Belfast Telegraph

Friday 31 October 2014

Overnight Jubilee campers soaked

Members of the public make their way down the Mall to wait for the start of the Jubilee concert outside Buckingham Palace (AP)

Ardent royalists who decided to camp on the Mall have been desperately trying to dry out after a night of torrential rain.

As Stevie Wonder ran through his sound checks to the delight of thousands of well-wishers who had turned up early to bag a spot closest to Buckingham Palace, the few who had decided to camp overnight were doing their best to keep warm.

Sophie Carter, 21, from Preston, Lancashire, said her tent had turned in to a "lake" during the night. She had travelled to London with nine other friends - self-named the Lancashire Lasses - for the weekend and their only dry remaining piece of clothing seemed to be their luminous pink hoodies.

She said: "It literally rained torrentially all night. We have already done an emergency Primark run to pick up some wellies."

Bernadette Christie, 29, had flown over from Grande Prairie, Canada, for the four days. She was forced to abandon her water-logged tent after she was soaked through watching the flotilla. She was left wearing two airline blankets as all her other clothes were drenched.

Shortly before midday, to the relief of the crowds, the sun came out. Lindsey Cranfield, 56, from Horsham, West Sussex, was glad she had booked a hotel all the same.

"We saw all the people camping at the Royal Wedding but we thought it was going to be too hard," she said. "After watching the flotilla in the rain yesterday, we were just glad to get back to a warm, dry hotel."

The Watson family travelled down from Ilkley, West Yorkshire, to take in the atmosphere.

Margaret Watson, 73, remembers watching the Coronation on the television, which had been bought especially so her family could watch the event.

She said: "I am here to say thank you to the Queen for all she has done. I am just so pleased to have lived through her reign."

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