London New Years Day Parade 2016
This was the 30th Anniversary of the London New Years Day Parade and PC-UK were priviliged to be invited to take part. We initially had 8 vehicles down for the day but due to an unforeseen mechanical issue with the Hampshire Morris Minor Van belonging to Phil Jacob on route we were reduced to 7. But what a magnificent 7 they were.
The Parade route started in Piccadilly and ended in Whitehall as shown on the map below.
Hopefully you will enjoy the pictorial journey along the Parade route as much as I did walking it and taking all the pictures of the cars. One good thing was the rain held off.
The cars lined up in staging area 30 along Piccadilly awaiting the off. Overwatch being provide by the Mad Hatter.
So following the line up for the actual Parade may I introduce the seven PC-UK vehicles that took part.
First up is the highly polished Metropolitan Police Wolesley 6/80 belonging to Anton Prole. Ding.Dong!
New one for the Parade but a regular at the Goodwood Revival meetings was this lovely Lancashire Constabulary MGA owned by Simon Dwyer
Back on it's old patch was this Metropolitan Police Force Jaguar S Type callsign "Charlie One". This one belongs to Ernie Jupp.
Along side the S Type we had Stuart Exelby with his Staffordshire Constabulary Jaguar 240. As you will see later it needed a helping hand to get round the Parade route but that is one of the joys of owning a Classic Car I believe.
Next up we have the smallest in the group, but alway popular with the crowd, the North Wales Police British Leyland Mini Van which is the pride and joy of Alex Lee. I had the pleasure of driving up in this car with Alex and Becky and was well impressed with its performance especially with my slight frame in it. Thanks for letting me sit in the front Becky I really appreciated it.
Whilst parked up in Piccadilly a member of the public came up to us and it turned out he was the first PC to drive this actual car when it was first delivered to North Wales Police. Lots of new info obtained and it certainly made his day to see it again after all this time.
Once a well know sight around London and the car I did my Advanced Car course on is this Metropolitan Police Service Rover SD1 3500 Traffic Car now owned by Chris Taylor.
Last up is Adrian Cottles serene Wiltshire Constabulary Driving School Jaguar XJ6. Adrian seem to spend more time out of his vehicle chatting to the crowd than in it.
Waiting for the off
Whilst waiting for the off the cars drew a lot of attention and many photo opportunities arose, some more unusual than others. Here we have Station Sergeant Anton with Alice being photo bombed by the White Rabbit.
"Get on Parade" Very smart line up of members in period uniform. From left to right Ernie, Adrian, Stuart and Anton.
Even the current crop of guys showed an interest and happily posed with Alex, Becky and Anton. SadlyI have become aware that the old traditional tipfer is being phased out and will no longer be a intergral part of Police unifrom in London.
Seems like a lot of the punters still like getting their collars felt. So Adrian and Anton happily oblige.
"Hello,hello,hello and what's going on here then?" These two seemed more interested in a cuddle in the back of Ernie's Jaguar than getting out and doing some work.
Simon Dwyer brought along his beautifully retored Lancashire Constabulary MGA
Looks as good from rear as it does from the front.
To top it all the beautifully finished cockpit.
Underneath the hood of Alex's North Wales Mini Van. Miss the days of being able to work on a motor without having to take it to a garage.
The cars are off to the start of the Parade just past Green Park Tube Station. Led away by the Metropolitan Police Wolesley 6-80.
Weather was a bit chilly especially in an drop top. But both driver and co-pilot were suitablly wrapped up in this Lancashire Constabulary MGA
Purring along a lovely pair of black and white "Cats"
Next in line came the North Wales Mini Van and the Metropolitan Police Rover SD1
Bringing up the tail Adrians Wiltshire Jaguar XJ6
Nearly at the start but not quite. There were apparently two assembly points and other parade participants were being fed into the line ahead of us. Engines off gents.
Whilst waiting to take our turn Anton stepped out to have a chat with the stilt people. Haven't quite figured out where the Autobot appeared in Alice in Wonderland.
Finally our turn to join the main Parade route. Horns, bells and lights going the cars become the stars.
Parade heads off down Piccadilly towards Piccadilly Circus
Nice rear shot of Chris Taylors Metropolitan Police Rover SD1 3500. The car has had some work done on it over the winter and was looking really nice. Check out the new shiny refurbished wheels.
Driving past "The Ritz" but no stopping for tea. North Wales Mini, Withshire Jag and Met SD1.
Adrian surveys a slightly stricken Staffordshire Constabulary Jaguar whilst Stuart attempts to get the beast roaring againg. Alternator struggled with all the lights and two tone being on I am led to believe.
Where there's a will there is a way. With a little help from Adrian, Alex and a couple of Marshalls Stuart got the car going again. Oh the joys of Classic Car ownership.
A quick wave for the camera and then a right turn into Regent Street.
Stuarts Staffordshire Jaguar 240 now running under it's own steam again.
As I was out of the car walking along I was pleasantly surprised with all the great comments about our cars from the crowd. All the cars proved popular but the Mini seemed to resonate with all generations present.
Line astern heading of down Regents Street towards Pall Mall.
The Lancs MGA passing the Crimean War Memorial at the bottom of Regents Street at the junction with Pall Mall. Note the seating stands in the background. There were at least 5 or 6 of these areas along the route with a commentator giving a run down of the groups taking part in the Parade.
Station Sergeant Prole taking the Met Wolesley 6-80 out for a little spin around London.
MP from "Charlie One" now poodling off in the direction of Trafalgar Square.
Newest of the three Metropolitan Police vehicles on Parade the Rover SD1 3500 Traffic Car owned by Chris Taylor.
Now that's what I I call an Advanced Driving School car. Unfortunately for Wiltshire Constabulary Officers this was the only chance to drive this lovely Jaguar XJ6 as it was never bought for operational use.
The PCUK convoy turning into Whitehall, the final stretch of the Parade.
Turning off from Trafalgar Square into Whitehall and on towards the finish line
Nicely lined up for the Parade down Whitehall and on to Parliament Sqaure.
Coming up to the live TV area and the end of the Parade. Had to jump into the comfort of Adrians Jaguar XJ6 at this point as we weren't alllowed to walk through the TV area . Very comfortable it was to.
Nice shot of the side of Alex's North Wales Mini from Adrian's Jag. Nice smile and a great thumbs up from the lovely passenger.
Adrian's Wiltshire Constabulary Jaguar XJ6 looking resplendent outside the Houses of Parliament.
End of the Parade and the cars are parked up ready to be covered for the journey home. Even then the cars attracted a lot of attention especially from tourists who just loved them.
The "Bangra Boys" posing with Chris Taylors Metropolitan Police Rover SD1 3500
So final shot that signifies an end to a very successful and enjoyable 30th Anniversary London New Years Day Parade.
Everyone had a great time and the cars were really appreciated. All in all a great advert for the club.