London Flash Mob #2
Hungerford footbridge over the Thames next to Charing Cross Railway Station in the heart of London’s West End was the second venue of the London Flash Mob.
I received my instructions aboard the Tattershall Castle, formerly a Steam Paddle Ferry and now a floating pub moored on the Thames just up river of the bridge. We were to make our way to the downstream footbridge and arrive at exactly 18:30, (6.30 pm to landlubbers but tonight had a ‘naughtycal’ theme) where we were to proceed to wave at passing trains as they came out of Charing Cross Station and shout ‘Ahoy’ to passing river craft that approached the bridge. Tonight’s letter theme was ‘Y’ and everytime we heard it we were to click our fingers.
People milled about on the bridge just before 18:30 when suddenly a chorus of ‘Ahoy’ broke loose as 18:30 was reached and a tour boat approached the bridge. We then all turned around as a train thundered out of the station and frantically waved as it passed. The third and fifth trains leaving the station tooted their horns in appreciation and the drivers gave us a wave. The tired commuters looked toward the mob and those that didn’t wave had smiles of incomprehension on their faces.
By far the best responses came from the passengers on the many boats that swept underneath. Many were out on a night’s jolly and were already imbibing cool drafts when they suddenly heard a crowd of about 500 shouting ‘Ahoy’ from above. Everyone on each boat waved back and we had several bows from the delighted waterbourne revellers. To top that several of the rivercraft sounded their horns in appreciation.
At 18:35 loads of mobile phones started to go off, annoying when you’re on a train but very funny when you’re in a crowd on a bridge. We let them ring as instructed.
The only part of the plan that didn’t quite work was clicking your fingers when you heard the letter ‘Y’. Everyone was doing it but it was drowned out by the shouts of ‘Ahoy’! Where it did work was when one lady met a friend of hers in a quiet moment and said “hello Tony” and clicked her fingers followed by a score of other people clicking their fingers and laughing.
18:40 came far too quickly and suddenly everyone stopped and dispersed complimenting complete strangers on thier way home - they may have been other mobbers and they may have been commuters on their way home you couldn’t tell because everyone was smiling.
A brilliant success and a lot of fun and laughs. We look forward to the next event in September.