Coachlines - February 2024

28.02.24 The Clerk

Clerk’s notes – February 2024

Reading through the weighty tome entitled: The Royal Navy Day By Day, I was not surprised to find fewer entries than normal for the day of 29th February.

However, during the Egyptian and Sudanese Wars of 1882 and 1884-1885, Captain Arthur Wilson RN was involved in command of HMS HECLA. For reasons not mentioned, on 29th February 1884 he marched out to the battle of El Teb with an infantry square, purely as a spectator. However, during the battle the square broke. Springing into the gap, he beat off the Dervishes single-handed and when his sword broke, he used his bare fists, despite a head wound.

His action saved the day and he was recommended for the Victoria Cross, though he remained unmoved by what he had done. Returning to his ship, he wrote home: “I have just returned from a very pretty little fight.”

Clearly a man of few words, a typical entry in his diary later recorded: “Docked ship. Awarded VC.” 

He went on to become an Admiral of the Fleet and serve as the 1st Sea Lord in 1910.

Company news

Forthcoming events

United Guilds Service – Friday 15th March 2024

The United Guilds’ Service will be held in St Paul’s Cathedral followed by lunch at Tallow Chandlers’ Hall. The Service starts at 1100 hrs and lunch follows, commencing between 1230 and 1300 hrs. Tickets for the service are free of charge but strictly limited, the cost of the lunch is usually about £80pp including VAT. If you wish to attend contact the Clerk at

The Automotive Industry Dinner 2024 – 21st March 2024

The Automotive Industry Dinner will take place at Carpenters’ Hall in London on 21st March 2024. If you have not yet booked your place, there are still some available so book here.

Banquet 2024 – Friday 17th May 2024

The planning process for the Coachmaker Banquet 2024 is now well advanced and 65% of the available places have now been booked. If you have yet to make your booking, please do so without delay; tickets can be purchased here.

Banquet 2024 – Prize Draw

The prizes in this year’s Banquet Prize Draw are spectacular and highly desirable. Full details of the Prize Draw can be found here.

Swan Upping on the Thames Tuesday 17th July 2024 

A date for your diary; the Coachmakers has secured a launch from Hobbs boatyard at Henley on Thames in which to travel downstream to support our fellow Livery Companies, the Vintners and Dyers and to observe the Uppers in their traditional skiffs carrying out the traditional responsibility of the swan markers catching and ringing this year’s cygnets. The centuries-old majestic scarlet uniforms are still worn and all the ancient traditions are observed. It is a sight to be seen. Mark the date in your diary, the book will open in late May/early June.

City News

World Traders’ International Women’s Day Event – Thursday 7th March 2024

The Worshipful Company of World Traders, in association with Goodenough College, is hosting a celebration of International Women’s Day with the theme of Women’s In-Visibility. The theme is supported by music, art, and poetry from both Livery and Goodenough members, which will be displayed throughout the main hall, forming thought provoking, informal talking points and providing a networking opportunity. For details about the programme and booking information follow this link.

State Trials and Error – 18th-21st March 2024

Featuring a star-studded cast (I am told) from The Bar, judiciary & the City, the Trials and Error returns to Court Number One at the Old Bailey. Proceeds from ticket sales are shared between The Sheriffs’ & Recorder’s Fund helping prison leavers, Pan Intercultural Arts, Arts for Social Change, and The Schools Consent Project.

More details can be found here.

Tickets £70 each, or premium dock and jury box £110 each. Tickets for rehearsals are £40/£65 each and all are now available: Book here:

Drinks party at the Old Bailey –  Thursday 4th April 2024

A drinks party is being held at Old Bailey on 4th April 17.30 to 20.00, primarily for anyone involved with the Livery who lives in the Woldingham, Oxted and environs. This is being hosted by and for Alderman Bronek Masojada and his wife Jane, who when not living at the Old Bailey are Woldingham residents. This is primarily a meet and greet/networking event for anyone involved with the Livery in its widest sense (Freemen, Liverymen, Clerks, Consorts etc) who live, work or play in the Oxted/Woldingham areas. This could include Caterham, Warlingham, Merstham and further afield. Many may not have visited the Old Bailey before, so tours will be offered and all proceeds will support the Sheriffs’ and Recorder’s Fund. There is a small charge of £15 per person, if you wish to attend please register here: Livery Reception – Woldingham, Oxted and Environs. Tickets are limited.

All at sea – reply by 7th April

The City Livery Yacht Club is arranging charter boats for those who wish to participate in this year’s Inter-Livery Regatta on 18th May, but who are unable to get a space on a livery or club boat. Each boat will be captained by a qualified skipper, which should give you a competitive chance in the racing. If you’re interested in booking one of these spaces we invite you to complete this short survey, by 7th April, which will assist in ascertaining how may charter boats are required:

The Lord Mayor’s Big Curry Lunch – Thursday 18th April 2024 

More details will appear next month. For now, follow this link: 

Longitude – a musical entertainment for the times – 13th June to 7th July 2024

My good friend the Clerk to the Architects’ Company tells me that Longitude is a new musical about the 18th century clockmaker who solved the sailors’ problem of finding their bearings at sea. The accuracy of his sea clocks changed the direction of time-keeping across the world, saved thousands of lives and opened up the world to trade. Now you have a chance to experience the world premiere of this story. More details can be found here.

The Household Division presents a military musical spectacular ‘celebration’ – 16th-18th July 2024

If you like your marching bands in red tunics, this is for you – a spectacle of sound and colour featuring the Massed Bands of the Household Division, Massed Pipes and Drums and the Mounted State Trumpeters in a celebration of military music. Set on the historic Horse Guards Parade in the beautiful surroundings of St James’s Park, the Military Musical Spectacular recognises the power of music as a universal language together with a unique celebration of iconic rock artists from across the land, accompanied by a stunning pyrotechnic finale with a moment of reflection to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

A showcase of stirring world class military music and precision drill combine in an unforgettable thrilling evening of the very best of British military music and pageantry. Fireworks, massed bands, horses – an event not to be missed.

Book your tickets here: