Posted on: 17 November 2015
Last weekend’s 800th anniversary edition of the Lord Mayor’s Show went ahead as planned, but with flags at half mast, no closing fireworks and preceded by a two-minute silence, out of respect for victims of the Paris terrorist attacks the day before.
Theme of this year’s procession was Maritime Powerhouse, in honour of the business connections of the incoming Lord Mayor of the City of London, Alderman the Lord Mountevans, Chairman of Maritime London and a director of Clarksons Platou brokers.
The Lord Mayor said he would “champion a sector that is both new and old – the maritime sector. With a 43 year career in the ship broking business, I know that maritime is one of the global industries where the UK leads the way, contributing £20bn to GDP and supporting almost half a million jobs. As a nation, we need to have a better understanding of this important sector, integral to the jobs and growth agenda.”
Some 20% of the 155 floats taking part had nautical connections – only fitting really as what is believed to be the world’s oldest parade in fact took place along the River Thames for much of its early life, hence the origin of the word ‘float’.
The Show began in the same year as the Magna Carta, 1215, when King John was persuaded to allow the City of London to elect its own Mayor providing he ‘showed himself to the people’ and publically swore loyalty to the Crown once a year, a tradition that continues to this day.
Taking part in the Show this year were Maritime London members Clarksons Platou, The Corporation of Trinity House, Society of Maritime Industries, Lloyd’s Register, Seafarers UK, The Baltic Exchange, Port of London Authority and the Sea Cadets.
Maritime London’s float was sponsored by Sovcomflot, COSCO, the UK Chamber of Shipping and the Port of Gibraltar and ably commanded by Capt. Keith Hart of Hart Marine Consultants, accompanied by Warsash cadets from the Maritime London Officer Cadet Scholarship.
Even the Maritime London Chief Executive was spotted enjoying the day in one of the two Worshipful Company of Shipwrights’ floats – appropriately enough modelled on Noah’s Ark given the day’s heavy rain, which nevertheless failed to dampen spirits at what is traditionally one of London’s brightest street events.