04.02.20 The Clerk

Clerk’s Briefing – February 2020

With Christmas and the New Year now a fading image in the rear view mirror of 2020 and almost half of this Livery year gone, the natural environment surrounding the Old Barn seems to have been fooled by the unseasonal weather to believe that winter is over and spring has sprung. Daffodils are emerging from the ground, other varieties of plant life appear to be stirring from their winter slumber and the first baby rabbit of the year has been sighted. The world has gone mad some might say, and with the national political system still doing its best to caricature the circus genre, and with Dr Who having recently met a version of herself that neither of them was previously aware – who could blame them?

However, back in the comfortable reality of the Livery I can report that the Winter Livery Dinner on 19th January appears to have been well received. Held in the charming yet ‘cosy’ Watermens’ Hall (see the Roving Reporter’s Report elsewhere in this edition), it was a sell-out event with some willing attendees left unable to book a seat at the table. The electronic advert for the Automotive Industry Dinner on 19th March will go live on 6th February so please don’t fall into the trap of delaying your booking until nearer the time because although Drapers’ Hall is somewhat more capacious than Watermens’ Hall, I have some intel to suggest demand for seats will be high.

You will also read elsewhere in this edition that the Banquet will be held on 28th May 2020 and will celebrate 100 years of Bentley Motors; it should be another fun evening in the magnificent surroundings of the Guildhall – or at least that’s what I’ve convinced the Master. The book will open on 28th February.

City News

The latest edition of the Livery Briefing newsletter can be found here. I hope that you find it interesting and useful. Please note particularly the Lord Mayor’s Big Curry Lunch on 2nd April; booking details are included.

You may also be interested to read about some of the City of London Corporation’s work on behalf of financial and professional services here.

Following the London Bridge terror attack on 29th November 2019, flowers laid at The Monument were taken away to be composted, and the resulting compost made available to the families of the victims. On 12th January 2020 non-floral tributes, including messages, cards, and candles, were carefully removed following prayers on the site, to be stored at the City of London Corporation’s London Metropolitan Archives.

Wider Livery activities

An invitation to enter the Inter-Livery Golf Croquet Tournament 2020 has also been received. Hosted by the Glovers’ Company, it will be held at Sussex County Croquet Club, Kingston Lane, Southwick, BN43 6YW on Saturday 13th June 2020 (09:30 for 10:15 start, ending at c 16:30). If you fancy joining Court Steward Bob Wilson, resident Coachmaker croquet ninja, who has already signed up to lead the charge on behalf of the Coachmakers, send me an e-mail clerk@coachmakers.co.uk and I’ll put you in touch with Bob.

Past Masters’ archive

During the past year Nigel Pullman, a former Sheriff of the City who is well known to this Company, has been compiling an archive of all known Past Masters of the 110 livery companies (and the Parish Clerks and Watermen). While this project can never be fully complete, he is happy to report that every Company, bar one, has now provided at least some of their Past Masters’ names.

The resulting database (Excel spreadsheet) is now available to provide information and be of help to historians, genealogists and archivists, as well as to those with a more contemporary interest in the history of their recent Past Masters/Prime Wardens.

But with 110 companies listed, and modern companies back to their formation, and some ancient ones back to the middle ages, beware there is a daunting amount of data listed (including monarchs, lord mayors, sheriffs, prime ministers etc). However, it is arranged for ease of sorting and searching by surname, and will repay a little patience by those less familiar with Excel spreadsheets.

The archive spreadsheet is online at http://www.liverycompanies.info/a-z-list-of-companies/past-masters-archive.html, from where it may be downloaded.

Should you have difficulty downloading the Excel spreadsheet, please email Nigel to request a copy at nrpullman@btinternet.com

And finally

As diaries become ever more congested, everyone seems to be planning further and further ahead and yet no-one seems that keen to adopt the 36 hour day and 10 day week to address this growing problem. Therefore, in an attempt to reduce the impact, the Coachmaker programme for the Livery Year of 2020/21 is in an advanced state of development and details will be promulgated as soon as they have been finalised.

For now however, please plug one important date into your diary that goes far beyond next year so that you can guarantee you will be available to attend the event on the night.

On 31st May 2027 the Coachmakers’ Company will celebrate the 350th anniversary of the signing of its original Royal Charter by King Charles II on 31st May 1677 by holding its Banquet in the Guildhall – the Guildhall has been booked and you can now enter the date into your diary too.

Until next time.