Current Members

Sir James Tidmarsh KCVO MBE

Jay Tidmarsh is Pro Chancellor of University of Bristol and Director of GWE Business West. Jay has a broad range of charitable and community interests. These include Avon Youth Association, BRACE, Bristol Archdeaconry Charitable Trust, Bristol Benevolent Institution, Bristol Cathedral, Bristol Commonwealth Society, Bristol Oporto Foundation, Fitzhandinge Society, Fortuna Charitable Trust, Hartcliffe & Withywood Teenage Parents Project, Merchant Navy Association, Royal Bath & West of England Society  and Young Bristol. He is also the Patron of The Britain Australia Society (South West) and a member of the Cook Society. Jay is a past Master of the Merchant Venturers and recently retired Lord-Lieutenant of Bristol.

Back to Members List


Membership is by invitation to men and women who are prominent in the business and commercial life of the greater Bristol area, and who are prepared to give their time and skills in support of the Merchant Venturers’ objectives.

All the members meet together four times a year at what is known as Quarterly Hall, and again on Charter Day in November.

The Merchant Venturers are governed by the Master and two Wardens. They head a 15-strong Standing Committee of members who are elected annually on Charter Day, 10th November.

Day-to-day administration is carried out by the Treasurer, who is effectively the chief executive. He is advised as necessary by the Clerk, who is a lawyer.