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The Inner Circle of Merchants Venturers Named

Who are the Merchant Venturers? by Rich Cookson – originally printed in Venue magazine

They exert an awful lot of influence over Bristol, yet nobody seems to know much about them at all. In an exclusive Venue investigation, Rich Cookson names the rich, white, middle-aged men who probably won’t be inviting you to dinner.

A rare glimpse

It’s an overcast day in mid-November. Some 60 distinguished-looking men, all of them white and over 40, are gathered outsideBristol Cathedral. They look impressive in their morning dress – people passing by on College Green shoot glances at them and wonder who they are. After several minutes, one of them checks his watch and marshals them into a line. Single-file, they solemnly process inside – members of perhaps the most influential organisation in Venueland completely disappearing from public view until they gather here again for a few brief minutes next year.


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