The Lord Mayor is elected by Common Hall, all Liverymen of the City's Livery Companies. Common Hall is summoned by the sitting Lord Mayor; it meets at Guildhall on Michaelmas Day (29 September) or on the closest weekday. Voting is by show of hands; if, however, any liveryman so demands, balloting is held a fortnight later.
Since 1385, prior service as Sheriff has been mandatory for election to the Lord Mayoralty. Two Sheriffs are selected annually by Common Hall, which meets on Midsummer's Day for the purpose. By an ordinance of 1435, the Lord Mayor must be chosen from amongst the Aldermen of the City of London. The people of each of the city's 25 wards select one alderman, who formerly held office for life or until resignation. Now each alderman must submit himself for re-election at least once in every six years. An individual elected Lord Mayor need not relinquish membership of the Court of Aldermen.
The Lord Mayor is then sworn in November, on the day before the Lord Mayor's Show (see below). The ceremony is known as the "Silent Ceremony" because, aside from a short declaration by the incoming Lord Mayor, no speeches are made. At Guildhall, the outgoing Lord Mayor transfers the mayoral insignia—the Seal, the Purse, the Sword and the Mace—to the incoming Lord Mayor.
The system works by naming the intersection of two streets and then indicating if the address is north (上ルagaru), south (下ルsagaru), east (東入ルhigashi-iru) or west (西入ルnishi-iru) of the intersection. What this means is that a building can have more than one address depending on which intersection is chosen.
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