Alex Nelson Profile
Third Warden of the Clothworkers Company in London
Chair of the Clothworkers Foundation
Owner of the Chester-le-Track business
Alex who is 55 years old is a Londoner by birth but now resides locally in Co. Durham.
He first visited the City in 1979 when on holiday with his family in Haydon Bridge and went on a tour of the Castle with a student guide. He applied to study Geography at University College (based in the Castle) and graduated in1983, having been Chapel Clerk and JCR Secretary.
Alex's first job at the age of 15 was as relief receptionist at the Worshipful Company of Clothworkers in London (earning 60p per hour), where his father once worked, and he joined the freedom and the Livery in the early 1990s.
Professionally, Alex trained in the bus industry in Norfolk and returned to the North East in 1985 and having switched from buses to railways, now lives at Pelton near Chester-le-Street.
His business, Chester-le-Track, employs eight people, operating the railway stations at Chester-le-Street and Eaglescliffe.
He is now an active member of the Clothworkers' Company, currently serving as Third Warden, and is Chairman of the Clothworkers' Foundation which distributes around £5m per annum. He has also edited the annual magazine Castellum for the past 30 years for the Durham Castle Society.
The Clothworkers Company
The Clothworkers Company was founded in 1528 by the amalgamation of the Fullers and the Shearmen and they built their first Hall on the site of the Shearmen's Hall close to what is now Fenchurch Street station.
Of the 110 livery companies in the City of London, the Clothworkers ranks twelfth and is therefore one of the Great Twelve Companies, according to the list of seniority compiled in 1515 and not revised since, apart to add additional companies which are formed to the end of the list.
There are three grades of membership: Freedom, Livery and Court of Assistants (to The Master) and Alex is a member of the Court of Assistants, Third Warden, and also Chair of the Clothworkers' Foundation which was established in 1977.
Women have been admitted to the Freedom for many years. The first female Master, Mrs Carolyn Boulter, is expected to be elected in June 2017 to serve for the year ensuing.
Events at the Hall are formal but not stuffy and members enjoy fellowship over a long period. Alex is looking forward to meeting the Freemen of Durham at their Annual Dinner in October.