On Saturday the 9th of November, the 1st Claygate Scout and Guide band joined 142 other groups in the annual Lord Mayor’s Parade. The parade has been going for over 800 years and this year we welcomed William Russel as the new Lord Mayor of London.

On the morning of the Parade, after weeks of practice, we arrived at the scout hut at 7AM, ready to board the coach at 8 and arrive in London at 9. Once in the city, we joined the other waiting bands in an underground carpark opposite Smithfield market, where we were greeted by tea, biscuits, and cakes. At about 10:30, we got into our positions and prepared to leave for the march. At 11, we started the parade as the 56th group. In front of us were five military units and behind us was a group of London solicitors, in a variety of unique costumes.

We got to see a great variety of bands throughout the day, as well as some extravagant floats. It was brilliant to use other bands to see how we could improve our pieces. It was also interesting to compare our uniforms to the tailored ones that the military bands wore. I was especially envious of those with hats.

My favourite float was from the embassy of Kazakhstan, which had a jazz band onboard. We were also near a Tregothnan float for a company which grows tea in Cornwall. They included people dressed as teapots, flowers, beekeepers, trees and teacups.

Zoe Hope said that even though “it was tiring, [she] enjoyed all of it, even the marching.”

After marching for about 45 minutes, we took a break for lunch. Unfortunately, at this point -as it wouldn’t be a lord Mayor’s Parade without a bit of rain- it began to drizzle. Just after 2pm we marched back to the start. As we passed the lord mayor, he waved to us with joy and excitement and seemed to enjoy the music from his balcony.

Our marshal, Simon, has been helping at the Lord Mayor’s Parades for 13 years and usually works as a paramedic and as a reserve lieutenant commander for the Royal Navy.

As we passed the cameras by the Bank of England we played National Emblem (a piece composed in 1902). This year we were featured on BBC 1 from 44:45-46:45 and you can watch the parade here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000b97s/the-lord-mayors-show-2019

Hopefully we will have the opportunity to return to the parade next year.

By Anabel Woodward