West Norwood kicks off the Olympics in style.

It was touch and go for a moment there. A couple of technical hitches and a raincloud or two threatened to derail West Norwood’s Olympic opening ceremony celebrations on Friday night. Only an utter refusal to admit defeat from all sides, and some of the fighting spirit befitting Team GB, saved the day.

And oh was it worth it. A magnificent opening ceremony directed by Danny Boyle wowed up to a thousand people from the local area who had camped for hours outside St Luke’s Church to reserve the best spot with their picnic blankets and fizzy pop.

Stoked up on popcorn, curry and German sausage, children ran amok holding aloft their Olympic torches of gold and crepe paper, and bespoke medals were cast like they were going out of fashion. As thick dark clouds gathered overhead a mischievous wind whipped at the screen and umbrellas tumbled across the churchyard.

All the while, on screen a tale of myth, folklore and love unfolded.

It was not the lush countryside, nor the great inventions that were the stars of Danny Boyle’s show. The Hollywood director showed the world that it’s not Britain’s Empire, but its people that make it Great.

And here in West Norwood you were doing much the same. Sharing a wonderful moment, keeping faith when things looked decidedly unlikely to come good. Showing that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

West Norwood is nothing without the people that live in it.

Thank you for taking part.

The next Feast event is on Sunday 5 August. See your friends there.

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