Coachlines - November 2022

23.11.22 The Clerk

Clerk’s notes November 2022

The Court Meeting which preceded the recent Aerospace Industry Dinner (see separate report in this edition) marked the 10th anniversary of the Court Meeting at which I was sworn in as the Clerk to the Coachmakers’ Company. I would like to thank everyone who has tolerated my efforts to provide Clerkish support to the Company during what has been an interesting journey, of which just over 18 months remains.

A number of folks have asked me what I intend to do when I finally hand back my badge, gown and quill and beyond a bit of estate management, the following two photos pretty much covers it:

Forthcoming Coachmaker events

Carol Service – 8th December 2022

Join the Master for a jolly Carol Service at St James, Garlickhythe and then some festive cheer at Tallow Chandlers’ Hall. There are still places to be had and full details are here.

Award to Industry Dinner – 19th January 2023

The Award to Industry Dinner will be held at Saddlers’ Hall on 19th January and the booking form will be distributed shortly, keep an eye on your in-box.

Studio 434 visit – late January 2023

A visit has been arranged to view the incredible car collection at Studio 434. Keep an eye on your inbox for details.

Other City events

Sparkly stuff for Christmas – 29th November 2022

Join some serious purveyors of sparkly stuff at Goldsmiths’ Hall on Tuesday 29th November from 6-9pm, for an exclusive evening of luxury Christmas shopping featuring work from 16 craftsmen of repute.

Each of the jewellers and silversmiths in attendance will have pieces available for you to buy on the evening or that could act as inspiration for a very special New Year commission and there will be festive canapés and sparkling wine for all.

Space at this free-to-attend event is limited and for security reasons everyone who attends must have registered in advance. So if you would like to join the festive celebration of the best silver and jewellery being made in the UK today, follow this link and register now.

Lord Mayor’s Big Curry Lunch – Thursday 30th March 2023

The Lord Mayor’s Big Curry Lunch is a City fundraising event held at Guildhall each year. The Lunch is an event with a difference: unlimited curry and drinks, buffet service, and bench seating all create a lively, casual, and convivial atmosphere. A dedicated area for sponsors and those with groups of 10 or more allow for hosting and networking opportunities. There are Livery stalls set up throughout the event which provide excellent shopping opportunities, and auction prizes give you the chance to bid on ‘money-can’t-buy’ experiences. Added to all that, the event raises funds to support helping veterans of HM Armed Forces into employment from all three services. Tickets are on sale now – please click here.

Framework Knitters ‘Knit for Community’

As the darker and colder months approach the Framework Knitters would like to publicise their ‘Knit for Community’ initiative to the Livery. They hope that some may be happy either to take part or to tell others who they think would be interested. There is sadly a growing need for their bed blankets and lap blankets, and with the cost of energy having risen so much they are keen to continue helping as many individuals as possible. Full details can be found here or via the Framework Knitters’ homepage at They have been delighted to receive support from members of nearly 40 Livery companies, with many people saying how much they had enjoyed having something positive to do in the evenings. The project is 100% volunteer run and the Framework Knitters have only been able to help so many individuals in need with the Livery’s help. If anyone would like any further information please email Liz Green directly at

Other City news

Work on new law courts and City of London Police HQ begins

The City of London corporation, the Ministry of Justice and the City of London Police are celebrating the start of construction on the civic scheme to boost the justice system’s work to crackdown on fraud. Funded and delivered by the City of London Corporation, the Salisbury Square development on Fleet Street will house the City of London law courts and a state-of-the-art HQ for the City of London Police. With 18 court rooms the law courts will combine magistrates, civil and crown courts in one flagship facility, which will harness new technology and modern working methods to try economic crime cases. As the lead force for cyber and economic crime, the new HQ will equip the City Police with the tools needed to face the challenges of 21st century policing.

London Wall West plans revised

The City corporation is to reduce the size of proposals to redevelop Bastian House and the existing Museum of London site in response to feedback from extensive public consultation. The width of the building proposed to replace the museum will be reduced by three metres, and the building proposed to replace Bastion House by two metres. The scheme’s design team will now amend the design and prepare a 3D model such that a final proposal for the London Wall West redevelopment can be presented next year ahead of a planning application. The proposals ensure a viable future for the site supporting the City’s recovery and meeting the robust demand for high quality modern and sustainable office accommodation.

In conclusion

On Remembrance Sunday in the 40th anniversary year of the Falklands Conflict I participated in the National Act of Remembrance at the Cenotaph in London. As you will all know from watching it on TV, the scale of the event is huge, involving more than 6,000 people. Some of them are old, some not so old, some display the life changing physical injuries suffered in the service of their country, and some carry their scars hidden from view.

It was the first time I had participated and it was an incredibly poignant experience, yet at the same time it was wonderful to be involved. I met many old friends from my Fleet Air Arm days but it was with former shipmates from 1982, with whom I served in HMS PLYMOUTH, that I marched.

Representatives from many of the ships that took part in the Falklands Conflict were in our division and ahead of the 27 members of HMS PLYMOUTH’s crew of ’82, were representatives of HMS ARGONAUT. Behind us were representatives of HMS BROADSWORD, which after HMS HERMES was decommissioned became the affiliated warship of the Coachmakers Company before the current BULWARK took on that role.

On 21st May 1982, HMS ARGONAUT took two bombs through the side on day one of the landings in San Carlos Bay; one took out the engine room and one went into the Sea Cat magazine below and just forward of the bridge. As a result, ARGONAUT lost all power and HMS PLYMOUTH stood by her until nightfall, protecting her from the last air raids of the day and then, acting like a duty tug, towed her into the relative safety of San Carlos Bay itself.

We stayed buttoned up to the ARGONAUT until daylight the following day, feeding her Ship’s Company and helping her engineers restore power. A few days later, under the cover of night, we committed to the deep the two young lads who had been killed when the bomb entered the Sea Cat magazine. Able Seaman Matthew Stuart died on his 18th birthday and Able Seaman Ian Boldy was 21 years old and married only a short time before leaving the UK.

We were out off the coast of West Falkland on an anti-submarine patrol when the ship was stopped in the water. Under the glow of a subdued red light, with the deck gently heaving in the South Atlantic swell, the Captain and a naval chaplain conducted a short service on the quarterdeck attended by every man not on watch. There were two gentle splashes and they were gone. I was 23 years old and the memory of that moment remains with me.

The picture below was taken after Sunday’s march past and is of a few of those who made up the bridge watch keeping team in PLYMOUTH back in ’82. We are now much older, not necessarily wiser, but all of us mindful of those who did not return.

We will remember them.