The UK’s oldest street party returned this Saturday for its 800th anniversary. Since 1215, the Lord Mayor’s Show has floated, rolled, trotted, marched and fought through history; from the Black Death and the Blitz to this very cold, wet and windy day. Our thoughts go out to the people who were blown away by the gusts!
This year’s Lord Major’s Show celebrated 800 years since the sealing of Magna Carta. As one of the most important documents in English law and human rights, the ‘Charter of Liberties’ gave more power to the people. It forced King John to recognise that his will was not arbitrary and that people could only be ruled through the law of the land.
The 1297 copy of Magna Carta (which you can see at the City of London Heritage Gallery at Guildhall) travelled in the Edward VII Town Coach in front of the Lord Mayor. The Lord Mayor is an annually elected ambassador of the City of London. Alderman Alan Yarrow became the 687th Lord Mayor on 29th September 2014.
The coach, normally on display at the Museum of London, wound its way from Mansion House through the Square Mile to the Royal Courts of Justice and returned via Victoria Embankment.
With 154 participating organisations hailing from places like Kenya and Hong Kong, as well as the UK, this year’s Show highlighted how much London has changed to become one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world.
Visitors were witness to a 7,000 strong – and strange – procession. It included 180 horses, 140 vehicles (including a tank), dogs, fish, pigs, owls, bears, penguins, eagles, a Viking ship, Maasai dancers and our very own Jack Petchey Foundation double-decker!
This year the Jack Petchey Foundation is celebrating its 15th year of working with young people. At the Lord Mayor’s Show, the JPF float had representatives from all of our programmes and all London boroughs and Essex districts. This included the ‘Birthday Bus’ - where a few of the 14,000 Achievement Award winners this year celebrated with young disabled athletes who competed in the Panathalon Challenge.
The bus was followed by performances from members of our Step Into Dance scheme, which runs in partnership with the Royal Academy of Dance. The dance celebrated the 40,000 youngsters who have participated in the programme.
But the big hit of the JPF float was the absolutely enormous 14m x 9m flag carried by members of Speak Out Challenge. One said: ‘The flag is surprisingly heavy but we're all in it together, nothing's going to dampen our mood!'
The Jack Petchey Foundation has invested over £90 million pounds in helping young people be inspired, be motivated and achieve! Today was testimony to the fact that the goal is being, and will continue to be, achieved!
Phillip Allinson organised the Jack Petchey Foundation float this year. He says: “It was fantastic to start our 15th anniversary with more than 150 young people celebrating their achievements. Months of hard work and preparation have really paid off! It just proves that ‘if you think you can, you can!’”
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