THE NEXT Lord Mayor of London may not start Lord Mayor’s Day on board the Queen’s row barge Gloriana as recent predecessors have.
An ancient tradition of carrying the City of London’s new mayor down the Thames on a barge has been revived in recent years after Gloriana was built for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012.
But the cost of using the privately-owed vessel for the procession rocketed more than fourfold last year, minutes from the AGM of the Traditional Thames Rowing Association show.
The Traditional Thames Rowing Association organise the colourful flotilla, as well as other events on the Thames throughout the year using Thames cutters. The cost to the TTRA of using Gloriana on the morning of the Lord Mayor’s Show was £1,200 in 2013 but leaped to £5,000 in 2014.
The TTRA’s treasurer warns that if the price remains that high, Gloriana may have to be “dropped”.
If Lord Sterling [Gloriana’s owner] seeks a similar payment this year (and I have no reason to think that he will not do so), then either the use of Gloriana will have to be dropped or a philanthropic funder will have to be found or subscriptions will have to be raised or there will have to be a much heftier entry fee for the LMS (or some combination of the last three options).
The City of London made a £1,000 contribution towards the cost of using Gloriana in 2014.