The world famous Lord Mayor of London’s New Year’s Day Parade will star Hammersmith and Fulham Council.
The world famous Lord Mayor of London’s New Year’s Day Parade will star Hammersmith & Fulham Council.
For the first time in years, the council is entering a float in the parade that will celebrate all elements of this year’s theme of the Olympics and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
Mayor of Hammersmith & Fulham, Councillor Frances Stainton will be on the float along with her Mayoress and consorts, curator of the Buckingham Palace 2012 summer exhibition ‘Diamonds: A Jubilee Celebration’, Caroline de Guitaut, and Olympic gold medallist rower Ben Hunt-Davis, who is an ambassador for next year’s games.
Accompanying them will be Albert and Friends’ Instant Circus and 27-year-old Manindra (Mani) Rai, a Ghurkha soldier who was shot while serving in Afghanistan in 2010.
Mani will be representing the Hammersmith & Fulham Mayor’s charity, Walking with the Wounded, and is attempting to get four wounded servicemen at the top of the tallest mountain in the world as a member of the Walking with the Wounded 2012 Everest Challenge.
Mani said: “When I first became injured, I felt there was not a great deal of prospect for me. However this challenge has really made me realise that injured servicemen can really achieve just as much as those who are able bodied.”
Councillor Stainton said: “Everest is a symbol of endeavour. Endeavour is what Hammersmith & Fulham aspires to and is of course at the heart of the Olympic Games and the charity’s challenge.”
The float will have a replica of Everest and nods to the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee on the float, including a life-size picture of the Queen and a life-size rhino that echoes the moment Her Majesty became Queen while on safari in Africa.
The parade starts at 11.45am on Piccadilly, finishes around 3pm at Parliament Street, and is expected to draw crowds of half a million along the two-mile route.
The borough’s most famous link to the Olympics is that it hosted the first modern day Olympics, as we know it, in White City in 1908.