Coachlines - November 2021

23.11.21 The Clerk

Master announces new coaching bursary

On 29th October 2021, the Master Coachmaker joined the President of the Coaching Club, Assistant Mark Broadbent, the Past Lord Mayor and Honorary Coachmaker Sir Andrew Parmley and members of the Coaching Club to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Club at a Banquet held in Saddlers’ Hall.

The Coaching Club was formed in 1871 on the instigation of Lt-Col. Henry Armytage and originally consisted of 50 members. The reason for its formation was that the Four-in Hand Club established in 1856 was limited in membership and it was desired to form an overflow driving club to meet the growing enthusiasm for coaching. The first President was His Grace the 8th Duke of Beaufort, who held office until 1897. At the first meet on 25th June 1872, 21 coaches turned out, and the record attendance was at the meet held on 2nd June 1894, when 39 coaches paraded.

The Club livery and colours were established at the inception of the Club, and permission to wear them was granted by the first President, the Duke of Beaufort, and reference was made in 1872 to “the wearers of the blue and buff”. The practice of members wearing button-holes of cornflowers dates back to the second meet of the Club and has been a tradition ever since. Entertainment for the evening was provided by the London Banqueting Ensemble which played its signature rendition of the Post-Horn Gallop after which the President welcomed everyone present, including the three members of the Coaching Club who had been present at its 100th anniversary event.

The Master Coachmaker then congratulated the Club for its milestone achievement before announcing that the Coachmakers’ Company would be establishing and providing annually, a coaching bursary to help train young people in the skills of coachmaking and coach driving. Sir Andrew Parmley then entertained the gathering with tales of the Lord Mayor’s coach before proposing the toast to the Coaching Club.

The Crown Equerry, Colonel Toby Browne CVO, himself an Honorary member of the Coachmakers’ Company, then proposed the Club’s traditional toast “To the road” before the President led everyone from the dining hall for a Stirrup Cup prior to departure.

Readers will be interested to know that in the 350th anniversary year of the signing of its first Charter by King Charles II, the Master of the Worshipful Company of Coachmakers and Coach Harness Makers of London will be one Mark Broadbent Esq, currently the President of the Coaching Club. Subject to election of course.