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Today I scanned the final batch of colour negatives from Norman’s 70th birthday boat trip on 6th April 2002.
Some of these are from the start of the journey soon after we left Westminster Pier and people settled down to eat.
The Post Office Tower and St Paul’s Cathedral are each visible beyond Tower Bridge.
Norman mingled with his guests on the upper deck.
Yesterday I featured our arrival at the Thames Barrier, a short distance beyond which was the turning point from which we returned to the pier.
Passing back through the flood barrier gave us unique views of three of the capital’s iconic structures. Even for me it is surprising to establish that it is the barrier that at 35 years old is the most senior. The first buildings in Canary Wharf were completed in 1991, and the Millennium Dome just about managed to open on the last day of 1999. The politics.co.uk website opens its lengthy page on the Dome with:
‘The Millennium Dome was the centrepiece of British celebrations for the dawning of the year 2000.
Built on the site of the Meridian Line in north Greenwich – symbolising time – the Dome was, at the time of construction, the biggest dome in the world, occupying 300 acres of a formerly contaminated derelict gasworks. The former gasworks had been derelict for more than two decades and was the largest undeveloped site on the River Thames.
The Dome originally contained a theme park-cum-scientific exhibition entitled the ‘Millennium Experience’. This was a series of themed ‘zones’ representing concepts such as ‘money’ or ‘the body’, supported by live theatrical events throughout the day. The Millennium Experience closed on December 31 2000, and the Dome has since been sold to be converted into a 26,000 capacity entertainment and sports arena.’
There is much more about the controversy and financial mismanagement of what was, at the time, termed a ‘White Elephant’ on the highlighted website.
This afternoon Becky and Ian joined us for their Christmas visit which began with a meal at Lal Quilla. Service was as friendly and efficient as ever, and the food excellent. My choice of main course was king prawn Ceylon. Kingfisher and Diet Coke were the drinks consumed.