NINE past presidents, a Cambridge don and a Member of Parliament helped the Hull and Humber Chamber of Commerce celebrate its 175th birthday yesterday with an anniversary lunch in the majestic surroundings of the Lord Mayor’s Parlour in the city’s Guildhall.
Professor Bob Bennett, of Cambridge University, author of the exhaustive 936-page history of the chamber movement, told guests how the organisations were formed in the 18th century as protest bodies for merchants and traders to campaign against the war against America.
“It is the oldest Western set of organised business interests,” he said.
Professor Bennett said the Hull and Humber chamber, established in 1837, was a founding partner of the first British association of chambers and provided its first president, Charles Norwood.
He congratulated Hull and Humber “not just on survival but on rude health”.
Diana Johnson, the MP for Hull North, said the “history of the chamber is enriched with names of historic stature” and gave the vote of thanks.