The day of the Thames Pageant and I arrive along the South Bank just before my afternoon shift. The Big Lunch is already in full swing at Piccadilly. Food obviously being the main theme, with many of the local Picadilly business providing special items. Here on the South Bank the crowds are building quickly in anticipation of The Flotilla…
The Morning Shift LA’s are busy helping out. Although today, most people know where they are going, or at least the direction they are meant to be facing – The Thames!
My uniform on and armed with our resourses, the above is a view from outside our Pod. It gets so busy at one point that the Police have to shut off the area by Golden Jubilee Bridges / Hungerford Bridge to let the crowds disperse. This is after that, at 2.30pm when the boats begin to pass…
I don’t get to see much of The Flotilla itself, as there is a crowd of about 6 rows deep in front of us and I am short. But one of the LA’s has remembered to get a couple of the cardboard periscopes that were being given out at Waterloo Station. So most of us spent the next hour or so viewing snippets of The Flotilla through these.
I catch The Royal Barge for about 3 seconds and then the Dunkirk ships. Also hear some of the Celtic style music on the Music Barges. Although due to the general noise we don’t hear much except the foghorns! More info on the types of boats that make up The Flotilla and The Thames Pageant explored by The BBC.
There is still a fair amount of helping to do as there are quite a few elder folk who are cold, lost. Disabled people in need of directing to a more suitable location. Those who want to know the best place to see the Pageant if they are short, 20 minutes before the Queen is due…. unfortunately we are not miracle workers!
Later, I make my way up to the Riverside Cafe for a cup of earl grey tea and a chance to sit down. By now the rain has set in and the Pageant is drawing to a close, but I catch a glimpse of the tail end of the Passenger Boats. Most of the crowds by now have dispersed – warming up inside by the look fo the Riverside Terrace Cafe in Royal Festival Hall!
There are slightly different London Ambassador Team combinations each day during the Diamond Jubilee Volunteering and here are some, but by no means all, of the Saturday 3rd June Team. Tired from the rain but still enjoying the work. We also had some of the Young London Ambassadors with their Mentors with us today. The London Ambassadors Programme is also extended to younger people who want to take part.