The WcoBM’s float from when they last took part in 2013.

Merchants are back in London’s Lord Mayor Show

Published:  20 September, 2016

The Worshipful Company of Builders’ Merchants (WCoBM) will once again have a float in the Lord Mayor’s Show on 12 November.

The float will be in support of their Honorary Liveryman, Alderman Dr Andrew Parmley, who will be installed as the City’s new Lord Mayor the day before.

The Show is one of the best-known annual events in London, as well as one of the longest-established, dating back to the 16th century. Over 150 floats take part each year in a two-mile procession through the City to celebrate the inauguration of a new Lord Mayor. The whole event is captured live on the BBC.

Crowds of people line the City's streets to celebrate the occasion and cheer the long fleet of vehicles, marching bands, spectacular floats, carriages and much more. The Show represents charities, community groups, business and Livery companies, as well as Her Majesty’s Forces and the City Police.

A good eye-catching float with a clear message can be seen by hundreds of thousands of visitors at the Show and, via press and television, can reach an audience of millions. The WCoBM had a float in 2013. It featured builders’ merchanting through the ages, starting with a hand-cart, and ending with a flat-bed lorry. It grabbed the attention of BBC broadcasters and featured prominently on TV.

This year the theme is ‘Builders’ Merchants: Supplying Britain’s Building Needs’ – demonstrating the importance of builders’ merchanting to the UK economy. The float will also highlight the many career opportunities for young people. A single modern vehicle will lead, followed by a JCB forklift with a mock pallet of bricks, placards with prominent messages, and walkers in striking building materials costumes representing high profile supplier brands. BBC researchers will be briefed in the hope it will once again catch their eye and the cameras.

WCoBM’s Master Leo Martin said: “It’s a key objective of the WCoBM to raise the profile of builders’ merchants, and their value to construction and Britain’s economy. Builders’ merchants are at the heart of supplying building materials for the built environment yet many people are unaware that most of Britain’s building materials for homes, roads, public sector and commercial buildings are supplied through merchants.

“Our industry is an exciting and diverse sector for career development. Builders’ merchanting covers a very wide range of jobs from yard work, to sales, operations, finance and marketing, including opportunities to become a director. The Lord Mayor’s Show is a great opportunity to reach a wide audience with these important messages.”

Master Elect Stephen Turner, who will lead the float with a large number of liverymen, added: “Floats are expensive but, with help from sponsors, the WCoBM will cover most of its costs. We are very grateful to them - without their support, we could not take part. Sponsors include: ACO, Alumasc Water Management Solutions, Catnic, Crystal Direct, Dickies, Ibstock, IKO, JCB, Knauf Insulation, Liberon, Makita, Naylor Pipes and NMBS. A lot of hard work and creativity has gone into developing imaginative costumes - we’ve had a sneak preview and they look great!”

All merchants and suppliers are invited to come along to support the industry along the route. It will be a great day out.

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