The Lord Mayor's Show

Saturday 10th November 2018

It is an incontrovertible fact that it is both cold and rainy on the day of the annual Lord Mayor's Show, the event that heralds the arrival of a new Lord Mayor for the City of London. For those that support the new Lord Mayor in this great pageant through the streets of the City, the adverse weather presents great challenges; what warm clothes to wear, what waterproof shoes and, particularly for those in Livery gowns, whether to where a plastic poncho. Practical things to help cope with a six mile walk without cover that hopefully disguise any discomforts of a meteorological kind from the hundreds of thousands of well-wishers cheering and waving as you pass by.

So when the Clerk, Senior Warden, Renter Warden and I assembled at Stationers Hall that morning, it was with astonishment that we found that the weather was rather nice. For a few moments we wondered if we had the right day. After the learned Clerk assured us it was the right day and that, yes, the weather really was clear, bright and quite warm for mid-November, the walkers had to reconsider their attire. We stripped back some layers and, with some gratitude, left behind our ponchos before donning our Company's gowns and badges of office. With that done, off we set to join our fellow Modern Livery Companies' float, a magnificent gold RouteMaster bus.

Fittingly for the Tobacco Pipe Makers, the collection of 22 Modern Companies being represented that day was number 82 in the order of procession. In total there were 148 participating organisations including the Lord Mayor, Peter Estlin, and the Sheriffs, Vincent Keaveny and Liz Green, and the floats, walkers and marching bands put on a fine show with everyones' spirits lifted by the beautiful weather. The party atmosphere continued into the lunchtime break where, by tradition, the Modern Livery Companies are welcomed onboard HQS Wellington by the Master Mariners. On deck, we enjoyed a light lunch, a drink and, for those so disposed, a smoke. Reinvigorated, the Show restarted for its short finish past Mansion House for a second time and then back to London Wall before concluding a little before 3pm.

The Senior Warden, Renter Warden and I returned our gowns and processional trappings to Stationers Hall. As we said our goodbyes, grey clouds were gathering in the sky and within half an hour of this moment the heavens opened with a biblical downpour. So the tradition held true with regards to the weather on the day of the Lord Mayor's Show but, thankfully, it did not rain on this year's parade!