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Big IF Windmills and History

Posted by Robin Foxon Media Officer - North of England

12th Jun 2013

I know many people reading this will have their own personal memories of the IF day on June 8th in Hyde Park and it would be great to hear about them below. Here is what I will remember from the day..

I got to London in time for the start of my shift and walked down to the assembly area from Hyde Park Tube Station. It was a race against time to get the windmills made and into the ground in time for the display the day after. (The ground was so tough nails and hammers had to be used).

 There was a good atmosphere in the construction tent as volunteers from different organisations discussed life in Tokyo, Madrid and Wolverhampton. Tips were shared such as using the clip on the next stick to click the centre of the windmill tight rather than doing it free-hand (if you were there then hopefully these instructions will make sense!)

Whatever was going on in the field was an exciting mystery as staff with wrap-round microphones relayed up to the minute information about which colours of windmill were needed for the image. With B*Witched's 'C'est La Vie' ringing in my ears from the PA system I went to bed ready for day two.

Fortunately it felt like one of the hottest and brightest days of the year when June 8th arrived. Following a briefing and donning a glowing orange t-shirt, I went out to the rally area to deal with any enquiries from the general public. I helped search for a lost child (they were found), directed a man to the toilets and pointed out where the Queen lives for a lost Russian tourist.

The hosting by Gethin Jones and Myleene Klass was perfectly pitched for the event and they kept things moving with banter and facts. Highlights for me were Radcliffe's own Danny Boyle who spoke passionately about parks being where great social change has always taken place in Britain, acoustic music from Lucy Rose, human beatboxer Beardyman being introduced by former Archbishop Rowan Williams and of course Bill Gates amongst others.

With one in eight people in the world going hungry and a minutes silence for those who have died of hunger, the event never lost sense of the urgency of its cause but was a chance for people to make the G8 listen.

The Belfast event is 15th June.

Blog post written by Robin Foxon

Media Officer - North of England

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