Well-known industry faces representing the Worshipful Company of Launderers turned up to cheer at the annual Lord Mayor’s Show in the City of London last Saturday.

Pictured (from left to right) before the parade set off are Master Forbes Macdougall, Deputy Master David Pantlin, Senior Warden Jack Strachan and Renter Warden Ken Cupitt.

The parade is an annual celebration that pays homage to the new Lord Mayor of London. Peter Estlin, who formally took over the reins from Charles Bowman on 9 November, is the 691st Lord Mayor.  The procession marked an 800-year-old tradition.

The Lord Mayor of the City of London acts as a spokesperson for the City, leading overseas business delegations to key international markets on behalf of the UK’s financial and professional services industry.

The Mayor meets government representatives from around the world, alongside business leaders and policy makers at home and abroad. He also works to identify new business opportunities and reassure them that the UK is a good destination for foreign investment.

The tradition dates back to the 13th century, when King John was persuaded to let the City of London elect its own mayor on the condition that the new mayor had to travel from the City to Westminster to swear loyalty to the crown. The mayor of London was a guarantor after th signing of Magna Carta, charged with ensuring that the Crown kept its side of the bargain.

In 1397 Richard (Dick) Whittingham became Lord Mayor, a position he held four times in all. He was a mercer which, according to Oxford Dictionary of National Biography means, he dealt in “silk, linen, fustian, worsted, and luxury small goods, and the wealthiest of the trade expected to participate in the export of English wool, woollen cloth, and worsted, and to import the other merceries”. So a good textile heritage for the most famous of all the City’s mayors.

This year’s parade involved around 7,000 people, 200 horses and 150 floats including carriages and marching bands.