Coachlines - May 2023

28.05.23 The Master Julian Leach

Master’s message May 2023

This month I’d like to thank the Coachmakers for coming to the party, or should I say will be coming to the party. Around 400 people will be coming to the Banquet on 6th June as it is fully subscribed. The Coachmakers will once again light up the City with a fantastic party.

Month after month the Clerk and I have been giving you a taste of what to expect. Of course, this does not just happen, and the Clerk has had a number of meetings with the Guildhall. Bringing six or seven cars into Guildhall Yard and putting one of them on the stage and convincing them that it is no heavier than the Quicksilver coach that we had there a few years ago, and will not get engine oil on the carpet (fingers crossed), needs the negotiating skills that bring wars to an end. It makes dealing with and enthusing caterers, the audio visual team, musicians, and getting the entertainment together quite simple really. As you can imagine there is a lot more admin behind the scenes.

The Assistant Clerk is meticulous in her handling of the bookings, ensuring tables and seating preferences are juggled to make certain everyone has a super evening with colleagues and friends.

Honorary Assistant Lesley Upham – Communications, has coaxed and cajoled people to supply copy and photographs for the wonderful and absorbing Souvenir Booklet that will be at every place.

Liveryman Christopher Tate has called in every favour that he has in order to put together a stellar group of Le Mans drivers, and all that when all of them will be beetling down the M20 soon after to attend the Le Mans Centenary Meet which is just four days later. As well as that he has found us a great group of sponsors, without whose support this Banquet would not be financially viable.

Our caterer Mark Grove of The Cook and The Butler with his French chef Jean Deillon, have researched Le Mans’ relevant dishes to serve to us on the night.

So you can see, that all these people and I have developed a great passion for this Banquet, and rest assured you will be thoroughly entertained. Talking of which, I can now announce that Honorary Liveryman Dame Kiri Te Kanawa has agreed to come and will address us before the performers from her Foundation sing for us.

We are hugely grateful to all these people for putting in such a great effort for the Coachmakers.

Now back to our roots. You will read later in Coachlines that we have formally handed over our Brougham carriage to the Science Museum which has looked after it for us for 128 years. It is an important exhibit in its collection, front and centre in the Gallery of Firsts. As a carriage designed for a family, pulled by just one horse and thus capable of being driven by the owner rather than a coachman, it created the market for owner driven, personal transport which has ultimately evolved to competitive driving such as Le Mans 24. We are proud to have partnered with the Science Museum, which is well worth a visit. Our aspirations are very much aligned, engaging with young people and you will certainly hear more of future joint events.

I look forward to seeing many of you at our Banquet.