The Lord Mayor’s Show is always an uplifting and enjoyable
event and Saturday November 10th 2007 was no exception. The
event was supported by an enthusiastic team of Paviors and
guest participants and thoroughly enjoyed.
The Lord Mayor’s procession winds through nearly 800 years
of London’s history, marching unscathed through everything from
the Black Death to the Blitz.
All aboard, hold tight and enjoy the procession!
In the 17th century it was inconvenienced by the building site
that would later become St Paul’s Cathedral. The Paviors are
inherently entwined in the history of the City and it is a privilege
to walk through the streets of London in the Show as part of the
Livery Company Float. It certainly allows the participants to view
the City in a way, which would never otherwise be possible.
The logistics and diversity of the Lord Mayor’s Show never
cease to amaze. The modern procession is over three miles long.
This is one and a third miles longer than the route it follows. At
least 40,000 people were estimated to have lined the streets to
watch the event. The Pageant master is responsible for
organising the logistics of the Show. This includes arranging for
the lifting and checking of 3,500 manhole covers, installation of
4,000 grandstand seats and 6,300 galvanised crowd barriers
and laying of 43 tonnes of sand. He also organises the 6,000
participants, 200 vehicles and 24 marching bands.
The View from the Float; Miles Ashley and Family
The organisation, on behalf of the Paviors was, as ever,
meticulous and Ian Lumsden, Miles Ashley and Jacqui Davies
should be thanked for their hard work. Not to mention, of course,
our sponsors Lafarge, Sir Robert McAlpine, Nutall, TSSR and St.
Gobain as well as the staff at Amberley Museum for providing
the magnificent steam roller.
Once the parade started moving, the steam engine gathered
pace, with soot and coal smuts pumping from the funnel to cover
the Upper Warden, Renter Warden and the Master (who joined us
on the second leg), and those of us who were walking behind
the float. Blackened faces and site helmets certainly added an
air of authenticity to the occasion.
Peter King (ready)
At the back of the procession, the 680th Lord Mayor of
London, David Lewis, waved as his carriage wound it’s way
through the streets of the Square Mile. Troops who have recently
returned after their tour of duty in Afghanistan also marched and
about 140 soldiers from the London Regiment of the Territorial
Army, which returned in October, provided the Guard of Honour.
The last fully operational World War I tank, Mk V, which has
been housed at the Tank Museum in Bovington, Dorset, was a
special feature in this year’s parade.
We travelled passed Mansion House and the Royal Courts
of Justice (where the Lord Mayor takes an oath of allegiance to
the sovereign before the Lord Chief Justice and the judges of the
Queen’s Bench Division). We stopped for a picnic lunch at
around 1pm and rested in the Aldwych, watching the spectacle
of soldier’s, Livery floats, charitable organisations, schools and
all manner of other groups and institutions. It was a little warmer
this year and this enabled the pause in the procession to be all
the more enjoyable.
Huff and Puff: A day's work!
With the commencement of the second leg, the float was jolted
into action by the Amberley roller, the jazz band “kicked” into
rhythm and the Master and two Wardens just about held their
balance as the roller gathered momentum, pulling the float behind
it at some speed.
After the event it was back to the Doggetts Coat and Badge
in Southwark for a well earned beer or two. The day finished
with one of London’s grandest firework displays from a barge
moored on the Thames between Blackfriars and Waterloo
bridges. An amazing spectacle and a “must” in a day of the life
of a Pavior.