Coachlines - December 2023

20.12.23 Renter Warden David Barrett

Master and Clerks’ luncheon 2023

Pictured above: The Master Lightmonger Peter McVeigh addresses the Master, observed by the Master Tallow Chandler Julian Hill and IPM Julian Leach

On Thursday 7th December the Coachmakers’ Company held its second Masters’ and Clerks’ Luncheon in recent times. Hosted by the Master at Watermen’s Hall, it followed a similar inaugural event last year hosted by IPM Julian Leach. The Masters and Clerks of 17 Livery Companies were able to attend and a superb lunch was followed by a warm welcome speech from the Master Coachmaker to which the Master Lightmonger, Peter McVeigh, delivered an amusing response.

Events of this nature are more than just a simple social gathering, indeed they are an extension beyond the boundaries of individual Livery Companies of the concept of fellowship: something that is at the heart of the Livery Community. Although not all of those invited were able to attend, every Company represented at Watermens’ Hall was one of the many Livery Companies with which the Coachmakers’ Company enjoys reciprocal hospitality from time to time.

Primarily the preserve of the Master and the Clerk, they nonetheless represent events at which ideas are exchanged, experiences compared, understandings established and life-long friendships cemented between the various Masters in each year.

Of course they also represent a potentially significant challenge to the Clerks, for oft it has been heard, something along the lines of: “Clerk, I’ve just been talking to the Master (fill in the name of any of 110 other Companies) and they’ve just decided to do X, Y or Z. I think we should do that, what do you think?”

And without wishing to dampen youthful exuberance, it is on such occasions that a Clerk may invoke his or her inner Sir Humphry and say something along the lines of: “What an interesting suggestion Master, I’m sure the Court will be fascinated to hear how that might work.”