Coachlines - October 2021

27.10.21 The Master Sarah Sillars OBE

Out and about – October 2021

This month the saying “make hay whilst the sun shines”, or in John Heywood’s words from 1546, “whan the sunne shinth make hay”, seems very apposite. In this last week of October new daily reported Covid cases are high and rumblings about more working from home, mask wearing and good hand hygiene are being made. As we head towards winter, everyone’s safety and health remains our priority. We will remain pragmatic about whatever voluntary steps we need to take, but in the meantime a full programme of events and activities continue unabated. It has been a glorious few weeks of interaction, activity, commemoration and celebrations. What a pleasure to have met or shared time at events, on committees or spent time on the phone with more than 100 Liverymen.

This year’s theme of ‘Past, Present and Future’ has seen the past six weeks’ social activities heavily focused on our past, heritage and tradition. With Coachmakers commemorating the Battle of Britain 80 years + 1 at Biggin Hill, promptly followed by an excellent walking tour of the Livery halls and a chance to exercise our right as Freemen of the City of London to drive our sheep across a London Bridge, we really shared companionship and celebrated history. A full report of both these excellent events is covered elsewhere in Coachlines.

Attendance at The Guildhall with Renter Warden Bettine Evans, watching, respecting and soaking up the tradition of electing the 693rd Lord Mayor was special. It is a hugely ceremonial activity and having the privilege to represent our Livery in the Masters’ procession was very poignant. If you have a chance, may I suggest that each Liveryman takes the opportunity to attend, if only once. We heard from the incoming and outgoing Lord Mayors, who respectively outlined their intent as well as reflecting on the progress made on leaving the role in November. It was very useful to hear all this first-hand, especially when looking at our own plans and ambitions with our own 350th in 2027.

The Mayoral theme this year will be “purpose and people”, as the City of London strives to be a world global centre for finance. The underpinning part of all this resonates closely to us, with people at the heart of if, through education, charity and social purpose being core. Lord Mayor, William Russell, has most unusually, due to the pandemic, held the office for two years. As his term of office ends and Alderman Vincent Keaveny takes up the post, I am delighted we will be putting the Millennium Coach & four horses into the Lord Mayor’s Show on Saturday 13th November. Please do come and walk alongside and share the ambience of the day. Full details are on our website.

For those of you interested in the workings of the City of London Corporation, the courses held and available via its website are informative, interesting and give you a huge insight into the world of which we as a Livery Company are a key part. I learnt a significant amount, especially around some of the key actions and plans of the wider workings of the Corporation of London. All our charitable and education activity via bursaries and scholarships aligns fully.

On the environment and climate policy side, one new initiative I attended was the launch of Pollinating London Together at Mansion House. Having been privileged to live on the edge of the City of London Corporation-owned Burnham Beeches, as a child, I am keen that green spaces and support for the environment is supported and wherever possible made available to all. Launch details are below, but it was fascinating to hear from the Lady Mayoress that she keeps bees on the roof of Mansion House, their mayoral home.

About Pollinating London Together

Pollinating London Together is an environmental campaign spearheaded by the Livery Companies of The City of London.
Its aim is to encourage improved conditions for pollinators initially across the one square mile of the historic City of London and to make London and other cities a better place for human beings and pollinators. Pollinating London Together (PLT) started more than a year ago ahead of the official launch. More information can be found here:

Next month we will share details of our visits to Cranfield University and Robert & Tanya Lewis’s private car collection. We can update you with the award winners at our Aerospace Dinner and cover off our attendance at the Lord Mayor’s Show. We have visits planned to more of the charities that we have donated to, dates are now in the diary to visit the Arkwright Trust and Young Minds.

In the meantime, again my thanks to everyone who chairs or sits on our committees, be it Membership, Communications, Charity, Livery Events or Sports – your work on behalf of us all is very much appreciated. We couldn’t do it without you.