Here's my collection of photos from the parade, sorry about the length of the post.
We all knew that January 1st would be cold. Really cold, accounts suggest it was something like 2 degrees celcius during the day, and minus 2 at night.
As such, I wore multiple layers. A pair of wolly jogger trousers on my legs, two pairs of socks as standard, a long-sleeved T-Shirt, and a short-sleeved Ghostbusters T-shirt on top. In addition to these were the Father Christmas hat, which was very warm, a pair of gloves and a scarf.
My journey into Central London properly began at 9:16 in the morning, which was the time my train would depart Amersham Underground Station...
...of course, I hadn't even boarded my train before the first incident happened.
The Proton Pack had been laid flat on the middle row of seats in the car, with the gun slid into place on the hook. In retrospect this was an extremely poor decision as when the car bumped slightly, it slid off the hook and to the floor of the car, popping off both handles. With no time for a fix and no real materials, the front barrel was left in the car and the rear left to hang loose from the Gun Box.
I was not best pleased... but yet, it hadn't really pissed me off. These props always get some sort of damage on these public events that I feel I've become climatised to some kind of damage happening.
Having made my way to Finchely Road Tube Station, and then Green Park, I decided to see if things were running normally to Hyde Park Corner, which they were. As I climbed up the steps to the street and wondered which direction I had to walk in, I saw something extremely familiar drive by and give me the course I sought:
I followed the car as best I could, and it wasn't too long before I saw some of the other guys from The U.K., standing at the corner of Piccadilly and Old Park Lane.
Once I'd gotten a warm welcome and returned it in kind, the cameras popped out of pockets to start recording the event.
As this happened, Milton took the opportunity to reattach one of Ecto-1's hubcabs, which had decided to come off without warning.
Robert Monk and Mark Lloyd, respectively.
As final preparations were made, the banner we would be carrying was unfurled and strung to the posts we'd be using, thanks to some large zip-ties.
Whilst Mark and Carl Hopcroft busied themselves with this task, the remaining Ghostbusters chatted amongst themselves, Milton and the non-Ghostbusters of our party, the Statue of Liberty (Carl's sister, Jennie), Stay Puft (Carl's father), the Library Ghost (Jackie Webb) and a little girl, acting as both standard bearer and no-ghost logo, whose name and relationship to the group sadly escapes me.
Sadly, Martin Goose, another member of the team was laid out with Bronchitis, and for reasons unknown Zuul had not been able to attend, but we still had a good sized group on the day... not to mention this would be the public event debut for James Offord, one of our newest members, who would be meeting some of us for the first time off-forum.
The usually camera-shy Jennie, caught alongside Robert Monk who in this particular instance is not making himself look very bright.
The completed banner, with charity name, and a photograph of poor David, whose name we would be marching in benefit of.
Carl's temporarily discarded Proton Pack and Trap, bravely left lying on the roadway as he assembled the banner.
Numerous times during the prep stage, we got asked to pose for photos. Same old, same old.
There will be a lot of photographs of Ecto-1. You can't have enough photographs of Ecto-1, she's a star for the camera. Seen in the backgraound are Carl and TC Ozzie.
Before heading off, we took the opportunity to get a group photo of everyone who was in costume with the car (this is a combination of two photos to feature the best of both shots). I plan to get a copy printed, eventually... and framed.
The uncropped, unedited shot, as I felt it was worth showing off the length of Ecto-1 in relation to the group.
There is something extremely satisfying, and legitimate, about seeing your team name in print.
Misters Ozzie, Hopcroft and I believe Lloyd in the foreground, with Joey Green lurking behind. This will be Joey's third outing with us if I'm not mistaken, and it's always a pleasure to having him and his equipment on location.
By now, we'd moved to our official prep area to wait for our section of the parade to start moving. The parade would start at noon, we didn't start moving until 1:00PM.
As we waited, Carl, who in his wisdom neglected to bring gloves, found that his hands were turning blue!
Although we were cold, our spirits were high. We were all here in London, we were ready and raring to go, and we were doing something good for the soul. So far, it had been fantastic and we hadn't even walked the parade route yet!
It is here where it should be noted, there was a spooky parallel to the final third of the first movie. Old buildings to the right, Green Park on the left, the traffic along Piccadilly not moving an inch and the traffic at the intersection at Hyde Park corner moving normally... it was like Central Park West, looking toward Columbus Circle. It was like we were re-enacting the arrival of the Ghostbusters to Dana's apartment building!
The Vs. fight we'd wished we'd seen! Statue of Liberty against Mr. Stay Puft!
From Picaddilly, to Piccadilly Circus and just beyond, I'd been carrying the banner, so there were no chances to grab any photos beforehand.
However, I did get interviewed by one of the commentators at the first grandstand we approached... I did my best, despite being caught like a deer in the headlights... and I think it came off okay.
It had been Mark and I who had been carrying the banner for the first leg of the route, but somewhere before Trafalgar Square we'd been relieved by Carl and Mark, allowing us to grab photos and mingle with the crowd.
And I tried to get as many photographs near the landmarks we passed as was humanly possible. Here's Admiralty Arch, just off of Trafalgar Square.
Before we knew it, and in what seemed like no time at all, Big Ben and Whitehall could be seen beckoning to us.
But before we left Nelson's Column and Trafalgar Square, some more photos had to be gotten. To have missed the opportunity would've been a crime.
Before I forget, it should be mentioned that the suggestion to do the parade, and the choice of charity were Carl's. It's here I'd like to thank him for letting me be a part of something so insane, and so amazing.
A good shot of some of the group as we marched toward Parliamanent from Trafalgar Square.
I had to snap a shot of The Lord Moon of the Mall
pub. In the final hours of our first romp through London back in the summer, the remaining members of the group had decanted here for a rest and a drink before going our separate ways.
It was also the pub I'd visited with my University course mates the first time we went to London as a group, and so it has special significance for two different reasons to me.
Some more photos of Ecto-1, per the photogenic remark:
Mark, Carl, Joey and Robert, as if they were in a real U.K. Ghostbusters film.
-I hope there's some more good shots of me out there!
"Get that bloody camera out of my face!" - Joey does his best Noel Gallagher impression.
It was at the grandstand in the background where we'd gotten a roaring chorus of "Ghostbusters!" from the crowd thanks to the commentators... I tell you what, nothing can f****g compare to the sheer emotion and joy of the day, and that moment especially.
Every criticism, every cruel and unkind remark was made immaterial and everything positive was justified and made real by the reaction of the great British public. They were bloody fantastic.
The final approach now, Parliament Square, Westminster Abbey and Big Ben just a short distance beyond the final grandstand.
The crowd meeting us in Parliament Square:
And good old Big Ben, informing us that it'd taken just shy of two hours to march the parade route.
Some final photo opportunities that could not be missed:
Joey, acting out another hypothetical movie scene:
And some photos taken from the post-parade waiting area, as we relaxed a little and chatted some more.
And a final triumphant shot of yours truely, wearing my parade medal (we each got one).
And the damage report:
One knocked-off N-Filter, thanks to a careless woman and her bag on the Underground Train home.
And one dismembered Proton Gun.
We walked 2 solid miles in gear for the parade (not including extra walking for transport and such).
We walked for two hours along the parade route.
The post-parade period lasted another hour (we were quite surprised after hearing Big Ben chime three as we walked away from the Square, to hear it chime four as we began to make our separate ways home).
We were interviewed at least three times by the grandstand commentators, Joey once (I think) Myself twice, Robert once (I think).
I had departed home around 8:50 in the morning, and didn't get home until around twenty past six, or something like that.
I had one of the best experiences of my life, and I would neither regret it nor would be reluctant to recommend it to other people.
And that's the day we walked through London in costume, to help the David Statton Sick Children's Fund.