In this, the first of two more articles on the Lord Mayor's Show, we thought it would be interesting to share the background and the planning activities that went into what was originally going to be the 2020 show and ultimately came to fruition this year.
In 2019 Greater London South East Sector ACF (GLSESACF) were tasked with organising the Lord Mayor's Show 2020 with City of London and North East Sector ACF (COLNES) as partners. The PRO Capt. Anthony Ellison and 2IC Lt Maria Katehis started a lengthy period of paperwork submission to the Pageantmaster's department starting with Annex A in March and getting steadily more complicated as the year progressed. It was at this stage that Lt Katehis had the amazing idea of the open top bus; this was in no small part down to her extensive expertise in her day job in event management, not to mention some great contacts!
Sadly however Covid struck again and the Lord Mayor's Show was put on hold for a year as were our plans. In the meantime we had been put in touch with SI Luke Knight from COLNES whom Capt. Ellison knew from his days in training and true to form SI Knight stepped up to the task with flair and aplomb!
Back to March 2021 and the submission of the Annexes started once more and it finally looked like we might have a plan we could carry out and indeed this time we were able to submit all of our paperwork and overcome some funding issues. Here our friends and colleagues at HQ Cadets Branch stepped in; working with Mitchell and Kate we were able to finalise our plans as well as get them involved on the National PR side. They were able to provide us with hot off the press goodies such as pens and wrist bands that we could hand out on the day to promote the ACF!
So it was that we arrived, slightly bruised, but nonetheless optimistic in the week of the show, we had all of the permits in our hands and Capt. Ellison and Lt Katehis had a final Zoom meeting with SI Knight in his detachment in north east London, company PROs were briefed, our minibus driver contacted and we took a big deep breath...we were nearly there!
Join me for the final instalment of our Lord Mayor's Show 2021 odyssey and find out what it was like to be on that bus in the middle of one of the major events in the national calendar after literally years of hard work and toil!!