Saturday, 28 July 2012

The final countdown

The final journey of the torch took it along the length of the Thames in the Queen's boat 'The Gloriana'.

You can see the cauldron with the flame at the front of the boat and the torch being held aloft (by Matthew Pinsent I think). The boat is just going passed the Houses of Parliament.

The clock in Trafalgar square was counting down the last few hours before the opening ceremony.

Now that the ceremony has taken place I can let you see a few of my favourite parts from the technical rehearsal. I loved the drummers coming through the crowd. As you can see all the audience had their backs to the stadium whilst we watched and listened to the drummers. When we turned round to face the front it had been transformed from the country scene to the industrial revolution. As an audience we just gasped at the transformation that had taken place so quickly.

It was an amazing scene with so much going on and the drummers at the front continuing the beating of the drums. There were about a thousand drummers and the sound just enveloped your whole being.

This is a model of 'The Windrush' which brought workers from the Caribbean to Britain after the war. The country was so short of manual workers due to the loss of our young men that many families came to Britain on this boat to find work and then decided to settle here.

I loved this scene of the forging of these gigantic rings.

 My camera just couldn't do this spectacular scene justice.

This was great to see our nurses and doctors play such a major role in the ceremony. All the people taking part in this section are employed by the National Health Service. They also used some children from Great Ormand Street Hospital. The connection with 'Peter Pan' is that J.M. Barrie who wrote the book/play gave GOSH the royalties from the production of the play.

Mary Poppins arrived to save the day and chase away the nightmares the children were having.

There were a few parts that  were kept secret from us in the rehearsal such as The Queen and James Bond (Daniel Craig) arriving in spectacular fashion and of course Rowan Atkinson (Mr Bean) helping the orchestra out. I loved every minute of it. The next time I will be in the stadium I will be performing in the opening ceremony for the Paralympic Games. What a terrifying thought!


  1. You lucky girl being behind the scenery ! I found it absolutely great, very special and full of humor too ! What a performance !!

  2. You made great photos of the event. I watched the television, but I didn't understand all the items, like the children in the beds and the nurses. With your explanations I do now understand what is was all about. That was not so clear for people from abroad. But it was a great show to watch.

  3. Fantastic! I love being able to learn about the important parts from up close. Being in a performance like that had to be incredible. I look forward to your own upcoming performance.

  4. So glad to hear your son is getting better and that you'll soon be back in the Village! :o)

    How wonderful for you to have been able to see the dress rehearsal! If it was just half as amazing as the final ceremony it must have been an incredible experience!!! I'm finishing up a blog post on my take of the Ceremony, stop by if you'd like! ;o) I thought it was quite beautiful, and was so enthusiastic about the whole thing I kept live commenting it on Facebook, lol! I particularly enjoyed the NHS segment. And 007 with the Queen! I was also astonished by the speed with which they transformed the bucolic countryside into the stage for the industrial revolution! ;o)
    And I thought the ending with the lighting of the torch was simply brilliant and beautiful!

    We got some very nice coverage of it all on Spanish TV. For once the commentators didn't speak unnecessarily, only explaining a few points of symbolism or introducing each section. 4h is long (at least for my butt on the sofa!) but for the most part I didn't notice the time go by!

  5. It was a spectacular ceremony .... Great to see these rehearsal pics and I'm sure you loved seeing the real thing on telly.

  6. Hi there - great post! I really do think there is only one place in the world that would do the Mr. Bean part of this event! I would have loved to have been there!

    The "felt pen" line made me laugh - you will have to call them “textas” here if you want one. I have a little waterproof / shockproof camera that goes almost everywhere I do. That’s what I used for the shots.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Australia

  7. They are great shots of the rehearsal. W e watched the ceremony and enjoyed it very much. So you are performing in the paralympics, that will be exciting for you. Relax and enjoy it.

  8. Fantastic Pics ,How wonderful to be there!

  9. Hi Marie

    I was surfing around the images of the 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony
    when I came across your photo of 'us' - who are 'us' Group 10 -
    Pandemonium Drummers - just 20 of the 1000 who made the earth shake on
    the 27th - and of course the 25th - your audience pic taken on the
    25th is the only pic we have found of us taken by members of the
    audience - just so that you know this is genuine i'm attaching a few
    backstage pic's of the whole group...

    ok - so first in line in your pic is young James Patton - then Louise
    Brown, Felicity Hindle, and Will Badham, Becky Chamberlin ( who you
    can't see due to her height ) and then yours truly Steve Ball - the
    rest of our gang are following on...

    When i showed the others this pic (and it is now on all our pages on
    facebook), the ones who were following on and are not in your pic were
    obviously wonderring if you had any more of our group - we - obviously
    were too preoccupied to take snaps and were on very very strict
    instructions not too! - the attached pic's were the ones we were
    allowed to take on the 27th...

    I hope you respond to this email as the whole experience is something
    all of us will treasure forever...

    best wishes


    1. From someone who watched it the Opening Ceremony on TV: you guys were AMAZING!!! :o)


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