The annual Lord Mayor’s Show took to the streets of the City yesterday. I did not visit this year’s event, but have been many times over the years, and I first started taking photos of the Lord Mayor’s Show in 1981.
For this week’s post, I have scanned a sample of photos from the Lord Mayor’s Show between 1981 and 1983. Rather than the main route of the procession, I always went to the streets where the procession assembled in the couple of hours before the start. It was here that you could talk to, and get some more interesting photos of those involved.
As well as the participants in the Lord Mayor’s Show during the early 1980s, these photos also show the area around London Wall as it was before the major rebuilding of the last couple of decades that has resulted in a significant change to the streets.
Only at the Lord Mayor’s Show could you spend your day in (I think) a chicken costume:
I remember this character from the 1970s and 80s, but cannot recall his name:
The military have always played a significant role in the Lord Mayor’s Show:
I had forgotten all about this pub until I scanned this photo. In the background is the Plough pub on St Alphage High Walk. It was demolished in 2006 as part of the reconstruction of the area. In the foreground is the Debenhams float, which I think is a bike they will all be cycling along the procession.
Chelsea pensioners from above:
The British Airways float:
I took this photo of the man in the centre, however look at the man to his right. he is carrying a cine camera. These photos are only around 35 years old, but this was the technology of the time – there is not a mobile phone in sight.
Cannot remember who “JLW” were:
“Why move to the middle of nowhere, when you can move to the middle of London?”
The brewer Samuel Smith with the Harrods float on the left:
British Telecom float. Very early computer terminals, but not a mobile phone in sight. How technology would change over the coming 35 years.
Post Office float – advertising down the side to “Use the postcode – you’re not properly addressed without it”.
The following few photos were taken from the footbridge that ran across London Wall from the southern to the northern sides of Wood Street. The church tower is that of St. Alban. This area has been completely rebuilt. Whilst the church tower remains, the exit of the southern part of Wood Street into London Wall is now a single lane. The surrounding buildings, the foot bridge and the elevated walkways have all disappeared and the 18 floor office block, 125 London Wall now sits across this junction.
LBC radio van:
Vintage army uniforms and equipment:
The Underground, advertising the capital investment that had recently resulted in the Heathrow extension of the Piccadilly line:
SAGA – “world-wide holidays for people who matter”:
This bus appears to be an entry by, or sponsored by Disney:
“Give me Bournemouth anytime” – the rather exotic entry that must be by the Bournemouth Tourist Board:
Float entry by the construction company Mansell advertising 75 years of the company’s existence. This would not last for too much longer as Mansell was purchased by Balfour Beatty in 2003 and the name was phased out in 2014.
British Telecom, when a large handset attached to a landline was the latest in technology:
Not sure what this float was:
A better view looking from the north edge of London Wall down Wood Street showing the stairs that ran up to the foot bridge and the pedestrianised walkways:
Floats from Selfridges and Harrods:
The military wait the start of the procession:
The Lord Mayor’s Coach:
Passing The Plough pub on London Wall:
British Airways, City & Guilds College and Cubitts the builders:
In perhaps a reverse of the many other changes in the last 35 years, the Lord Mayor’s Show appeared to be much more commercial than it is today. Companies such as Selfridges, Harrods, British Airways, British Telecom and as shown below, BP, along with many others all had floats in the procession. An interesting change in focus.
The Lord Mayor’s Coach:
British Rail and the InterCity 125 train that had been introduced during the previous few years:
The Company of Pikemen and Musketeers of the Honourable Artillery Company have long been a feature of the Lord Mayor’s Show. Here marching down the northern part of Wood Street from Fore Street towards London Wall:
Milk and cheese deliveries to the door. Tesco float in the background:
Lord Mayor’s coach again:
The latest gas appliances from Unigas:
British Aerospace and the Jetstream 31 which first flew in 1980:
View along London Wall:
London Docklands Development Corporation float. Created in 1981 at around the same time as these photos. The work of the L.D.D.C. would have a significant impact on the area of London east of Tower Bridge and down to the Isle of Dogs:
Wimpey, from the days when mock Tudor architecture was the aspiration for a new home owner:
The Lord Mayor’s Coach in Wood Street by the tower of the church of St. Alban:
The Household Cavalry:
“Doorstep delivery service, British and best”:
It is a number of years since I last saw the above photos, and looking at them now the things that strike me most are the changes along London Wall, and the large number of private companies that once participated in the Lord Mayor’s Show. The procession seems rather different today.
London Wall at the time was the post war development of a heavily damaged area and consisted of plenty of rather unattractive office tower blocks, but looking at the photos now, including the junction of Wood Street and London Wall I feel strangely nostalgic for this area as it was. London Wall does not feel as much an open space as it did, with the building of 125 London Wall blocking the view along the length of the street.