Up to 2,000 people turned out to greet Lady Godiva as she made her spectacular way through Waltham Abbey on Saturday (4 August). The crowds of people were awed as the graceful lady, standing 6-metres tall, made her way regally from the Abbey to Epping Forest District Museum in Sun Street. Powered by some incredible mechanics, she waved and bowed to the crowds as she walked sedately across Market Square, gazing down upon spectators from rooftop level.
Part of the Cultural Olympiad celebrating the London 2012 Olympic Games, Waltham Abbey was a very appropriate overnight stop for Lady Godiva. She is believed to have been the grandmother of Queen Ealdgyth, wife of King Harold who is reputed to be buried in the grounds of Waltham Abbey church.
The modern Lady Godiva, set out from Coventry where the original is said to have ridden naked through the town in protest at the heavy taxes levied on the people by her husband, Leofric. The modern Lady Godiva, also travelled by horse, although this time powered by a team of cyclists and was fully clothed. Her journey ended on Sunday in Waltham Forest.
Councillor Liz Webster, Mayor of Waltham Abbey and Leisure and Wellbeing Portfolio Holder for Epping Forest District Council greeted Lady Godiva. Waltham Abbey residents Jack (9) and his brother Oliver (4) joined civic and religious leaders at the Museum where Jack presented Lady Godiva with his own model horse made earlier in the day.