There is one further postscript to this story. When I returned to work the next day, a colleague enquired if I had taken the previous day as holiday. Indeed I had. That’s good, he said, because you were in the paper, and he handed me a copy of the Evening Standard, which had run a twelve page picture special on the victory parade. Across two of the inside pages was a double page spread of the crowds at Mansion House
Now, when we arrived, the only people there were us, one lady Gamesmaker and about twenty partying Gamesmakers from Eton Dorney. By the time they put the barriers up there were about twenty of us. After that I was aware of people wriggling in around and behind us, but I really had no conception of the actual size of the crowd.
The photo stunned me. It showed our section of the crowd, and behind the barrier where we were standing are hundreds, perhaps thousands of people, clinging onto lampposts, on the sides of the Wellington memorial, packed on the steps of the Royal Exchange. We had absolutely no idea there were so many people; it’s an absolute tide of them. And at at the front, on the barrier, next to our nice policeman, and grinning broadly, is me.*
*I know “am I” would be more grammatically correct. But it’s floppy writing and would make a very poor end, so get over it.