Guild of Young Freemen Annual Quiz

The Guild of Young Freemen transformed the impressive surroundings of Merchant Taylors’ Hall into an all-out intellectual showdown as their annual inter-livery quiz got underway on the 12th February. There are of course a few similar events across the city during the year, and WCIT’s formidable reputation for quizzing weighed heavily on our shoulders as we arrived.

For those wondering, the Guild’s definition of ‘young’ draws the line at 40 (which I’m sure inspires lively debate), however their events are well-attended by members and guests of all ages. In my book, winning this particular quiz comes second to the real prize: demonstrating that your company has a vibrant and active budding membership!

Always a highlight of the calendar, the event does a fantastic job of bringing together members from across different Companies, including from the increasing number who have created subcommittees or social groups specifically for their younger members.

Being one such company, the WCIT team were keen to intimidate the other teams by displaying just how young we were. We achieved this by strategically answering questions incorrectly about events prior to about 1998 and muttering in mock frustration that certain questions were ‘before our time’. Our plans to play music in public without headphones to help us concentrate were sadly scuppered by a strict ‘no smartphones’ policy.

The team performed well on the music round, quickly identifying pop and rock across a few decades. There was an unfortunate merger of two groups into a fictional Kool & the Sunshine Gang, and we failed to identify the classical piece. Cruelly, no points were on offer for naming the Building Society that deployed it in a recent advert.

The quiz is run by professional events outfit Quiz Coconut – freeing up the Guild’s own members to enter a team (decidedly fishy). One of Coconut’s innovations is the Cryptic Underground Stations round (Where could you be measured for underwear in public? Belsize Park! That sort of thing), and I’m delighted to say that our team scored 3 for 3 in this tricky round.

Overall, we performed well as a team, but were ultimately denied a podium position. The event is a great opportunity to informally meet with younger members from other companies, as is the Guild itself, and we thank them for organising the event (youngfreemen.org.uk). Thanks also to the Merchant Taylors for the use of their beautiful hall – and for crossing ‘enjoy a white-glove service of pizza’ off my bucket list.

Elliott Brooks