Posts Tagged ‘pageant’

London — By Andrea Kirkby on November 7, 2009 at 2:39 pm
Filed under: featuredarticle, lord mayor's show, pageant, procession

The Lord Mayor’s Show

Nick Anstee will be the 682nd Lord Mayor of London – joining a long line of Lord Mayors who have included Dick Whittington (yes, he really existed), Geoffrey Boleyn (Anne Boleyn’s great-great-grandfather), and Sir Robert Geffrye, who founded the almshouses which are now the home of the Geffrye Museum of furniture. And he’s having a party to which you’re all invited.

lord-mayors-show

The Lord Mayor’s Show will be held on Saturday 14 November.

At 1045 the Lord Mayor will leave the Guildhall on his way to Bank. There’ll be a flypast by the RAF at 11 o’clock to kick off the procession, which will wind its way from Bank, past St Paul’s – where the Lord Mayor will receive a blessing on the steps – to the Royal Courts of Justice and Temple Bar, the boundary of the city.

It’s at the Courts that the Lord Mayor swears his allegiance to the Sovereign. Then at 1 pm the Mayor will leave Temple Gardens, after lunch in the Temple, and process along the Embankment and Queen Victoria Street back to the Mansion House, arriving there at 230.

There are places to see the procession all along the route, though my favourite spot is outside the Guildhall – get there early enough and you can see the participants in the procession getting together, with a great chance to take some candid, unposed photos.

The procession includes members of the Livery Companies, many of them in their traditional dress and holding the tools of their trade – the Worshipful Company of Butchers, the Carmen, Fruiterers and Leathersellers, the Painter Stainers, the Paviors and the Plaisterers (no, that’s not a typo); and bringing us right up to date, the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists.

The WCIT is the City’s hundredth livery company – and a little unusual since its members all practise the trade it’s named after. Many of the other companies, like the Fan Makers, only have a tangential relationship to their craft – many of the members are accountants or lawyers. (My father embarrassed me one year by explaining to some of the members of the Wheelwrights’ Company what the tools they were holding were actually for!)

The Lightmongers ought to put on a good display – at number 96, it’s another one of the modern livery companies, and includes members of the lighting industry, so expect light sabres rather than ceremonial swords!

The pikemen and musketeers of the Honourable Artillery Company, which is based in the City, will be marching alongside military bands and the HAC light cavalry, and there’ll also be a carnival float from Hackney and a display from Streetwise Opera, as well as Battersea Dogs and Cats Home.

It’s not over when the procession finishes, either. If you didn’t get enough fireworks on Guy Fawkes Night, then there will be more at 5 o’clock, when the Lord Mayor lights the blue touchpaper for a display over the River Thames.

The Lord Mayor’s Show is an event worth waiting for – and the Lord Mayor has had to wait quite some time, since he was elected on the 29th of September, but only takes office the day before the Show.

Photo from Garry Knight on flickr


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