The Coachmakers again hope to award over £50,000 in 2013 for our bursaries,
awards and donations which include:
Coachmakers Motor Centenary Bursaries £5,000
Motorvations Educational Support £5,000
Coachmakers Davy Apprentice and Technicians Awards (for Car Restoration Projects): £5 ,000
Coachmakers Retail Motor Industry Student Bursaries £5,000
Cranfield Eric Beverley Postgraduate Research Bursary: £2,500
Coachmakers Victor Gauntlett Flying Scholarship: £2,700
Coachmakers Sir Frederick Handley Page Scholarships: £5,000
Coachmakers Aerospace Apprentice Awards: £2,500
Contributions are also proposed for the London Horse Harness Parade, the Coachmakers Award for Coach and Coach Harness Making, Royal Mews Apprentice Bursaries, The Lord Mayor`s Appeal, and other City Charities including over £1600 donated by individual Liverymen for the Lord Mayor`s Jailed and Bailed event, Service Awards related to our affiliated Service units HMS BULWARK, The Royal Dragoon Guards, RAF Brize Norton, and the Hornchurch & Upminster Sea Cadets and an annual donation to the Choir of St Peter ad Vincula in the Tower of London.
The Livery had existed for many years before gaining its Royal Charter from
King Charles in 1677. The Charter was regranted by King James 11 in 1686
giving the Company its quality control ‘licence’ which stated that no person
other than a Freeman of the Livery may work in the trade of Coachmaking
within 20 miles of Guildhall in the City of London. This document entitled
the Master. Wardens and Assistants to enforce that rule, prosecute offenders
and collect fines. As with all Livery Companies the Coachmakers then became
the quality control organisation that policed the trade and in 1749 Master
Coachmaker Joseph Berry was commissioned to build the Lord Mayors ceremonial
The Company purchased, for £l600, its own Hall in 1703 in Noble Street which became its HQs and meeting house. It was rebuilt in 1843 and 1870 but was destroyed in an air raid on London on 29 September 1940. The library and many of its possessions were lost but fortunately the plate and the model of The Royal State Coach, which is now on display in the Victoria & Albert Museum was saved. Neither the Hall nor the land on which it stood was ever recovered as the Masters of the war years, which included Sir Frederick Handley - Page, were heavily involved in manufacturing, in the midlands, aircraft for the war effort.
The company's association with the Armed Forces started in 1900 when the Company organised a competition for improving the design of horse drawn ambulances for the Boer War. Today the Company has formal and very active affiliations with HMS Bulwark, The Royal Dragoon Guards and RAF Brize Norton. Five members of the Royal Family have honoured the Company by accepting membership and office and they include the Duke of Edinburgh in 1863 and HRH Prince Arthur of Connaught in 1927. Current Liverymen include HRH The Duchess of Kent, HRH Prince Michael of Kent and HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
In 1865 the Company began to give prizes for the encouragement of good design and workmanship in the construction of vehicles and this has developed over the decades. As the internal combustion engine replaced the horse, Coachmakers became the craftsmen who built the bodies on the chassis skeletons of early motor vehicles. So were formed companies such as Gurney - Nutting, Hooper, Park, Mulliner and Ward who designed and built these commissioned enclosures. Coachmaking skills were also used to build vehicles of the air exemplified by Geoffrey de Havillands all wood Mosquito aircraft used so effectively in the second world war.
The Company has moved over 3 centuries from its quality control role in Horsedrawn Coachmaking to a fellowship and a charitable trust. This today provides funds for training and educating young persons in the modern automotive and aerospace manufacturing industries whilst retaining a strong interest in its original trade and the associated sporting and recreational dimensions.