It was already crowded when we got there at about 12.30. People had been waiting near Millbank pier, where we ended up, since 6am. It was cold and wet, the news has reported quite a lot of cases of hypothermia on the day. My sister and I stood near one of the gangways to the pier with a number of people dressed in party outfits, they were waiting to board one of the boats on the Thames.
We had a coach with police inside, parked next to the pavement at our backs, which actually kept off some of the wind and pressure from the crowds. Lots of crowd control guys were milling up and down the gangway all the time, but there were no problems. The only action being people climbing on the tree next to us, the crowd control guys tried to get them down, with most of the crowd booing and saying shame, leave them alone! Some came down some got back up.
I managed to get fairly close to the wall to see the pageant, though some shots were taken with my camera held up high. As the pageant slowed down and the rain got heavier, some of the people left and we got right to the front. With all the rain and low light and holding the camera high up, it was pretty tricky to get many good images.
|The floating Bellfry leading the pageant.|
I enjoyed the enthusiasm of the crowds, though there was no singing along our section, The mobile bellfry with the special bells cast at the Whitechapel foundry, was good to hear coming at the head of the procession and the musical boats were an important addition I think.
|Sea Cadets carrying the flags of the Commonwealth.|
The manned boat section and the working boats I enjoyed the most overall. Though I felt sorry for any of the boats following the fire boat spraying tons of water as it sailed along. It was bad enough having the rain.
|The Fire Flash a London Fire Brigade Fire boat.|
|The Royal Barge The Spirit of Chartwell.|
|Inspired by the Queen's hats.|
|A new use for tesco carrier bags,waiting in the rain for the pageant to start.|