On 22nd April, the Master was delighted to welcome the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress to his home town of Stratford-upon-Avon for the annual Shakespeare Birthday Celebrations. Watched by thousands, the day begins with a colourful procession of hundreds of people around the town including civic dignitaries, diplomats, representatives of the theatre and literary worlds, community groups and the town’s school children, finally reaching Shakespeare’s grave at Holy Trinity Church. On the way, flags of all the participating nations and representatives are unfurled and the morning is topped off by a lunch for over 500 people. This year, also featured a barge trip along the Avon from the church to the luncheon venue. The Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress are great Shakespeare fans and the Master, a former Mayor of Stratford, invited them to join him as his guest at last year’s 400th Anniversary Event, which he had been involved in organising. This year they returned, with the Lord Mayor resplendent in his robes and chain of office. He unfurled the City’s flag and subsequently was one of the main speakers at the Lunch.
The Master says: “It was an honour to have the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress in Stratford and it was a great piece of PR for the City of London, which they represent so well.”