Tuesday, 5 June 2012

The Queen's Diamond Jubilee Pageant


Where to start in describing this never to be forgotten day. The first place must be in thanking those that helped to make it happen. Middle Warden, Roddy Mullin, for finding the location at such short notice and then Liveryman Jane Wharam for making it happen. While Jane had the support of Annie Brooks this, never the less, was a daunting task particularly in the time allowed, but the result was a professional and smooth running event.

We viewed the pageant from the Mermaid Conference Centre, which was until recently the Mermaid Theatre. It overlooks the Thames between Blackfriers and the Millennium Bridge and offers a backdrop on the Southbank of Shakespeare's Globe and the Tate Modern. This was truly a family event and members came from as far afield as Chester and Newcastle. On arrival we had our own entrance and were greeted in a suitably bedecked room with a much welcome drink. Lunch followed and the fellowship for which the Marketors are noted was much to the fore.

And then came the moment, the first ship in the pageant, a vessel containing eight church bells joyously peeling out. While we were doubled glazed, the assembled guests went silent for a moment and we heard the chimes as we did with the bands, orchestras and choirs that followed. Next came the multitude of vessels being rowed, and then the Queens Barge. At 210ft long this was an amazing sight as it emerged from under Blackfriers Bridge. Fortunately for us everyone had a good view, which is more than could be said for many of those below us on the embankment in the rain. The Mistress and I, having been around for the Coronation, recalled that it was the same weather then.

As I said at the time, nobody does it better. The whole long weekend is, of course, a tribute to Her Majesty and her 60 years reign, but it is also a reflection of the country's ability to stage such outstanding events.

It was a truly memorable day, a once in a lifetime event that we were fortunately able to share with so many Marketors and their families and friends.

John Flynn
Master Marketor

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