A Modern Interpretation Of The Art Of Fan Making & Its Realistic Contribution To Climate Change And The Energy Transition


The original ‘trades’ of many older London livery companies are today less important or even relevant in today’s society than they were in the past, but that does not mean they can’t contribute today with many adopting modern equivalents. The Worshipful Company of Fan Makers, which is only No 76 in the order of precedence (often called the youngest of the old livery companies being the last to received Royal Charter in 1709 by Queen Ann), is no exception where jet engines and air conditioning which rely on big fans.

Up until the mid to late 1800’s, ladies' fans were still a key part of a lady’s daily accessories where Fan Making had become established in the city after the exodus of the Huguenots from Paris due to the religious wars in France over the previous century.

It could be argued that with climate change and a demand for increasingly sustainable methods of cooling, Fans should again be a part of everyone’s daily accessories like ones credit cards, phone and keys, but a new, equally important and more modern adoption of fan making is surely the increasing use of wind turbines (which could be classed as big reverse fans!) being used to generate electricity and reduce emissions from fossil fuels as part of the energy transition.

The challenge is that they may not be the golden ticket to clean energy as they will always rely upon the weather and cannot always be depended upon for the secure energy we all expect when its not windy, are currently reliant on complex hydrocarbon materials for their construction, are difficult to re-cycle, and are not as profitable as other sources of energy to the generating companies.


Mike Lakin is a geologist by profession and has spent 40 years in the energy sector, mostly focused on hydrocarbon exploration. He joined the Fan Makers in 1994 through his time in the Territorial Army and his Royal Engineer’s unit affiliation with the company.

Mike originally wanted to be a vet before his refocus on energy. His passion for maintaining both the physical and natural world in which we live, and which his chosen profession is now being incorrectly blamed for affecting, is his new passion. In particular, Mike is interested in finding a ‘realistic’ path to Energy Transition which is actually achievable in a way that will lessen the very negative influence the current plan (or lack of it) could shortly have on the worlds population’s way of living.

Mike lives with his wife Charlotte in West London with two boys at University and in the final year of school. He is very much looking forward to his year as Master of the Worshipful Company of Fan Makers during 2024 and exploring how the most modern interpretation and association with the art and/or science of Fan Making (or should that be Power Generation) might be progressed.