19.06.17 Martin Payne

Master’s Message June 2017

Apprentice Kirsty Thomson has seen great success, receiving many certificates for her fantastic work at the Royal Mews. More recently, Kirsty was asked to bring a park phaeton back to life, which was driven by HM the Queen as a young princess. I was asked to visit and inspect the carriage at the Windsor Mews, and while we were there HM the Queen visited the mews to inspect the carriage. This was an unexpected pleasure and Mark Broadbent and I spoke to the Queen to explain the Coachmakers’ part in Kirsty’s career path.

Julian Leach, Richard Robinson, Peta and I recently made an exploratory visit to the Severn Valley Railway, which was an alternative to the Special Boat Service visit in Poole harbour. We were greeted warmly by the event organisers and given a most comprehensive tour of the facilities and engine sheds. Severn Valley Railway is a £7 million organisation and from a coachmaking perspective, it ticks many boxes. I have asked SVR to put a business plan together for a submission to the Court. It performs coach-building and repairs in traditional fashion but needs support for apprenticeships.

I was invited to a garden party at Buckingham Palace. This time I took my daughter who had flown over especially for the Banquet and the garden party.

The Banquet at Drapers’ Hall was a great success and my special thanks go to the Bishops Stortford Chamber Choir, the staff at Capel Manor, the team at McLaren for the two sports cars, P&A Wood for providing the Rolls Royce transport and the staff at Drapers’ Hall who helped get proceedings on time.

The overseas visit this year was to BMW in Munich and the Rolls Royce design studio and I am grateful to Giles Taylor for helping to organise the visit, but for me, the special element was the flight in a Zeppelin airship over Lake Constance. My grateful thanks go to John Knightley for his supreme efforts in stitching the whole visit together.

Don’t forget to order your copy of the Coachmaker History book. It charts the amazing successes from simple carriage building and design, to high speed automotive and aerospace designs.