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The Lord Mayor's Show November 2011

This year's Lord Mayor's Show, on Saturday November 12th 2011, was a very special one for the Bowyers' Company and became a wonderful day out for many members and their families. The newly elected Lord Mayor, Alderman David Wootton, is a member of the Bowyer's Livery and not since the late "ebullient" Sir Roger Cork was Lord Mayor in 1996 have the Bowyers been able to claim the Lord Mayor as one of their own and celebrate as such.

The Silent Ceremony, known as such as, apart from a short declaration of office by the incoming Lord Mayor, no words are spoken, had taken place on the previous evening at Guildhall. This ritual by which the outgoing Lord Mayor ceremonially hands the City insignia to his successor was witnessed by the Bowyers' Master, Howard Mundy, and Past Master Richard Model. The latter had proposed Alderman Wootton into the Livery some years ago.

It is customary that the Livery Companies to which the new Lord Mayor belongs enter a float for his Show. Alderman Wotton's Mother Livery is the Fletchers' Company and it had been agreed some months in advance that the Bowyers would enter a float jointly with the Fletchers. Leading the Float were the Master and Wardens of the Company, in gowns and bonnets and chains of office, riding in a coach and four.

The theme of the Float was "Archery through the Ages", and featured Agincourt Archers, Victorian Lady recreational archers and modern disabled archers. The latter reflects the charitable support that both companies give in this area. Bowyers and their ladies participated as Agincourt Archers and Victorian Ladies. Also represented were schoolgirls from the Central Foundation Girls School, from Tower Hamlets, that the company has a long history of supporting. Detachments of air and army cadets flanked the float.

Music is integral to the Show and there were two bands on the Float entertaining all and sundry with authentic medieval music on medieval instruments provided by students from the Royal College of Music and a Jazz band from the City of London Freemen's School. Fortunately they took turns to perform rather than compete!

Many members of the Bowyers Company who were not participating in the Show congregated on Ludgate Hill from where they cheered the Master on his way, applauded the float and enjoyed the rich pageantry that passed before them. The 797th Lord Mayor's Show did not disappoint with many other floats from many other companies, organisations, plenty of horses, tanks, marching servicemen and live music. Finally came the magnificent golden coach with the Lord Mayor in his robes of office, and his honour guard of Stuart era Pikemen provided by the Honourable Artillery Company.

There was time to kill and some members disappeared to various Livery Halls for lunch while others took the short few paces to El Vino on New Bridge Street. Here the new Lord Mayor was liberally toasted and as others joined during the course of the afternoon a very convivial party ensued with entertainment from a band of Morris Dancers outside the hostelry .At 5pm this by now merry band of Bowyers stepped on to Blackfriars Bridge to watch and enjoy the spectacular fireworks.

The Master and Wardens would like to thank all those members of the Company who gave so much time to participating and organising the Company's involvement in the 2011 Lord Mayor's Show. Particular thanks go to Assistant Duncan Samuel for all his hard work in co-ordinating the Bowyers' involvement from start to finish.

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