Representatives of the University will be in illustrious company next Saturday, 10 November when a group of 40 undergraduate students will take part in the Lord Mayor’s Show in London.
The students will be a diverse mix: all four Sabbatical Officers, the AU President, Emily Griffiths, representatives from the St Andrews Voluntary Service, Charities Campaign, Debates, Mermaids, LGBT and Music is Love, as well as 12 student ambassadors and the three winners of the 600th Anniversary Competition, all clad in the distinctive red gowns of the University.
Leading the St Andrews procession will be the Chancellor’s Piper, David Maitland Gardner. Craig Simmons, an alumnus who graduated in 2004, will represent the London Alumni Club, bearing the newly commissioned London Alumni Club mace. John Jardine, the University Bedellus, will carry one of the University’s maces.
Students will also be dressed as Robert the Bruce, Mary Queen of Scots, Pope Benedict XIII and John Cleese, important figures in the University’s history.
The Lord Mayor’s Show is an annual event that marks the installment of the new Lord Mayor of the City of London. It is an apolitical post that mainly consists of supporting and promoting the City of London.
The 685th Lord Mayor, Alderman Roger Gifford, was born and bred in St Andrews so this year’s show has a particularly strong resonance for the University and town.
He will be sworn in on Friday 9 November, and on the morning of 10 November will be taken from Mansion House in the State Coach, through the City of London and past St Paul’s Cathedral, to the Royal Courts of Justice.
Imitating the Diamond Jubilee celebrations earlier this year, the show will feature a flotilla for the first time in its history. To begin his journey to the Royal Courts of Justice, the Lord Mayor will travel in QRB Gloriana, accompanied by 24 traditional Thames boats from London’s livery companies and port authorities. He will disembark at HMS President and then make his way along the three-mile procession route.
According to the official website, the Lord Mayor’s Show is “one of the world’s best-loved pageants”, and this year over 6500 people will take part, along with 22 marching bands, 125 horses, a steamroller, 18 vintage cars and a Sherman Tank. It is watched by a crowd of around half a million people, and broadcast live on the BBC to millions more.
Kelsey Gold, the Convenor of the Charities Campaign, said: “I am really excited to take part in the Lord Mayor’s Show! On a personal level, I think this is a wonderful opportunity to be involved in celebrating the 600th Anniversary. As Charities Convenor, I am honoured to be representing the fantastic work that St Andrews students do for charity.”
Louise Richardson, the Principal and Vice-Chancellor, said: “St Andrews University is delighted to participate, for the first time in our 600 year history, in one of the oldest and greatest displays of British pageantry, the installation of the Lord Mayor of London. The fact that in this, our anniversary year, the Lord Mayor is a St Andrews man marks it as a truly special occasion. The University is proud of our enduring links with the City through our history, our alumni and our friends and we cherish this opportunity to celebrate together.”
Photos: Garry Knight and David Jones