Grand day for East End kids in Lord Mayor’s parade
WHAT a grand day it was on Saturday for kids from schools in the East End taking part in the Lord Mayor’s show in The City of London.
City Alderman Michael Bear paraded as 683rd elected Lord Mayor.
Pupils from Sir John Cass in Aldgate took part to mark the 300th anniversary of their school’s founding in 1710.
They were followed by Central Foundation Girls’ Secondary and Malmesbury Primary in Bow taking part in the Institution of Civil Engineers’ float.
Alderman Bear, a civil engineer himself and a Fellow of the institution, is a leading figure in inner-city regeneration projects such as Spitalfields in London’s deprived East End.
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“There are many projects keeping London’s civil engineers busy,” he said later. “I hope major projects like the 2012 Olympics, Crossrail, upgrading the London Underground and Brunel’s Thames Tunnel inspire students towards opportunities in civil engineering.”
But it wasn’t all about civil engineering. Volunteers from Spitalfields City Farm paraded with large models of chickens, geese and pigeons they made from kitchen towels, brown sticky paper and strips of willow. There were also teams taking part from Hoxton Hall, a centre which runs programmes keeping youngsters occupied and off the streets, and the Jack Petchey Foundation which sponsors young people’s projects across East London.
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Around 6,000 volunteers, 200 horses and 20 marching bands took part in the parade with 71 floats and scores of vehicles including two steamrollers, a potato harvester, rickshaws and a vintage horse-drawn double-decker bus.
But grandest of all was the gold Lord Mayor’s State coach, centre-piece in the three-mile long parade winding its way from the Mansion House to the Royal Courts of Justice where he followed the 800-year-old tradition of swearing an oath of allegiance to the sovereign, enshrined in the Charter of King John. The day ended with a spectacular evening fireworks display on the Thames