Coachlines - March 2018

28.03.18 The Clerk

The Automotive Industry Dinner 2018 at Clothworkers’ Hall

The Automotive Industry Dinner 2018 was held at Clothworkers’ Hall on Wednesday 7th March 2018. Our guest of honour was Paddy Hopkirk MBE, President of the British Racing Drivers’ Club, and during the evening a number of awards were made to young people working, or hoping to work, in the automotive industry.
Home to the Clothworkers’ Company, the present Clothworkers’ Hall is the sixth livery hall to stand upon the same site off Mincing Lane; it opened for business in 1958.

The Master and guest Speaker Mr Paddy Hopkirk MBE

The Master and guest Speaker Paddy Hopkirk MBE

Our guest of honour was born in Belfast in 1933, and was educated at Clongowes Wood College and Trinity College Dublin. He was a professional racing driver from 1956 to 1970 competing with three factory works teams: Standard Triumph 1955-58, Roots Group 1959-62 and British Motor Corporation 1963-70. Between 1952 and 1970 he competed in 283 events which included international rallies, circuit racing and long distance sports car racing. His biography, A Dash of the Irish – The Paddy Hopkirk Story, was published in 2005. His major racing and rally successes are too numerous to list here but they include outright wins in such iconic events as the Alpine Rally, the Acropolis Rally and of course the Monte Carlo Rally in 1964 driving a Mini Cooper S. Other events from a long list in which class wins were achieved include the London to Sydney Marathon, the Le Mans 24 Hours and the Targa Florio Sicily.
In business, Paddy introduced Toyota to Ireland in 1964 and set up distribution in Northern Ireland for Toyota, Jensen and Skoda and he manufactured automotive products in the UK from 1969 to 1994 through Mill Accessories Group Ltd. In the past Paddy has held directorships in Aldegrove Airport, Mill Accessory Group and the British Racing Drivers Club and is currently a Director of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), Paddy Hopkirk Ltd and Mill Holdings Ltd. He currently works with his son Patrick in Hopkirks Ltd, and is in business association with Mini Sport Ltd.
He is a life member of the British Racing Drivers Club (BRDC), President of the Historic Rally Car Register (HRCR), and Honorary Life Member MIPAA (Motor Industry Public Affairs Association). He is a Brand Ambassador for BMW/MINI worldwide and in October 2017 he was elected President of the BRDC.
Paddy supports numerous charities including: WheelPower; Kopp Hill Climb Charity; the Silverstone Heritage Project and IAM RoadSmart, in which he is the Mature Drivers’ Ambassador. Married to Jenny in 1967, he has one daughter, two sons and six grandchildren.
During his speech Paddy highlighted that the British motor racing industry is the biggest in the world with an annual turnover of £9 billion; there are 4,500 companies actively involved in the sector and at least 80 per cent export products and services.
Motorsport Valley spends an average 25 per cent of turnover on R&D, which dwarfs the UK pharmaceutical and IT sectors. The estimated employment within UK motorsport is 41,000 people. He went on to say that it attracts young engineering graduates like bees to pollen. Many of these later move to road vehicle and motor component manufacturers and highlighted that the value of racing to the wider industry is in the cultivation of personnel and intellectual property rather than direct technology transfer.
Some potential future stars of the motor industry were present on the night to receive their Coachmaker awards from Paddy and the Master Coachmaker and the details of their achievements to date left a lasting impression on everyone present.

Automotive bursary winners

From left: Automotive bursary winners Shyamal Kansara, Jack Watson and Eunji Choi with Assistant Giles Taylor

The presentations commenced with the Motor Centenary Bursary which began in 1979 when Coachmakers’ Company Class awards were presented for the first time at a Coachmakers’ weekend at Beaulieu National Motor Museum. In 1985 Past Master Richard Dallimore, in his year as Master, launched an appeal to establish a Motor Car Centenary Fund to provide an annual bursary to enable an outstanding designer with the opportunity to advance their career in the field of automotive design. The competition is open to second year vehicle design students at The Royal College of Art and an eminent group of motor enthusiasts adjudicate the presented work and make recommendations to the Court.
The winner of the Motor Centenary Bursary Award 2018 was Shyamal Kansara and the two students Commended for their work were Eunji Choi and Jack Watson.
Shyamal Kansaral comes from London, with Indian origins and graduated from Coventry University with a first class honours degree. A keen track day and karting enthusiast, he is very much a believer in a visceral driving experience. However, he is also focused on pushing new innovations and has an exciting theme for his final year project which promises to push the boundaries of conventional motoring as we recognize it today. Shyamal won the Motor Car Centenary Bursary Award for his professionalism, outstanding design abilities and ambition to make a difference in the future.
Eunji Choi comes from South Korea and her previous degree focused on entertainment design. She was fascinated by British culture since her first visit to Europe and this led her to take up the Master’s degree in vehicle design. She was recently involved in the driverless Gateway exhibition at the London Transport Museum and this innovative technology forms the basis for her final year Masters project. With social media and emerging user trends in mind, she aims to bring a very fresh design approach to future autonomous vehicle interiors – the theme can best be described as a “super yacht for the road”.
Jack Watson comes from Devon, and since graduating from Coventry University with a first class honours degree he has designed a business class seat for Singapore Airlines, which is now in operation. Currently studying for his Vehicle Design Master’s degree, he is motivated by the change factors that are shaping the future of the automotive industry such as autonomy, electrification and new ownership paradigms. Great driving experiences with minimal environmental impact are at the heart of his future ambition to work as a visionary designer in the automotive industry.
Launched in 2016, the Coachmaker Jaguar Land Rover STEM Scholarship for Women is a funding award that provides financial support for three years and structured work experience placements with a mentor from JLR.
The winner of the Coachmaker JLR STEM Scholarship for Women 2018 was Eleanor Bacon.

Ellie Bacon

Ellie Bacon, Winner of the Coachmaker JLR STEM Scholarship for Women 2018 and her parents Mr and Mrs Richard Bacon

Ellie is now in her first year reading Engineering at Durham University. She studied maths, physics and chemistry at A-level and has attended a number of extra-curricular courses and events that inspired and extended her passion for engineering. In her entry form for the competitive scholarship, she wrote: “Inspiration for automotive design has been found in nature for years; from the sleek body of a sailfish, used to reduce drag in supercars, to leaf-inspired solar panels for use in solar-powered cars. Combined with my strong interest in physics, the process of coming to understand the theory behind why something works and then applying that knowledge is what really draws me towards my degree.” As well as a funding award, the scholarship provides structured work experience placements and a mentor from JLR. Ellie was an active member of the Coachmakers’ team at the Livery Schools Link Showcase at Guildhall in February.
The Motor Apprentice Award is awarded to young automotive apprentices and technicians who have demonstrated particular talent and ability.
The Winner of the Motor Apprentice Award 2018 was Emily Leese.

Winner of the Motor Apprentice Award 2018 Emily Leese with The Master and Paddy Hopkirk MBE

Winner of the Motor Apprentice Award 2018 Emily Leese with The Master and Paddy Hopkirk MBE

Emily Leese is the most recent recipient of a Coachmakers’ Motor Bursary. Emily first came to the Coachmakers’ attention through our friends at the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs, which first met Emily at the Classic Motor Show when she approached their stand with her parents to ask how she could train to work on historic vehicles. She was only 13 at the time but clearly had a passion for old vehicles, one which nobody could quite explain as neither of her parents had any professional or personal interest in cars. The fact that the Federation’s Apprenticeship scheme was only just in its development phase and that in any case she was too young to start one, were insignificant barriers to such a determined lady. Living in Bournemouth, close to the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu, she seized the opportunity and became one of the Museum’s youngest weekend volunteers. Last year Emily finally achieved her ambition when the museum manager and renowned chief engineer, Doug Hill, himself a former museum apprentice, employed Emily in the workshop and enrolled her on the FBHVC Heritage Engineering Apprenticeship. The Coachmakers will be supporting her during this apprenticeship for the next three years.
Congratulating the award winners, the Master highlighted the purpose of the evening’s events by reminding us that the evening was a celebration of the British automotive industry in all its aspects. He noted that since the resurgence of the industry from the depths of the 1970s it is now clear that the UK economy cannot survive without the financial contribution provided by the automotive sector. He went on to say that the country has nine major volume, premium and sports car manufacturers, six commercial vehicle manufacturers, nine bus and coach manufacturers, nine engine manufacturers, six mainstream component manufacturers, 13 R&D centres and 2,500 companies in the supply chain – including one firm owned by the family of the guest speaker.
He went on to say that the turnover from this massive industry in 2016 was £77.5 billion; 814,000 people were employed directly, and our exports went to 160 countries. And, to drive home the message – to coin a phrase – there are 35 million cars on UK roads.

Referencing the evening’s award winners, he pointed out that the theme of the Coachmakers’ Company is “an active Livery investing in young people” which is echoed by the automotive industry. In 2016, 78,000 young people began engineering and manufacturing training including apprenticeships, across the sector. He pointed out that the top five manufacturing companies in the UK – Jaguar Land Rover, Nissan, BMW, Toyota and Honda are thriving and, assuming a sensible result with current Brexit negotiations, are likely to remain so. In Europe, the UK is the fourth largest auto-manufacturing country, and in the world, we are 13th. We export eight out of every 10 cars we build, thereby boosting our economy in a way which would be hard to replace.
The Master concluded by expressing his hope that this great and glorious industry, which the Coachmakers had gathered in Clothworkers’ Hall to celebrate, retained the same power to drive the UK economy forward in the future.

A snapshot of the Automotive Industry Dinner

1. Mr Richard Kottler, Master Pattenmaker
2. The Post Horn
3. Mr Patrick Peal, Master Cordwainer
4. The Master and Wardens with those who were Sworn and Clothed at the dinner: Mark Burnett, Mike Dewhirst, Scott Roberts, Peter Ruddock CB CBE, Rakesh Sharma and Graham Green
5. Liveryman Graham Smith OBE and his wife Debra
6. The Master with members of the Hornchurch and Upminster Sea Cadet Unit and members of No 452 Air Cadet Squadron
7. Mrs Gillie Russell-Mann assisting Mr Roderick Upham with the Loving Cup, while his back is protected by Liveryman Lyn Litchfield
8. Brigadier Neill O’Connor, Master Farrier
9. Mr Alan Foster, Executive Director of Operations of McLaren Automotive
10. The Dinner
11. Liveryman Chris Young and his wife Gillie Russell-Mann with guests Mr and Mrs David Young
12. Assistant Steve Fitz-Gerald and his wife Beverley
13. Honorary Assistant John Blauth and Mrs Ali Taylor (Coachmaker’s Charity Admin Assistant) and her husband Hereward with Craft Freeman Emma Wilding.
14. Assistant Lesley Upham and her husband Roderick Upham
15. Mr Richard Hanney, Master Plaisterer