How often does your name come out of the hat? A limited number of places were available to members of the London Olympics volunteer force for the Team GB parade in London on Sept 10th. The parade started at Mansion House and worked its way through Central London to Buckingham Palace. The Mall was only accessible to the Great, the Good and the selected Volunteers, and I was lucky enough to be one of them, volunteer that is, not great or good!
So, the last chance to live the Olympics’ dream before we all become miserable again. It was an amazing atmosphere along the Mall awaiting the parade, with Gamesmakers, Ambassadors, and participants from the opening and closing ceremonies all decked out in their uniforms and costumes for the last time. The police joined the fun, their most arduous task being to act as unofficial photographers for all and sundry. Boris Johnson suddenly appeared through the crowd to stride purposefully along the Mall towards that big house at the end. Eddie Izzard high-fived his way down one side and back along the other. The mounted police took up the high-five challenge as well, before the GB Dragons and marching bands heralded the arrival of the athletes.
As the last float reached the end of the Mall, the British Airways Airbus that carried the Olympic Flame to London for the Games, flew along the Mall at 1000ft, followed by four helicopters in formation. Next up were two military jets alongside a much bigger military-looking plane, and then the Red Arrows. As the coloured smoke wafted away, everyone started to make their way out of the Mall, with some joining the crowds in Trafalgar Square to watch the finale on the big screen. As always seems to happen on occasions like this, it needs some dignitaries to say a few forgettable words, and offer thanks, so up steps Dave (the PM) followed by the Princess Royal who do their duty, accompanied by polite applause, and then up stepped Boris:
What a fitting way to bring an amazing summer to a close.
Follow this link for photographic evidence of the event – ignore error messages about thumbnails – the pictures themselves are all OK.