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Thriplow resident William Russell becomes Lord Mayor of the City of London

Thriplow is thought to be the first village to ever take part in one of the country’s most historic parades, The Lord Mayor’s Show.

The Lord Mayor's Show, London, Lord Mayor of London Willaim Russell. Picture: Keith Heppell. (21256475)
The Lord Mayor's Show, London, Lord Mayor of London Willaim Russell. Picture: Keith Heppell. (21256475)

The South Cambridgeshire village is home to the 692nd Lord Mayor of the City of London, William Russell –and it provided the first float in the parade on Saturday (November 9).

The Lord Mayor’s Show is 804 years old and has become a fixture of London life, presenting a medieval carnival and imperial spectacle that has become the world’s greatest unrehearsed civic parade.

Speaking to the Cambridge Independent after the event, the Lord Mayor said: “One of the highlights, of course, was that after the bands came through, the first float was Thriplow. That was a wonderful start – as they came around the corner one couldn’t help but smile and wave.

“I think we’re pretty sure it is the first time that a village has ever taken part in the Lord’s Mayor’s Show, so that was huge. We are a very close-knit village and we all get on very well partly due to daffodil weekend.”

He added: “Lots of the people on the float were very good friends, we all meet in the Green Man in Thriplow, which is a community-owned pub so we all have a stake in it – and I’m sure they all went back to the Green Man on Saturday night to celebrate.”

The Thriplow float featured villagers pushing yellow wheelbarrows with daffodils, with some dressed in cricket whites as Mr Russell is a member of Thriplow Cricket Club.

Mr Russell was born in London in 1965 and studied at Durham University. He is married to Hilary who also went to Durham University but was brought up in Queen Edith’s Way, Cambridge.

They moved to Triplow in 1997 and have four children – Edward, Nicholas, Alistair and Helena.

Mr Russell has more than 30 years’ experience in the financial and business sector, including holding senior positions in national and international banking.

In 1987, he went to work for First Boston Corporation before joining Merrill Lynch in 1992 as an investment banker in institutional equity sales, working in Asia, New York and London. He is currently chair of CDAM, a London-based asset management business, and senior advisor to STJ Advisors.

His wife Hilary – the Lady Mayoress – is a farmer and a member of the Farmers Livery. Her family is involved in The Gonville Hotel in Cambridge, and was represented on the Cambridgeshire float, which also featured in the parade.

“She started the show, in fact, some say stole the show, driving a tractor. She led the show before I came in the state carriage,” Mr Russell said.

“The Lady Mayoress’ grandfather, Harold Ridgeon, founded a company called William Sindall, which is now Morgan Sindall. That’s very much a family connection she has with Cambridge. Her brothers David Chaplin and Simon Chaplin are all very much Cambridge people.”

The Cambridgeshire float celebrated many of the things the county contributes to the world, including the Cambridge Biomedical Campus and science park, skilled jobs and industry, and sustainable construction. It featured AstraZeneca, G’s Fresh, Marshall, Mick George, Mills & Reeve, and The Gonville Hotel.

The Lord Mayor acts as an international spokesperson for the City, leading business delegations overseas to key international markets on behalf of the UK’s financial and professional services industry.

In the role he will meet government representatives from around the world, alongside business leaders and policy makers both at home and abroad. He will look to strengthen economic ties with the UK, identify new business opportunities and promote the UK as a top global destination for foreign investment.

During his mayoral year, Mr Russell will promote his ‘Global UK – Trade, Innovation & Culture’ agenda which will build on the theme of ‘Shaping Tomorrow’s City Today’, focusing on connecting communities through trade, innovation and culture.

He will attend the Cambridge Symposium at Jesus College in September 2020 to speak.

“When I go overseas we take delegations, so if there’s anything that they feel I can do to help, I would be more than willing to help Cambridge and Cambridge businesses,” he said.

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