Around London – New Year’s Eve fireworks; New Year’s Day Parade; and remembering the Blitz…

A British pyrotechnic company, Kimbolton Fireworks, will be used for the first time in the creation of the Mayor of London’s fireworks display at the London Eye on New Year’s Eve. And in another first, the firework display will be accompanied by music. The mayor’s office have warned that viewing areas for the fireworks fill up early (and will be closed when full) and have suggested that families with young children may consider attending a fireworks display closer to home. For more information, including a detailed viewing area plan, see

London’s New Year’s Day parade celebrates it’s 25th anniversary when it kicks off at 11.45am on New Year’s Day. The parade route starts outside the Ritz Hotel in Piccadilly and runs down Lower Regent Street and along Pall Mall and Cockspur Street into Trafalgar Square before heading down Whitehall and into Parliament Square where it concludes at 3pm. The parade will involve some 10,000 people representing 20 different countries. More than half a million people are expected to line the route. For more information, see

Firefighters have laid wreaths at the Firefighters’ Memorial outside St Paul’s Cathedral in commemoration of the 70th anniversary of one of the worst nights of the Blitz. More than 160 people were killed on the night of 29th December, 1940, in what became known as the ‘Second Great Fire of London’. While large parts of the city were destroyed in the German attack, St Paul’s was spared a similar fate thanks to the actions of specialist firefighters assigned to the building. The night was immortalised by Daily Mail photographer Herbert Mason in what is now an iconic photograph of the Blitz showing the great dome of St Paul’s wreathed in smoke.

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