of Light and Lighting, the Lighting Education trust and other associated industry bodies. A “merit” award is also given each year to a member of our affiliated bodies. For the army to 579 Field Squadron, Royal Engineers; for the Royal Navy to HMS Illustrious and for the Royal Air Force to 606 (Chiltern) Squadron Royal Auxiliary Air Force.
In 1988, an Affiliation was formed with 873 Movement Light Squadron Royal Engineers (V). This Territorial Unit was the only Searchlight Unit in the British Army. Arising from various changes for the Territorial Army in 1992 and more recently the Unit was amalgamated with 101 (City of London) Engineers Regiment (EOD) (V), with the title of 20 (EOD) Squadron and now 579 Field Squadron (LOD) (V).
In 1997 an Affiliation was formed with the Navy and HMS Invincible, one of the three remaining aircraft carriers in the Royal Navy. In 2005 HMS Invincible was de-commissioned and the company formed a new affiliation with one of the two remaining aircraft carriers, HMS Illustrious. In 2000 an initial affiliation was formed with St. Botolphs’, Aldgate, one of the original four city churches, all called St. Botolphs’, which were situated at the gates of the City of London. Our first carol service was held In December 2000, and in May 2002, the formal Service of Affiliation took place. Our affiliation is commemorated with a window in the church depicting the Company Armorial Bearings, which was donated by the then Master l Mr. David Collins.
In December 2001 initial contact as made with Air Vice-Marshall B.H. Newton CB, CVO, OBE, honorary Inspector -General Royal Auxiliary Air Force, and Honorary Commodore of 606 (Chiltern) Squadron Royal Auxiliary Air Force. In March 2002 this affiliation was formalised and 606 (Chiltern) Squadron completed the Company links with all three services. The present Hon. Commodore is Air Marshall Ian Macfadyen, CB, OBE, Constable and Governor of Windsor Castle.
In 2009 the Company added two more important affiliations and these are Ness College, Worcester, for the visually impaired and the Mary Hare School for the Deaf. In 2010 the Company formed affiliations with two Cadet Units; Haringey Sea Cadets - TS Wizard and 56 (Woolwich) Squadron Air Training Cadets.