Coachlines - March 2022

30.03.22 The Master Sarah Sillars OBE

Master’s message March 2022

Hello and welcome to this month’s Master’s message.

Ukrainian Flag seen by the Master on the Malvern Hills

Ukraine continues to dominate our headlines and the humanitarian crisis is tragic. Our thoughts are with all all those directly or indirectly affected. The Coachmakers as a company, has received unstinting support from Rost Braharnyk, whose family roots are in Ukraine. Rost has been the Under Beadle at Tallow Chandlers for the past 10 years and nothing is too much trouble for him. I have asked the Clerk to send our messages of support for his homeland and his countrymen during their hour of desperate need. If you have chance to donate personal funds, DEC (Disasters Emergency Committee) seems to be the best conduit to support the cause. It is made up of 15 member charities which are experts in humanitarian aid and specialise in different areas of disaster response.

In more local and uplifting news it is a pleasure to report on our activities for March. We have had a splendid mix of social, City activity, committee planning meetings and preparations for our key fundraising event this year, our 8th June Banquet.

This month, you can enjoy a montage of photographs, giving a snap shot of the wide range of Coachmaker activity, plus, do take time to listen to the Sir Michael Marshall tribute podcast lecture. It is an uplifting, inspiring lecture from Air Marshal Richard Knighton. An engineer himself, Cambridge educated and holding the position of Deputy Chief of Defence Staff (Military Capability) he truly encapsulates the essence of Sir Michael who was passionate, as we as a Livery are, on the development of young people into engineering disciplines, where our key focus lies.

Among the many highlights in March was the opportunity to act as Consort myself and accompany Alderman Alastair King, DL at the Mason’s 550th Anniversary Banquet. More than 200 people were happy, to socialise and share some enjoyable networking time. The Lord Mayor locum tenens shared themes close to our heart, including “people and purpose” – the City is warmly welcoming people back as confidence in travel and socialising increases.

The Morgan Factory tour arranged by Richard Pugh, on behalf of the Livery Committee, was a huge success. Tickets sold out in less than two hours and there wasn’t one person there who wouldn’t have minded leaving with a confirmed order! We may love modern technology, but we crave outstanding workmanship and heritage. A visit there played well to this year’s theme of “past, present and future”.

Linda Jackson, Brand CEO Peugeot, was pleased to accept our invitation to speak at The Automotive Court and Dinner. Following the launch of the IMI’s Diversity Task Force on 17th March, where Linda had Chaired the Gender group for the past year, her speech showed her passion and commitment to not only our automotive sector, but the people within it. You can read the full Diversity Task Force report here.

The Clerk, Assistant Clerk, Communications Committee Chair, Lesley Upham and I had the fun of doing a Guildhall Tasting session in readiness for the Banquet. Sounds fun, but it’s a serious business getting the banquet details sorted as so many people are kindly supporting the Banquet through sponsorship or ticket sales. The bottom line though is we aim to raise a minimum of £20,000 for our Charitable Trust. This will be in addition to funds raised for our other nominated charities, including our own affiliated Sea Cadet and Air Cadet units.

We also had an excellent Membership Committee and Dinner earlier in the month. At the Court meeting we were able to elect another eight new members, meaning that the Committee remains on track to bring in 25 new members in this Livery year. Well done to all involved, especially as we had a lovely mix of aspirant young Coachmakers as well as industry leaders.

Coming up next month, we continue with visits to our affiliated services. We have the deferred visit to Brize Norton, our affiliated RAF military unit as well as a trip that I am equally looking forward to – the Sea Cadets at Hornchurch. We are extremely pleased with all of our affiliations especially when we see young people enthused.

Consort news- Lady Mayoress, Amanda Keaveny hosted a private lunch early in March for a handful of the Masters’ Consorts. John enjoyed sharing news and views with other consorts, interestingly an equal split of men and women. He reported that it was really helpful and provided a positive view of what the Consort’s role can be, if fully embraced. Our Livery appeared to have the most City engagements of those present.

And finally back to Ukraine. Father of the Livery, Past Master Tim Laurence inspired me a few weeks ago by saying that at a function he was attending he wore his Past Master ribbon, the same colours as Ukraine’s flag saying “in times like this we need to demonstrate our support”. I couldn’t agree more. The Lord Mayor is keen to see all Liveries support the fundraising efforts. We will keep you advised of Coachmaker activity and support.

Until next time, thank you for reading. Keep safe and well.