Southbank flower power

As part of the 60th anniversary Festival of Britain celebrations, yesterday afternoon a group of south east London cyclists decorated their bikes with artificial flowers, and headed to the Royal Festival Hall on the south bank of the River Thames. The event was a recreation of the floral parade which took place in Haringey during the Festival of Britain in 1951.

Preparing for a floral bicycle parade on London's Southbank, 28 August 2011 (photo: Francis Sedgemore)
At the Southbank Centre we we greeted with stalls heaving with real flowers and helium-filled balloons, and encouraged to do a proper job on our bikes. This we did, sat around for a good while, drank coffee and chatted. Then came the parade itself, which was brief, and headed by a group of lady Highland bagpipers from Dagenham. Only in England.

I – clad in 21st century Lycra, following an exhausting morning helping my friend Teri lead a Sky Ride Local around the Olympic canal ring – had an interesting ride back to Greenwich along the Thames path, with all sorts of reactions to my decorated sport fixie.

More photos here.