Coachlines - March 2021

15.03.21 The Clerk

A report on the Coachmakers’ Automotive Industry Event 2021, Military and Motorsport and 100 Club Draw

Pictured above: Simon Taylor, our principal guest speaker

In place of the Automotive Industry Dinner that should have taken place at Goldsmiths’ Hall on Thursday 11th March 2021, the Master hosted an event to celebrate the automotive industry and at the same time enjoy some Coachmaker fellowship via Zoom. Sixty computers logged onto the event, including those belonging to numerous Coachmakers, several Livery Company Masters and members of the Distillers’ Company Car Club.

Lt Col Dominic Davey

Lt Col Dominic Davey

Following the Master’s welcome, the first speaker was Lieutenant Colonel Dominic Davey, Commanding Officer of The Royal Dragoon Guards. He delivered an update on the most recent activities of our affiliated regiment and how they had been working through the pandemic. He also explained that the Regiment had recently moved from its long established home in Catterick Garrison to a new home in Warminster and was still settling in. He concluded by thanking the Coachmakers Company for its continued support and looked forward to re-affirming the relationship in the near future by welcoming Coachmakers to visit the Regiment at Warminster.

Captain Oates

Captain Oates

Until then you can watch the RDG’s Commemorative Service held for Captain Lawrence Oates (6th Inniskilling Dragoons), the Antarctic explorer who died during the Terra Nova Expedition in 1912. The Service was held at the Church of All Saints Pavement in York on Sunday 14th March and can be viewed here.

The second speaker of the evening was transgender racing driver and motivational speaker Freeman Charlie Martin who spoke of her journey from ’24 secs to 24 hours’ recounting her tale of moving from hill climbing to endurance racing. Charlie delivered a fascinating and deeply personal account of the challenges she faced at the beginning of her racing career as a sprint racer before moving into endurance racing.

Freeman Charlie Martin

Freeman Charlie Martin

At the same time she spoke of the challenges she faced transitioning but now aims to be the first transgender racing driver to compete as she is signed up for this season with Praga cars in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Her story was moving and enormously impressive and I am sure that all Coachmakers will be looking forward to seeing one of their own take to the track at La Sarthe; Go Charlie. Before that, when racing returns you’ll be able to see Charlie compete in the UK’s Britcar Championship and throughout Europe in the ADAC GT4 Series. You can keep up to date with all of her news testing with Praga cars on her website,

Liveryman John Pearl was next up to adjudicate the 100 Club First Quarter Draw, assisted by the Renter Warden, Julian Leach, and the Clerk. The first prize of £800 was won by Past Master The Hon. Roy Constantine and the £400 second prize was won by Liveryman Mike Turner.

The Clerk then called upon the magic of the Zoomfish Bowl to disperse all the guests to separate breakout rooms.  There they were able to hold individual discussions in small groups before being recalled to the main meeting room for the second part of the evening’s entertainment.

At this point the Master introduced the principal guest speaker for the evening, Simon Taylor (pictured above). Simon is a motoring journalist, author, motorsport commentator and racer who delivered a typically erudite presentation and argued convincingly that there is more to motorsport than Formula 1. Simon has worked in F1 as a journalist, and a commentator on radio and TV for more than 20 years, he has watched, written about and occasionally competed in many other levels of motorsport for over half a century and being uniquely qualified to discuss his chosen topic he did not hold back.

Although full of admiration for the success of F1, he presented a cogent argument in support of his view that all forms of motorsport – from Le Mans and Goodwood to the humble sprint and club rally – has been damaged by F1’s commercial success. From the many comments exchanged via the Zoom chat facility it was clear that everyone watching agreed that all motor racing below F1 deserves to be better appreciated for its excitement, its accessibility, its characters and its true sense of sport. I, no doubt like many others watching, was particularly pleased that against each parameter declared by Simon to be a measure of a true motorsport enthusiast I ticked every box – phew!

Simon rounded off his excellent delivery by inviting everyone to join him and drink a toast to the Worshipful Company of Coachmakers and Coach Harness Makers; the Master followed by asking all Coachmakers to join with her to drink a toast to the Company’s guests before calling an end to the evening.

The Master wishes to thank everybody for attending, and particularly to her wonderful speakers for the speeches delivered which were inspirational and thought provoking. The Master has received many notes of thanks and congratulations.