Fifer Fiona awarded the freedom of London

Fiona Bowman receiving her award from Murray Craig.
Fiona Bowman receiving her award from Murray Craig.

A Fifer whose career has led to her spending the last 30 years working in the big smoke has been made a Freeman of the City of London.

As well as pledging her allegiance to defending the queen and the mayor of the city, Fiona Bowman now has the historic right to drive her sheep across London Bridge – an honour she is taking up at a fun event later this year.

Although she no longer has immediate family living in the area she has strong links, having grown up on Dysart Road in Kirkcaldy and she attended Sinclairtown Primary and Kirkcaldy High before leaving in 1974, firstly for Edinburgh and then the UK capital.

She’s worked in London for the past 30 years, managing some of the best known buildings in the financial sector, including work for Goldman Sachs, HSBC and Lloyds. She now runs her own facilities management consultancy, Dysart 57 Ltd.

“It’s a fantastic honour for me, not just as a female but as a wee Fifer,” said Fiona (58).

“It is only given to people who have lived or worked in the City of London and who have done things to progress the city.

“It’s very special and I am really honoured to have got it, it’s lovely.”

The historic tradition of granting the Freedom of the City of London dates back to the 13th century, when it then had a practical advantage for tradespeople in the town. Now, it’s purely ceremonial, and recent recipients have included US actor Morgan Freeman and TV personality Fiona Bruce. It is open to people who have lived or worked in the city, and who have been nominated or presented by one of the traditional Livery Companies, for tradespeople.

Fiona was nominated via her membership of the Worshipful Company of Security Officers, and received her honour from Murray Craig, clerk to the Chamberlain of the Court of the City Corporation of London.

Fiona added: “He was lovely, and knew so much about Scotland, he was asking me about Raith Rovers.”

She said: “One of the things I am now entitled to do is drive my sheep over London Bridge and I will be doing that on September 27, when the Company of Woolmen arrange for a delivery of sheep!”

Fiona, nee Clark, now lives in Essex with her husband David.

She joked: “He’s from the East End, but I doubt he will ever receive this honour, as he has never done any of the things required. He is a bit bemused and jokes ‘why is a Jock getting this?’.”