During the evening of Friday 11th November, Nicholas Lyons was sworn in as the 694th Lord Mayor of London at what is known as the ‘Silent Ceremony’. As is the tradition, the new Lord Mayor ‘showed’ himself to the citizens of London in the Lord Mayor’s Show the following day. The Paviors Company was pleased to participate in the Show again this year.
A group of Paviors, some with their families, assembled in St Martin-le-Grand near St Paul’s Cathedral on the Saturday morning to accompany their float in the procession. Everyone was fitted out with high-vis jackets and hard hats ready to participate. The float was to be pulled by the traction engine ‘Surprise’ that was celebrating its 100th birthday this year. Behind the float came the large inflated ‘St Anthony’s Pig’ that has now become a well-known feature of the Show. The pig reminds everyone that a role of the Company in the middle ages was to keep the City’s streets clear of wandering pigs. The exceptions were the pigs from St Anthony’s Priory, identified by a bell around their neck, which were allowed to roam free. The Pavior’s inflated pig duly carries a bell around its neck – but also sports a Paviors’ hard hat!
The float was number 86 in the procession and took its place carrying the fully-robed Master and Wardens. Also on the float was a ukulele band led by Pavior Jacqui Davies, which entertained the watching crowds with a sing-along of well-known songs. The procession proceeded down Gresham Street past the Guildhall and then via the Bank of England to the Mansion House, where the Lord Mayor and other City dignitaries acknowledged the participants with some enthusiastic waving. From there the procession progressed along Cheapside past St Mary-le-Bow church to St Paul’s Cathedral, and from there to the Royal Courts of Justice. Here, the new Lord Mayor, who joined the end of the procession, would later swear his allegiance to the new King. A lunch-stop was made in the back streets just beyond there, where welcome soup and rolls were enjoyed. In the afternoon, the procession headed back to the Mansion House via the Embankment and the Paviors’ float eventually returned to its starting point for disassembly.
Taking place in November, past Shows have been notorious for their inclement weather, making participation rather cold and often very wet. However, this year the weather was mild and the sun shone, making everything much more comfortable and even more enjoyable than normal for participants.
Thanks are due to Pavior James Atkins and his team of organizers of the float, which was sponsored this year by Sir Robert McAlpine, Sandberg LLP, FM Conway, O’Keefe Construction Ltd and Winkworth Sherwood LLP. The Paviors Company is extremely grateful to the sponsors for their support of this event. The float also advertised the London Construction Academy, which is the major charity supported by the Company.