This is traditionally the month of rest for the busy Master and Clerk’s team. Well, like the football season, which hardly seems to have finished before it starts again, the Livery world scarcely seems to stop as it used to. So early August saw me on a train to Windsor and a tasting at the brewery of the same name but with Eton included, for a masterclass in craft brewing. Ours is certainly a trade that you never stop learning in, which was proved once more as I joined the assembled Masters worked their way through the array of wonderful ales and lagers (well someone has to do it!). Hence the train of course. And what a masterclass as well, in managing growth, as this five year old company continues its stellar performance in what is said to be a declining market.
HMS Montrose is an affiliate very close to our company, so it was a particular pleasure to meet Cdr Conor O’Neill the new OC who is now engaged in the sea trials after her extensive refit. There are exciting plans in the offing for visits to different parts of the British Isles provided that other duties do not call her away – which could easily happen in these troubled times. And what a pleasure as well to visit her sister ship HMS Somerset when invited with the Mistress to the Edinburgh Tattoo which the Navy was featuring in this year. We felt very much at home with the warm welcome and the presence of an 825 Squadron Wild Cat on the flight deck to add to the occasion. Varied are the experiences of a Master in his year but I can thoroughly recommend a blue light escort to Edinburgh Castle which comes with being hosted by the Second Sea Lord. Perhaps more sobering was the excellent presentation given at the reception which highlighted the efficiency of the Navy whereby they perform a myriad of tasks with a complement of fewer than 30,000; a smaller number than work at Specsavers it seems which is the sobering thought.
Next year it will be the turn of the RAF to lead the event in celebration of their centenary and we will be very much involved in their activities through our affiliation with 603 Squadron. They were in evidence at the Royal Air Tattoo at Fairford which as it happens is less than 4 minutes flying time from our home in the Cotswolds. We know when things are getting serious on the international scene when the big black aircraft fly in – which they are doing now – and the airfield has become operational again.
A sobering thought for us all but hopefully the deterrent will work.
On a happier note we look forward to the next and final three months of my year. There are plenty of events to look forward to from the Charity Drive around the hidden distilleries of Scotland followed by a wonderful dinner at the beautiful Sygnet Library in Edinburgh, then on to the Mansion House banquet in October. The year really does go exceptionally quickly and accelerates as the months go by.
I hope you enjoy the rest of the summer and I look forward to seeing many of you in the coming weeks in Scotland or the City.