Yesterday morning we diverged from our usual route to work in order to catch Dr Nicholas Cambridge (as Garrick, above left) and Professor Peter Martin (as Johnson, right) setting off for London, an event that marked the official opening of Johnson's 300th birthday celebrations. They posed for me outside the newly-painted grey door of the Birthplace while waiting for the BBC, who had somehow got lost en route from Birmingham.
We really wished we could have stayed longer; we saw the Mayor and his macebearers, all decked out in their civic regalia. We chatted to one of the macebearers who was carrying the gilt mace (see below). Thrillingly, he let me put on his white glove and hold it, with the weight supported on my shoulder. He told us it dated from the reign of William & Mary (1689-1694) - I was actually holding an object that Johnson and Garrick probably saw on civic occasions in Lichfield in the 18th century!