Join in

Send page to a friend

4574 views since 11th March 2011

Related links:

Events | Lore & Legend | Rather Interesting | Cultural Britain

Featured Destination

March 2020: West Norfolk

Welcome to West Norfolk, a truly special place of unspoilt charm and natural beauty, where tranquillity and relaxation are the order of the day.

Set against ...More
More Uk destinations

Vintners' Company Procession, London

Those who bemoan the sometimes grimy state of our cities today should think carefully before saying how good things used to be. The annual installation procession from Vintners' Hall in Upper Thames Street in the City to St James' Church, Garlick Hill, bears witness to changes for the better.
The Vintners Company has existed for many centuries (its first charter was granted in 1364), and has been making the annual procession from hall to church where thanks are given for the wonderful trade its members are involved in for just about as long. Spectators seeing the procession will note the Wardens and members wearing traditional uniforms and costumes, and carrying posies - the latter a reminder of the stench that used to be everywhere in the vast city before its sewage system was installed in the nineteenth century, as the posies would be held near the nose to mask the noisome stink.
The other reminder is the Vintners' Company porter who precedes the dignitaries and members. The porter is dressed in a rather strange mixture of clothing: a medieval-style white smock; and a Victorian top hat. But more significantly he carries a besom broom, as his medieval equivalent would have too. These days the broom‚s twigs sweep for ceremonial reasons, perhaps stirring a little dust - the event does take place in the first half of July after all - whereas his ancient colleagues would have been brushing aside something far more weighty and slippery, and, the installation ceremony taking place in July, far more malodorous. This was a very necessary duty if the dignified Vintners were not to slide in the ordure and sully their finery.

More British Folk Customs?

If you like this, Share it

Brit Quote:
animals have the vowel sounds; man only can utter consonants - Samuel Taylor Coleridge
More Quotes

On this day:
William the Conqueror lands - 1066, The South Sea Bubble Bursts - 1720, British national anthem 'God Save The King' sung for the first time - 1745, The First International Meets in London - 1864, Britains 1st Woman doctor qualifies - 1865, Brixton riots again - 1985, Frankie Dettori’s Magnificent Seven - 1996
More dates from British history

click here to view all the British counties

County Pages