UK360 Day 1: What a difference a day makes…

17 May 2010

Amy Harpin: We couldn’t have hoped for a better day, the FTFE crew met England cricket captain Andrew Strauss, The Met Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson and London Mayor Boris Johnson, we were filmed by a camera crew, toured London Town, were touched by the generosity of pupils at Aldenham School and had kids climbing all over the fire engine at Halesowen Cricket Club.

The day started off in a mad panic as we battled against Battersea traffic to get to the Oval on time to meet cricket England Captain, Andrew Strauss, Owais Shah and Dawid Malan. Thankfully the boys had waited for us, and Gemma kept them busy signing cricket bats, telling them about the charity, and generally flirting. Andrew Strauss said “I want to wish everyone involved in Follow That Fire Engine all the best for the trip. It sounds like a fantastic adventure and, more importantly, a great way to raise money for three amazing charities.”

The next stop was New Scotland Yard where the term “secure parking” was taken to another level as Steve parked Martha within the confines of the Met’s HQ. I still thought it best to lock the fire engine to be on the safe side! Here the FTFE crew were fortunate enough to meet Sir Paul Stephenson, Met Commisioner. He was very excited about the expedition and kind enough to sponsor Follow That Fire Engine!

At New Scotland Yard we were joined by a film crew who started capturing conent for a fly-on-the-wall style documentary, which will be compiled throughout our UK and global travels. We spent the next hour taking in the sites of London whilst the film crew jumped out and Martha drove past trying to look her best. It was also a good opportunity for the crew to start handing out Follow That Fire Engine flyers. James discovered he’s wasted in professional golf, and should really think about a career in canvassing.

Next it was on to City Hall to meet a bundle of energy in the shape of London Mayor, Boris Johnson. He wasted no time in getting into the driving seat and providing useful insight into what we might expect on our expedition. He said was proud to be supporting such a fantastic expedition and told us to “have a good one!”.

We left Boris to carry on his duties as Mayor and headed out of town towards Hertfordshire, across London’s iconic Tower Bridge. We’d arranged to present to Aldenham School, who had dressed in red for the day and raised an amazing £1,000 in doing so for Follow That Fire Engine. A big thank you to Aldenham School and Miss Rance for your hospitality and generous donation.

It was straight back on the road in the direction of Birmingham and Halesone Cricket Club. Here we were greeted by around 20 excited members of Halesone Youth Academy. Martha and Steve spent the next hour acting as a climbing frame…I think we might have recruited a few new junior FTFE crew members. Thanks to Paul Cutter and Halesone Cricket club for the perfect end to an amazing day in the world of FTFE.

Amy Harpin

[flickr album=72157623968369939 num=30 size=Square]


One Response to “UK360 Day 1: What a difference a day makes…”

  1. Hi,

    Great cause & great photos but what about the pics you took at Halesowen cricket club? My son has been checking out the website & following the fire engine but is disappointed that the photos from the cricket club haven’t been added.

    Good luck & hope the trip is successful!