Mark The Clerk

25.04.22 The Clerk

Clerk’s Notes – April 2022

Naval historians like to talk about the big picture, the grand strategic view, the command perspective. Quite often the mundane detail that sits behind significant events is lost or represented in such a way that it fails to truly capture the human element of the moment.

Of course that is not true in all cases but there are so many personal stories that are never heard and so many fleeting moments that make up significant events that are lost without record. I therefore offer a couple of snippets that highlight a little of the human element behind the first significant event of the Falklands’ campaign.

On 25th April 1982, HM Ships ANTRIM, PLYMOUTH and BRILLIANT with HMS ENDURANCE and RFA Tidespring in support, landed Royal Marines on South Georgia to retake it from the Argentine invaders. A few days later, in accordance with Royal Navy procedures, the Gunnery Officer of HMS PLYMOUTH submitted the requisite gunnery return for the month of April 1982. In his report on the performance of the ship’s gunnery that day, in the box that enabled free text to be inserted he wrote: “Serial assessed successful, enemy surrendered on completion”.

At a lower level, the officer in charge of PLYMOUTH’s Forward Damage Control Team, one Sub-Lieutenant Leaning, thankfully had little to do during the main part of the action on the 25th. Indeed, the bombardment by PLYMOUTH and ANTRIM was so successful that it enabled the Royal Marine Landing Party to encourage the main body of the occupying Argentine force to surrender without the Royals having to fire a shot. As a result, the boy Leaning unexpectedly found himself with nothing to do; and so he read a book. At the time it was difficult for him to decide which was the more surreal: finding himself in the South Atlantic engaged in real action instead of sitting alongside in the West Indies looking forward to the next cocktail party, or while the guns fired 166 rounds of 4.5-inch ammunition from the deck above his head finding himself reading the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Part One.

And 40 years on he still can’t make up his mind about that.

Coachmaker future events

Visit to RAF Brize Norton

On 28th April, the delayed visit to RAF Brize Norton will take place. Owing to the change of date a couple of places are still available, so if you would like to visit the Coachmakers’ affiliated RAF Air Station which did so much to support the Falkland’s task Force in 1982, contact the Clerk today at

Visit to Fenix Carriages & Driving Centre, Devon

On 3rd May, the Master invites you to join her for a visit to the Fenix Carriages & Driving Centre in Devon; full details can be found here.

IAM RoadSmart event

And on 24th May, you can join the Master to hone your driving skills with IAM RoadSmart. Billed as an interactive driving experience based on the Institute of Advanced Motorists RoadSmart Advanced Driver course, full details can be found here.

Visit to the Royal Mews and tea at the Goring

Full details about this event will be promulgated in due course but please note that the date of this event has been changed from 28th June 2022 to 27th June 2022.

Concours d’Elegance

Looking a little further ahead, if you prefer to enjoy your vehicles parked in iconic surroundings with a glass of Champagne in one hand then it’s nearly Concours time. For details of two of the most prestigious automotive concours events in the UK, one in June and one in September, follow this link.

Other events coming up in and around the City

Worshipful Company of Distillers’ City Debate 2022 – Tuesday 17th May 2022

Join Chris Porter, Master of the Worshipful Company of Distillers, with guests from the spirits industry, analysts, media, the City, Distillers’ Liverymen and Masters and members of other Livery Companies for a lively debate about the consumption trends of today’s younger generations and whether they will have a significant impact on the future shape of the spirits industry. This will be followed by a vote and an opportunity to discuss further the topic over drinks and canapes. Tickets cost £20 per person and full details can be found here.

367th Festival of Clergy Support Trust Service

This year’s Festival Service at St Paul’s Cathedral will be held at 5pm on Tuesday 24th May. Described as a spectacular moment in the City and Church calendar, it is returning after a two-year hiatus. Following the Service there is a Festival Dinner at Merchant Taylors’ Hall for which tickets cost £100 per person and full details can be found here.

The Carmens’ Big Day Out

The Worshipful Company of Carmen invites you to take to the wheel of your vintage or classic car for THE PORTSMOUTH DRIVE on Saturday 28th May 2022. Full details can be found here.

The Becket Pageant for London and Livery Crafts Fair

Tickets for what is described as: “the exciting new musical “London’s Turbulent Son”, centre-piece of The Becket Pageant for London and Livery Crafts Fair” which will take place in the Guildhall Yard on Friday 17th and Saturday 18th June 2022 are now on sale. Full details of both the musical performance and the pageant can be found here.

The 7th Reflections of the Lord Mayor – 20th June 2022
Full details can be found here.

Fer them’s that live in’t North

The 2022 Brigantes Breakfast, the Northern lunch for City of London Liverymen and their guests, will be held at the spectacular Grade 1 Tower Ballroom, on Blackpool’s seafront on Thursday 30th June 2022. Alderman and Sheriff Alison Gowman and former Lord Mayor Sir Andrew Parmley (a Coachmaker of this parish) are the Principal Guests. Please download the booking form, fill it in and send to

Full details and a booking form can be downloaded direct here.

City news

Livery Climate Action Group

The latest update from the Livery Climate Action Group can be found here.

Pollinating London Together

The latest news from Pollinating London Together can be found here.

City and Guilds

If you want the latest update on the City and Guilds Transport (Auto Rail and Marine) qualification, follow this link.

Forthcoming Aldermanic Elections

For those who have an interest in these matters, the first round of Aldermanic elections will take place on 25th-26th May 2022. The wards are Aldersgate, Cordwainer and Cornhill.

Ward lists

These are available for all those interested in standing.


A briefing will be held on the week commencing 20th April 2022, in Guildhall Committee Room 1 at 17:30 for all those interested in standing in these three wards.

All relevant parts of the candidates pack available on the City Corporation website and hard copies are available to collect from the Guildhall, West Wing.

Key elections dates

25th April – Notice of election. Earliest date nomination papers can be submitted.
3rd May, noon – Deadline for submission of nomination papers
5 May – Publication of statement of persons nominations (list of validly nominated candidates)
11th May, 5pm – Deadline for applications of new postal votes and amendments to existing postal votes (including cancellation)
16th May, 5pm- Deadline for applications for a new proxy vote
25th May – Wardmotes
26th May – Polling day

And finally

It is 40 years since the Falklands’ Task Force was dispatched 8,000 miles from the UK to retake British sovereign territory from the clutches of a hostile foreign invader, and it is right to remember the significance and the success of the venture, albeit that it was a “close run thing”. However, today barely 1,500 miles from the UK, a full blown war is again being fought on the European Continent to repel a hostile invader. There are many parallels but it would be wrong to directly compare the two given the scale of the challenge facing the Ukrainians and the fact that so many civilians are suffering directly as a consequence of the fighting.

So to end on a less bleak thought, the current images that assail us via the TV have reminded me of the stark difference between naval service and military service which is mainly characterized by the presence or absence of mud.

You see those of us who served in ships were able to take our bedrooms, lounge, dining room and bathroom to war and commensurately were able to maintain some semblance of creature comfort, even in the hostile environment of the South Atlantic.

Maintaining such facilities relies upon strict routine but occasional reminders. Therefore on 25th April 1982, as HMS PLYMOUTH prepared itself for the Royal Navy’s first action in 30 years, in Daily Orders that day the First Lieutenant restricted his general instructions to the Ship’s Company to one very clear, but in his view germane instruction. It read thus:

Action Stations: Today might well be the real thing and damage must be expected. Therefore all messes and compartments are to be properly secured, ensuring that all bunks are fastened and gash of every description is ditched by 0730.

To paraphrase Captain Kinross of HMS TORRIN in David Lean’s 1942 film “In Which We Serve” – “…a clean ship is a happy ship, and a happy ship is an efficient ship…

And he was right.