Coachlines - May 2018

30.05.18 Cmdr Mark Leaning RN

Clerk’s notes May 2018

When last I wrote, the effects of the March winterettes were still very much in evidence and spring had not yet to fully sprung. What a difference a few weeks make. Having enjoyed the hottest ever early May Bank Holiday since the early May Bank Holiday was invented, the vegetation has long since grown out of control and we are now in the grips of thunderstorm generated floods. What fun it is to live in a temperate climate described by the Oxford English dictionary as denoting “a region or climate characterized by mild temperatures”. Perhaps that might change at the next update.

The Clerk, Cmdr Mark Leaning RN

Much variety also describes the Coachmaker diary of events thus far this year, during which a plethora of events have been successfully organised by the Livery Committee and other officers of the Company. The flagship event of the year, the Guildhall Banquet, also came and went and was generally regarded as a great success. For those who were not there, or who still haven’t looked at the photographs taken on the night, you can do so here.

The Livery Committee will continue to offer a variety of organised events through June and July, the first of which is a visit to the RAF Museum at Hendon, and the annual visit to the British Driving Society Show at Windsor will be held on 24th June. See the events section of the website for details.

In the City, the election of the Sheriffs for 2018/19 will take place at the Guildhall on the morning of Monday 25th June. Unusually this year it will be a contested election as four candidates have put themselves forward for the two places on offer. For those who missed the circulated CVs of the hopeful candidates, please click here. All Liverymen who were clothed in the Livery prior to 31st May 2017 are eligible to vote in this election, tickets for which can be obtained by e-mailing me at Lunch can be taken on completion of the voting ceremony at Tallow Chandlers’ Hall for £60 per person including VAT; again e-mail me if you wish to attend.

Looking towards July, the Summer Court and Dinner will be held on Thursday 19th July in HQS Wellington moored alongside Temple Steps on the Embankment. This is the home of the Worshipful Company of Master Mariners and is a popular venue for Coachmaker events; full details will be distributed in early June.

Concluding the Livery Year, the Lord Mayor, the Rt Hon Charles Bowman, requests the members of all the Livery Companies of London to join him at an exciting outdoor event in aid of the Lord Mayor’s Appeal charities – the Lord Mayor’s Dragon Boat Race Day. The Dragon Boat Race Day will take place at Chillington Hall in Staffordshire, home of Past Master and Mistress Draper, John and Crescent Giffard, on 29th July 2018, and represents a great opportunity for Liverymen to bond at this new inter-livery event. Whether you wish to join with others to enter a team of your own, or simply attend to witness the spectacle, full details and booking forms for boats, teams and spectators are available on the Lord Mayor’s Appeal website .

In other news, I have been asked to remind you that a rather tasty prize awaits five imaginative Coachmakers who have an inkling into what made their predecessors tick. To join the Duke of Wellington and Sarah Bernhardt and enjoy a refreshing glass of Nicholson Original London Dry Gin – made in London from 1736 – please click here.

In pursuit of the Coachmakers’ strapline: “an active Livery investing in young people”, have you ever thought about helping young people to avoid the sort of time consuming mistakes that you made as you took your first tentative steps from the classroom through the lecture hall to the boardroom? Well if you have, consider supporting the next phase of the newly launched Livery Schools Link Volunteering Platform which gives teachers and schools the direct opportunity to request volunteers from a number of Livery Companies, including the Coachmakers. For more details please click here.

A Churchill Fellowship funds people to travel for 4-8 weeks abroad, researching a topic of their own choice that can make a difference to their profession or community when they come home. Recipients can visit several countries and continents, meeting key people in their specialist area and gaining hands-on expertise. On return they make change happen in their workplace or region, among practitioners or policy-makers, at local or national level. Fellowships are awarded in these fields: Artists & makers, Education, Emergency services, Enterprise and social impact, Environment, Healthcare, Migration, Nursing, Rural living, Science, Suicide prevention – and there is an Open category for everything else. Young people aged 18-25 are actively encouraged to apply. Everyone can apply, regardless of qualifications, age or background. You just need to be a UK citizen aged 18 or more. What they’re looking for is bright ideas from people who are keen to make change happen. Applications can be made on their website here ( and the deadline is 18th September 2018.

Drawing to a close, thank you to the 65% of the membership who responded to our request for consent to continue to hold and use your personal data in the continuance of your membership of the Coachmakers’ Company as required by the new General Data Processing Regulation (GDPR). Yes it was a tedious experience for all concerned and yes, you will have noted from the variety of GDPR messages that you have received from other organisations that there are almost as many interpretations of the regulations as there are organisations that fall under the GDPR. However, the Coachmakers’ Company is complying with GDPR in line with the other 109 Livery Companies of London so if you are one of the 35% of Coachmakers who have yet to respond, please help us to comply with the law by clicking here and giving your consent.

And finally, if you’ve ever wondered what it felt like to experience what the partially sighted feel like when leading the visually impaired, you might consider attempting to start the training of a four year-old sports horse with no previous experience in that field. Being attached to half a ton of excitable and opinionated horse flesh by what is effectively a piece of string with the forlorn hope of achieving control makes trying to land one of Westland’s finest egg whisks on a pitching deck in the middle of the night during a snow storm seem almost easy. Unsurprisingly the Assistant Clerk’s advice extends simply to a suggestion to ‘just man-up and get on with it’.

Until the next time – I hope!