New Year's Day parade

OVER half a million people braved freezing temperatures and millions more tuned in to watch the New Year s Day Parade where Barking and Dagenham was prized for its colourful float. The Mayor s Charity was among 22 other London borough entries that partic

OVER half a million people braved freezing temperatures and millions more tuned in to watch the New Year's Day Parade where Barking and Dagenham was prized for its colourful float.

The Mayor's Charity was among 22 other London borough entries that participated in Let's Help London Challenge - a competition for a cash charity prize during the televised parade in central London.

The borough's entry was a colourful float which won the �2,000 sixth prize for the Haven House Children's Hospice for children and young people with life-limiting conditions.

Mayor, Cllr Charles Fairbrass, said: "It was a beautifully sunny day but it was freezing.


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"I have never seen so many people in one place before. It was marvellous.

"It was a colourful float with recycled materials and I think the judges recognised that.

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"I'm extremely pleased with the volunteers. One of them was over 80 and carried a collection bucket and a walking stick the entire length of the parade."

The float was a show-stopping spectacular named "The Wild Green Singalong Circus" and was adorned with recycled art made from 80 per cent rubbish and off cuts, made by Art Blanche - a group of adults with learning disabilities.

Entries were judged on the amount of effort invested, on how close they came to the theme 'Let Us Entertain You', on effort and on its relevance to the borough.

The judging panel included the Ambassadors of China and Colombia and was overseen by Roger Bramble, Deputy Lieutenant of Greater London.

The float was also supported by the Elite Dance Academy- a team of children from a local dance group, the Mayor's Charity Support Group, Enterprise, construction company Kirkman & Jourdains and the Ford Motor Company who kindly loaned the lorry.

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