27.10.21 The Clerk

Clerk’s notes – October 2021

In the previous edition of Coachlines I talked about the Royal Navy’s Rigid Airship No1 and how it was wrecked on 24th September 1911 while being hauled from her floating hangar alongside the Cavendish Dock at Vickers Sons and Maxim in Barrow-in-Furness.

Mark The Clerk

Mark The Clerk

You will also recall that without an aircraft to operate, I mentioned that the two senior officers responsible for the prematurely discontinued project were returned to general service. Along the way I also made a rather flippant remark about the junior of the two, a chap called Commander Oliver Schwann, wondering what might have happened to him in 1914.

Well as it happens, quite a lot.

No sooner had the September Coachlines crackled through the electronic letterbox and onto the virtual doormat but I received two e-mails containing a wealth of detail about the Schwann who failed to up in 1911. The first came from Anne Wallbank, the considerably better half of Court Assistant Eric Wallbank, and the second from the Company Archivist, David Burgess-Wise.

Both of them contained a plethora of detail about Oliver Schwann including the fact that he (unsurprisingly) anglicised his name to Swann and that he returned to naval aviation and enjoyed a successful career with the RN before going on after 1918 to be one of the founding fathers of the RAF. That a fish-head went on to be one of the earliest leading lights in light blue is not news but may be a little painful to some, however at least it helped the RAF to start off on the right foot.

If you want to read more about the career of Oliver Schwann/Swann, I have distilled the details sent by Anne and David here.

Forthcoming events

Despite the underlying gloom in the news, the Aerospace Industry Dinner will be held on Thursday 11th November 2021 at Vintners’ Hall. A few places still remain so if you wish to attend please book by clicking here.

Similarly, the Lord Mayor’s Show will take place on 13th November 2021 and this year you can be part of the Coachmakers’ entry into this spectacular and historic event. To book your place, click here.

City news

There’s a new Sheriff in town

Alderman and Sheriff Alison Gowman has issued the first newsletter of her term in office; Sheriff Alison is an extremely charismatic character and I thought you might like to read it – please click here.

City Briefing Courses

As mentioned in the previous edition, the booking system for City Livery Committee Courses has now transferred to the new City Livery Committee website.

Members, particularly newly sworn Freemen, are encouraged to register for a City Briefing. Simply click the ‘Courses’ menu tab on the website to take you to the right page or just follow this link: https://www.liverycommittee.org/courses/

Shiny stuff

For the magpies amongst you the Goldsmiths’ Annual Fair runs between 28th October and 10th December. Full details are here.

The sixth HMS BULWARK, photo courtesy of the MOD

And finally

On 29th October 1954, the Centaur-class Light Fleet Carrier HMS BULWARK was commissioned in Belfast. She was the sixth ship to carry the name and her sister ship, and first of the class, HMS CENTAUR, was at that time the affiliated ship of the Coachmakers’ Company.

Having been converted from the aircraft carrier role to the commando role early in her life, it was fitting that the next ship to carry the name, commissioned in 2005 under the command of one Captain JH Stanford Royal Navy, should also be in the business of delivering Royal Marines ashore.

It is also fitting that the seventh HMS BULWARK should be the affiliated ship of the Coachmakers and the commissioning Captain should now be Liveryman Commodore Jerry Stanford Royal Navy.

Small world.