Coachlines - May 2023

28.05.23 The Clerk

Clerk’s Notes May 2023

Mark The Clerk

Mark The Clerk

On 30th May 1906, while conducting trials for revolutionary wireless telegraphy technology, the pre-Dreadnought Battleship, HMS MONTAGU, commanded by Captain Thomas Adair RN, ran aground at Shutter Point on the south-west end of Lundy at 0212 in thick fog and was wrecked. Unfortunately, despite a major salvage operation mounted over several months by the Liverpool Salvage Organisation, the ship could not be refloated.

Captain Adair and his Navigating Officer were court-martialed in HMS VICTORY at Portsmouth in August 1906 on charges that they did negligently and by default hazard, strand and lose His Majesty’s Ship MONTAGU and did “suffer” the ship to be hazarded, stranded and lost. Both were found guilty and were severely reprimanded and dismissed their ship and the Navigator, Lieutenant James Dathan RN also lost two years’ seniority.

At the time, MONTAGU was a modern, well equipped battleship and the RN was understandably keen to get her off the rocks. However, the damage was severe and although much effort was expended in the attempted recovery, eventually it was recognized that the ship was lost and all that could be done was take off as much as could be recycled and leave the rest to the sea. Today, if you are that way inclined, you can dive on the spot on the Lundy coastline and see some of the armour plating, gun turrets and even live shells that still litter the sea bed, although the inhospitable conditions of the Bristol Channel mean that the bulk of her remains have long since broken up.

If you want to read more about the ill-fated HMS MONTAGU follow this link. And yes, it is a website aimed at young people but it is the best layout of the story online that I could find.

Forthcoming Coachmaker Events

Banquet 2023 Prize Draw – 6th June 2023

An update on the Coachmaker Banquet 2023 is featured elsewhere in this edition and even if you are not attending you can participate in the Banquet Prize Draw – simply follow this link.

Wardroom Mess Dinner Style Evening – 14th June 2023

Join the Clerk for dinner in the Guildhall Members’ Dining Room followed by a talk entitled: “The Accidental Warrior – Tales from the South Atlantic”. So far about 30 members and guests have signed up to dine in the Members’ Dining Room of the Guildhall and listen to the Clerk bantering about the time he “were a lad in a strange and inhospitable place”. You can still join them too – book here.

British Driving Society Show – 25th June 2023

Enjoy a picnic and the sight of numerous horse drawn vehicles of all shapes, sizes and styles being driven as they were intended to be driven against the splendid backdrop of Windsor Great Park. To book please click here.

Summer Court and Dinner – Saddlers Hall – 13th July 2023

The final Court Meeting followed by the last major event of this Livery Year will be held at Saddlers’ Hall on 13th July 2023. Join the Master to enjoy a Champagne reception in the private courtyard of Saddlers’ Hall followed by dinner in familiar surroundings of the Saddlers’ Dining Hall. The advert and booking form will go live on Thursday 1st June – keep an eye out for it.

Election Court and Installation of the New Master – 1st September 2023

As is tradition, the election of our new Master will focus on Tallow Chandlers’ Hall and the church of St James, Garlickhythe on 1st September 2023, this year a Friday. More detail will be included in the June edition of Coachlines.

Forthcoming City Events

Common Hall Election of Sheriffs – 26th June 2023

The election of the Sheriffs for 2023/2024 will take place in the Guildhall on Monday 26th June 2023. This year’s Shrieval candidates are:

Alderwoman Sue Langley (Insurer) and Alderman Bronek Masojada (Insurer). Their addresses for Common Hall are here.

Tickets to ease the passage into the Guildhall of Liverymen eligible to vote in this election are available from the Clerk, and lunch for those Coachmakers who wish to partake will be available at Tallow Chandlers’ Hall thereafter for a modest charge, to be notified. Liverymen eligible to vote must have been clothed on or before 31st May 2022. If you wish to participate, contact the Clerk on

Wren 300 Service of Thanksgiving – 27th June 2023

As part of ‘Wren 300’ the Architects and Surveyors Livery Companies in collaboration with M&G Real Estate, the Constructors, Paviors and Wax Chandlers Livery Companies, have organised a service at St Paul’s Cathedral to celebrate the life and work of Sir Christopher Wren (1632-1723); Britain’s greatest architect. The service will take place on Tuesday 27th June at 10:15am, St Paul’s Cathedral. Details of the event are contained here.

The Lord Mayor’s Appeal – Abseil Challenge – 4th July 2023

I received the following email from the Lord Mayor’s Appeal team recently:

I am writing to invite you and the members of The Worshipful Company of Coachmakers to take part in The Lord Mayor’s Appeal Abseil Challenge 2023 which is taking place at the iconic Lloyd’s Building on Tuesday 4th July 2023 in aid of The Lord Mayor’s Appeal.

The Lord Mayor Alderman Nicholas Lyons will be taking part in the challenge and it would be great if you could support him in joining the challenge of abseiling down the front of the Lloyd’s Building which stands at 289ft. The registration fee is £35 and minimum sponsorship target £1,000 per participant.

All participants are shown the ropes by abseiling professionals before-hand and instructors will be able to answer any question you might have. If you are unsure of going it alone you can opt for a tandem abseil and have an instructor beside you helping you down. Participants will also receive a complimentary photo of their descent as a special memento of the day.

If taking part is a step too far, do please sponsor the Lord Mayor via his JustGiving page here. Net proceeds from the event will go to The Lord Mayor’s Appeal, ‘A Better City for All’, supporting three charities – National Numeracy, MQ Mental Health Research and The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. They aim to deliver ground breaking programmes and find solutions to some of London’s most pressing societal issues. In addition, a proportion of the proceeds will also be devoted to a charity nominated by the committee.

If you are interested in registering please do visit the website and fill in our online registration form here or email Catalina Gonzalez-Hirst.

We very much hope to have your registration soon!

Best wishes
The Lord Mayor’s Appeal team

Barts Hospital 900th Anniversary Celebration Concert – 9th July 2023

Barts Charity aims to raise £30m in its 900th anniversary year and to help towards that appeal Barts Choir, originally the Hospital’s Choral Society, is performing at the Royal Albert Hall on Sunday 9th July 2023. If you wish to attend, details from the Chair of Barts Choir explaining the background to the event can be found here.

Other City News

Livery Schools Link volunteer sought

Volunteer Treasurer wanted. Would you like to be involved in a pan-Livery organisation with a mission to help young people in schools in deprived parts of London and elsewhere? The purpose of Livery Schools Link (LSL) is to help students raise their aspirations through links with Livery Companies in the City of London. LSL is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO). Its members are Livery companies who pay an annual fee (the Coachmakers Company is a member). It also raises money for particular projects and its income for last year was about £20,000. The LSL needs someone who would like to be the volunteer Treasurer. It is not a complex or time-consuming job, it just needs someone who likes numbers! If you are interested please contact the Chairman of LSL, Lis Goodwin.

The Company of Nurses receives recognition as Livery Company No.111

The nursing profession has something to celebrate. The Court of Aldermen of the City of London considered the petition submitted by the Court of The Company of Nurses on 15th May 2023 and approved the Company’s recognition as the Worshipful Company of Nurses. The Company joins the other 110 Livery Companies, the oldest of which dates back to the 12th century and will take its place as No.111 in the Livery Companies’ order of precedence.

The Worshipful Company of Nurses was the initial idea of a group of enterprising and determined St Bartholomew’s trained nurses; the Founders of the Company. It is fitting that this historic decision comes during the 900th celebrations of St Bartholomew’s Hospital. The Coachmakers’ Company send the Nurses many congratulations.

And finally

Returning to the opening story, as is often the way, the grounding and loss of one of His Majesty’s finest Grey Funnel Line cruise-ships does not always lead to social rejection, isolation, financial disaster and, as it might be described today, mental health issues.

Lt Dathan went on to make Commander and served throughout the 1st World War; indeed Dathan was promoted to the rank of Commander on 12th December 1914 and after some time with the Dardanelles Salvage Expedition, in November 1915 he was appointed as Salvage Officer at the Admiralty, reverting to the Retired List in 1919. And who said the Royal Navy’s Appointers (now called Career Managers) have no sense of humour.

Captain Adair meanwhile, made Rear-Admiral and after retirement from the Navy, for some years he was Head of the Ordnance Department of W. Beardmore & Co. Ltd, Parkhead Steelworks in Glasgow. However, still keen to do his bit, he was elected to Parliament as a supporter of David Lloyd George’s coalition government and served as a Unionist MP for Glasgow Shettleston from December 1918 to October 1922.

Which perhaps goes to show that running your ship onto the rocks is no barrier to a career in politics.

See you at the Banquet.