‘Splashmob’ at Kings Cross Pond

Earlier this week, around 50 keen swimmers met at the Henry Moore Statue, King’s Cross in their swim wear and paraded to the pond for a swim.  A celebration of the much loved open air pool which is due to close later this month.    ‘TV doctor’, Chris Van Tulleken and members of the Serpentine Swimming Club were out in support.  Temperature 11 degrees celsius.  Photographs by Fiona Campbell.

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pa180312pa180322pa180360PA180378.jpgPA180323.jpgFiona Bettles and James Norton

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? , James Norton and Anne Beresford, with whom I worked years ago.

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PA180338.jpgPA180339.jpgPA180353.jpgPA180362.jpgPA180368.jpgPA180391.jpgGraham Buckle attracting much attention with his butterfly stroke.

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Team Serpentine.  James Norton and Graham Buckle…

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Team Serpentine.  Fiona Campbell, James Norton and Graham Buckle.

Here’s a link to a petition to save the pond.   https://www.change.org/p/argent-fusion-keep-kings-cross-pond-open-for-all-year-swimming-please-don-t-scrap-it

 

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Last chance to catch Vinny Reunov at the Saatchi Gallery

This weekend marks the end of a month long show of Ukranian artists at the Saatchi Gallery.  Until Monday 3 November.

Kiev/London based artist Vinny Reunov is one of 38 Ukranian artists in a show entitled ‘Premonition: Ukranian Art Now’ which aims to provide ‘a broad introduction to the diverse and energetic nature of Ukraine’s art-scene’. Reunov has been painting ‘in situ’ for much of the show.

Vinny Reunov in exhibition t-shirt.

Vinny Reunov in exhibition t-shirt.

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Vinny Reunov 'Premonition: Ukranian Art Now'...

Vinny Reunov in front of his work.

Work in the show by other Ukranian artists.
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Sandra Higgins, South American Art specialist with her Colombian friends.

Sandra Higgins, South American art specialist with her Colombian friends.

High heels at the opening night

High heels at the opening night

Premonition: Ukrainian Art Now – until the 3rd of November.

Saatchi Gallery.  Opening hours:  10am-6pm, last entry 5:30pm

Address: Duke of York’s HQ, King’s Road, London, SW3 4RY

http://www.saatchigallery.com/current/premonition.php 

 

Royal Baby: HRH Prince George meets his people and the global media

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‘Woman has Baby’ Private Eye cover

After months of anticipation and fevered speculation a baby boy was born on 22 July 2013 at 4.24pm weighing in at a healthy 8lb 6oz.  Not just any baby but His Royal Highness Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge, third in line to the throne.

In the build up to the birth, photographers, tv crews, journalists and royal fans gathered outside the Lindo Wing in Paddington; the media staking out their spots with stepladders and tape as they waited for the Duchess of Cambridge to give birth and appear on the steps of the hospital for the ‘money shot’.  The first royal baby born in an era of social media and round the clock news.  Associated Press had their camera man in place for three weeks (8 hour shifts) to be joined by hundreds of others keen to get their glimpse of the new arrival.  A veritable media circus of epic proportion – newspaper circulation and tv ratings rocketed.

TV presenter adjusts her earpiece outside the Lindo Wing the day before the birth...

TV presenter adjusts her earpiece outside the Lindo Wing the day before the birth

Staunch royal supporters John Loughrie and Terry Hutt camped outside the hospital for 9 and 12 days respectively.  With nothing much going on (apart from the odd look alike appearance and donations of food from Krispy Creme donuts and other local businesses) they became celebrities in their own right as they were photographed and interviewed by the world’s media.

Ardent royal supporters John Loughrie and Terry Hutt in good spirits on Friday 19th July

Ardent royal supporters John Loughrie and Terry Hutt in good spirits on Friday 19th July opposite the Lindo Wing

artistic 'media' tape outside St Mary's, Paddington

The Press Association marking the spot

a prime spot for ITN

A prime spot for ITN too.

Stepladders and sun cream were flying out of the local shops as photographers braved the heat, torrential rain finding ways to cope with the inevitable boredom.   They passed the time sticking flourescent tags on their stepladders ‘If it’s news it’s news to us!’, ‘Here all week £’,  ‘OK bored now’ and entering into their own royal baby sweepstake.

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‘As seen on tv!’ flourescent tag on photographer step ladder

Odds for baby arrival date...

Odds for baby arrival date

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Decorated tent at St Mary’s. Badges for sale for £1.50 made by the disabled.

Meanwhile the world’s broadcast media struggled to find anything new to say as the Royal Household released sparse statements  – ‘things progressing as normal’ as Kate went into labour.  The 24 hour news coverage was getting desperate.  Sky discussing the merits of coconut water as something the Kate might be drinking and named a couple of countries where coconuts are grown, CNN was interviewing women in labour and stopping pregnant women on the street (yes really), and midwives, astrologers, royal fans and a token republican (BBC) were grilled on everything from possible names and their significance to the details of labour.  Simon McCoy of the BBC commented ‘Never have so many people gathered together in one place with absolutely nothing to say’.

Another wait, and at 8.30pm the doors to the Lindo Wing opened and a document was delivered to an easel (one can buy a replica for £199) on the forecourt of Buckingham Palace announcing the birth and prompting an estimated 23,000 tweets.  Scoop of the day has to go the Daily Mail who reported that two pizzas were delivered to the hospital at 8.45pm by royal protection officers.  No details of the topping.

The following day it was ‘showtime’ with gun salutes from the Tower of London and Green Park (broadcast in full), ‘Congratulations’ was played by the band on the forecourt of Buckingham Palace as members of the public queued to photograph the easel.

Meanwhile back at the hospital, helicopters hovered overhead as ‘the moment’ on the steps drew closer.  Will she leave today? The Daily Mail gave us another exclusive – photos of the royal hairdresser arriving (Rob Todd photographer again who got the pizza boxes) along with details of the baby seat. Some photographers had gone without food for fear of losing their post and missing ‘the moment’.  Jumping on my bike with camera and no stepladder I arrived at St Mary’s in the nick of time to catch Charles and Camilla leaving the hospital shortly followed by THE BABY.  No ‘money shots’ for me – couldn’t see a thing – not even through a chink in the stepladders but an incredible scene.

crowds gathered outside the Lindo Wing minutes before the appearance of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince George

Crowds gathered outside the Lindo Wing minutes before the appearance of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince George

Very male oriented press pack on their stepladders outside the Lindo Wing.

Very male oriented press pack on their stepladders outside the Lindo Wing.

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A good vantage point for three ladies standing on chairs inside St Mary’s.

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Excellent vantage point for the well wishers.

Cameras strapped to the barriers on remote control opposite the door to the Lindo Wing.

Cameras strapped to the barriers on remote control opposite the door to the Lindo Wing.

Journalist and broadcaster Andrew Pierce pops by for the historic moment.

Journalist and broadcaster Andrew Pierce pops by for the historic moment.

Ben Fogle, friend of William had just left the Lindo Ward where his sister was also giving birth.

Ben Fogle, friend of William had just left the Lindo Ward where his sister was also giving birth.

After the moment everyone had been waiting for which was over in a matter of minutes – just long enough for afew opportunist thieves to steal some camera bags – the media flew into action, downloading their photographs and wiring to the world’s press.

Photographer editing his photos ready to wire...

Photographer editing his photos

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Photographers on the move outside the Lindo Wing.

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Kate was indeed wearing a dress made by Katie Packham.  Polka dot (likened to the dress worn on the same steps by Princess Diana).

TV prompt card ‘Kate wearing Jenny Packham dress’.

Within minutes dress designer Katie Packham’s website crashed and copies of the dress were being made.  It had spots on it which made for a nice link to the green spotty dress worn by Princess Diana who was photographed on the same spot after the birth of William.

Terry and John being mobbed by the press.

Terry and John being mobbed by the press.

John (r) said he was 'spinning like a washing machine'.

John (r) said he was ‘spinning like a washing machine’

Gladys Richardson, former nurse at St Mary's

Gladys Richardson, former nurse at St Mary’s

At last.  Time to pack up!

At last. Time to pack up!

Bit of a mess.

I like to think the photographers took their rubbish with them.

Gift of baby vehicle as voted for by the French.

Gift of baby vehicle as voted for by the French.

Couple no doubt adding to the 23,000 tweets sent after the appearance of Prince George.

Couple no doubt adding to the 23,000 tweets sent after the appearance of Prince George.

And it didn’t end there… The day after the birth the media were still broadcasting outside Kensington Palace in their masses pouring over the photos and souvenir newspaper editions.   When asked what they were doing still there an ABC Australia reporter commented ‘Supply and demand’.

Broadcasters outside Kensington Palace

Broadcasters outside Kensington Palace

After a visit from HM The Queen, the royal couple with baby George departed for the Middleton home in Bucklebury (news reporters stating that they weren’t sure if they would have taken the A40 or M4!).  Champagne was flowing in the Old Boot Inn in Bucklebury where Derek the horse is a regular.

Leaves me wondering about the once respectable profession of the journalist and the state of our media.  It is indeed a happy and significant news story and according to Jonathan Prynn (consumer editor Evening Standard) the birth will help boost economic confidence.  It certainly will add to the value of the royal brand estimated at 53 billion.

Now time to return the attention to other more pressing issues?  The Mirror tells of ‘Heartbroken Nigella Comforted by James Bond’ and The Sun’s  ‘Bieber’s Spit Hits Fan’ front page exclusive.

There’s still time to place a bet on who the godparents might be.  William Hill has David Beckham at 250-1.

Margaret Thatcher’s Funeral

John Loughrie, fan of Margaret Thatcher on the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral.

Love her or loathe her, the funeral of Baroness Thatcher was an extraordinary occasion.  The streets were packed with thousands of people who gathered to watch her final journey from the Houses of Parliament to St Clement Dane’s and on to St Paul’s Cathedral for the service attended by over 2000 people.   Joint military forces lined the route and accompanied the coffin for the biggest funeral for a political leader since Winston Churchill.  HRH The Queen even broke with Royal Protocol to attend the event with The Duke of Edinburgh.

Dress code was ‘Full day ceremonial without swords’ (except for Roger Gifford, The Lord Mayor of London who entered the Cathedral carrying a ceremonial mourning sword dating from the 1500s – a big day for our Lord Mayor!).  ‘Morning dress or dark suit’ for the men and for the ladies ‘day dress with hat’.  David Cameron still making a point of not being seen in tails and his wife Samantha wore a hat!

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St Paul’s Cathedral.

Crowds lined the street, people poured out of their offices and I found myself watching the latecomers enter the cathedral from Paternoster Square leaving the ‘money shots’ to the press photographers.  Joan Collins OBE (nearly 80!), Sir David Frost, Kt. OBE, Sir Norman Foster OM, ‘captains of industry’, ageing politicians once so familiar, Rolls Royces, bear skins, Chelsea Pensioners,  bands playing, bells ringing… and the ‘after party’ back at the Guildhall.

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Vantage points on roofs and security barriers.

Band of the Welsh Guards.

The Band of the Welsh Guards.

The Royal Navy representing the ships deployed to The Falklands.

The Royal Navy representing the ships deployed to The Falklands.

The Royal Marines.

The muffled drums of The Royal Marines.

The Welsh Guards.

The Welsh Guards (note 5 buttons on the uniform).

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The Royal Navy.

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Margaret Thatcher Funeral

Margaret Thatcher Funeral

Protestors making a stand by turning their back to the procession – wearing red ribbon to indicate that they are not mourning the passing of Baroness Thatcher.

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Security barrier providing another vantage point.

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Margaret Thatcher Funeral

Margaret Thatcher Funeral

Border terrier. Shoes to the left belonging to a Falklands veteran.

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Members of the public watching the congregation leaving St Paul’s from the side entrance. Everyone’s a photographer!

Margaret Thatcher Funeral

Parliamentary staff. Clerk of the House of The House of Commons Sir Robert James Rogers (also an organist), The Lord Speaker Baroness de Souza and Clerk of the Parliaments David Beamish (became Clerk in the House of Lords in 1974).

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Falklands tie.

Margaret Thatcher Funeral

Margaret Thatcher was a great supporter of The Chelsea Pensioners who formed a funeral guard of honour on the steps of St Paul’s.

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Guests including Sir Terry Wogan KBE, DL and Lord Lloyd Webber Kt exit the Cathedral.

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Top hats optional with morning dress.

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Lord Hestletine , CH, PC who served in Margaret Thatcher’s Cabinet for seven years. He is now 80 years old.

Paddy Ashdown greeting the crowds.

Former leader of the Liberal Democrats, Sir Paddy Ashdown KCMG, KBE, PC greeting the crowds.

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Banner reads ‘Margaret Thatcher. She put the Great back into Britain’.

Margaret Thatcher Funeral

‘Section 28. Shame on You’, referring to a controversial amendment to the 1986 government act stating that a local authority “shall not intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality” or “promote the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship”

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‘Save the Children’

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‘I Love Maggie’ sweatshirt.

Margaret Thatcher Funeral

After the service, funeral goers repaired to The Guildhall for a reception to honour her memory.

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The Guildhall, home of the City of London.

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Guests leaving the Guildhall reception (background car belongs to the Mayor of Westminster).

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Gerald Ronson CBE (business tycoon and philanthropist) and wife, Dame Gail Ronson.

Margaret Thatcher Funeral

Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt MP and wife Lucia leaving the Guildhall. Jeremy is apparently very keen on dancing the lambada.

Margaret Thatcher Funeral

Lord Black, PC, OC, KSCG (former newspaper publisher, author), and Barbara Amiel.

Margaret Thatcher Funeral

Dorothy Hughes, 85 (the first lady to be admitted as a Chelsea Pensioner in 2009) formed part of the guard of honour for the service at St Paul’s.

Margaret Thatcher Funeral

Lady Mayor of Grantham. Went to the same school as Baroness Thatcher. The Grantham Museum which is normally shut on Wednesdays opened its door for a screening of the funeral.

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The Company of Pikemen and Musketeers outside The Guildhall.

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About turn for the Company of Pikemen and Musketeers as they head back to the Honourable Artillery Company.

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Check the Musketeer on the right…

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Easter Sunday at the Tower of London

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Yeoman Warders in State dress.

On Easter Sunday I had the honour of being present at the Tower of London for one of three annual State Parades (the other being at Whitsun and the Sunday before Christmas) when the Yeoman Warders escort the Governor from Queen’s House in scarlet and gold State dress to the Chapel Royal of St Peter ad Vincula.  An excellent Easter Day service and chocolate for the congregation on departure!

The State dress uniforms which are only worn on State occasions date from 1552 comprise a knee length scarlet tunic, breeches, stockings and a round brimmed hat called a Tudor bonnet.  Queen Elizabeth I introduced the distinctive neck ruff.  Their tunics display the thistle, rose and shamrock (emblems of Scotland, England and Ireland) and the initials ER (Elizabeth Regina).  They are armed with a sword and partisan with the gaoler (on this occasion acting gaoler Yeoman Serjeant Bob Loughlin) carrying the ceremonial axe.

There are currently 37 Yeoman Warders residing at The Tower all of whom have served a minimum of 22 years with the Armed Forces and have received a long service and good conduct medal.  They are not to be confused with the Yeomen of the Guard (whose State dress is distinguished by cross belts worn from the left shoulder).  For every day dress the Yeoman Warders wear dark blue and red ‘undress’ uniform.

Governor Colonel Richard Harrold OBE inspects the Yeoman Warders before the State Parade to the Royal Chapel

Governor Colonel Richard Harrold OBE inspects the Yeoman Warders before the State Parade to the Royal Chapel.

Chief Warder Alan Kingshott with the mace which is carried on ceremonial occasions.

Chief Warder Alan Kingshott with the mace which is carried on ceremonial occasions.

The Governor leads the Yeoman Warders to the Chapel Royal for the State Parade.

The Governor leads the Yeoman Warders to the Chapel Royal for the State Parade.

The Reverend, Roger J Hall MBE awaiting the arrival of the Parade before the Easter Sunday service.

The Reverend, Roger J Hall MBE awaiting the arrival of the Parade before the Easter Sunday service.

The Yeoman Gaoler carries the ceremonial axe into the Chapel.

The Yeoman Gaoler carries the ceremonial axe into the Chapel.

Yeoman Warder.

Yeoman Warder Jimmy James.

State dress detail. 'Dieu et mon droit'.  This is the motto of the British Monarch in England meaning literally 'God and my right'.

State dress detail. ‘Dieu et mon droit’. This is the motto of the British Monarch in England meaning literally ‘God and my right’.

State dress detail.  Leather shoes with red white and blue rosettes.

State dress detail. Leather shoes with red white and blue rosettes.

After the Parade.

Yeoman Warder, Jimmy James.

Finely dressed member of the congregation.

Finely dressed member of the congregation.

Good to see spats being worn by congregation member.

Good to see spats being worn by congregation member.

Yeoman Warder (left) wearing the navy blue and red undress uniform.

Yeoman Warder (left) wearing the navy blue and red undress uniform.  State dress (right).

Cast iron 12 pounder gun, probably Flemish, dated 1607.  Carriage, British 1827.

Cast iron 12 pounder gun, probably Flemish, dated 1607. Carriage, British 1827.

The Tower of London is one of the most popular heritage sites in the country attracting over 2.5 million visitors last year.

The Exhibition ‘Coins and Kings: The Royal Mint at the Tower’ opens on May 24 2013.  http://www.hrp.org.uk/TowerOfLondon/

Photographs are the copyright of Fiona Campbell rubyslippersphoto.com and may not be used without permission.

Purim in Stamford Hill


Family crosses the road bearing a gift of food wrapped in customary cellophane.

The Haredi Jews of Stamford Hill are normally a sober bunch.  Once a year however on the festival of Purim they take to the streets in fancy dress, crank up the sound systems and party in carnival style.  Purim commemorates the time when the Jewish people living in Persia were saved from extermination from a massacre by Haman due to the courage of a young Jewish woman called Esther.

Adults of legal age are actively encouraged to get intoxicated, specifically to the point that they can’t tell the difference between the words “cursed be Haman” and “blessed be Mordecai”.  Purim is celebrated not only with drinking, feasting and dancing but the offering of gifts and collection of money for charity.  Not a policeman in sight.

Colonel Gaddafi

The Haredi – strictly-Orthodox Jews (Haredi meaning ‘fearful’) who trace their ancestry to 18th-century Eastern Europe – are one of the most close-knit, insular and private communities in Britain. More than 20,000 live in Stamford Hill, in north-east London.  Yiddish is the main language. Contact with the secular society is generally avoided, television and secular newspapers are banned and religious study is a major part of their lives.  The mingling of sexes is strictly regulated and it is not unusual for families to have up to 10 children who all attend single sex Jewish schools (all but one is private).  The women dress in dark coats, long skirts and once married wigs are obligatory.  As often seen on the sabbath the men dress in frock coats, long silk gowns (bekishes), flamboyant fur hat (shtreimel), white stockings and slip on shoes.

Further images can be seen in the following slideshow.

http://rubyslippersphoto.com/purim2012/index.html

All images copyright Fiona Campbell.  Images may not be used without permission.

The Lord Mayor’s Show 2011

David Wootton, Lord Mayor.

On Saturday 12 November, London celebrated the installation of the 684th Lord Mayor of London, Alderman David Wootton at the annual Lord Mayor’s Show.  Based at Mansion House, his principal role is ambassador for all UK based financial and professional services.  Not to be confused with the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson who is concerned with the strategic governance of Greater London.

Crowds at the Lord Mayor's Show.

The procession is a spectacular show of Britain at its best with thousands lining the three mile route which passes from The Guildhall via Mansion House to St Paul’s Cathedral (where the Lord Mayor is blessed) to the Royal Courts of Justice where the Lord Mayor swears allegiance to the Crown.

The 6000+ participants included the Great Twelve Livery Companies (Mercers, Grocers, Drapers, Fishmongers, Goldsmiths, Merchant Taylors, Skinners, Habadashers, Salters, Ironmongers, Vintners and Clothworkers) as well as marching bands, charities, schools, Yeoman Warders, Pikemen and Musketeers, former Lord Mayors, sheriff’s, members of the clergy, the City of London Police and more.   Spectacular Carriages (some supplied by the Royal Mews), horses, sheep, Stephen Fry (doing a ‘fry-on-the-wall documentary), Clare Balding (trotting alongside the procession in inimitable style presenting for the BBC) gowns, fur, swords, muskets, pikes, bejewelled chains of office, maces – a pageant of colour and carnival to welcome the new Lord Mayor.

Trooper from The Blues and Royals of the Household Cavalry Regiment. The escort to the new Lord Mayor.

Captain Alistair Bassett Cross leading The Company of Pikemen and Musketeers.

Yeoman Warders, Pikemen and Musketeers watching the procession outside Mansion House.

HM Forces salute.

Yeoman Warders.

Clare Balding presenting for the BBC.

Members of the Worshipful Company of Fletchers.

Members of the Worshipful Company of Fletchers. http://www.fletchers.org.uk/

Stan Brown, Ward Beadle, Port Soken and Malcolm Potter, Beadle, Bridge Within and Without.

Members of the Company of Pikemen and Musketeers at ease outside Mansion House.

David Lawless, the Lord Mayor's Coachman. The 6 horses drawing the carriage were provided by http://www.waldburgshires.co.uk/ (when HM The Queen is out in a carriage she has 8 horses pulling it)

Pageant Master, Dominic Reid (r) chatting to members of the Company of Pikemen and Musketeers.

Caspar Wootton, grandson of the Lord Mayor.

The Lord Mayor and his wife are blessed by Canon Pastor Michael Colclough, St Paul's Cathedral. While the State Coach was unable to stop at the front of the Cathedral (due to the occupiers tents) the procession continued as usual giving us a rare glimpse of the blessing.

Alderman and Sheriff Alan Yarrow with his Chaplain, Canon Giles Fraser. (who resigned as Canon Chancellor of St Paul's on October 27 2011).

Doggett's Coat and Badge Men with Pikemen and Musketeer outside the Royal Courts.

Masters of the Worshipful Company of Drapers, Grocers and Mercers.

The Lord Mayor's State Coach outside the Royal Courts of Justice.

Aldermen Past the Chair - Carriage with former Lord Mayors, Sir John Stuttard (2006-7, Glazier), Ian Luder (2008-9, Cooper), Sir David Lewis (2007-8, Solicitor), Nick Anstee (2009-10, Butcher) l-r

Lady Mayoress, Elizabeth Wootton and son Christopher. The Lady Mayoress wearing English Tweed from Carlisle and gloves presented to her by the Worshipful Company of Glovers.

The Lord Mayor's Car. Registration LMO.

The Front of the Pageantmaster's Land-Rover.

The Lord Mayor's State Coach.

Outside Mansion House at the end of the Show.

Alderman David Wootton, Lord Mayor is not merely some ‘corporate lawyer chappie’ (Guardian Sports journalist Martin Kelner bemoaning the fact that the Show was broadcast on BBC1 in the place of Football Focus) who dresses up in gown and tricorn.  He works exceptionally hard representing the interests of the City both in the UK and abroad, giving over 700 speeches throughout the year and addressing over 10,000 people each month.  I might add that he does not take a salary for this position.  I wish him the best with the challenges that lie ahead.

The 2012 Lord Mayor’s Show is on Saturday 10 November.

ADDENDUM:

Further images from the show can be seen on the following link http://rubyslippersphoto.com/LordMayorShow2011/index.html

In May 2010 my book on the Company of Pikemen and Musketeers at the Lord Mayor’s Show 2009 was presented to HM The Queen by the Company of Pikemen and Musketeers.  The book can be viewed on the following link.   http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/1364573

If you would like to buy a copy of the book (limited edition of 150) please contact me directly as I have some copies.  Likewise if you would like a print or license to use any of the images.  fiona@rubyslippersphoto.com

Pageant Master of almost 20 years, Dominic Reid OBE gives a lecture on the history of the Lord Mayor’s Show: http://www.gresham.ac.uk/lectures-and-events/the-history-of-the-lord-mayor’s-show