28.06.22 The Master Sarah Sillars OBE

Master’s message June 2022

Dear Wardens, Members of Court, Liveryman,

Thank you, thank you, thank you. Together we have raised £40,000 this month for charity.

On 8th June, at the Guildhall, just shy of 400 Liveryman and their guests paid a wonderful tribute to those who served with or supported the Falklands Task Force of 1982; and what a remarkable occasion it was too. The banquet was poignant, respectful and a hugely enjoyable social occasion. All this was made possible due to the exceptional generosity of our four key sponsors: Aerotron, RVL Group, Marshall Group and Leonardo Group. Coupled with the sponsorship, we had five fabulous prizes for our Prize Draw from Bentley of Cambridge, Marshall Motor Group, The Ritz, the RNRMC and The Cook & the Butler Event Company. In summary, with the £6,000 cash collected on the night, we have managed to raise circa £40,000 for our chosen banquet charities.

Simply wonderful, as it shows that in whatever fundraising we do, we are able to be true to our strapline “An active livery investing in young people”, whist also having the enjoyment of good company, fellowship, fine food, wine and excellent entertainment.

Our next step is to formalise our new Fundraising Committee. As always we are keen to hear from Liverymen who would like to get actively involved in supporting their Livery. Please contact me directly on sarahsillars@hotmail.com to talk through what’s involved. We would be so pleased if you could spare a few hours every now and then. We need active Liverymen to help us reach our ambitious target of distributing more than £150,000 per annum to young people in our three core industries of coach making, automotive and aerospace by our 350th anniversary in 2027.

Each year the Master has the pleasure of making a Master’s Award. A difficult task, as we have many dedicated and exceptional volunteers. All our volunteers facilitate so much of our activity, be it Charity, Livery Events, Communications or Membership. However, one person stood out and I was delighted on a personal and professional level to make the Award, at the banquet, to Honorary Assistant Lesley Upham. Lesley excelled at stepping up and leading our Communications all through the pandemic and covered this whilst elegantly stepping in to manage the sizeable amount of work in the build up to the Banquet. Congratulations Lesley.

Our tribute to the Falklands Task Force, our fundraising and the remarkable young choir made up of children of members of the Armed Services, supported by the charity Never Such Innocence was applauded by the representative Lord Mayor, Sir Alan Yarrow and Sheriff Nick Lyons. Our links with the City of London and our affiliated service units are key to our continuing relevance. However, none of this would have happened in the professional and enjoyable way it did, without the hundreds of hours of planning, organising and sheer effort of our Clerk, Commander Mark Leaning, and Assistant Clerk, Lieutenant Commander Rachel Firth. Thank you.

As we head into the summer months there may only be a handful of chances to see many of you at events. Whatever you do, enjoy it and thank you to everyone who contributes to the Coachmakers and Coach Harness Makers of London. In the meantime, do please listen to the podcast featuring Past Master Vice Admiral Sir Tim Lawrence KCVO CB ADC, who is also President of Never Such Innocence. The children’s choir that sang at the Banquet, following their semi-final appearance on “Britain’s Got Talent’, was exceptional.

Lastly, and very sadly, we lost another remarkable Liveryman in May, Paul Wood. A hugely respected, talented man, he was a master craftsman who will be missed by so many.

Yours sincerely