Coachlines - August 2017

09.08.17 Martin Payne

Master’s message August 2017

As my year as Master draws to a close, I have much to reflect on. Throughout the year I have met many people, seen many new things and have enjoyed the company of a range of talents in the Livery movement. Reflecting on the high spots brings to mind the lecture on new horizons in transport, which has inspired the Livery to repeat the programme but with an aerospace theme, while the end of command dinner on board HMS Bulwark as the ship concluded its mission was a real privilege.

The visit to York Minster and being entertained by the Cordwainers of York with the other leathery masters, the visit to Ironbridge with (nearly), all the Livery Masters was very rewarding. The Lincoln Heritage Festival when 24 Livery Companies from the City demonstrated their wealth in providing apprenticeships in their particular disciplines illustrated the range of opportunities that are available to younger students who are trying to map out their futures. I believe that if the experience of the Lincoln Festival could be established as a ‘road show’ and taken round the country the value in illustrating the range of what could be local opportunities would be immense. Local communities could be invigorated and revitalised – so much is still London-centric and it does not need to be. If the City of London Corporation could fund the Lincoln experience around the country that would be marvellous.

Every social event organised by the Livery Committee has been successful and I can reflect still on the variety provided by the Committee. Swan Upping may not immediately seem to have a Coachmaker component but swans do fly and that will tick the aviation box! RIAT was a blast but the Coachmakers’ visit to Munich, BMW, Rolls Royce and the flight in the Zeppelin airship was just magical.

If the Coachmakers is to thrive, it will have to move with the times both in structure and in purpose. Realigning our purpose to achieve a greater meritocracy has to be the right thing to do. While the way ahead team is shaping the longer-term structure and future, our support for the Armed Services is paramount and we must do all we can to promote and support them.

In my opening remarks a year ago, I set out to try and raise the profile of the Livery so that students and companies alike would be proud to be associated with the Coachmakers. I hope that in the past 12 months I have gone some way towards achieving that and have maintained the momentum created by past Masters; history will be the judge.