30.10.23 Honorary Assistant Richard Robinson

Meet the Team – the Livery Committee

The Livery Committee is responsible for planning and implementing an annual roster of informal social events that bring fellow Coachmakers together. These are initially planned with the Senior Warden for delivery in their year as Master and focus on their interests. However, the Livery Committee must also ensure there is a mix of events for all Liverymen.

We are lucky as a company to draw from three main pools of interest – coaching, automotive and aerospace, and there are many other niches that fall somewhere in between. Throw in military affiliations and the City of London, we have a lot of areas to cover.

We are also responsible for making proposals to the F&GP Committee on those companies we consider deserving for the annual Award to Industry. As you will have seen in Coachlines, we have opened up nominations to the wider Livery in recent years, so please do have a think and submit your ideas.

Who is on the Livery Committee?

The Livery Committee is made up of people from across the Livery, with a real mix of interests and length of membership. We are joined by the Master, Senior Warden, and Clerk. Aside from myself, the members currently are:

Assistant Richard Haycocks
Steward David Manchester
Steward Roger Woodbridge
Liveryman Dr Shawn Manning
Liveryman John Knightley
Liveryman Martin Derrick
Liveryman Simon Gurney
Liveryman Nick Lyford
Liveryman David Connor
Freeman Samuel Gervais
Freeman Muhammad Ali

I would like to take this opportunity to express my utmost thanks to all members of the Livery Committee. They all work so hard to make ideas become reality and even harder on the day to make each event a huge success.

What does membership entail?

We meet formally four times a year, three are on Zoom, but we get together in person each November. There are then a myriad of calls and emails between us to ensure the events happen. Each member will typically take responsibility for one or two events each year.

Once we have sketched out the ideas for a year, events are assigned and the person responsible begins by determining the art of the possible and the price. Some events may fall away at this point, but typically we find a way to make some version happen. Once this is agreed, the detailed planning can occur and an advert is circulated to the Livery.

The person responsible then collates the bookings, circulates further information, manages queries, and makes sure everyone is at the right place at the right time. This can often be a bit of a ‘herding cats’ scenario. Please read all the information you are sent carefully and provide the details requested of you in good time. Most requests can be accommodated, but rarely the night before an event!

Once the dust has settled, we will finalise a ledger of the costs and income for the Company Accountant and write up an article of the event for Coachlines.

What is the Livery Committee doing at the moment?

October is always a very busy time for the Livery Committee. As mentioned, we are sketching out the Senior Warden’s events, but also in the process of turning the Master’s year into reality.

We are getting the events rolling with the Lord Mayor’s Show, Temple of Mithras Tour and Military Affiliates’ briefing before Christmas and there is much more to follow in the New Year, including two overseas trips. Do look out for the adverts and info in future editions of Coachlines.

We are also evaluating the Award to Industry nominations we have received in order to make our recommendations to F&GP shortly.

What are you most excited for in the coming year?

Every year is so different, as we take our direction from each Senior Warden based on their interests. We have recently had our first meeting with newly appointed Senior Warden, Steve Fitz-Gerald and have begun sketching his calendar for September 2024 onwards. This will focus on military aviation: past, present and future. More to follow.
Coming up soon, I am particularly excited for the Lord Mayor’s Show on 11th November. It is such an amazing day and one I get heavily involved in planning. It really is a “more the merrier” event, so do sign up if you can come. I can promise you there is no event quite like it.

Why do you do it?

That’s a very good question and one I often ask myself. It is a lot of hard work on top of a full-time job and other commitments, but I am a strong believer that the more you get involved with an organisation, the more you get back.

When I joined the Coachmakers, I knew almost no one, but found the more events I went to the more people I met and the more I wanted to go to. It became a virtuous feedback cycle.

I was then asked to join the Livery Committee and it opened up further opportunities and more connections within the company. This led to me joining the Court, first as a Steward and then as Honorary Court Assistant, when I took up the role of Livery Committee Chairman.

It is also hugely satisfying to stand back and look at an event as it is in full flow and know you made it happen. I love making fun things happen for other people and helping them to connect.

What would your advice be to Liverymen wanting to be more involved?

To steal a phrase from Nike, Just Do It. I can honestly say it transformed my enjoyment of the Coachmakers in so many positive ways. Whether your involvement is making time to go to more events or if you want to get involved with a Committee, then please do.

Most of the Committees are recruiting at the moment, including the Livery Committee, so if you have talents you think would be beneficial, please do get in touch – rhmrobinson@hotmail.co.uk.