My Life with The


by John Sparks

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First Lord Mayors show from the hop farm

The Sunday before the Lord Mayor's show had arrived, the two-wheel horses Jupiter and Saturn were boxed and the long journey to London to move the Speaker's coach housed in the coach house at the brewery to the London museum on London Wall and the Lord Mayor's coach to the brewery in Chiswell Street where it would stay for the week.

We left London at 10pm Sunday night picking up Dave Hatton on the way. We arrived at the farm just before midnight. After a chat over a cup of tea with the rest of the men we made our way down into the stable to muck out and groom the six horses that were going to pull the coach on the Saturday. The dray which we were going to use for rehearsals was loaded and the six horses were loaded on to two horse boxes, four in the Whitbread box and two on the hired box, the trailer was hitched on to the Whitbread box and at three o’clock we were on the road to London. An hour and half later we were pulling into Chiswell Street brewery. With not much time we unloaded the dray and horses to be ready by five thirty. Waiting in Chiswell street with the horses hitched to the dray the four city police motor cyclists’ arrived to escort us on rehearsal. It was a fresh chilly November morning with the early morning workers on their way to work as we made our way to Saint Paul’s Cathedral and back to the brewery by seven. The dray was left in the brewery yard for the rehearsal next day and the six horses loaded for their return journey to the farm.

Ten pm Monday night, again picking up Dave on the way we repeated the journey to the farm. On arrivial we groomed, and loaded horses for the rehearsal on Tuesday morning

Wednesday was different we had to be in London for two thirty because we were taking the Lord Mayor's coach out with the Lord Mayor who we picked up from the Guildhall at five o’clock .

Thursday and Friday were rehearsed with the dray and Friday the dray was returned to the farm with the horses. On arrival we unloaded everything and watered and fed the horses.

After breakfast we got straight into washing the six horses from ears to feathers on their legs .

The van was loaded with the uniforms and spare harness put into the horse box, everything
was ready for an early start Saturday for the big day .

  Outside Chiswell Street brewery


 November 1990 : Outside the Brewery, Chiswell Street
 L-R : Peter Bundock, David Oliver, John Cook, John Lawless, ( Driver ),
John Sparks, Ray Charlesworth ( Postilion ), Richard Carr, Kevin Robertson,
Bill Papwoth ( Doorman ), Maureen Raine ( Brakewoman ).


November 1987 : Outside the Brewery, Chiswell Street
L-R : Maureen Raine ( Brakewoman ) ), Reg Porter ( Doorman ),
Bill Papworth, John Sparks, John Lakin, John Cook, Richard Carr,
John Lawless ( Driver ), Kevin Robertson, Ray Charlesworth ( Postilion ).

The men enjoying a drink in the City Cellars function room at the brewery after the Lord Mayor's Show 1963.
L_R : John Usher, Jim Saunders, Tommy Taylor, Colin Downie ( Transport Manager )
Eric Strickland, Ernie Hodges ( Postilion ), Jack Strickland ( Driver ), Alfie Pannick, Frank Penney , Charlie Ruocco , Jack Brend ( Stable Manager )

Lod Mayor's Coach with the six Whitbread shires outside St Giles church, Cripplegate

LM 1963
Green yard