Despite the Rain, Jazz Adds Panache and Flair to Covent Garden’s Flamboyant Rent Collecting Ceremony!


Should you have been in Covent Garden, London, by 4.30pm on Thursday, 23rd June, you would have experienced one of the City’s unique and more eccentric events, The 19th Annual Covent Garden Rent Collecting Ceremony: “…… 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.”

But this year marching around the Piazza was abandoned due to torrential rain. Nothing daunted, proceedings continued under the shelter of the covered market avenues which meant mingling with the mass of Covent Garden visitors. What better way to describe the event than with a selection of photographs and YouTubes filmed on the day.

The following two YouTubes depict the melée of the Jazz Marching Band, fans and tourists, with the Trust’s photographer, Pete Jones, ducking and diving to capture best shots of the musicians. I too was weaving in and out of the crowd for best position for filming. All great fun!

Ben Martyn on drums

Ben Martyn on drums

Digby Fairweather

Digby Fairweather








Next the Town Cryer gathered together the band, dignitaries, fans and onlookers and led the way to the Market’s North Hall for the annual ceremonial rent collections.


Then came interludes of dignified humour, the payment in full of the Apples and Posies Rents, interspersed by a stirring rendition of Dr Jazz by the Marching Band ………

……… and finally the grand finalé concert in Covent Garden’s Southern Courtyard.







Huge thanks go to Tim Wacher for organising the Jazz Band, I believe for the 20th consecutive year! That’s dedication to London, Covent Garden and to jazz!!!

My good friend and jazz photographer Laurence Cumming:


This year the band included:
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 and Max Britain
Sousaphone: John Beecham.
Drums: Dom Coles and Ben Martyn

Just for more fun:

Laurence captured this image of the Town Cryer and the band on my iPhone Lens Camera,

Laurence captured this image of the Town Cryer and the dignitaries on my iPhone Sony Lens Camera, used to take my Jazz&Jazz YouTubes.

Peter M Butler
Editor & Proprietor Jazz&Jazz

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

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