Thursday 23rd June: A Spectacle To Behold – Covent Garden’s “Weird and Wonderful” Rent Collecting Ceremony Majestically Supported By The Covent Garden Marching Band



Why not make a day of it in Covent Garden, on Thursday, 23 June, to experience this unique annual event. Be there in good time – the ceremony starts at 4.30pm.


Flamboyant Rent Collecting With Panache!
“The annual Rent Ceremony is a weird and wonderful occasion when the Chairman and Trustees march around the Piazza, accompanied by the Town Crier and a jazz band, to pay the “peppercorn rents” of five red apples and five posies of flowers for the buildings, known as The Protected Lands, on which the Trust owns a 150-year headlease.” (Covent Garden Area Trust Website) 

This, the 19th Annual Ceremony, promises all the flamboyance and panache of preceding years and it has to be witnessed to be believed! The band includes especially selected jazz musicians with The Covent Garden Town Cryer at the head of the parade.

This year the band will include:

Trumpets/Cornets: Digby Fairweather, John Keen, Chris Hodgkins and John Wacher.
Reeds: Julian Mark Strangle (clarinet), Karen Sharp (tenor) Eric Gilchrist (alto)
Trombones: Chris Gower, Phil Brown and Tim Wacher.
Banjo: Alan Bradley.
Sousaphone: John Beecham.
Drums: Don Cook and Ben Martyn.

“True New Orleans Style”
Directed by Tim Wacher and headed by Town Cryer Alan Myatt, the marching band will set off, in true New Orleans style, at 4.30pm from 13, New Row, Covent Garden WC2 (the offices of the Covent Garden Area Trust – opposite Waterstones), keeping up a steady pace down King Street and around the Piazza with appointed stops on route for the collection of the rents. The parade will pause for essential refreshments outside the Punch and Judy Pub before culminating with dignitaries’ speeches in the Market’s North Hall.


“Quite a Big Sound”
Then comes the grand finale in the South Courtyard of the Market (outside the Crusting Pipe) where, after a short interval, the band (finally static!) plays a second set lasting an hour and finishing around 6.30pm. Tim Wacher regularly assures me “It’s a lot of fun and quite a big sound due to the rather special South Courtyard acoustics!” I can vouch for that!

Jazz&Jazz covers the march each year, featuring Jazz&Jazz YouTubes and brilliant photos taken by my colleague, Laurence Cumming. So we hope to see you there!

Visit the 2015 Jazz&Jazz Covent Garden Marching Band Feature & YouTubes

Laurence Cummings’ 2015 Photo Montage

Peter M Butler

Editor & Proprietor Jazz&Jazz

(YouTubes © Peter M Butler, Jazz&Jazz)
(Photos by Laurence Cumming©Jazz&Jazz)



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