Gypsars and Daubers Online
Our new Clerk, Col Garth Manger RM OBE

Online: 21st May 2020

In the first of the events that I have planned under the banner of Gypsars and Daubers Online, I was fortunately able to introduce the Company to our new Clerk (still Designate),  Col Garth Manger RM OBE. Garth started work with the Plaisterers’ Livery on 4 May and was a willing volunteer when I broached the subject with him. He proved a popular choice and about 50 Livery members tuned in on Zoom to watch, listen and take part.

Garth produced an excellent PowerPoint with photos of his life in the Marines. You might think that having the same job for 35 years would lead to a short talk of not much content. You did not however count on the life of a Royal Marine, nor the enthusiasm and adventurous spirit of Garth.  It is fair to say that the Plaisterers do know a thing or two about the Marines as we have a close affiliation with the Royal Marine Reserves in Wandsworth and a regular liaison with 47 Commando (landing craft)  and links with the Signallers. The Master makes several visits to the Marines in Devon over his or her year and so becomes familiar with the CO and some of the senior ranks.  This might have helped Garth whose role in 2011 as CO of 1 Assault Group RM  was not only to move the landing craft base from Poole to Devonport but to play host to our Master De Bradshaw and others on several occasions.

I have now visited Tamar, the new base in Devonport, and it is a well-developed and integrated site. It was incredible to see the photos of the site when Garth was first CO and tasked with setting up the new base from scratch. Quite a feat!  But, as I have said, he is up for a challenge.  A more recent posting was to Portugal to run NATO’s Premier Maritime Deployment HQ, STRIKFORNATO . Here he had to bring together 200 staff from many nations to work collaboratively and effectively together. I asked a teasing question as to how this might play out in working with a diverse group of Livery members – Garth responded that he would consult and listen but ultimately have to make a decision and move on – hopefully in the right direction.. This was a plus that we had seen in interviewing him and will work well with the Plaisterers Livery.

Garth is no stranger to ceremonial being involved in the 350th anniversary of the Marines in 2014. His story of being the first Marines to take part in the Ceremony of Dues at the Tower of London (paying the Constable a barrel of port for any marine vehicle passing the Tower of London) also demonstrated how he can turn an ancient ceremony to his advantage. Seems a good trick for a Livery Clerk to know.  His experience in helping out the deluged towns of Devon during the floods in 2012  might also prove useful lest our Hall ……!

Garth has stretched his physical endurance in running 5 marathons and the South Coast Trailwalk of 72 miles in 12 hours.  But as he admitted golf is his main sport  now we may have a chance in the inter-livery golf competitions. I hope members might be lining up when the time comes to tee off.

Garth’s wife Rachel joined the Zoom to say hello and we look forward to welcoming her and their 3 children in the future when circumstances allow.

Garth is nothing if not prepared. His final slide set out his plans in the short medium and long term – he came prepared with a special camouflaged face mask – Rachel’s handiwork I believe.

We all felt that we had had a great time and now know Garth so much better and it is fair to say he now has a good picture of us.  (Thanks to Liveryman Louise Laprun).

Alderman Alison Gowman, Master Plaisterer