Last night we proudly launched The City of Westmister – A celebration of people and places – at the Halcyon Gallery in New Bond Street to an enthusiastic gathering of people from all walks of life. As the publisher of the book, here what I said in a short address.

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Having lived and worked in Westminster for over 40 years, I am proud to be involved in publishing THE CITY OF WESTMINSTER – A Celebration of People and Places.This extraordinary collection of photographs, the debut work from a very talented photographer with a perceptive eye, is unique, for I can think of no other ‘coffee-table’ book – as this genre of publishing is known – with quite its range.

From portraits of Her Majesty The Queen’s Honourable Corps of Gentlemen about to go and attend the arrival of the President of China to the team that clears the rubbish and cleans the gutters around Piccadilly, The City of Westminster offers a snapshot of the variety and diversity of people living, working or just visiting this special place, reflecting all its range and diversity.

Councillor Davis has, as always, elegantly described the work and importance of the Sir Simon Milton Foundation. My task, as the book’s publisher, is perhaps an easier one – to encourage everyone here tonight to show their generous side and buy as many copies as they can carry home.

Perhaps that’s a cheeky request, but given how all of us here who are invariably proud of this great metropolis, and particularly the venerable City of Westminster, would wish to illustrate to the world our appreciation for the amazing work done to maintain its leading position in every field, whether artistic or commercially driven, my request is understandable and well meaning.

Without further ado, it’s time now for you to dig deep into your pockets and unveil to us the colour of your money, which I hope will be of a substantial kind!

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