The Lord Mayor’s Show dates back to 1215 and is a magnificent procession to take the newly-elected Lord Mayor of the City of London to Westminster to swear the oath of fealty to the Sovereign. This year, Greene King was invited to take part so we found out from Jo Kreckler in communications, one of the project managers, about Greene King entry to this unique parade…
BRINGING OUR ICONIC LONDON PUBS TO LIFE
It has taken more than six months in the planning and today was the day…Greene King added another page to its history book by taking part in the historic Lord Mayor’s Show.
There was a lot of hard work from teams from across the whole company in the planning and creation of our float where we had the theme ‘bringing our iconic London pubs to life’. Our idea was using giant pubs signs and our general managers from 15 of our most renowned London pubs would dress up to represent them.
From our Brewing & Brands division providing a dray and drivers to our incredible Local Pubs team who sourced the costumes, we all pulled together to bring some Greene King fun and excitement to the Show.
Darren Stevens from our property team also managed the project with me and he had the unenviable task of building the float. He meticulously planned the build, having to get the dray driven from our head office in Bury St Edmunds to Birmingham for the first fit, then down to Greenford a day before the Show, and onto Smithfield market for final preparations the night before. He looked at every aspect of the design, bringing it to life by working with his suppliers who fit out our pubs. Darren’s hard work and effort really paid off when we first saw the float waiting for us in the morning. The whole team was buzzing with excitement and we couldn’t wait to get on the parade.
THE CROWDS’ REACTION
One of the most magical parts of the day was seeing the crowds’ faces light up when they saw our float. As I walked alongside it, I could see people saying to their friends ‘hey look, it’s the Victoria or wow it’s Sherlock!’ And the children’s faces beam when they saw not one, but two lions on our float (The Golden Lion from Soho and the Red Lion in Moorgate).
We displayed 15 pubs in total and waving and dancing at the back of the float was the Punch & Judy (in Covent Garden).
WINNER ON TV!
In the lead up to the Show, we ran a competition for our employees to win a place walking alongside our load. One winner, Karen Long from our Pub Partners division, is a lifelong fan of the Lord Mayor’s Show and has been going since she was seven years old. The BBC was so interested in her story that they interviewed her live on BBC1 while she cheered on the crowds on the parade.
RAISING MONEY FOR MACMILLAN
Our charity partner, Macmillan Cancer Support, joined us on the parade today. Our Local Pubs in London raised money for Macmillan in memory of our machines manager, Jane Kendall, who sadly died of cancer. We gave £1 from every fish and chip meal to our charity partner but our pubs had plenty of other inventive ways to get their customers to donate.
A DAY TO REMEMBER
This incredible day will be one we all remember for a long time. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity which we all made the most of. It was great to work on such a unique project but also with such an enthusiastic team – which you would expect from a pub company!