Tradition won out over Mother Nature with wet weather failing to washout the Lord Mayor’s Show last weekend. Alderman Dr Andrew Parmley was warmly welcomed to his new role in rather cooler conditions by the thousands who lined the streets despite atrocious forecasts on Saturday.
Speaking not long after the conclusion of an eventfilled day, Dr Parmley said: “What a tremendous Lord Mayor’s Show. Thanks so much to everybody who took part, from schools to livery companies. Now to work!” The new chief’s enthusiasm was matched throughout the day by all those involved and by the scours of people showing their support from the sidelines.
At no better time was this demonstrated then at the day’s dawn, when rowers formed up to complete the flotilla from Westminster to Tower Bridge. Among those lining London Bridge first thing in the morning to watch the flotilla navigate the choppy waters of the Thames were families from as far a field as Denmark and the United States, in the country specifically to bask in the pageantry and splendour of an 800 year old tradition.
Daniel Gert, who is from Copenhagen and was in town his son Taus, said: “It’s one of the things I love about London; I was telling my son that you can be walking down the street of such a modern city and suddenly be in front of a building from the 13th century, and the Lord Mayor’s Show is older still – it’s quite amazing really.”
After warming up back on dry land, and with the clouds above finally ceasing in their relentless attempt to rinse out the City, the new Lord Mayor was back in the spotlight outside Mansion House. Strapped into a carriage only fit for a man of his illustrious standing, Dr Parmley waved to the crowds as the three and a half-mile parade weaved through the closed roads of the Square Mile – themselves a peculiar sight given their usual hustle and bustle. “The festivities somewhat crept up on everyone,” said John Matthews, who was in the Capital with his young family to soak up the atmosphere under the safety of his umbrella.
“We took shelter as best we could for the flotilla and then headed over to Mansion House straight away to get a good spot. “It appeared that we needn’t have rushed because things seemed all a little quiet when we arrived, but soon enough everybody started flooding in and the streets were packed. I would wager the let up in the rain was a big contributor to the sudden swell of people but take nothing away from the show – the parade was fantastic, especially for the kids.” And the party finished with a quite literal bang – despite early fears the rain may say otherwise – as a roaring fireworks display lit up the banks of the Thames once the final parade float was home safe.