Wardens and Guardians

Meet the team

The Birmingham Assay Office is not controlled by the trade – unlike the older assay offices and halls which were originally administered by the Guilds – but by a committee of 6  Wardens who are elected from the 36 Guardians of the Standard of Wrought Plate in Birmingham, of whom not more than nine or less than six may be connected with the trade.

Applications for the role of Guardian, trade and non-trade, may be submitted at any time and will be considered when there are vacancies and according to the Office’s skills and experience requirements. Email us for further information.

Below is a list of Wardens and Guardians of Assay Office Birmingham: 

Our Wardens & GUARDIANS

  • - Rachel Eade
  • - Gary Singh
  • - Glenn Hawksbee
  • - Stephen Whittaker*
  • - Henry Deakin*
  • - Tracy Carlton
  • - John Henn*
  • - Marie Chalmers
  • - Peter Crump*
  • - Andrew Lee
  • - Michelle Cartwright
  • - Alison Neate
  • - Gary Wroe*
  • - Andy Moss
  • - Alicky Wibaut
  • - Michael Suter*
  • - Simon Meddings
  • - Charles Barwell
  • - Kate Canty
  • - Gordon Hamme
  • - Gervase Lancaster
  • - Nicola McGowan
  • - David Hendley*
  • - Simon Dawe
  • - Lauren Hartigan-Pritchard
  • - Carla Goodfellow
  • - Petro Nicolaides
  • - Andrew Morton

NOTE:  * Trade Guardian
NOTE : Names highlighted in bold are the 6 Wardens

The role: Wardens and Guardians of the Standard of Wrought Plate in Birmingham

Established by an Act of Parliament in 1773, the company is The Guardians of the Standard of Wrought Plate in Birmingham and trades as The Birmingham Assay Office.  The company formed without share capital, and without legal directors, operates under a distinctive corporate structure overseen by a group of 36 elected Guardians of the Standard of Wrought Plate in Birmingham.  This unique governance model sets us apart from traditional assay offices, as the Guardians play a pivotal role as custodians of the company to ensure the integrity and success of our operations.  Wardens, elected by the Guardians act as officers of the Company and are responsible for the essential oversight of the Office, led by the CEO and Assay Master.

Mandated by the Birmingham Assay Office Order of 1989, the Office is required to be self-sustaining, generating all its revenues through commercial activities, initially restricted only to Assaying and Hallmarking.  The Birmingham Assay Office Act of 1995, enabled the Office to diversify its business activities beyond its traditional role.  The elected Guardians hold the responsibility of safeguarding the Office, and their duties encompass various tasks defined in the legislation and the Corporate Governance Policy, such as:

  1. Attendance at the AGM and Interim meetings, with non attendance at two out of any three consecutive meetings possibly leading to a Guardian being asked to resign.
  2. Appointment of Wardens to ensure the company fulfils its statutory obligations.
  3. Appointment of Wardens to oversee the company’s management.
  4. Approval of the remuneration of the Wardens.
  5. Monitoring the effectiveness of the Wardens’ committee and Sub-Committees in alignment with the approved Corporate Governance Policy.
  6. Ensuring the company remains viable and operates ethically.
  7. Approval of the appointment of Auditors.
  8. Support and promotion of the Assay Office.

In addition to these responsibilities, Guardians may be called upon to provide independent advice, professional guidance, and introductions within their expertise for the benefit of the Assay Office. They may also support specific functional committees, including Remuneration and Appointments, Audit and Finance, and Investment.

A Guardians’ normal term of office is 4 years, after which they may seek re-election up to a maximum term of 15 years.  Guardians must retire at 70 years of age.  Guardians may be elected  as a Warden during this period.  A warden will serve a three year term of office at which point they may be re-elected for another term.  Normally, the maximum term of office for a Warden is six years.

Birmingham assay office

When driving to Birmingham Assay office please note:

  • For Customer drop off and collection please use Moreton St
  • For Visitors please use main entrance on Icknield St 
  • Moreton Street – connects Pope Street and Carver Street. 
  • Pope Street is one way
  • Carver Street is one way and Moreton Street can only be accessed by turning right