Coachlines - December 2023

20.12.23 The Master Bettine Evans

Master’s message December 2023

Greetings fellow Coachmakers. I do hope you’re all well and looking forward to Christmas, when we, the fortunate ones, will eat too much, drink too much, make merry, go to parties and have a generally jolly time.

We enjoyed a wonderful Masters’ and Clerks’ Luncheon at Watermen’s Hall on Thursday 7th December, filled with fun and laughter. Later that day we attended the Coachmakers’ Carol Service at St James, Garlickhythe, which, despite low numbers, was most enjoyable. There were the usual lessons and carols to remind us of the Christmas story and I was delighted to note that, despite the scant attendance there was still a large pile of presents under the Christmas tree. The Hoxton Branch of the Salvation Army collect these gifts and distribute them to the less fortunate children of the parish. I thank all those people who gave presents for your generosity.

Perhaps it is appropriate now to remind you all of the importance of the Livery movement. Luncheons such as the one we enjoyed at Watermen’s Hall are an opportunity for Masters and Clerks to relax together and exchange thoughts and plans for the future. Together, the Livery Companies of the City distribute in the region of £76 million per annum to a variety of charitable causes. As you will be aware, the Coachmakers’ Company is an active Livery investing in young people, Annually we distribute some £100k through bursaries, scholarships, apprenticeship awards and other support to young people who are training to enter our affiliated industries, not forgetting the donations made to our Air and Sea Cadet Units, and support given to our affiliated service units.

It is never enough. The need is always there, not just at Christmas. Those of you who attended my election would have heard me telling you of my great desire to help the young ‘have nots’ of this world; those born without the silver spoon in their mouths. Well, we’re working on that. It’s a long, slow process but we are getting there. A letter will land on your doormat sometime in the New Year asking for a small regular donation. Please, if you can, do try to help.

I am enormously proud, as you should all be, to be part of this amazing Livery movement. It is rewarding to feel that we just might collectively have positively influenced the lives of a number of young people and enabled them, and hence their progeny, their friends and colleagues to live better lives and set more positive examples to future generations.

My very warmest wishes to you all for a happy Christmas and a healthy, peaceful and prosperous New Year.