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Costermongers Harvest Festival in Guildhall Yard

Costermongers Harvest Festival
Where? Guildhall, Gresham Street, The City When? 29th September 2024 From 1.30 PM Parade to St. Mary-le-Bow at 2.30 PM Church service 3 PM to 4 PM Price? Free to watch · See Parking: Nearby car parks Buses: 8, 11, 21, 23, 25, 26, 43, 76, 100, 133, 141, 242, 388 Bus fares Trains: The closest station is Bank Central DLR Northern Wat&City Other nearby stations: Cannon Street, Mansion House, Moorgate and St. Paul’s Train fares

The Pearly Kings & Queens Society will be holding their annual Costermongers Harvest Festival in Guildhall Yard.

The Costermongers were the original fruit and vegetable sellers who later became the Pearly Kings & Queens, and you'll be able to see them all dressed up in their iconic costumes of black and white buttons.

The Costermongers Harvest ParadePhoto:

Morris dancers and May Pole dancing

The afternoon's entertainment will feature Morris dancers waving their handkerchiefs above their heads, ringing their knee bells and bashing their batons together.

The May Pole dance in Guildhall YardPhoto: AndyScott/Wikimedia Commons
The May Pole dance in Guildhall Yard

The highlight of the day will be a grand May Pole dance featuring the Pearly Kings and Queens, Chelsea Pensioners, and some of the borough Mayors in their fancy red robes, followed by the Pearlies singing popular Cockney songs like The Lambeth Walk and Knees Up Mother Brown.

Harvest parade to St. Mary-le-Bow

St. Mary-le-Bow church in CheapsidePhoto: Craig Cross
St. Mary-le-Bow church in Cheapside

At 2.30 PM a barrow will be loaded up with harvest goods and paraded a short distance along Cheapside to the Cockney's spiritual home - St. Mary-le-Bow church - for a special service of thanksgiving.

Members of the public are free to attend the service at 3 PM but it quickly fills up and you might not get a seat. If you stand outside then you'll still be able to hear the sound of its famous Bow Bells -- the same ones that are supposed to have turned Dick Whittington back to London.

I also recommend… If you enjoy Guildhall then you might like to visit Mansion House (you can walk it in 4 mins) and Royal Courts of Justice (walk it in 20 mins)

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