Worshipful Company of Farriers
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The Worshipful Company of Farriers
Promoting the welfare of the horse since 1356

WCF News: Lord Mayor's Show

10th November 2012

Lord Mayor's Show

To arrive at 8.30am for breakfast at the Barber Surgeons' Hall on a wet morning was a tall order for the 40 Liverymen walking with the Farriers' Float! But the lure of a bacon butty was all it needed! We were very fortunate to start off the day at such a great venue, and the Barber Surgeons' staff made us so welcome and looked after us so well. By the time we had got clothed in our tabards the rain had eased off and we set off to find the float and the Suffolk Punch horses.

The team from the Suffolk Punch Trust had made an extremely early start to the day, coming from Hollesley Bay near Woodbridge, they had arrived safely in the City. Bruce, Tracey and their team were busy preparing the horses for their walk through the streets of London. And they did us proud! You could not have seen more beautifully turned-out horses. They had been groomed immaculately with their full manes and tales braided with raffia, their tails were braided to the end and then folded up, their harnesses were polished brightly and they looked magnificent.

They stood quietly while the Float was attached and in a unicorn shape (one in front and two behind) they waited patiently until the signal was given to get into position for the start. The Float itself was looking really smart, and we thank the staff at the Suffolk Punch Trust who had worked so hard to get it looking so good.

The Clerk, Charlotte Clifford, Past Master Stephen Scott, Upper Warden Simon Fleet, Middle Warden Wayne Upton and Renter Warden Guy Hurst climbed onto the float and took their places on the seats. The Master, Major General Sir Evelyn Webb-Carter looking most elegantly dressed, arrived riding a lovely grey Household Cavalry horse called 'Vixen' who led our Float. The walkers, including 2 FANYS and one representative from RAF 18B Squadron, set off either side of the float waving their flags.

The Lord Mayor travelled from Guildhall to Mansion House in the stunning gold coach, which was built in 1757, where he waved off the procession from the balcony. Forming the Guard of Honour and leading the procession was The Honourable Artillery Company, formed 475 years ago in 1537.

We were proud to see that several of our own Liverymen, who are members of the HAC, were taking part. The 3 mile long procession involved more than 6,500 people, 200 horses and 156 floats. Livery companies, bands, universities, military units, charities, professional organisations, schools, and many other representatives from other countries were amongst the parade. Crowds of people lined the street, cheering as we went by. As we passed the stands at St. Paul's Cathedral, we were waved and cheered on by our own Liverymen.

The route took us down Ludgate Hill, Fleet Street, and the procession ended at the Royal Courts of Justice in the Strand where the Lord Mayor leaves the coach and swears an oath of allegiance before the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales and Master of the Rolls. We were directed down to the Embankment where we could have a well deserved rest!

The slope going down Middle Temple Lane was a challenge for our strong Suffolk Punch horses who seemed to know exactly how to slow down a very heavy weight behind them! As we munched our way through the packed lunches, the Liverymen were pleased to see the boxes of wine on the float, which Liveryman Dorothy Elliott had provided and even warmed up the red wine with a small hot water bottle!! At about 1.15 pm we set off from Victoria Embankment, up Queen Victoria Street, past the Mansion House arriving back at Gresham Street, where having deposited the tabards, most of the walkers and their families and friends headed for the 'Red Herring' pub in Gresham Street, where we were given a well-deserved and delicious late lunch! Some of the Liverymen who sat in the stands, had already eaten at the 'City Pipe' and enjoyed a most convivial lunch.

This was a day of friendship and fun and enjoyed by all who took part.