City and Guilds College Union, under the sponsorship of Imperial College London, were out on the streets in the City of London yesterday for the 791st Lord Mayor's Show. The annual event is held to welcome the Lord Mayor of London to his new position, who this year is John Stuttard.
The 791st show had a theme of "The Global Learning Curve" and coincided with the start of Imperial's centenary celebrations.
The main float, on the back of an articlated lorry supplied by Neil Yates Recovery on behalf of Kier Group, had banners which displayed the achievements of a small section of Imperial alumni such as HG Wells, "the father of science fiction", Sir Alexander Fleming and Sir Ernst Chain, who discovered Penicillin, Denis Gabor who invented the hologram and Sir Alec Skempton, leader in soil mechanics and civil engineering.
The centrepiece was a model of the Queen's Tower, the oldest part of our campus and all that remains of the Imperial Institute which once stood where the college's South Kensington campus is now. Accompanying the float were CGCU's motorised mascot Boanerges and the RCSU 1916 Fire Engine Jezebel.
Imperial College Union President John Collins attended the event, saying afterwards: "It was a very enjoyable day and a brilliant student centenary event. I was particularly pleased to see such a wide cross section of the student body represented on the day and I would like to thank Ashley and his team for all the hard work they put into organising the Union's entry into this year's parade".
The ICU, CGCU and RCSU Presidents were all in attendance in their graduation gowns, while engineers, scientists and medics turned up in hard hats, high visibility jackets, lab coats, scrubs and stethoscopes. Students from across the faculties were invited, with the musical theatre society also providing period costumes to mark the history being celebrated.
CGCU President James Fok described the event as "a tremendous success", particularly as "we welcome[d] back many past students, but we also enjoyed a large participation from friends outside of the City and Guilds College Union". Fok continued: "None of these would have been possible without the generous support from the Faculty of Engineering and the Centenary Board, and most important, the leadership from the LMS co-ordinator, Ashley Brown."
The float was visible on BBC's coverage of the event, seen by over 20 million people on BBC One, BBC World and BBC News 24. An interview with the Pageantmaster, Dominic Reid was taking place as the Imperial entry went past and the bell from Jezebel could be heard throughout it.
Some marshal's at the event made fun of Lord Mayor's Show co-ordinator Ashley Brown, after the articulated lorry got stranded at the wrong end of the assembly area, forcing Brown to walk a quarter of a mile there and back on several occasions to coordinate between the vehicles involved.
When asked for a comment from Live!, Brown said "Organising an event such as this is both physically and mentally demanding, but the end result is certainly worth the effort. Everyone including myself had a great time on the day thanks to the efforts of my team. I certainly couldn't do it on my own and had a fantastic group of people from across the College and Union investing their time in our entry to the show.?
He would like to thank everyone who put their time into making the float possible, especially Eirini Spentza, Richard Martin, Pamela Michael, Katie Heskins, Milena Peric, Chris McIver, Siddharth Singh, James Fok, Nick Simpson, Beth Elzer and Alex Grisman.