Swan Upping on the Thames 2017

Coachlines - February 2018

15.02.18 Julian Leach

A day in the life of a Livery Committee Chairman

In business, every top executive has honed and rehearsed his ‘elevator pitch’. He must succinctly describe what his business does in less than the time it takes for the lift to arrive at his floor – say 30 seconds. It always helps if there is something in the name that describes what it does. As Chairman of the Livery Committee this is quite a challenge. I usually say that we organise most of the Livery events that are not dinners. This is sort of true, but the Clerk might have something to say, if he heard me.

It is a busy committee that meets four times a year, but a great deal of work continues outside of these meetings. The biggest part of the brief is to devise and organise events that will appeal to our Liverymen. These might be just interesting things to do or particularly related to our aerospace or automotive interests. We try to organise things that are not generally available to the public. The person doing the organising must be mindful of our members’ stomachs and, where appropriate, we’ll include a convivial drink or two. This main brief is a sort of relentless continuum. So, in any year we are delivering the current year and planning the next. Believe me, a great deal of work goes into organising these events but we all have fun, too.

We try to move with the times and with that in mind we have recently appointed Richard Pugh to keep an eye out for what we call pop-up events. These are events that are not known about a long time in advance but crop up from time to time. When something comes into Richard’s view we will quickly organise it. By their nature the events will be ‘no frills’ but relevant and interesting to our membership.

The other important function of the committee is to research and write up candidates for our Award to Industry and provide recommendations to the Court so they can make an informed selection. In addition, there are one or two other less arduous duties.

The committee tries hard to keep its ideas fresh and innovative. I have often been told that the number of these less formal events are the envy of many other Livery Companies in the City. As Chairman, I have met and am still meeting new faces at our events and they are a great opportunity to get to know new people.