Not clays or game in the air, rather pancakes and the scene of the Fifteenth Annual Inter Livery Shrove Tuesday Pancake Race, brilliantly organised by the Worshipful Company of Poulters, and by kind permission of the Chief Commoner. The guest of honour was the Lady Mayoress, Lindy Estlin who was there to judge the ‘Novelty’ class, ie fancy dress reflecting this year’s Lord Mayor’s Charities, and to present the prizes. Other competitors were provided with a chef’s hat and an excellent apron to keep, embroidered with their Company name, and had to wear gloves (courtesy the Glovers) while running with a hot pan flipping a pancake at key points in the heat. This is in addition to a gown if they are a Master or Warden. The Worshipful Company of Fruiterers provided the lemons, either for the delicious pancakes supplied by Clink (a prisoners’ catering company) or to quench the runners’ thirst.
The sound of gunfire was from the Gunmakers’ starting cannon and pistol, this year ably fired by Lt Colonel Simon West OBE, steward to the Court and chief executive of the Gun Trade Association.
The Gunmakers put up a team of three ladies and one gentleman this year – and it has to be said that only the gentleman distinguished himself, Freeman James Blacker, running as a Gunmakers’ apprentice and winning his heat. The Master ran in the Master’s race, and the Countess of Lucan and Ms Nicole Escue in the Inter-livery and Ladies’ races. They were kindly supported by the Upper Warden Roddy Richmond-Watson and the Clerk, Assistant Clerk and the Honorary Archivist who took the photographs.
Unlike last year, where the races had to be ‘walked’ due to the rain on slippery wet courtyard, when the Gunmakers nonetheless triumphed with then Master Jonathan Young taking the prize for highest tosser, this year’s triumph was Steward West persuading the Lady Mayoress to fire the cannon.