16.08.19 The Clerk

Clerk’s news August 2019

Those of you who read every edition of Coachlines and the various other notes that the Communications Committee transmits will no doubt realise that the Annual Banquet was a great success and I am still your Clerk – phew!

Commander Mark Leaning RN en route to the Orkney Islands

Commander Mark Leaning RN en route to the Orkney Islands

And following the end of the active Livery Year the Assistant Clerk and I have been taking advantage of what passes for a lull in the action in our world to catch up on some personal administration and to take a short break. Having convinced the Assistant Clerk that it would indeed be a relaxing experience, we rode 1,218 miles to the Orkney Islands and back on a 32 year-old BMW R80 RT motorcycle. The Master did question the wisdom of my choice of transport but for six days I only had to think about the road ahead, the stunning Scottish scenery, where the next fuel stop might be and what time we would get to the bar; and with no mechanical issues encountered and only two midge bites to report, despite some numbness in the southern regions the Assistant agreed that is should be considered a success. Indeed, accompanied by Liveryman Christopher Tate on his Honda Blackbird with his travelling companion, Clare Newton, we had a great time.

However, reality beckons and we are rapidly approaching the Election Court and Installation Dinner on 2nd September 2019 to celebrate the election and installation of the 342nd Master Coachmaker since King Charles II graciously issued the Company with its Charter on 31st May 1677. I cannot name the name of the new Master because the election is yet to be held but I have my suspicions of who will get the nod. However, if you want to be one of the first to know, there are some places available to attend the dinner in Tallow Chandlers’ Hall and they can be booked via this link.

The next big event after the election and installation will be the Aerospace Industry Dinner on 14th November 2019 at Clothworkers’ Hall, details of which will be promulgated about six weeks prior to the event.

Before that however, those Coachmakers who will be attending the Goodwood Revival on Friday 13th September, either as competitors, pit crew or casual observers, will be encouraged to gather between 1130 and 1300 hrs to share a drink and swap stories. Only those who hold tickets for the event will be able to attend this informal gathering, which will be held in the infield in the vicinity of the Spitfire café and bar. All you need are some beer tokens for the bar, a sense of humour and a willingness to be there even if the weather is unkind. Regular attendees will know that identifying the exact spot to gather is always a challenge so look for the Clerk holding the blue Coachmakers’ umbrella; he will also be attempting to answer the incessant questioning of his five year-old grandson and, if No 1 son is true to his word, be accompanied by his five week-old granddaughter.

Back in the real world, on Saturday 15th June Court Steward Bob Wilson was in Southwick, West Sussex at the Sussex County Croquet Club to defend his title as the 2018 Champion in the Inter-Livery Croquet Tournament, hosted by the Glovers’ Company. Playing with a different partner in this year’s competition, he played a strong game but was not quite able to repeat his success of 2018, nonetheless finishing a very creditable 5th equal out of 18 teams. The full results can be found here.

Looking to the future, the Livery Committee is compiling an excellent series of activities for the ensuing year, the full details of which will be promulgated in the annual Events Booklet very shortly. Do please make every effort to support these diverse and interesting events which are arranged by members of the Livery Committee specifically for your entertainment.

On the wider front, and as I write with only 134 days to Christmas, you may wish also note the City’s original Christmas Market at the Guildhall supporting the British Red Cross. This unique event will be held in the Guildhall on 25th-26th November (follow this link to the advert) and will enable you to experience more than 100 festive stalls selling a variety of seasonal gifts including jewellery, leather goods, exclusive ladies’ and menswear, and artisan foods; you will also get the chance to enjoy live music and a complimentary glass of wine. If you wish to attend, early-bird ticket offers are available at www.redcross.org.uk/guildhall

In the last issue of Coachlines, I asked everyone to keep their personal details up-to-date on the website Directory. Since then the Master has written to everyone to explain how important it is that an up-to-date knowledge of the membership is maintained to provide you with the best possible service; if you’ve not yet done so, please take a few minutes to do it now.

When next I write, the Company will have a new Master, the small but significant changes to the Court which follows will have settled in and although almost everyone serving on the Court will be the same as last year, the dynamic will have shifted somewhat – which is what makes the role of the Clerk so interesting.

Regarding what is interesting some of you will have visited it in its original guise and some of you may have visited already the recently refurbished and expanded version, however if you have not yet done so I can strongly recommend a visit to the Jim Clark Motorsport Museum in Duns. It is a small museum dedicated to telling the story of the most famous son of Duns, to keep his memory alive and it is excellent. Situated in the pretty border town of Duns, not far off the A1, the Assistant Clerk and I can highly recommend it.  Follow this link for more detail: http://jimclarktrust.com/jim-clark-motorsport-museum/

In sum, for those who have been away already, I hope your holiday was as good as mine, for those who are yet to go, I hope your holiday will be as good as mine was and for those who are still on holiday – well, we’ll wait and see…