I needed to find out more about the Worshipful Company of Ironmongers for a paper I’m writing, so I bought a second-hand copy of the company’s official history for £6 from AbeBooks.
Inside I found this dedication:
Peter Grooke – now Baron Brooke of Sutton Mandeville – was Conservative MP for the Cities of London and Westminster for many years. He was Secretary of State for Northern Ireland at the point this book would have been given to him. I’m not sure why he was presented with a copy: presumably some link with the company, although I can’t find one.
Whether he read it is a different matter. The book is in excellent condition apart from a very faded spine. Some of the pages had to be pried apart as I was reading it. So it has clearly just sat on a shelf for twenty-five years…