Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Manchester Day Parade 19 June

Well what an amazing day that was! 2,200 people involved in the parade, around 60,000 watching it, lots of energy, smiles, fun, laughter - and made me so proud to be part of it.

The volunteers assembled at the Castlefield visitor centre (current home of MIF volunteer HQ) on sunday morning bright and early and were assigned our roles. I had specifically requested being based for the morning at WOW as I had done quite a lot of work down there already, so after a quick briefing I led a happy band of volunteers down there to get stuck in. One of our first tasks was helping to transport the huge and very unruly (it was quite windy!) dragonfly to its starting position at Liverpool Road. Unfortunately, ahead of us a steam train had derailed (well lost a wheel) and we ended up in a traffic jam for a while as the tech teams administered emergency repairs. Just behind us in the jam was a 9 foot horse - we were getting some very strange looks from passing motorists!

After that it was just all hands on deck with whatever needed doing. One artist had stayed up all night finishing her rocket ship so I got some food for her, and I was also asked to decorate a trolley that contained a PA system (I was quite proud of the results of my emergency 'make' but sadly forgot to take a picture). Then the volunteer coordinator came and found me and asked if I would pop up and see the stage manager for the Lancaster Bomber section that I had worked on before. I went up there assuming that I would be marshalling that section, but on arrival was given a boilersuit and biggles hat and went on wing duty!

Walking round with the parade was amazing, so many people lined the route, lots more than last year. It actually got quite tricky at times as it was so windy that we had to keep tight hold on the wings. And people spilling into the road made for some dicey moments as I tried not to decapitate the public! Looking at the photos later though the bomber was brilliant, and I was really proud of my part in making that happen.

The route is about two miles long, and the kids did really well as it must have been tiring for them. We had a band right behind us which helped keep the energy up. As we returned to the starting point the sun came out, giving us a perfect end to our parade.

The only problem with being in the parade is that you don't get chance to see all the entries, so I did a lot of internet searching when I got home. There were some amazing sights - huge footballers, a rocket, the striking dragonfly, a 'chinese dragon' train being just a few of them.

A wonderful day for Manchester, and for all the people around Manchester who had worked so hard in making it happen.

No comments:

Post a Comment