As the Christmas hangover lingers menacingly and Londoners return to the grind once more, through the rain and sleet it’s sometimes difficult to step back and take stock of an often manic seasonal break that has ended before you know it’s even started.
Fear not, for as we are still packing away the fairy lights and baubles, unceremoniously thrusting our now-wilting Christmas trees onto the pavement for waste collection, whilst accepting there really aren’t any more turkey leftovers in the fridge, we have chosen to comb through the Yuletide aftermath.
Our friends at Londonist were quick to publish a punchy bullet point summary of events taking place in London on New Year’s Eve at the weekend. They briefly outline the rather more sombre headlines that surrounded the yearly bonanza making reference to: troubled London train services, a stationary Hammersmith flyover and the wallet-crunching visitor rates proposed for The Shard.
William Wallace, the London-based Scotsman and creator of the excellent London Is Cool blog, provides an in-depth summary of the annual New Year’s Day Parade in central London, clearly impressed by the variety and volume of acts that were on display:
‘For over 2 hours I was entertained by performers some on foot, horseback, stilts, bikes, mini steam engines, and cars. There were marching bands, cheerleaders, clowns and I’m not just talking about Russell Grant.’
However, as if inevitable, the weather was to blame for prematurely dispersing an otherwise enthused crowd. Wallace was quick to spot a silver lining amongst the cloud cover though: the downpour was the ‘perfect excuse I was looking for to head to the pub for a drink.’
All in all, the parade was a successful one:
‘Normally the 2012 London New Year’s Day Parade wouldn’t be my sort of thing…but hey it’s a new year and I have decided that this year I’m going to make a bigger effort to escape out of my comfort zone. And I’m glad I did!’
Many others felt equally buoyed going into the New Year in such vigorous style, with the celebrations of the night before a hot topic amongst the tweeting population this week.
Lucy Wilson enthusiastically tweeted yesterday ‘New Years was amazing. I love London’. A YouTube video of the Thames-side firework display has gone viral, dominating twitter channels – and university student Joy Gera confirmed the event was one to remember, tweeting:
‘Back from london, had an amazzinnnggg time celebrating New Year’s Eve there was great 250,000 people! Amazing firework display.’
However, the Evening Standard were rather more sombre in their conclusion of events with an article focusing primarily on the immense strain placed on the national emergency services in light of New Year’s celebrations across the UK and London. They reported the following on Monday:
‘Scotland Yard had 3,000 officers on duty, both at street level and on podiums in London, to give them a bird’s-eye view of any troublemakers in the crowds.’
Whilst there was only a mere 77 arrests made during the night (‘mere’ when you consider the sheer volume of citizens bustling through London’s streets – up to 250,000 are said to have lined the Thames to watch the firework display alone) London Ambulance Service confirmed a very busy night ‘receiving calls peaking at 600 an hour – the average is usually 180 calls an hour on a normal night.’
Were you in London for New Year’s Eve celebrations? If so, where did you go and what did you get up to? Don’t hesitate to let us know – we’d love to hear your stories.