The Master

03.01.18 Tony Edwards

Master’s message January 2018

I am conscious of the honour you have granted me and I am determined to both serve and lead. Furthermore, we need to serve the companies and businesses we represent and succeed in our mission to be an active Livery generously investing in young people.

From Installation to Aerospace

The Election Court and Installation Service in September saw Assistants Graham Cole, Richard Charlesworth and Sarah Adams-Diffey elected as Senior, Renter and Junior Wardens respectively, with me being elected as the new Master. From William Bussey in 1677 to Martin Payne in 2016, I realise that I am privileged to be the latest in a long line of Masters. With this inspiration I am sure with your help and support, we can achieve as much as they did for our Company.

I am very glad that so many of you were able to support the Installation Service in St James Garlickhythe as our first innovation. Both our Honorary Chaplain and the Lord Mayor contributed to making the service especially memorable.

Following on from IPM Payne’s initiative last year, we held the Coachmaker Lecture at the RAF Club in November on the subject ‘Their Finest Hour’. I spoke to an assembled audience of students, academics and Coachmakers about RJ Mitchell, the engineer who created Britain’s iconic aircraft, the Supermarine Spitfire. From the feedback we can see that the students appreciated how much difference an engineer can make and they were enthralled to network not only with a number of graduate engineers but also a real test pilot.

We introduced some changes to our Aerospace Dinner in November, held in the splendid surroundings of Goldsmith’s Hall. The feedback overwhelmingly supported the enhanced emphasis on the award ceremony and the theme of the evening, naval aviation.

On a sober note, my address pointed out that the Royal Navy is even smaller than the Metropolitan Police Force. In light of all the commitments involving carriers, aircraft and new submarines, the RN is being asked to punch above its budget. Our principal guest Admiral Sir George Zambellas, former First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff, echoed these thoughts about the lamentable levels of investment in our armed forces and defence.

Commodore Jock Alexander of Flight Navy Heritage Trust (FNHT) brought us up to date regarding the health of the historic flight and appealed to all of us to sign up as friends of the FNHT. The Dinner allowed us to present awards to our wonderful students, all of whom had worked extremely hard, and effectively, to achieve these top Coachmaker honours. It was especially important to witness the student award winners networking very enthusiastically during the Stirrup Cup!

Carol Service

In December we took ourselves, as we do every year, to St James Garlickhythe for our Carol Service which was followed by supper and singing at Tallow Chandlers Hall. This year’s supper was enhanced by a short rendition by Jackson Pentland from The Christmas Carol. This warm family occasion never disappoints and this year was no exception. Perhaps, next year, children or grandchildren could be invited. We departed with souls and stomachs filled with good cheer, the scene having been set for the Christmas season.

Livery Schools Showcase

On Tuesday 6th February we shall, once again, be present at Guildhall for the annual Livery Schools Link Showcase. Three of our Coachmaker Award winners will join us to talk to the students about careers in Engineering across the Automotive, Aerospace and Coachmaking industries. Our two announced winners of the Coachmaker JLR Scholarship for young women reading STEM subjects at University will also be on parade.

If you plan to be in London on the 6th, do please take a few moments to visit your Livery company as it presents itself to 900 or so students and seeks to engage their imaginations and inspire their ambitions. The day is informal and your presence will be genuinely welcome.

Coming up soon…

On Wednesday 24th January, at Vintners Hall, we shall host the Award to Industry Dinner, which will be presented to Dowty Propellers Ltd for demonstrating elegance in design, ingenuity and innovation and contributing so much to the heritage and continued commercial success of the UK aerospace industry.

Within 48 hours of a disastrous fire which levelled the factory, the American owners came to announce that no one would be made redundant and they would rebuild the factory. Against all odds, within months, propellers were being turned out in a temporary new facility.

Dowty Propellers is a microcosm of everything the Government would wish to see in UK industry. From the highly productive and innovative workforce to the very responsible owner, GE Aviation, everyone plays their part magnificently.

I trust I will see you at the Dinner.

Coachmaker Annual Banquet, Guildhall

On Friday 20th April we shall host our Annual Banquet at Guildhall.
Our focus is to celebrate 100 years of service to the nation by the Royal Air Force. We intend to raise charitable funds for the Air Cadet Organisation, whose ranks will contribute to the future RAF.

We are planning to mount an outdoor exhibition in Guildhall Yard, which will see aircraft on display from the Sopwith Camel to the Typhoon.

Senior Warden Graham Cole, the Clerk and other key figures are working hard to ensure that our Banquet achieves its objectives. Uniquely we are working with the Air Pilots and the Engineers’ Livery Companies to cover all bases: the Engineers design them, we build them and the Air Pilots fly them.

Partnerships like this reflect the desire of the Lord Mayor for Livery Companies to work together for the common good.


Under Assistant Lesley Upham, there is an evolution taking place and it requires each one of us to become involved. Please make sure you read your Livery company’s messages and act, or react, as appropriate when asked to do so. Without every one of us being involved, there is no Livery.