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Sheffield Assay Office Shows its Gratitude to Guardians for their Service

Published: 5th November 2021

On Friday 22nd October, at their annual General Meeting, Sheffield Assay Office gave a special thank you to Simon Batiste, Christopher Jewitt, Sue Payne, Robert Grice, Pamela Liversidge and Chris Hudson all of whom will be stepping down from their roles as Guardians, subject to the rules of the appointments and tenure. Cumulatively as Guardians they have served Sheffield Assay Office for 101 years.

Chairman Charles Turner said:

‘I wish to thank the Guardians sincerely for their service to the Sheffield Assay Office, we have two Guardians retiring leaving the trade or it being incompatible with their new roles:

  • Simon Batiste – previous Law Clerk from 2001 – 2018 became a Guardian in 2005. His promotion to be a Judge in Leeds Crown Court means that he has had to stand down from being a Guardian to be able to fully concentrate on his judicial role.
  • Sue Payne – Trade Guardian joining as a Guardian in 2005. I know Ashley has drawn on her experience of the Local Jewellery trade but she has now retired, although was recently on Radio Sheffield talking about Hallmarking, and I am sure she will continue to support the Assay Office not least as her Daughter Katherine is the organiser for Goldsmith North, the Jewellery and silverware selling event at Cutlers Hall.

Then we have four Guardians that are retiring due to the age restrictions placed in the Hallmarking Act in 1973. In each case these Guardians have been great servants not just to the Office but to Hallmarking as a whole with energy that firmly belies the arbitrary 3 score and 10 years term limit.

First off, we have two members of the Executive that whilst they finish as Guardians today will not be going far as they will continue on the Executive Committee to the end of their term at the AGM next year.

  • Pam Liversidge who was elected as a Guardian in October 2005 and has served on the Exec since 2010 being the lead on Analytical Services and proof reading throughout her time due to her strong engineering background and attention to detail
  • Chris Hudson who has been a Trade Guardian since October 2012 and on the Executive since 2016. As a well-known silversmith of the City of Sheffield he is an invaluable repository of knowledge and support for the Assay Master and the Office.

Now to those that are attending their last Guardians meeting.

  • Mr Robert Grice - Robert was elected onto the Guardian as a Regulatory and enforcement Guardian in October 2003 with his strong background in Trading Standards. Robert has also served his full term on the British Hallmarking Council where he was instrumental in setting up the Touchstone Award for Trading Standards in the Hallmarking arena. Finally, he is also a published author with a deep love of the whole Hallmarking area and has several books already in the library and another waiting to go to print, “Touchstone, Trade and Transgression - A History of Hallmarking, Fraud in Silverware and Precious Metals."
  • Christopher Jewitt - who both brought me into the Office and is also the longest serving Guardian having been elected in January 1996 so has done well over his quarter century in hallmarking. As well as being Chairman of the Sheffield Assay Office from 2004 – 2012 he has also spent six years as the Chairman of the British Hallmarking Council, guiding the industry as a whole through a turbulent period.

The final word came from the Assay Master, Ashley Carson who said; ‘I would just like to thank all the retiring Guardians for their invaluable support and contributions over the years that they have been involved’.

Click here to find out more about The Guardians of the Standard of Wrought Plate

The Sheffield Assay Office was established in 1773, under an Act of Parliament and today the company assays and hallmarks the precious metals - silver, gold, platinum and palladium. Sheffield Assay Office is one of only four UK assay offices who all work to uphold the Hallmarking Act of 1973 and continue to ensure consumer protection for customers purchasing precious metals.

To find out more about the whole range of services offered by Sheffield Assay Office, such as our hallmarking and analytical services, please email us at or complete the contact form on our website at,

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