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Life-sized camels at Lord Mayor’s Show
4th November 2013

Press contact:

 

Liz Dillarstone

Publicity and Press Relations Officer

Oundle School

01832 277267

07810 788458

ed@oundleschool.org.uk

 

Twenty seven pupils from across the seven year groups at Oundle School will be accompanying The Worshipful Company of Grocers’ float in the Lord Mayor’s Parade on Saturday 9 November. They will be pushing 3 life-sized wicker camels, constructed by pupils and staff in the School’s Design and Technology Patrick Centre and Art department.

 

The woven camels will be accompanied by a live camel and handler moving along the route to the rhythms of a samba band from Mossbourne Academy in East London.

 

Head of Design and Technology, Clive Humphreys commented, “The theme is the ‘Spice of Life’, so a tableau of camels depicting the bringing of spice and music from afar to London, as originally brought by the Grocers’ Company, seems appropriate. It will be an exciting variation to the usual floats and has been an excellent opportunity for as many pupils as possible to be involved in the construction and parade.”

 

The School was last in the procession in 2006 when nine ‘off - road’ buggies and three cars, all built by the pupils, as well as the School CCF marching band, all paraded in the Show.

 

The School's relationship with the Grocers’ Company dates back to 1556 when Sir William Laxton, Master of the Worshipful Company of Grocers and Lord Mayor of London, endowed and re-founded the original Oundle Grammar School, of which he was a former pupil.

The Worshipful Company of Grocers is one of the 109 Livery Companies of the City of London and ranks second in their order of precedence. Established in 1345, it is one of the original Great Twelve City Livery Companies. It is said that the Grocers' Company used to be first in the order, until Queen Elizabeth I, as Honorary Master of the Mercers' Company, found herself in procession, after her coronation, behind the Grocers' camel which was emitting unfortunate smells! As a result, the Mercers were promoted.

The Lord Mayor's Show has floated, rolled, trotted, marched and occasionally fought its way through 798 years of London history, surviving the black death and the blitz to arrive in the 21st century as one of the world’s best-loved pageants.

Thanks to the ancient and justified paranoia of King John, every newly-elected Lord Mayor of London has to leave the safety of the City of London and travel up the Thames to Westminster to swear loyalty to the Crown.

Over the centuries the Mayor's journey became one of London's favourite rituals. It moved from river barges to horseback and then into the magnificent State Coach, and around it grew a splendidly rowdy and joyful mediæval festival known as the Lord Mayor's Show.

The modern procession is over three and a half miles long and fills the whole space between Bank and Aldwych from 11am until about 2.30pm, cheered by a crowd of around half a million people and watched live on the BBC by millions more. There are fewer sword fights these days but the floats are grander than ever and it's a great day out for every generation.

With only two years to go before the 800th anniversary of the Lord Mayor's Show, the 2013 procession is looking more spectacular than ever. It has over 7000 participants, with 21 bands, 150 horses, 23 carriages carts and coaches, and hundreds of other vehicles; vintage cars, steam buses, tanks, tractors, ambulances, fire engines, unicycles, steamrollers, giant robots, helicopters, ships, penny farthings, beds and bathtubs!

The procession will set off from Mansion House at 11am. It is led by the Band of the Scots Guards and at a steady marching pace they will take 27 minutes to get to the Royal Courts. The procession that follows is about an hour and a quarter long, so the City's sanitation department (who always bring up the rear) will reach the courts at 12.43pm. The return leg leaves Temple Place at 1.10pm and the tail of the procession arrives back at Mansion House at 2.44.

For further details visit: http://www.lordmayorsshow.org/

 

Background Information on Oundle School

 

Oundle School is situated in the quintessentially English Market town from which it takes its name. The School's buildings, dating from the seventeenth to the twenty-first century, are dispersed throughout the town, which is, to a large extent, its campus.

The School's history goes back to 1556 when Sir William Laxton, Master of the Worshipful Company of Grocers and Lord Mayor of London, endowed and re-founded the original Oundle Grammar School, of which he was a former pupil. In 1876, the Grocers' Company decided to divide the School into two parts: Laxton Grammar School, mainly for the inhabitants of the town, and Oundle School, mainly for pupils from further afield. However, to mark the new millennium, the Governing Body decided to reunite the two schools under the common name of Oundle School, with Laxton as a House for day-pupils.

The School is now able to offer a range of educational possibilities to meet contemporary needs: co-educational day or boarding education, with Laxton Junior as a 4-11 day school, and Oundle School as a boarding and day school, with entry at 11, 13 or into the Sixth Form.

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