Coachlines - October 2022

28.10.22 The Master Julian Leach

Master’s Message October 2022

The theme for my year, as I have already told you is fellowship and engagement. In my view fellowship follows from engagement and therefore, it is engagement that I want to address today and in future messages.

In order to do this, I am turning the clock back to a time when I was just a Liveryman and had not yet been invited on to the Court. I also recall conversations with my peers that displayed very little knowledge of the workings of our Livery and even conversations since, with Liverymen. As a movement, the Liveries pride themselves on being societies without secrets and there is absolutely no reason why everybody in our Livery should not know how we work. To return to my theme, I believe that knowing more about how the organisation that you belong to works will encourage people further to engage and that will be the theme of the next few messages from me. The Court, especially the Past Masters know all this stuff and so I hope they will bear with me as I invite you into the inner sanctum.

The Committees

The Livery consists of a number of Committees that cover all the major functions of the Livery. They are each Chaired by a Court Assistant (usually) or sometimes by a Past Master. The members of the committees are drawn from throughout the Livery – Freemen, Liverymen, Stewards, Assistants. The Master and Clerk are ex-officio on all the committees. Wardens also sit on various committees to help them gain a full understanding of them, ready for their Masterships. Recruiting for the committees is a major task and all of them always have vacancies. There is no need to wait to be asked, and it is a great way to progress in the Livery. These working committees are, in no particular order:

Communications – responsible for Coachlines, the website, The Coachmaker, the Christmas card, commissioning articles and stories, assisting other committees with publicity and I need to say, ‘amongst other things’ for fear of missing something out.
Membership Committee (MemCom) – responsible for recruiting new members, introducing them to what we do, hand-holding them through the joining process, identifying talent that can help with the committees and again, amongst other things that they do.
Livery Committee (LivCom) – Responsible for organising all the Livery’s special-interest events. This Committee also identifies and recommends organisations that qualify to receive our annual Award to Industry.
Charity Committee – Responsible for finding candidates to receive our bursaries and apprenticeships from a variety of educational establishments that we develop and nurture relationships with. This committee does this through a series of sub-committees. Within this committee we have recently set up a fundraising sub-committee. The annual awards amount to approximately £100k and in 2020/21 the Committee was also responsible for an additional £250k award to various charities and hardship funds mostly supporting students during the first Covid lockdown. The Charity Committee works closely with –
The Investment Committee which consists of three Past Masters as Trustees of our charitable fund which provides the money for the Charity Committee awards.
350+ Committee is planning what extra we can do for young people in our 350th year in 2027 and how we will celebrate this and co-ordinates with the new Fundraising Committee to raise funds for our aspirations. The ‘+’ is to indicate that the funding initiatives that come out of this should last long into the future.

These Committees all report into the Finance and General Purposes Committee, chaired by the Master and populated by all the Committee Chairmen and the Immediate Past Master. It filters the activities, initiatives, ideas etc before they go to the Court, the purpose being to ensure that everything presented to Court for approval has been thoroughly explored, tested and rehearsed so it is likely to achieve approval, although this is not guaranteed.

The Court

The Court is led by the Master and three Wardens (Senior, Renter (equivalent to an FD) and Junior). Each of these changes each year on 1st September. The Master becomes Immediate Past Master and everyone moves up one. Below the Wardens are a number of Assistants (voting) and Stewards (non-voting). The Assistants are progressing year by year towards the ‘Chair’.

Beyond the Master, are the Past Masters who remain on the Court for life and retain a vote for 10 years after serving as Master.

Alongside the Court sits:

The Progression Committee – Chaired by The Master and populated by the Wardens, the Immediate Past Master and all the main committee chairmen. It is responsible for recognising talent to become committee chairmen and/or Court members. Its main pool for this, but not exclusively is the committees but will also look inside the whole Livery. A piece of advice for anyone who has ambitions to progress would be to get yourself on to a committee. To do this, all you have to do is volunteer.
The Master and Wardens Committee – Chaired by the Master and consisting of the Master and Wardens is responsible for dealing with and managing top level issues that occur in any organisation from time to time. Most importantly it is responsible for developing short term and longer-term strategies and initiatives to keep our Livery modern and relevant.

The Clerk’s Office

The Clerk’s office consists of the Clerk and his Assistant Clerk. Here I am at grave risk of putting my head in a noose, in case I leave anything out that they do….and it is a lot. The Clerk is basically the Livery’s Chief Operating Officer. I will highlight the main things, but they get into every nook and cranny of our Livery.

The Clerk sits on every committee to advise on procedure and precedent and to inform himself of the activities. He is also brings experience of other Liveries from his association with other Livery Clerks. On some Committees (Court, F&GP, Progression, Master and Wardens he also produces the minutes).

The Clerk’s Office organises all our formal dinners, receptions, our annual banquet and carol service.

The Clerk advises and informs on the Livery’s liaisons with the City of London, the Lord Mayor and other Livery Companies.

He works closely with each Master, organises the Master’s diary and often has to attend events and meetings with the Master. More about a Master’s diary in a later article but this can involve almost 200 events in a year so is a huge task.

In addition to this there are a myriad of administration tasks including e-commerce (tickets for events), keeping the cash books for the Company and the Charitable Fund and liaising with the Company Accountant.

I hope that this has given everyone a working knowledge of the Coachmakers as an organisation. I will leave this with a familiar analogy. Although not exact, if you compare us with a commercial organisation –

• The Committees are management and staff
• The Master and Wardens are the board of directors
• The Clerk is the Chief Operating Officer
• The Court is the main board.

Involvement is engagement and we thrive on the generosity of some of our members giving a small amount of their time. If any of this has spiked your interest and you’d like to learn a little more before committing, please do drop me a line at and I’ll be very happy to give you a call to answer any questions you may have and suggest where your talents and interests can be most useful to us.