Steam bus to feature in Lord Mayor’s Show

Viv and Vernon Smith preparing their Steam Bus for the Mayor's Parade in London at the weekend''w134605a
Viv and Vernon Smith preparing their Steam Bus for the Mayor's Parade in London at the weekend''w134605a

Saturday will see Elizabeth, Whitby’s steam bus, represent the town on the streets of London as she takes part in the Lord Mayor’s Show.

Viv and Vernon Smith, who run the steam bus, have an open invitation to participate in the four-hour parade, and this year they have been given slot number 53 in the procession.

Residents will be familiar with Elizabeth carrying passengers around town, though at present she is residing in her shed, waiting to go back to work on Boxing Day.

As the tourist season dies down during the winter months, Elizabeth would normally spend November and December being overhauled in readiness for next year.

This year, the overhaul will be put on hold while the 82 year-old vehicle is prepared for her biggest outing of the year.

Vernon and Viv have spent this week polishing and cleaning Elizabeth for the big day.

In the past, Elizabeth has been driven down to London, but this year she will make the journey on the back of a truck.

After being loaded last night, the bus will arrive in the capital this afternoon in order to make the parade, which begins at 11am on tomorrow.

The procession will be joined by the state coach, which will pick the new Lord Mayor up from Mansion House and taking her to the Royal Courts to swear an oath of loyalty to the Crown before returning her to Mansion House.

The show is an annual event and can trace its roots back to 1215. Over the years it has become one of the most important events of London’s calendar and was the first outside event ever broadcast on live television. Even today the TV coverage of the show is still watched by millions.

Mr Smith said: “The event is run with military precision – it is a military event.

“We have to go to a meeting on Friday afternoon where we will be allocated a marshal, who will be an Army captain.”

Besides officers of the armed forces, Elizabeth will also parade with twenty of her 3200 Facebook friends, who will take their places on board as Elizabeth drives through the city from Mansion House to the Royal Courts of Justice and back, passing St Paul’s cathedral and driving along the banks of the Thames.

Those who have got themselves tickets paid £125 for their seats after they were advertised on Elizabeth’s Facebook page.