The Tarmac team prepare to parade
The Paviors Company took to the streets of London once again this year, having one of the longest floats in the Lord Mayors Show.
We were headed up by a state-of-the-art, brand spanking new Dynapac Paver, by courtesy of Liveryman Ken Riley, Director of Tarmac Group. As we were waiting to set off from St Martin's le Grand, Ken explained to us "It's Tarmacs 100th anniversary this year, and we wanted to do something special for the Paviors and the Lord Mayors Show". And there she was - £160,000 of paver, proudly displaying the Paviors Company's crest on each side, brought down from Newcastle on low-loader arriving at 5.30am that morning.
The Master takes the Wardens for a ride on the float
Ken went on to explain that she was capable of laying over 5000 tons of base coat material and 100 tons of wearing coat in a day, 14 feet wide in one layer. She is also fitted with an electronic screed which is extremely environmentally friendly, significantly reducing pollution from the hot tarmac as it is laid. Ken was assisted by Liveryman Clive James, MD of Tarmac Central, Liveryman Cedric Hollinsworth, MD of Midland Tarmac, and Liveryman Terry Last, MD of Tarmac North East who actually drove the machine on the day.
Following on was the "The Squire", David Freemantle's 1916 Aveling and Porter 13.5 ton Steam Roller, towing the Paviors Float. "The Squire" also originated from the North East, working first for Northallerton District Council and then for the North Riding District Council from 1930 until she retired in 1963. Like the Dynapac Paver, she (or should it be he?) was also brought up for the Show by low loader in the early hours of the morning.
Wardrobe Mistress Julia Lofthouse
A couple of days before the Show, David had been contacted by the BBC with a view to interviewing him as the Paviors Float went past the Mansion House. Over a sandwich and samosa lunch, David told me "They rang me earlier in the day, and said that they'd get back later. When the phone didn't ring, I thought we'd ended up on the cutting room floor, but then as we approached the Mansion House, a chap rushed up to me and asked me to slow down. As we rounded the corner, the cameras were there and Clare Balding interviewed me on the foot-plate live on air!"
Ever popular with the crowds as she tooted and puffed her way through the City's streets along the mile and three quarters route of the Show, we discovered that all this steam brought problems of its own as Ian Lumsden, of the Liverymen's Committee and organiser of the Paviors Float explained: "We had lots of problems this year getting permission to have such a long float with the two vehicles, but after 5 meetings and a special dispensation, we managed it". The special dispensation, we later found out, was so that "The Squire" could fill up with water from a fire hydrant at the half way point when the 3.2 mile long procession stopped for lunch!!
Ian Lumsden takes a well-deserved rest
After we too had filled up - with our lunches - we set off again, the Master, Robin Wilson, proudly holding our mascot, the Paviors Pink Pig. (The Paviors pig symbolises the historical connection with the City when the Paviors were responsible for keeping the City's streets clear of St Anthony's pigs). The Wardens took up their rammers, and the "Followers On" in Livery gowns and Victorian costume took up picks, shovels and measuring rods once again.
But all too soon it was over for another year - before we knew it we were back at St Martin's le Grand, with the steam roller soon to be heading home to Hampshire for a boiler re-fit over the winter and the Tarmac Paver to the North East to start its career in motorway construction in and around Newcastle.
The float and entourage ready for the off
Having a float in The Lord Mayors Show involves lots of people in a great deal of time and effort, and although unfortunately there is insufficient space to name them all here, the Company is grateful to them all. Special thanks, however, must go to Ian Lumsden, Miles Ashley and Julia Lofthouse of the Liverymen's Committee and to our sponsors, Tarmac, Benchmark Group, General Demolition and Crossrail, all of whom made the event possible.
Thanks to the Liverymen's Committee and our sponsors the Paviors have had another successful Lord Mayors Show. Long may it continue!
Master embraces reporters David and Christine Marshall
"The Squire" negotiates Ludgate Hill