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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