Tony Maynard – Master 2019-20
It is both an honour and a privilege to have been elected the 193rd Master of the Company.
I was bound as an apprentice to the Company by my father, George Maynard, in 1983, being descended from a long line of both Watermen and Lightermen stretching back to the eighteenth Century.
My first job was on board passenger vessels, from Charing Cross Pier to Greenwich, for one of our Past Masters, Robert Crouch. In 1988, I became fully qualified to work as both a Waterman and Lighterman and so became a Journeyman Freeman of the Company.
In April 1989, with two partners, I formed a company to offer both sightseeing cruises and private hire vessels on the Thames. We still operate the same company today, albeit having grown quite considerably over the years, having just celebrated our thirtieth year of business.
My wife, Sue Maynard, who is an integral part of the operation of our business, also comes from a similarly long line of Thames Watermen, her father being Eddie Jones. We have three children and our son Charlie is currently the Captain of MV Thomas Doggett, the newest passenger vessel on the River Thames with a capacity of 526 people.
In January 2018, I was appointed as one of the twenty-four Watermen to Her Majesty the Queen. These days this is a ceremonial role rather than the physical rowing task of years gone by. However, on special occasions, Royal Watermen can still be seen rowing the Royal Barge Gloriana in their traditional red uniforms but perhaps, more frequently, can be seen acting as footmen at state visits, royal weddings and jubilees. At a coronation, Royal Watermen walk behind the Royal Barge Master guarding the Regalia when it is brought from Buckingham Palace to Westminster and returned; a reminder of the days when it was brought from the Tower of London by boat.
I became a Craft Owning Freeman of the Company in 2006 and was invited onto the Court in 2007. I have served on various committees during this time, most recently as Chairman of the Apprentice and Training Committee where, along with our training officer, I was charged with facilitating the training of our bound apprentices so they ultimately achieve their Boat Master’s Licence.
My main focus for the coming year, will be for the good of our apprentices and to continue to assist our Training Officer, Alex Hickman, with the excellent work that he does. Also to encourage more Journeymen Freeman to became Craft Owning Freeman, with a view to joining the Court and perhaps one day becoming Master of the Company.
I am now very proud to have the opportunity to represent the Company of Waterman and Lighterman as Master during 2019-2020.