Company Dignitaries and St Anthony's Pig
Miraculously, Saturday November the 12th produced, once again, another glorious sunny day for the Lord Mayor's Show, and thankfully somewhat warmer than last year!
As usual Ian Lumsden's immaculate organisation, this year ably assisted by James Dickson, had ensured the delivery of float, steamroller and paver from their various far flung origins, and some deft manoeuvring of three flatbed lorries saw our machinery unloaded and ready to roll by the appointed time. Many may not appreciate that the steamroller needs to be "started" at 4 o'clock in the morning. All the drivers had elected to arrive the evening before to ensure that all went to plan. Even after several years, I can say that seeing everything in place and operational, under a cloudless sky, gives some degree of relief to all those involved.
2005 Lafarge Paver ready to roll
Meanwhile, back at Cutlers Hall, our participants gathered around Jacqui Davies who had made detailed arrangements for the day, and all received a fortifying coffee prior to walking to the float. We are very lucky to have enjoyed the Cutler's patient hospitality once again - they suffer our intrusion on a busy day for the hall, and this year, at 40 strong, we had almost twice the normal attendance.
2005 saw an even longer procession than in previous year's with a total length over twice as long as the route, our float is the longest in the procession, and certainly the 1926 10 ton Marshal steam roller brings it's own challenges for the organisers, who work increasingly hard to accommodate the various health and safety and security issues that we present.
1926 Marshall Steam Roller under way
At 10:45, with Upper Warden, Master (complete with the St Anthony's pig) and Imm. Past Master installed at the front of the float we were ready to take our place in the procession. Our walkers had donned safety helmets and hi visibility vests, and complete with the tools of the trade there was little room left for doubt that we were the Paviors. The inclusion of a brand new, modern paver (courtesy of Lafarge), and a rather ancient steam roller (from Amberley Working Museum) properly represented our theme of "paving through the ages", whilst a sprinkling of children in our entourage provided a reference to the future and the continuing relevance of our craft. We'd worked hard on the BBC to obtain a Paviors interview to boost our visibility, but unfortunately at the vital moment their camera broke down! Maybe next year…..
As usual, even though we are quite late on in the procession, we provided a welcome sight for the crowd who are now clearly used to seeing us, and have taken to signalling the steam roller for a whistle which invariably raises a good cheer. The jazz band on the back of the float also adds to the carnival atmosphere, and at one stage we were joined by members of the Toast Masters who entertained us with some displays of dancing over lunch, and one talented member happily joined the band on the return journey to sing along, there was some evidence that they had been toasting liberally during the morning from the top of their well fuelled open topped bus.
Children to the fore
We are as ever entirely indebted to our sponsors for their financial support of this year's entry and consequently the Lord Mayor's charity, those who made our entry possible are shown in the box on the right. On our return to Angel Street the float was reloaded on its transport and a happy pride of Paviors retired to a pub on Blackfriars bridge to take on refreshments and watch the fireworks. All things considered another very successful day, enjoyed by all, which hopefully provided effective promotion for the Company and sponsors alike, not to mention providing a useful boost to the Lord Mayor's Charity.