02.08.20 The Clerk

Clerk’s Notes – August 2020

“The dog ate my homework” is a simple five-word sentence that has probably been used in the past to describe a real event but which has now become a euphemism for a weak excuse. But is it? During the latter years of my Naval career I became a bit of a specialist in human factors in aviation, having previously graduated with a degree in psychology and served in several posts dedicated to preventing naval aviators and those around them from hurting themselves and breaking things.

Mark The Clerk

Mark The Clerk

To help me in my quest I once wrote a series of articles based solely on the opening statement of “The dog ate my homework” and which were printed in the Royal Navy’s flight safety magazine called Cockpit. From this start point I used the statement to draw out a plethora of answers to questions, many of which were directly related to human factors, and what part in the process did the human (or dog) influence the outcome? When did the dog eat the homework? How did the dog eat the homework? Who left the homework unattended? Questions such as these look at what lies behind the simple statement of what happened to try and understand why did the dog eat the homework? Indeed in accident investigation it is generally regarded that one must ask the question “why?” to at least five levels before the real answer can be established.

This process is all about communicating information and communication itself is one of the most important aspects of human factors in aviation and indeed anything involving human interaction for that matter. This is why it is so important for us to be able to communicate effectively with all the members of the Coachmakers’ Company, not only to advise you of forthcoming events but also to keep you updated about changes to the annual subscription, requests for support and, as has been highlighted by the events of the past few months, simply to keep in touch.

Therefore, as we look towards producing The Coachmaker (incorporating the Directory) for the next Livery year commencing on the 1st September 2020 please, please, please take the time to log on to your personal Coachmaker website page and ensure that your contact details are up to date.

Coachmaker events

One of the reasons that I mention the importance of updating your personal details is that recently a booklet was distributed by post that includes the list of events that it is hoped will be held in the first half of the next Livery year. I hope everyone received their copy but it was discovered that almost 40 members have not yet populated their website entry with their most recent postal address. Ergo 40 copies of the leaflet remain undelivered and at the time of writing 40 members have no knowledge of the efforts that have been made by the Livery Committee to provide an interesting and entertaining programme of events over the next few months, within the constraints of social distancing. The detail will be added to the website by the end of August but please help us to keep you informed by post as well.

London Concours hosted by the Honourable Artillery Company

Tickets for this event are still available. Should you wish to attend follow this link: https://www.coachmakers.co.uk/event/london-concours-hosted-by-the-honourable-artillery-company/

100 Club Draw

Elsewhere in this edition you will be able to watch the carefully choreographed and scrupulously adjudicated 100 Club Draw for the second quarter of 2020 that was conducted via Zoom a couple of weeks ago. Organised by the maestro who is Liveryman John Pearl, John has put together an entertaining and, for two lucky winners at least, a most informative video of the event that occurred simultaneously in Epsom, Winchester and a funny little place in the foothills of the Lincolnshire Himalayas. Not sure if Mr Spielberg has anything to fear but it was fun to do.

Climate change

The City Corporation is keen to hear your views about climate change and want to make you aware that you can now provide feedback through its Climate Action Survey. The survey is live until 31st August 2020 via the website, www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/climateaction. I was asked to advertise this opportunity so you can submit any feedback you might wish to make known.

Battle of Britain Memorial Day 2020

For those who missed the separate e-mail about this year’s BoB Memorial Event please follow this link.

City news

A round up of City livery news can be accessed via this link: insert link to the Livery Briefing

Saddlers’ Hall meeting space

If you want to jazz up your next Zoom meeting or simply appear a lot cooler on screen, the Saddlers’ Company has converted one of its meeting rooms into a high-tech streaming studio. I’m not sure that the Great 12 would approve but if you need to use something like this while you are in London then follow this link.

Shopping legalities

As more people shun the delights of sharing the same retail space as other potential virus carriers leading to more retail therapy conducted online, so the scope for the consumer to be… err… short-changed increases. This link offers a few tips to avoid over-tipping.

Thinking of taking your car into the City?

I think not. Please click here for more information about closures.

A thank you note from the Lord Mayor

Every year the Coachmakers’ Company makes a donation to the Lord Mayor’s Appeal and the Lord Mayor’s letter of thanks can be read here.

And finally

The second half of this livery year is rapidly running its course and what a strange and convoluted course it has been. Indeed, at times it has felt like playing crazy golf across the mudflats of the River Humber while at the same time trying to learn how to play a strange new musical instrument. I know, my dreams are a bit weird too which suggests that it is high time that I took some leave.

I am therefore grateful to the Master who has allowed me and the Assistant Clerk to step away from the keyboards from 3rd-24th August. We are not going away but I hope to exercise one or two of the motor cycles that have languished in the garage for most of this year, and of course we shall be able to ride out on horseback more often than normal. Apparently I am also required to apply some aesthetically attractive liquid to various walls and woodwork and there is also a need to reduce the preponderance of converted carbon that has grown since April on this little patch of Lincolnshire. But hey, as I have been reminded on more than one occasion since March: “worse things happen at sea”. The problem is that I’ve been involved in some of them…

Have a pleasant August and stay safe and well, we look forward to communicating with you again in the new Livery Year.

The Clerk and his glamorous Assistant