We all have our daily routines. Travel into such-and-such station, make a beeline for the office, grab a coffee on the way, preferred sandwich shop at lunch, back to work, another beeline to such-and-such station, then home again. And repeat.
Hundreds of thousands of us cross paths in the Square Mile each weekday, turning into millions throughout this newspaper’s broader home, which includes Canary Wharf, the west end, and other business districts.
Amid this relentless buzz lies centuries of history, quietly standing its ground. A spire by a skyscraper, a Roman ruin by a Tube line. The City has long been a place where the old and the new are in constant interaction, a theme explored by writers such as Peter Ackroyd (if you haven’t read Hawksmoor – buy a copy).
It’s perfectly understandable that our cyclical activities blind us to the hidden history of our working environment; we understand, Reader, that you have a lot on your plate.
Thankfully, however, tomorrow brings an opportunity to repeat these commutes – not to come into work, but instead to take part in an historic milestone: the 800th Lord Mayor’s Show.
To put the enormity of that number into some kind of context, the first Lord Mayor’s Show (admittedly not called a “show” back then) took place in the same year that King John agreed to Magna Carta. Indeed, the event stems from an agreement between the royals and the City, that London would be allowed a Mayor so long as he (or, subsequently, she) travelled to Westminster once a year to pledge loyalty to the monarch. Fair enough.
Whether or not parades are your thing, the day offers an opportunity to indulge in the richness of the City’s history. Discover several millennia of progress at the Museum of London; drop into the Guildhall Galleries where free tours will be taking place; or visit the Tower Bridge Exhibition, which is offering two-for-one admission for one day only.
It’s natural to want to escape work at the weekends, but by returning tomorrow you may come to view the Square Mile in a different light, and thereby add another dimension to your daily commute. City A.M. is taking part in the parade, so look out for our float. We hope to see you there.