This morning's assignments began with the writer Michael Bond, who, rather sweetly, turned up carrying his own Paddington Bear. He was unveilling a statue of himself and said bear, which is made out of flat sheet metal (the statue, not the bear). Michael's statue is just a breath away from Paddington Green and near a new cycle track that crosses the Harrow Rd underneath the Westway. I got some lovely shots of Michael and his beary friend with his statue, and when it started raining I lent him my brolley, it seemed the very least I could do for the man who invented Paddington Bear. Once the immediate statue excitement had died down, I couldn't help but notice that there were suddenly a whole crowd of leather clad bikers gathering on the other side of the road. Who were they? What were they doing there? and Why had they all shown up at the exact same time? About 100 bikers, complete with vintage bikes had arrived to pay their respects to the place (currently a car park, soon to be another enormous building) where they would meet up as little biker teenagers in the 1960s. Before the car park, a church hall occupied the site and that's where they'd all meet up, and because there were originally 59 members, it was known as the 59 Club. We chatted, I took photos, they showed me their bikes and their badges. They were brilliant. I've got the organiser's email, I think this should go in the newspaper.
After that it was off to the canal cavalcade in Little Venice.... barges and narrowboats moored up on the banks, and more boats on parade in the basin, the Lord Mayor of Westminster doing the official opening, blue sky, cups of tea, Punch & Judy, a very, very English afternoon out. Except now they have drag queens driving one of the barges. Seriously.