‘Amazing sight!’ Hot air balloons float over Havering

PUBLISHED: 10:09 20 June 2016 | UPDATED: 09:15 21 June 2016

Hot air balloons floating above South Hornchurch. Credit: John Cornwell

Hot air balloons floating above South Hornchurch. Credit: John Cornwell

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Residents were woken up to the delightful sight of dozens of hot air balloons floating above the borough yesterday morning.

A hot air balloon flying over the library in Hornchurch. A hot air balloon flying over the library in Hornchurch.

About 50 hot air balloons travelled across clear blue skies in east London over the weekend and dotted the Havering skyline with colours at about 6am.

John Cornwell, 50, of Nelson Road, Rainham, described the sight that greeted him as he looked out the window soon after he woke up.

“It was really good,” he said. “I got up at about 5.45am, looked out at the back garden and saw them flying over.

“I followed them up through Hornchurch, Upminster, Cranham and Warley Hill and back again.

“Near West Horndon, they were coming down in a field.”

Mr Cornwell said he stopped by the field and spoke to one of the balloonists.

“She said she was from south east London.”

The balloons launched from Burgess Park in Southwark at dawn in aid of the Lord Mayor’s Appeal charity.

Peter Barnett, 50, of Grey Towers Gardens, Hornchurch, said: “It was an amazing sight. I saw at least eight balloons, all different shapes and sizes.”

People spotted the balloons above Elm Park, Upminster and Hornchurch and saw them landing in fields around Cranham, West Horndon and Warley, near Brentwood.

Ruth Barnes of St Mary’s Lane, Upminster said: “I was just going to go out for a run and I looked out the window and there was a huge baloon in front of me.

“I shot out into the field and the was at least 30 of them.”

Two previous attempts to send the regatta across central London on weekends earlier this month were cancelled due to bad weather.

More people took to social media to express their surprise at the colourful sight.

‎Amanda Mrsj‎ wrote on Facebook: “Have you seen the photos of all the hot air balloons in Upminster this morning? Amazing sight!”

Have you taken pictures of the Lord Mayor’s balloon regatta? The Recorder would like to see them.

To contribute your pictures go to

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