Lord Mayor’s flotilla is back on the river

THIS weekend saw the annual Lord Mayor’s Show grace the City yet again. Thousands gave the warmest of welcomes to the 685th Lord Mayor of London, Roger Gifford, on his first full day in office.

Gifford is UK head of Swedish bank SEB. He officially took over the mayoral role from the much-loved Lord Mayor David Wootton on Friday, in what is known as the Silent Ceremony. This ancient ceremony, held inside the Guildhall, involves the handing over of symbolic items including the sword and mace.

Gifford has big shoes to fill, as Wootton has proved to be a particularly popular mayor during his tenure in the role. Already following in the footsteps of his predecessor, Gifford took to the Thames on a flotilla again this year.

After the pomp and Silent Ceremony of Friday came the pageantry of the Saturday show, where new Lord Mayor Gifford set off from the Mansion House in his golden State Coach and proceeded to the Royal Courts of Justice, where he swore his loyalty to the Crown.

Before him went a three-and-a-half mile long procession of 22 marching bands, 125 horses, an American stagecoach, a Japanese Taiko drum band, a steamroller, a boat, a Sherman tank and an F-type Jaguar.

However The Lord Mayor may have wished he’d taken the Jag instead of the coach. His shining carriage unfortunately broke down, meaning he had to complete the return leg of the journey in a distinctly less glamorous vehicle, via Land Rover.