Lords Mayor Show - 2008
This is the second time that Chris and I have taken part in this parade, the last time was two years ago and the excitement and anticipation was just the same……….
We travelled down to Old Harlow to the Travel Lodge on Friday ready for the Friday night briefing and dinner bash.
The start on Saturday morning is an early one. Breakfast is 6.15am ready for the drive into London centre at 7.15am. Prompt set off!
This year we were Chauffeured in by Andrew and Pauline Wilkinson from Basingstoke in their 1971 Teal Blue Traveller ARM 200 J. This is their ‘modern’ vehicle – their classic is a Morris 8!!!!! We had such a giggle – poor Andrew has a battle with red lights, I will say no more about this as Pauline and I discovered that we had something in common – we are both connected to HM Court Services…….her in an administrative capacity in London (organising the production of court information leaflets and budgets) and me as a JP in Bridlington!
All vehicles have to be in the centre of London by a dead line – we group up to make sure we are all in the right order and then travel to the final float order assembly point at St Martins le Grand. This is when the activity becomes frantic! The Minors are now ‘dressed’ for the occasion, primped and preened then ready for the off at 11am on the dot. The coffee shops nearby do a roaring trade with coffee and pastries to keep us all warm till lunch.
The Pageant Master assembled us to give our group our Health and Safety briefing. We do have to be aware of the possible presence of Terrorists and the likes, and if we see anything suspicious to report it to an official straight away.
The walkers are all in place (ready to push if necessary). This year I was sort of exempt because of my tummy op. I am quite well and can do a bit of walking but can’t lift or push so because Chris and Keith Haigh unfortunately had to pull their Traveller out at the last minute due to technical problems I found myself riding in the back of a nice little white convertible with MMOC Chairman JF driven by Michelle Dickson.
As we all know the theme this year was Bond – James Bond (60 years or Diamonds), being a total wimp I deflected Rosies request of going in a fur bikini with a machete and shell. (It is November guys)!! Anyway I was dressed as Pussy Galore (underneath) cum From Russia with Love (on top) and Chris joined the ever growing ranks of the ‘Dinner Suited Bonds’ (I love a man in uniform, especially mine)! Just as the parade set off it started to pour down with rain!!! John and I were handed a very small telescopic brolly from Andrew in the front passenger seat (best of intentions, but it would have only covered a postage stamp)!!
Being the back seat passengers our watch word for the brolly which John was in charge of was ‘TIP’ this made sure that we didn’t get a build up of water on top of the brolly. John was trying to keep an eye on Emily (his daughter) who was having a wail of a time getting soaked to the skin at the head of our section and refusing all offers of a keeping dry.
We stopped for lunch at Temple Place, (would you believe the rain stopped for the lunch hour) lunch kindly provided by Asda, sandwich, crisps, choc bar and a bottle of water.
As soon as we went to move on it started to rain.………I had decided to walk back with Chris (my very own James Bond) as I couldn’t get any wetter with him than I had in the back of the Convertible with John.
Andrew, Beryl and Steve from Lancashire were dressed as the King, Queen and Jack of Diamonds and were heading our section. I can only say that Andrew (Jack of Diamonds) had frayed lips by the time we got round the circuit – one lady kept appearing from the crowd with her arms outstretched needing to kiss the ‘Jack’ in the end we all thought she was a family friend!!!!!!!!!
After the parade ended back at St Martins le Grand we all assembled at the Red Herring Pub for refreshments and a de-brief before going on to the Thames Embankment for the spectacular fire work display at 5pm.
Back to the hotel and a very relaxed dinner for most of us although after the very early start quite a few of our party elected to go straight to bed……
Sunday saw a late breakfast (bliss) lots of goodbyes and plans for next weekend when we meet up again at the NEC!
A very special weekend where we have met a lot of new friends and had a really enjoyable time.