Otherwise known as London’s “Big Day Out”, this year’s Lord Mayor’s Show marks the 803rd year of the celebratory event of the city as she stands in her modern guise (and the 691st election of a Lord Mayor for the City). Nonetheless, the newly elected Lord Mayor of London, Peter Estlin’s progression to “the distant village of Westminster” will have changed very little in that considerable time, though his means of transport to swearing his loyalty to the Crown could take multiple forms, it having varied within that period, of course – from rowing to riding to simple marching, and beyond.

On 10th November this year, make sure that you and your loved ones be in and around Bank, St. Paul’s, and the Royal Courts from 11am on what is hopefully to turn out to be a very fine Saturday of the autumnal season, in order to soak up this “unique spectacle of pageantry and pomp”.

Led by the Band of HM Royal Marines (HMS Collingwood), the running order of the procession is a list gargantuan (and far too lengthy to go into detail here). Nonetheless, highlights include fifth in line, the Royal Marines Reserve (City of London), which were founded under a mile from the procession’s start and are celebrating their own 70th anniversary this year; forty-second in line, the Blenheim Chalcot, who follow through the Lord Mayor’s 2018 theme of ‘Shaping Tomorrow’s City Today’, and bring to a wider audience (i.e. the young) the key roles automation and AI play and will play in careers of today and the near future; as well as ninety-third in line, Create, the UK’s leading charity to empower lives through the creative arts. In short, a little bit of something for everyone.

That’s not to say, out of the one hundred and forty-eight taking part in the Lord Mayor’s Show, there aren’t others worthy of mention too, but this blog is short and the day itself will exemplify its own promise. What should be mentioned – if there yet be space available – are the two grandstand stalls outside St. Paul’s for more comfortable viewing of the procession. Tickets cost £40.00.

Please be aware that every road within the City of London is closed for the day, and every parking space too, due to security concerns. Tube and train services will be the only means of transport to stations along the event route. Bank is middle ground, while St. Paul’s is the stop for the outward leg. Return-wise, Blackfriars and Mansion House are what you’ll be looking for.

However, aside from the procession, Paternoster Square and the St. Paul’s area will be offering a festive fair, art installations, street theatre, and artisanal food stalls, while Bloomberg Arcade near Mansion House will err on the side of the technological bent of the Lord Mayor’s message in 2018.

©Clive Totman 2017 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Moral rights asserted: Must credit / byline photographer. LEGAL NOTICE: Image is licensed for EDITORIAL USE ONLY . It is the sole responsibility of the distributor/client/user/publisher to seek all permissions/releases BEFORE USE.

Melvyn Bragg perhaps summed up the spirit of the show best in his introduction to the anniversary book on its 800th year:

“The Lord Mayor’s Show enthusiastically embraces the Shakespearean view of life, a particularly English phenomenon founded in literature by the London Poet Chaucer, and described by another London author Dickens as “streaky bacon” […we…] put the comic and the tragic against each other, we do coarse and we do grandeur. We do bawdy and we do elegance. In the first two or three hundred years after his death Shakespeare was heavily criticised by Classicists especially in France for this mixture. Well, the Lord Mayor’s Show perpetuates it. There is splendour and there is a knees-up.

We’ll be there for both.