Coachlines - October 2023

30.10.23 The Clerk

Clerk’s notes – October 2023

Betsie and I have been stepping out quite a lot since I first mentioned our newly established bond. That said, in case anyone might be concerned, I can assure you that l’Assistant has been with us for almost every one of those steps. However I’m not sure that her affection for Betsie is quite at the level of besotted but I can live with resigned acceptance.

And it is at this point that I must correct myself. In the August edition of Coachlines I mentioned that Betsie “chugged” her way to Orkney and back. That was extremely unkind of me because she doesn’t “chug”, she rumbles; and when she’s invited to lift her skirts and get on with it, she growls, and the more she gets on with it the louder and deeper the growl. It is true, I am a simple soul.

Company news

Forthcoming events

London Mithraeum and dinner at Vinoteca City

See separate article in this edition, or follow this link to book your place.

The Lord Mayor’s Show – 11th November 2023

The Master Coachmaker invites Liverymen and their guests, both young and old, to be part of the Lord Mayor’s Show, joining other Livery Companies in leading the new Lord Mayor of London through the City in the magnificent gold state coach. The three-mile route travels from Bank to Aldwych, via St Paul’s, and then returns along Embankment.
Coachmakers will be walking alongside Lord Lonsdale’s Park Drag, the Master’s own coach which has been recently restored by Fenix Carriages. For those who wish to join, a restaurant will be reserved in the City for a late lunch after the Show.

Participation in the Show is free of charge, but it is essential that Liverymen book their places here.

The Aerospace Industry Dinner – 16th November 2023

The Aerospace Industry Dinner takes place at Vintners’ Hall on Thursday 16th November 2023. Places are still available and you are encouraged to attend. Full details are available here.

City news

City Livery Committee update

Deputy Philip Woodhouse, the Chairman of the City Livery Committee has issued the following update from the City.

Livery Climate Action Group – various events

The Livery Climate Action Group invites Liverymen to register for the following events:

Lt Gen (retd) Richard Nugee on Why Should the Military Care about Climate Change? Free online seminar on 16th November at 1700 and you can register here:

The Fuellers’ Duke of Edinburgh Future Energy Conference: An all-day event on Wednesday 29th November 2023 at The Royal Society of Medicine, 1 Wimpole Street, London W1G 0AE. Early bird tickets are available and you can register here. The promotional code to use is: LIV2023.

United Guilds Service 2024 – 15th March 2024

The United Guilds’ Service will take place in St Paul’s Cathedral on Friday 15th March 2024. More details will be published in due course.

In conclusion

Looking back to 1975 and the 16th anniversary of one of my late mother’s more challenging days, I became the proud owner of a brand spanking new Yamaha FS1-E in Popsicle Purple; it was my freedom ticket. No longer did I need to rely on the limited timetable of the local public omnibus, nor my father’s occasional generosity; from May 1975 I could whisk myself from the depths of rural Lincolnshire at speeds of up to 43mph, accompanied by a cloud of two-stroke exhaust smoke and the soundtrack of an angry wasp, to wherever the ‘action’ might happen to be in mid-70s’ Lincolnshire.

And before you find yourself thinking disparaging thoughts, it might intrigue you to know that the lyrics of Elton John’s famous song: Saturday Night’s All Right for Fighting were written by Bernie Taupin, who was himself brought up in the next village to where I am now, and were written based on his experiences of nights out at the Aston Arms in Market Rasen, a sleepy little market town nestled at the western edge of the Lincolnshire Wolds. Strange, but true.

Since those heady days of “Fizzy Freedom” my motorcycles have been used almost exclusively for commuting (daily or weekly), road trips with a purpose, and as a means of relevant transport to attend motorcycle race meetings. The concept of “just going for a ride” rarely entered my head and I most definitely didn’t feel the need to gather with other motorcyclists for no specific reason beyond the fact that everyone present had a motorcycle.

Having been a member of two one-make owners’ clubs in the past, and giving up on them because I just didn’t “get it”, Betsie’s appearance in my life has changed all that. And so in August, Betsie, l’Assistant and I did something that I had never before done: we attended the Moto Guzzi Club GB annual festival at the grounds of Matlock Rugby Club at Cromford in Derbyshire.

Held on a weekend in mid-August, we joined a couple of hundred other souls in a field for most of whom the only common connection was that we all owned Moto Guzzis, were interested in them or connected to someone in the first two categories.

Along with about 12 others we elected to use a caravan, but everyone else slept in tents of varying sizes and vintages. It rained hard on the Friday night but the clubhouse was open so we drank lots of beer and met some really interesting and friendly people. On the Saturday, Betsie rumbled her way up to Buxton where we had lunch; and in the afternoon we visited Cromford Mill. Developed by Richard Arkwright in 1771, it is the world’s first water-powered cotton spinning mill. The Cromford Mill complex is now owned and is being restored by the Arkwright Society, and has been declared by Historic England as “one of the country’s 100 irreplaceable sites” and is well worth a visit:

And on Saturday night we repeated the beer thing. What a hoot.

My experience thus far therefore is that the MG Club GB is a warm and welcoming organisation, and on a Sunday morning in August we bade farewell to new friends and found ourselves strangely looking forward to doing it all again next year.

That may be because it is said that Moto Guzzis have a soul; who knows? However, because they have a soul it is also said that they shouldn’t be kept on their own, and I’m working on it.