Fans of pomp and circumstance will line the streets of the City tomorrow to watch one of London’s fine old traditions unfold. Each year, the City of London gets a new Lord Mayor (most certainly not to be confused with the more well-known mayor who inhabits the glass testicle near Tower Bridge). Indeed, the office of Lord Mayor is so tied up in the ceremonial that the official web site doesn’t even bother to name this year’s incumbent.
Every year, since 1215, assorted livery companies, bands, charities and other worthies have accompanied the imminent Mayor along the streets or river of the City amid much baton twirling, cornet tooting and horse whinnying.
There’s little original to say about an 800-year-old ceremony. We could try, by telling you that the Mayor’s hat is constructed from Dick Whittington’s matted pubes, or that during WWII, the procession waded along the northern low-level sewer to avoid air raids. And, of course, the parade is always held at the weekend to avoid the congestion charge. But these are all lies.
So we’ll just tell you where to go. The parade heads off around 11am form Guildhall, over to the Mansion House, then doubles back along Poultry, Cheapside, past grandstands at St Pauls (11.15), down Ludgate and on towards the Royal Courts of Justice on Fleet Street. Here at 12.40, the new Mayor will swear his oaths. The filthy bugger.
Watch out for an RAF fly-past at 11am, and the fireworks display over the Thames at 5pm.
Image taken from Howard.'s Flickr photostream.