'Consider yourself, at home!': Havering scoops second place and £9,000 prize at London's New Year's Day Parade
PUBLISHED: 17:00 02 January 2019 | UPDATED: 14:49 03 January 2019
Havering's entry to London's New Year's Day Parade, based around how welcoming and diverse the borough is, was named the second best in the capital and scooped a cash prize of £9,000.
Cllr Dilip Patel and a whole host of young dancers from across the borough put on a dance spectacular so impressive they scooped second prize out of 32 entries – and by doing so won £9,000 for the mayor’s chosen charities.
The only borough to best Havering was Sutton, which won the £10,000 first place prize, while neighbouring borough Redbridge was named in third place and earned £8,000 prize money.
Every year since 1997 all of London’s 31 boroughs, along with the City of Westminster, have been invited to enter the parade with some form of entertainment based on the annual parade theme and to demonstrate the capital’s diversity.
The entry can take the form of an act, float, performance, dance ensemble, or all of the above, making the borough entries the heart of London’s New Year’s Day Parade.
This year, Havering entered a dance act entitled ‘Happy landings: Come fly with us at Havering Airways’, which saw around 90 of the borough’s young performers, aged between five and 31 years of age, put on a dance spectacular in front of a float made to look like a plane that had just landed – complete with someone posing as Her Majesty The Queen waving from a porthole.
The float was built by construction students and staff from the Havering College of Further and Higher Education, and the school’s liason staff also helped create many of the spectacular props and costumes on show.
The performance was based around a rousing rendition of a hit from Disney classic Oliver, announcing that everyone could consider themselves at home in the borough.
There was a brief interlude which saw a troupe of Irish dancers take centre stage, before the children and Cllr Patel himself took centre stage for a grand finale.
Cllr Patel told the Recorder: “I was really, really pleased to come second and have our hard work recognised.
“I have to single out all the children for their brilliant performance, because it was a lot of effort, and their parents too for getting involved and helping bring it all together.”
The prize money will now be split between the beneficiaries of Cllr Patel’s mayoral charity appeal: The Lennox Children’s Cancer Fund, Havering Mind and the Rainbow Trust.