When does second prize magically become first? When Bob Bone says so!

The young dancers, scooter riders, Mini drivers, volunteers, backroom staff and organisers of Hillingdon's entry to the London New Year's Day Parade were told in no uncertain terms at a civic reception on Tuesday thay they were 'simply the best' by the top man.

Parade executive director Mr Bone travelled to the civic centre with his family to present the mayor of Hillingdon, Councillor Allan Kauffman, with the cheque for £6,000 for the borough parade entry's second spot, and then told the audience of what he thought had been a moral victory.

Hillingdon's contribution, 'The Swinging Sixties', had been put together by Judy McPhee of Jam2000 Performing Arts and Agency of Pembroke Road, Ruislip.

"Thank you to all of you who made Hillingdon's entry into the London New Year's Day Parade 2014 so cool and brilliant and everything it should be to take London back to the 1960s," he said.

"You really did embrace the theme better than any other borough, as far as I'm concerned.

"Your fantastic endeavours won second prize in the London boroughs' competition, and in many respects coming second was really coming first, because Westminster [the winner] does have too much money to throw at this thing," said Mr Bone, with a wink.

 

The prize money will go into the mayor's Rainbow Charity Appeal fund, which stands at £47,000 this week, out of a target total of £59,000 to aid seven charities.

Hillingdon's performers, lead by riders from the Cherokees Scooter Club of Hemel Hempstead, made a huge impression on the annual parade on a day of pouring rain.

The entry included a giant juke box, classic Mini and performers dressed as 1960s-era dancers and characters from the musical Priscilla Queen Of The Desert.

Tuesday's reception, hosted by Mr Kauffman and his wife, Lynne, in the Middlesex Suite at the civic centre in Uxbridge High Street, was a 'thank you' to all who helped get the entry on the road and clinch the second prize.

After a buffet dinner, special parade medals were presented to the entire Hillingdon team, and then everyone watched the video diary of the day, produced by filmmaker Derren Little.

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