Coachlines - September 2021

23.09.21 The Master Sarah Sillars OBE

Master’s message September 2021

A picture paints a thousand words, so said Frederick Barnard in the early 20th century. I am minded to agree, so this month the Master’s message comes via a montage of some of the events, visits, lectures, and ceremonies I have had the honour to attend in the first 15 days of our new Livery year. With many restrictions lifted and more people gathering together in person, it has been an absolute privilege to represent the whole Company. The photos below show a taster of the range and depth of our Livery activity, from Livery events to our role within the City of London Corporation.

What a treat, after a year for most of us on Zoom, to have the Election Court at Tallow Chandlers, the Thanksgiving Service at St James Garlickhythe and an Election Court dinner with over 70 attendees. The pictures show the thrill of seeing friends and fellow Liverymen, our first formal event in 21 months.

Hampton Court Concours was very special with 10 fabulous entries from Coachmakers, what a stunning display we put on. Among the photographs here you will see our own hugely respected PM Richard, officiating in his judge’s role.

I now have the pleasure of being a member of the Lady Masters’ Association and joined the new ‘team’ for an event. More on that in the months to follow. By way of major anniversaries the Fletchers Company celebrated its 650th anniversary in St Vedast, a splendid ceremony with 57 Masters processing into the church. The largest event I have attended so far was at Plaisterers’ Hall. In truth, as this was an early post-pandemic restrictions-lifted event I was surprised that 245 people attended. It was a very engaging ‘Glasgow Trades in London’ dinner. The Scots definitely know how to have a good time!

Without doubt the most poignant visits have been to two of the charities to which the Coachmakers provided funds as part of our pandemic response. In Coachlines this month there are two reports, one from the visit to The Trussell Trust food bank warehouse and one from Centrepoint’s assisted living site. As Master, along with members of the Charity Committee who visited with me, I can assure you we felt very proud of the contributions we have made to these City of London charities. Please do read the reports from Liverymen David Cole and Andrew Blatherwick.

Sheriff Christopher Hayward’s tour of his Shrieval home, the Criminal Court, was fascinating. The Clerk and I listened intently as we toured the Old Bailey. The Pattenmakers hosted a dinner in the Judges’ Dining Room and it was a pleasure to meet another 30 Masters in person, several of whom, including the Sheriff are completing two-year terms.

The prevailing theme over the first two weeks has been “we’re back.” We certainly are and I look forward to meeting with many more of you during the next few months.

Thank you to absolutely everyone on all the committees and to the Wardens and Clerks for getting this year off to a very committed and engaging start. With so much to report next month, especially on the tremendous fundraising campaign at Goodwood, I think we will all be very proud to be Coachmakers.

The Master Sarah Sillars OBE