Lord Mayor’s Show begins with Thames flotilla

The Lord Mayor's Show may not have had its usual Thames fireworks this year but the Square Mile's new first citizen began his special day on the river with a trip on the royal rowbarge Gloriana.

Lord Mayor's Flotilla
The Lord Mayor on the royal rowbarge Gloriana seen from Blackfriars Bridge
Lord Mayor’s Show begins with Thames flotilla
Lord Mayor Roger Gifford greets the spectators on Blackfriars Bridge
Lord Mayor’s Show begins with Thames flotilla
The Gloriana was accompanied by a flotilla of Thames cutters, many belonging to Square Mile livery companies
Lord Mayor’s Show begins with Thames flotilla
SE1-based Vision Housing took part in the land-based part of the Lord Mayor's Show this year

Despite the poor weather a few hardy souls had gathered on the bridges between the Westminster Boating Base and Tower Bridge to catch a glimpse of the Lord Mayor of the City of London Roger Gifford as the Gloriana and a flotilla of livery company vessels made its way to HMS President.

From the HMS President Royal Naval Reserve base in Wapping the Lord Mayor travelled to Mansion House for the start of the procession through the City streets.

Vision Housing a Borough High Street-based housing charity and social enterprise which provides housing and support for vulnerable people – received a grant of 15,000 from the City of London Corporation to take part in the procession this year.

"We're very excited to be part of this year's Lord Mayor's Show it will really help to spread our message," said chairman Adrian Gains. "It's simple: we prevent re-offending by helping our clients to find decent homes on release from prison.

"Clients come to us at a very vulnerable stage in their lives and have no fixed abode. We find them housing, provide on-going support and help them to reintegrate back into the community."

The float – designed and built by ex-offenders – demonstrated how the charity trains up homeless people to refurbish derelict properties in London.

Wearing lab coats bearing the motto "The Science Supporting Healthcare", biomedical scientists from all over London – including some from Guy's Hospital and St Thomas' Hospital – came together on Saturday to celebrate and raise awareness of their work.

They were participating in the Lord Mayor's Show to mark the centenary of the Institute of Biomedical Science.

Over 70 per cent of diagnoses are based on test results provided by biomedical scientists – so while most people in the UK will have benefitted from the service of a biomedical scientist, many will not even realise it.

By bringing biomedical scientists out of their laboratories and onto the streets of London, the IBMS aims to highlight the central role biomedical scientists play in healthcare in London and across the UK.

Spectators watching the procession at the north end of Blackfriars Bridge witnessed some unexpected drama when the Lord Mayor's horse-drawn state coach broke down.

The Lord Mayor and his retinue were forced to transfer to the pageantmaster's open-top LandRover to complete the return journey to Mansion House.

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