My mole who has been beavering away (one at a time with the metaphors, please. Ed) at the Olympic Park became mute about ten days ago after he had witnessed a practice for the Opening Ceremony. When badgered (Not again! Ed) to provide details the response was “It’s classified information, mother” which was galling to say the least.
After the official practice run he was sufficiently awestruck to make the comment “It makes me proud to be British” which for a teenager concerned with coolness of image is praise indeed. But that was it – not a word more! I was tempted to get him up against a wall with arm behind back to extract information from him but as he is a foot taller than me I thought the action futile.
Then, during the Opening Ceremony he finds himself in a Press Box….the luck some people have!
Anyway, a few phone pictures to capture the event for which we are all proud to be British.
Blue Badge tourist guide
Posted in 2012 Olympics, Events, Home, Family & Fun
Tagged Blue Badge tourist guide, British, doves, fireworks, industrial revolution, NHS, Olympic Opening Ceremony 2012, Olympic Park, prectice event
In 1215 King John granted a Charter to the people of the (original) City of London allowing them to annually elect their own Mayor in return for the City’s support in various baronial feuds, but he required that the new Mayor present himself to the Sovereign and swear loyalty to the Crown.
The modern Lord Mayor’s procession is a direct descendant of that first journey to Westminster.
Today’s Shows are a wonderful mixture of past, present & future with today’s businesses, Livery Companies, charities, Her Majesty’s Forces, the City Police and Londoners from all walks of life coming together to enjoy a splendid celebration of the City’s tradition and future.
The procession starts at 11am and covers three miles from Mansion House to the Royal Courts of Justice. There, the Lord Mayor takes an oath of allegiance to the sovereign before the procession returns to Mansion House via Victoria Embankment.
This is definitely a family event – kids and parents alike will love the procession, which this year comprises around 6,000 participants, 200 vehicles, 20 carriages (including the 254-year-old gold Lord Mayor’s State Coach), 70 floats, 150 horses & 20 marching bands.
The fun day reaches a dazzling finale with a spectacular fireworks display over the Thames at 5pm between Waterloo Bridge and Blackfriars Bridge.
The Lord Mayor’s Show is free to attend.
The Lord Mayor’s Show is going ahead as usual this year, with small alterations to the route to accommodate the protest camp at St Paul’s Cathedral.
Posted in Events
Tagged Blackfriars Bridge, children, City of London, fireworks, London, Lord Mayor, Mayor, november, Royal Courts of Justice, St Paul's Cathedral, thames, Victoria Embankment, Westminster
Remember, remember the fifth of November,
The Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
I see no reason
Why the Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.
Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes, t’was his intent
To blow up the King and Parli’ment.
Three-score barrels of powder below
To prove old England’s overthrow;
By God’s providence he was catch’d
With a dark lantern and burning match.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, let the bells ring.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, God save the King!
Well, there you have it in a nutshell; the Bonfire Poem commemorating the Gunpowder Plot of 1605. Memories are long in England & we still remember a plot to overthrow the Protestant King James I whilst he was in the Houses of Parliament. This was High Treason against King & Country; the consequences if caught were unimaginable, if successful, the next king would be a Catholic.
Several dozen barrels of gunpowder were secreted into a cellar under the House of Lords. The main instigator was Guy Fawkes aka Guido Faux who was to set off the charge & escape before it exploded…Unfortunately for him, he was spotted in the cellars at midnight on November 4th, immediately seized by guards & arrested. Fawkes confessed on the Rack, was tried & found guilty. He was dragged behind a horse from the Tower of London to the hangman’s gibbet to be hung, drawn & quartered. He was partially hung, disembowelled, his heart cut out, his head severed from his body, & his body cut in four pieces which, along with his head, was parboiled, so it would not deteriorate too quickly whilst on show on the spikes aligning London Bridge.
As soon as it is dark on Saturday, the country celebrates the foiling of the Gunpowder Plot/salutes the bravery of the plotters depending on religious views (or just for fun) by hosting firework displays & lighting large bonfires.
In Kent, Surrey & Sussex, there are huge parades, bands, tableaux & music all in a procession of people carrying flaming torches through the towns.
Effigies are made in the likeness of Guy Fawkes and the Bonfire Poem is recited before the final act of lighting the bonfire when the Guy is placed on the top…and burnt.
In Edenbridge, Kent a further effigy of a public figure unpopular with the people is burnt, but true to the tradition of conspiracy, the identity is kept secret until the very last minute.
It’s a great event to watch or take part in, the hairs on the back of your neck stand up as the torchlight procession appears out of the darkness & you are instantly transported back 400 years – a tough time to live indeed.
Posted in Events, Kent
Tagged 5th November, Bonfire Poem, Edenbridge, fireworks, Guido, gunpowder plot, Guy Fawkes, House of Lords, Houses of Parliament, Kent, remember remember, torchlight procession, Tower of London, treason