Coachlines - November 2021

23.11.21 The Master Sarah Sillars OBE

Communication – it’s what makes the world go round

Communication has been our core theme in November. I am delighted that Honorary Assistant Lesley Upham, Chair of our Communications Committee, joined Liveryman Chris Mann & I earlier in the week for this month’s podcast – please do take a listen. You can hear first-hand the work Lesley & her team do and how each Liveryman can further help us communicate stories and news, as well as contribute themselves. Can you believe that during the past 20 months there have been 26 editions of Coachlines? Superb!

As we all know, communication at its simplest, is no more than the imparting or exchange of information. However, failure to keep our 450 Liveryman engaged and involved could have been so detrimental during the pandemic. I am so pleased it has been a key plank in the absence of us being together in person during much of 2020 and until the late summer of 2021.

We are now more than making up for our lost chances to meet and share experiences, with some very poignant as well as fantastic outings and events during the past few weeks. It has been a delight to see, meet and spend time with more than 100 Liverymen in the past few weeks at our Livery events, as well as hosting over 135 members and guests at the Aerospace Dinner at Vintners’ Hall earlier in the month. However, for those who are unable to join us for some of the physical events now held, our written messaging remains as important as ever, along with occasional phone calls or even the odd Zoom meeting!

Many of the recent events are covered elsewhere in Coachlines, but a couple of special activities for me have included the privilege of representing our Livery at St Paul’s for the Garden of Remembrance Service. To place a cross in the grounds of St Paul’s with over 100 other Masters with the Grenadier Guards playing, The Lord Mayor and escorted City dignitaries leading the way, was deeply moving – what a privilege to represent our Company. This was followed on Remembrance Day by the Service of Remembrance with the Commemoration of the Fallen. These two occasions were extremely emotionally charged, perhaps even more so in the absence of physical services last year. The challenge this month is being able to do justice and fully share the plethora of activity undertaken by so many including the Wardens, Consort, Clerk, committee members and Liverymen. There are times when there aren’t enough words to convey the pride, poignancy, exhilaration or humility that so many of the City events have brought this last month.

Please look at the article entry regarding the Lord Mayor’s Show, which was possible through the exceptional generosity of seven Liverymen. Our entry was magnificent, as Liveryman Sarah Dawson, who travelled down from Yorkshire to participate said, “What an occasion, such a tremendous honour to be able to join with the Master & Wardens & fellow Liveryman as we showcased our heritage and support for the Lord Mayor’s show.”

Consort John Sillars was told some months ago by a former Past Master, to make the most of every opportunity you get to participate, contribute, and enjoy all the varied aspects of the Livery. The Consort has followed this sound advice during the past three months and passes it on to everyone in the Coachmakers.

And, if you don’t think we have fun too, look at these pictures: Senior Warden acting as chauffeur again for a visit to Commando Helicopter Force & HMS Bulwark last week and Liveryman Roger Woodbridge on handbag duty at CHF!

Senior Warden Julian Leach resumes his chauffeuring duties for the Master

Liveryman Roger Woodbridge on handbag duty as the Master tours CHF at RNAS Yeovilton