Coachlines - March 2024

29.03.24 The Clerk

Talent recognised with the Master Certificate Scheme

Pictured above, from left: Freeman John Pitchforth (representing Apprentice Joseph Frankum who couldn’t be there), Journeyman Lewis Brooks, the Master Coachmaker, and Master Mark Taylor

On 11th March 2024, in the Egyptian Hall of Mansion House, the Lord Mayor presented certificates to worthy winners, awarded in recognition of skills and achievement under the Master Certificate Scheme.

Joining 17 other Livery Companies taking part in this initiative, the Coachmakers’ Company put forward three such individuals and were supported at the ceremony by the Master, the Clerk, Assistant Eric Wallbank (Chairman of the Charity Committee), Steward Neil Sheath (Chairman of the Aerospace Awards Committee) and Freemen Janice and John Pitchforth.

The purpose of the scheme is to recognise excellence and promote career progression from Apprentice to Master level in the affiliated trades of the participating Livery Companies, and it is administered in partnership with the City & Guilds organisation. The awards are divided into three categories under the following criteria:

Master Level:

  • Minimum Level 3 or equivalent trade-specific qualification.
  • C&G Professional Recognition Award at appropriate level
  • Demonstrate active links with current best practice, e.g. through membership of a relevant trade/professional body, as specified by each participating Company.

Journeyman Level:

  • Level 3 trade specific qualification
  • C&G Professional Recognition Award at level 4 (Licentiateship) or above
  • Able to demonstrate excellence and experience in the trade / craft (4 years after completing training)

Apprentice Level:

  • Level 2 trade specific qualification
  • Enrolled on course of study leading to Level 3

This year, the Coachmakers recognised an awardee in each category as follows:

Joseph Frankum – Apprentice

Joe Frankum is a Heritage Engineering Technician apprentice who epitomises enthusiasm, respect and dedication to the coachbuilding industry. Through his employment at Classic Autos of Kings Langley, Joe is learning traditional methods and producing a high standard of work on many fabrication tasks and whole historic vehicles. Joe’s positive and humble attitude is reflected in the trust the company puts in him and he is valued highly both in the family-orientated business, and in his cohort of fellow apprentices at the Heritage Skills Academy, and we see Joe’s ability extending far into his bright future.

Lewis Brooks – Journeyman

Lewis Brooks has advanced his career and engineering skills after gaining his Aircraft Engineer’s Licence with the Coachmakers’ Aerotron Scholarship award. He now leads a team of engineers and supervises deep maintenance and major repairs of large aircraft. Professionally, Lewis is often chosen to lead major repair and overhaul projects which have never been completed before, including high value complete VIP aircraft overhaul, refit and modification. Lewis has excelled in his early career with both his engineering and his personal skills, leading and motivating others, and is highly respected among his peers.

Mark Taylor – Master

Mark began his coachbuilding career with Pressed Steel Fisher in 1974, completing a Craft Apprenticeship with City & Guilds in Sheet Metal and Thin Plate Craft Studies. He worked on Jaguar prototype vehicles before building Bentley Specials, then went to Oxford University as a Senior Technician. Returning to industry, he spent more than 20 years restoring vintage and classic vehicles using traditional methods, which has forged Mark’s reputation as a Master Coachbuilder. In 2022 he joined Auto-Historica at Bicester, building Sunbeam, Ferrari, Alvis, Bentley, Bugatti, etc, and the Heritage Skills Academy as Master Coachbuilder Tutor/Mentor to train the next generation of coachbuilders, which is his passion.

The certificates were presented by the Lord Mayor, Alderman Professor Michael Mainelli, and the Master Coachmaker Bettine Evans.