|Union Jack Mandeville|
|Big Ben Wenlock|
After shuffling our way through the crowds we found the next mascot, not with an Eye theme as you might think given its location, but a nod to the view across to Big Ben. This statue was preposterously popular and trying to get pictures of it proved very difficult as children were propelled towards it so their parents could grab that all-important picture. Little did the rest know that we were now half way through spotting them all!
The mascots along the riverbank were spaced at regular intervals, the first being Speaker Mandeville. The Speaker is of course effectively the chairperson of the House of Commons, keeping the sometimes rowdy MPs in check during their Parliamentary debates. It was interesting to see that this was the role that was celebrated rather than the Prime Minister, but then I guess that is more to do with the more ceremonial dress adopted by the Speaker that sets him or her apart from the crowd.
|Palace of Westminster|
Just beyond the Doctor was a memorial to the Special Operations Executive. I had never heard of this before but apparently it was a British organisation set up in World War II to conduct espionage, sabotage and reconnaissance in occupied Europe against the Axis Powers and to aid local resistance movements. Needless to say it was top secret and full of extremely brave people. London seems to be full of these memorials to pieces of history that I know nothing about and this is one of the reasons why a walk around the Capital is so fascinating!
|Richard the Lionheart|