The London Mayors’ Association 2019 Civic Visit was led by our Chairman, Clare Whelan DL OBE to The Netherlands including Amsterdam, The Hague, Delft and Volendam.
We were welcomed with City Hall receptions with Civic dignitaries in Amsterdam and City Mayors of The Hague & Volendam and a reception at the British Embassy with Deputy Head of Mission Nick Heath.
Our trip from 28th to 31st March 2019 included a canal City tour and visits to The RuiksMuseum & Van Gogh Museum and Ann Franks House in Amsterdam, the Delft Royal Pottery Factory en route to The Hague where we visited The Mauritshuis (home to many Vermeers inc The Girl with The Pearl Earring) & The Parliament.
Our final day ended with a visit to the gorgeous Keukenhof Gardens and a tradional farm were we were treated to demonstrations of wooden clog-making and Goude cheese with a delicious tasting after & lunch by the sea in Volendam before flying home
Members of the London Mayors’ Association attended Evensong to celebrate the Feast of the Dedication of Westminster Abbey on 14 October 2018. The service was held in the presence of our President, the Lord Mayor of Westminster, and the Mayors of the London Boroughs, together with members of the Greater London Lieutenancy.
We were welcomed to the Abbey by the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall.
The Right Reverend and Right Honourable Dame Sarah Mullally DBE, Bishop of London, gave the sermon. Sir Kenneth Olisa OBE, Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Greater London and the Lord Mayor of Westminster read the lessons.
Over 50 Mayors and members of the London Mayors’ Association were treated to coffee in the Private Members Dining Room and then given a superb tour of the Guildhall which included seeing an example of a glass window made from boiled down calves foot – now know as gelatin!
The tour also included the Guildhall art gallery and the Old Jewery Church.
We then progressed to a truly delicious three course tea in the Guildhall Dining Room. The icing on the cake was a talk by Wendy Mead who talked to us about her recent role as the City of London’s Chief Commoner.
The London Mayors’ Association is extremely grateful to Sherriff Neil Redcliffe and his Consort Emma for inviting us back to the Old Bailey again this year.
The visit started with tea and home made cakes in the Sherriff’s Dining Room and was followed by a tour of the Old Bailey given by Sherriff Redcliffe. We heard all about the history of the site – from the notorious Newgate prison, where once installed you were unlikely to survive unless you could bribe those in authority – to the spectacular building which stands today.
During the course of the tour we also learnt that the original meaning of ‘on the wagon’ where those going for execution from the old Newgate prison were allowed off ‘the wagon’ to have a drink with those who would carry out their execution before being put back on the wagon afterwards. A sobering thought!
Visit to Performance of “Little Shop of Horrors “ at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre on Tuesday 7th August 2018
Ahh….. Do you remember the long hot dry summer of 2018? Well what could go wrong on a London Mayors’ Association visit to the Open Air Theatre at Regent’s Park to see their production of “Little Shop of Horrors”? Well it rained!
55 Members of the LMA still enjoyed an excellent supper prepared by our own Jenny Bianco and the first half of the excellent production of this popular American musical but the second half got entirely washed off. However, members who made the effort to come back on another evening to see the whole show were rewarded with a classic, over the top, camp musical in the best traditions of the Open Air Theatre. The casting of American Drag Queen Vicky Vox to play the plant (most productions have it as a puppet) added much spice and glamour to the show.
After 2017’s rather dreary production of a “Tale of two Cities “ this year’s “Little Shop of Horrors” reinvigorated the close relationship between the LMA and the Open Air Theatre. Afterall, our very own Councillor Robert Davis is Chairman of the theatre company!
The London Mayors’ Association hosted a reception in Westminster City Council’s Lord Mayor’s Parlour on Tuesday 19 June 2018 for this year’s new Mayors and their mayoresses and consorts. A well-attended and enjoyable evening it was opportunity for this year’s mayors to get to know each other.
The evening was sponsored by the London New Year’s Day Parade. Many London Boroughs participate in the parade supported by their Mayors.
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”
This is the familiar opening line of the Charles Dickens novel “A Tale of Two Cities.” The modern day version has been dramatised by Matthew Dunster and staged at the Open Air Theatre in Regent’s Park in front of 60 LMA members and friends . It had received mixed reviews from the critics and apparently a sex scene had been cut—several past mayors expressed disappointment at this.
However, after a hearty supper of Jenny Bianco’s excellent Coronation Chicken and a thankfully dry evening a sold out party from the LMA ensconced themselves in the stalls and wondered how much the set of three metal haulage containers had cost? Having accepted the “modern touches “ including the fact that the actors playing Sydney Carton and Charles Darnay looked nothing like each other those of us who stayed to the end rather enjoyed the production and were quite moved by the conclusion.
The LMA has attended a range of productions at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre over the years, where our former LMA chairman Councillor Robert Davis does such excellent work as chairman of the board of directors. As London mayors we are used to taking all sorts of drama in our stride.