24.05.22 The Clerk

Clerk’s Notes – May 2022

Mark The Clerk

Mark The Clerk

On 25th May 1982 I had an interesting day. It started with a long stint on the bridge as the Officer of the Watch through the early hours of the 25th and culminated in a rare opportunity to sleep in my bed through much of the following night in full jim-jams, under the covers and without the need to be on watch until at least 0800 on 26th May. Of course most of the intervening daylight hours had been spent at action stations wondering if it was our turn to catch a bomb or two that day, but for the Royal Navy watchkeeper at sea, the “all night in” was the Holy Grail of luxury.

The reason for me “dipping in” to such an extent on the night of the 25th/26th was that the ship had been tasked to conduct a night time Naval Gunfire Support operation in support of a small group of people that would now be referred to simply as “Special Forces”. These chaps went ashore to cause mischief among the Argentine forces dug in at Fox Bay in the south of West Falkland while at the same time the ship delivered 147 4.5-inch bricks on and around the Argentine positions. As a result, the Action Stations Bridge Watchkeeping Team were on the bridge that night and I was simply not required; no second invitation to retire to my bed was needed.

Unfortunately, Newton’s third law states: “Every action has an equal and opposite reaction”; and so at 0500 on the 26th I found myself in charge of a small rubber boat propelled by a very unreliable outboard motor with two sailors as crewmen, transiting a slightly choppy sea to recover said special ones who had managed to break their own boat in the excitement of the action.

Into a land-locked bay we chugged with no chart, no compass, no weapons, and the simple brief before departure to home-in on the flashing red light in the middle of the bay, locate the special ones and tow them back to the safety of the ship. That we were ultimately successful and the ship got back to San Carlos Water before daylight and the first air raids of the day arrived was a testament to good luck rather than good planning, and it did get a lot more exciting before we were safely back on board. However, when you are young and not fully aware of the significance of the things that are happening around you it helps you to get by.

Forthcoming Coachmaker events

The Banquet

The Coachmakers’ Banquet takes place on 8th June at Guildhall and as explained in the Banquet Update, as the result of a few members now being unable to attend, a very limited number of places have become available. Should you wish to take advantage of this late opportunity contact the Clerk immediately at clerk@coachmakers.co.uk

British Driving Society Show – 19th June 2022

The annual highlight in the BDS programme will take place at Smith’s Lawn, Windsor Great Park on Sunday 19th June 2022. Some places are still available to join the Master and others in witnessing the spectacle of top class turnouts on show in the delightful setting of Windsor Great Park. Picnics and fizz are the order of the day and you can book here.

Visit to the Royal Mews and Champagne Tea at the Goring – 27 June 2022

A private guided tour of the Royal Mews followed by a Bollinger Tea at the Goring sounds delightful but only those who have already booked will be there as all the available places sold out within 24 hours of the advert going live. Was it the tour or the tea that proved to be so attractive? I’ll let you know in the July edition.

Summer Reception – 14th July 2022

The Summer Reception this year will once again be held at HQS Wellington, one of the most interesting river venues in the City – in fact it’s a ship. What could be better? Keep an eye on your e-mails, the advert will go live on the glorious 1st June.

City events

Election of the Sheriffs followed by lunch at Tallow Chandlers’ Hall

Anyone who wishes to exercise their right to vote in the election of the Sheriffs on 24th June at the Guildhall should contact the Clerk as soon as possible for their pass to the Guildhall. Lunch will also be available after the election at Tallow Chandlers’ Hall, at a cost of £62pp inc vat.

The Becket Pageant

The City organisers have asked for the following to be mentioned (in their words):

The upcoming Becket Pageant to be held in Guildhall Yard on the 17th and 18th June 2022 is a Livery event. The Patron is the Lord Mayor and 18 Livery Companies are taking part in the free Livery Craft Fair being held jointly with an especially written musical costume play held in the 600-seater open air theatre, itself being specifically built for the twice-a-day performance (tickets cost £25 and £35). Another 20 Livery Companies are lending their support.
The musical medieval extravaganza is all about Thomas Becket and features professional actors and singers, live music, puppets for the kids and lots of participation. Genuinely fun for all the family.

Here is the link to the promotional video.

And here for the detailed website.

Bookings MUST be made in advance using the link provided on the website and there are seats now available. Note that this is the same time as the ‘Superbloom’ event at the Tower of London where kids can slide down into the moat filled with 2m flowers! (What could possibly go wrong? – Clerk)

Events further afield

Our friends in the north

A few years ago, some well-connected London Liverymen arranged a breakfast in Blackpool for Liverymen who happened to reside in that mystical place called “The North”. Some Clerks expressed concern that it may seduce those for whom travel to London was unattractive, persuading them instead to get their fix of Livery fellowship in the comfort of their local surroundings and potentially turn their backs on “the smoke”. “’Ush tha’ gobs” they were told; and so it came to pass that the Brigantes’ Breakfast begat the Brigantes’ Christmas Party, begat the Brigantes’ Spring Golf Competition begat a newsletter to keep everyone up to speed on what is happening amongst the Dark Satanic Mills. You can read all about it here.

City news

Although some of the dates mentioned have passed, the most recent update from the City Livery Committee can be found here.

And finally

In conclusion this edition, against the backdrop of the tragic loss of Simon Diffey, I thought I’d share this thought. During my naval career, I lost many friends and colleagues far too early through accidents in service or the consequences of their lifestyles. They were always shocking and achingly sad events but I always comforted myself by rejoicing in the fact that I had known them and shared with them their zest for life. I cannot claim to have known Simon well but he always made me smile and his was a life lived to the full. He was an example to us all.