Friday 10 November 2023

Traditional pursuits in November – part 2


Traditional pursuits in November – part 2

Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The State Coach in which the Lord Mayor travels is over  250 years old and
 is guarded by Pikemen. It is drawn by six shire horses, a postillion on the
 first pair and the following four driven by a coachman on the box seat.

London has two mayors. The Mayor of London is responsible for the government of Greater London and is elected by Londoners. The Mayor of London may serve a maximum of two four-year terms. It is a position that was created in 2000 by the last Labour government and is political in character. The Mayor of London is responsible for improving London’s environment, ensuring among other things, that transport is efficient, helping the city’s businesses to thrive, attempting to provide sufficient and affordable housing.

It is a role completely separate to that of the Lord Mayor.

The Lord Mayor’s Show is held on the second Saturday in November every year. It dates from 1215 and is the oldest civic procession in the world, only being cancelled in the event of national disaster or disruption, like the 1665 Great Plague, the Reform Bill riots of 1830 and the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.

This year it falls on 11th November, Remembrance Day. It is customary for a two-minute silence to be observed at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, the time at which the Armistice was signed in 1918.

It is a poignant moment when everything ceases for that two-minute period, in supermarkets, in educational establishments, the BBC, wherever it is practicable so to do. It will be observed prior to the commencement of the procession.

 Many floats representing businesses. youth groups, charities and others take part in the procession.

A new Lord Mayor is elected every year and the office reflects his position as the civic leader of the City of London, an area also known as the Square Mile. The Square Mile is London’s main financial centre. 

He is voted in by the liverymen belonging to the Great Twelve Livery  Companies - the Mercers, Grocers, Drapers, Fishmongers, Goldsmiths,  Merchant Taylors, Skinners, Haberdashers, Salters, Ironmongers, Vintners  and Clothworkers - and other livery companies, such as the Worshipful  Company of Basketmakers, participate by invitation.

The Lord Mayor’s Show focuses on a grand street procession, involving mediaeval pageantry and carnival. Participants include representatives of the armed forces, charities, youth movements, businesses and Londoners from various communities. It is a colourful, entertaining celebration culminating in a grand fireworks display.


  1. I don't normally like fussy hats, royal cloaks and multiple coachmen for non-royals on public events. But the stage coach is such a stunning work of art I will make an exception. It belongs in a protected museum.

  2. I do like the coach's subtle and restrained decoration. It looks like something a noveau riche person would have built.

    I wasn't aware the position of Mayor of London was only created in 2000. That would be Livingston, Johnson and now Khan I guess and I've probably left someone or more out.

    1. Would that we could all afford to be so subtle and restrained in our decor.
      You've got all the mayors - well done! Red Ken, Clown Johnson and currently Khan, who does his best - I suppose! ULEZ is his baby.

  3. It is one of the three great State Coaches in the United Kingdom. There's more information here:

  4. That's a very fancy coach and a parade too!

    1. It's a big event and probably attracts many tourists and £££.

  5. Interesting to read about London's two mayors!
    The two-minute silence is very poignant indeed. Today, Armistice Day, is an official holiday here in Belgium, which involves the laying of wreaths at War Memorials of all kinds and all over the country. I'm glad this tradition is still being upheld, even though the world still doesn't seem to have got the message, more that 100 years after "the war to end all wars" ...

  6. Wars have always been fought and I suppose they always will be. Sometimes they're necessary. x x x


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