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Sunday, 11 November 2012

Lord Mayor's Show


Today, as Vice President of the London Bus Museum, I was invited to take part in the Lord Mayor's Show - a 477 year old tradition celebrating the annual appointment of the Lord Mayor of London.

My hosts had both horse and motor bus participation and I was pleased to be aboard Dennis D142, dating from 1925, for a number of reasons.

It was rescued from otherwise certain extinction by the late Prince Marshall with whom I worked in the late 1970s. Having been expertly restored it had been as far afield as Japan on promotional visits and after the London Transport Museum opened in 1980 it ran from time to time on a special Vintage Bus Route 100 from Covent Garden. The only remaining vestige of that service is the old bus stop post (but not flag) in Wellington Street.


In fact I drove it myself in the Lord Mayor's Show in 1980 with the Chelsea Pensioners aboard so today's trip was a significant piece of nostalgia for me.

D142 is now resident at the London Bus Museum at Brooklands. It stayed overnight at Bow Garage before being on point at London Wall at 0730. For the parade the Worshipful Company of Tallow Chandlers in their blue and white regalia were aboard. We followed their Master and guests in open vintage cars and we ourselves were followed by the Three-Light Horse Bus from the Museum led by Tony Drewitt.

The early morning rain faded, and very soon we were ready to move. D142 demonstrated the same shyness in getting started as she did to me 32 years ago, giving the team and the Pageant Master one heart-stopping moment. But soon we were underway and beautifully captured by the live BBC television coverage as we passed Mansion House.

It was over too quickly and before long we were at the lunch stop by Temple, followed by a trouble-free return.

As ever the thousands of smiling faces said it all as Londoners and visitors saw modern and ancient vehicles, from civilian life and the military, parade through the City of London.




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