Coachlines - February 2019

22.02.19 The Clerk

The Coachmakers call on the Royal Navy

Pictured above: The Clerk, Cmdr Mark Leaning RN, presents the Immediate Past Master Cook, Mark Grove, with a photograph of the frigate HMS PLYMOUTH

The Master Coachmaker led a group of liverymen and their guests on a visit to HMS PRESIDENT at St Katharine’s Dock in February, to enjoy an evening of Champagne, good food and to learn about what the Royal Navy is doing today.

Hosted by Commodore David Elford OBE ADC RN, the Naval Regional Commander Eastern England, and members of the Royal Navy’s Presentation Team, led by Commander Simon Rogers RN, we were given an exciting and wide-ranging brief on all aspects of Royal Navy activity, at home and abroad. A number of themes were addressed during the presentation, including the numerous equipment programmes and the fact that the Royal Navy is currently undergoing several equipment upgrades in terms of new ships, submarines and aircraft.

However, it was clear that those serving in the Royal Navy are the focus of much innovation regarding their terms of service. Whether in terms of diversity, recognising the needs of individuals or addressing the difficulty of work-life balance in an organisation for which deployed operations is its raison d’etre, the Royal Navy has definitely adopted a modern forward-looking approach.

Additionally, something dear to the hearts of Coachmakers everywhere was the news that HMS ALBION and our own HMS BULWARK will continue to be part of the Royal Navy’s order of battle for many years to come.

Following the Presentation Team’s briefing, a hot fork buffet was taken in the Wardroom Dining Room provided by The Cook and The Butler, perhaps the City’s finest catering company; while enjoying views of the London night skyline across the River Thames to Tower Bridge and St Katharine’s Dock.

During the evening the Clerk Cmdr Mark Leaning RN, took the opportunity to present the Immediate Past Master Cook, Mark Grove, the owner of The Cook and The Butler, with a photograph of the frigate HMS PLYMOUTH afire in Falkland Sound on 8th June 1982. The photograph was signed by 12 members of the 1982 Wardroom of HMS PLYMOUTH, who attended a reunion luncheon in the Aldermen’s Dining Room in June 2017. The event was provided by Mark Grove and the signed photo was presented on behalf of those present in gratitude for his support.

As the Clerk highlighted, it had been the first time since June 2017 that he had managed to get Mark Grove in one place for long enough to make the presentation, and it was an appropriate opportunity to thank him for all that he does for the Coachmakers’ Company.

The Master summarised the evening by highlighting how interesting and informative the event had been, how impressive and articulate the young members of the Royal Navy Presentation Team were and how fortunate we were to enjoy the privileged access to HMS PRESIDENT.

Until the next time.