Bal­loon pride City’s high-fly­ing role in big Lon­don pa­rade

Bristol Post - - NEWS - John HOUSEMAN bris­tol­post­news@lo­cal­

AMINI hot air bal­loon, mea­sur­ing just 1.8m tall, will bring a flavour of Bris­tol to the his­toric Lord Mayor’s Show in Lon­don.

The spe­cially-de­signed, eye-catch­ing he­lium cre­ation will form part of the Uni­ver­sity of Bris­tol’s float at the spec­ta­cle of pageantry and pomp on Satur­day.

It’s one of the first times a uni­ver­sity out­side the cap­i­tal has taken part in the 803-year-old civic pro­ces­sion, in hon­our of in­com­ing Lord Mayor Peter Estlin be­ing a for­mer Bris­tol stu­dent.

Stu­dents from the Uni­ver­sity’s cheer­lead­ing so­ci­ety, Bris­tol Jets, and sab­bat­i­cal of­fi­cers from Bris­tol SU will be joined by a bal­loon mas­ter as they es­cort the bal­loon through the City of Lon­don.

Sym­bol­is­ing Bris­tol’s long bal­loon­ing his­tory, the graphic on the bal­loon fea­tures the Clifton Sus­pen­sion Bridge along with six other city land­marks.

The bal­loon, which will be reused at uni­ver­sity open days in the fu­ture, was made us­ing a to­tal of 22m of fab­ric. When filled with he­lium, the bal­loon has an ac­tive vol­ume ca­pa­ble of lift­ing 1,280 tea bags or 80,000 wa­ter droplets which is equal to ap­prox­i­mately four kilo­grams.

The uni­ver­sity’s float will join mil­i­tary bands, vin­tage buses, Dhol drum­mers, a com­bine har­vester and a giant nod­ding dog for the three-mile-long pro­ces­sion

Dubbed the nois­i­est, largest and most colour­ful event in the City of Lon­don’s cal­en­dar, the Lord Mayor’s Show brings to­gether over 7,000 peo­ple, 200 horses and 140 mo­tor and steam-driven ve­hi­cles in a ma­jor spec­ta­cle that dates back to the 13th cen­tury. Peter Estlin, who will take of­fice as the 691st Lord Mayor of the City of Lon­don to­day, will ride in the pro­ces­sion in the gold State Coach.

The an­nual event, which cel­e­brates the city’s an­cient past and modern out­look, en­ables the Lord Mayor to ‘show’ him­self or her­self to the peo­ple of the City of Lon­don, as well as to swear an oath of al­le­giance to the sov­er­eign.

Peter stud­ied Eco­nom­ics and Ac­count­ing at the Uni­ver­sity of Bris­tol, grad­u­at­ing in 1982 be­fore em­bark­ing on a 30-year ca­reer in fi­nance. He was elected an Al­der­man of the City of Lon­don in 2013 and was elected Sher­iff for the City of Lon­don for the year 2016/17.

Pro­fes­sor Hugh Brady, vice-chan­cel­lor and pres­i­dent of the Uni­ver­sity of Bris­tol, said: “We’re hon­oured to have been in­vited to par­tic­i­pate in the Lord Mayor’s Show and can­not wait to play our part in one of the na­tion’s most spec­tac­u­lar events.

“With the in­com­ing Lord Mayor’s links with Bris­tol, what bet­ter way to catch peo­ple’s at­ten­tion and cel­e­brate our won­der­ful city than by cre­at­ing a spe­cial hot air bal­loon which will be viewed by mil­lions of peo­ple around the globe.

“As an alum­nus of the uni­ver­sity, we’re ex­tremely proud of Peter’s achieve­ments, not just in his ca­reer but as an ad­vo­cate for ed­u­ca­tion at all lev­els. He’s a great am­bas­sador for the uni­ver­sity and the UK. We wish him well for his ten­ure as Lord Mayor of Lon­don.”

Cheered on by tens of thou­sands of peo­ple lin­ing the streets and mil­lions watch­ing the live BBC cover­age and on­line stream­ing of the event, the pro­ces­sion will leave The Man­sion House, the Lord Mayor’s of­fi­cial res­i­dence, at 11am.

The Uni­ver­sity of Bris­tol bal­loon which will fea­ture in the Lon­don Lord Mayor’s Pa­rade

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