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Legal Processions

Lawyers and civic dignitaries love their processions, and The Lord Mayor’s Show is the big one. The actual reason for it is for the newly elected Lord Mayor to go to the Royal Courts of Justice in the Strand and swear allegiance to the Crown. A formal procession was the best way to demonstrate that the ceremony had been carried out. The Lord Mayor rides in the magnificent State Coach which was built in 1757 and lives in the nearby Museum of London, for all to see. Friendly Societies were the forerunners of trade unions, invented to look after the interests of their members. Some of them developed into mighty insurance companies, some still exist for charitable and social reasons, and they sometimes retain their ‘club walk’ to demonstrate they still exist. Here are three, foresters from Fownhope in the Forest of Dean, fisherfolk from Musselburgh and villagers from Great Wishford who want to perpetuate their right to collect ‘snappinge wood’ from Grovely Forest. Lawers mark the beginning of the legal year with a service in Westminster Abbey and a reception in the Houses of Parliament, popularly known as ‘The Lord Chancellor’s Breakfast’. There is a splendid procession across the road between the two including the Lord Chancellor, the Lord Chief Justice, all the Judges in England and Wales, QCs and invited EU judges and lawyers.