A VINTAGE steam train float built by construction students and staff at Havering College's Rainham Campus Construction Centre has helped the Mayor of Havering to raise £2,000 for local charities.
Students Ben Leask and Jake Steadman joined The Mayor of Havering, Cllr Linda Trew, on board her vintage steam train float for London's New Year's Day Parade on January 1st.
The float crafted in exquisite detail by students and staff at the construction centre in New Road, Rainham, was awarded sixth place by a panel of international judges for its interpretation of the theme 'London on the Move.'
The prize will benefit the Havering branches of add+up, Alzheimer's Society and MIND.
It is estimated that that more than 550,000 spectators packed the 2.2-mile route from the Ritz Hotel to Parliament Square.
It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for Harold Hill residents Ben 17, and Jake 16, who were dressed as Crossrail workers and waved to the crowds.
The students were joined on the Havering float by Carpentry & Joinery lecturer Colin Hughes and curriculum manager for Painting & Decorating, Duane Randall, the TIME 107.5 FM team and other guests.
Cllr Trew said: "It has been a fantastic event. I am so, so proud to be the Mayor of Havering and want to thank all the people who contributed to the borough's entry in the London New Year's Day Parade.
"The float constructed by the students and staff of Havering College was amazing. Everyone was so impressed by it. There were a lot of compliments.
"I think those on our float realised it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and we all thoroughly enjoyed it."
Bob Bone, Executive Director of London's New Year's Day Parade said:" The parade was without doubt the very best of all 29 to date....the crowds turned out in their droves – and the performers gave their all.
"The London borough entries shone particularly brightly - with some wonderfully crafted and choreographed entries."
Post parade, the float will be returning to the Rainham Campus Construction Centre where further work will be undertaken to prepare the steam train and carriage for longer term legacy use in the borough.
• Information TV on Sky channel 212 are screening the London New Year's Day Parade again on Sunday, January 4th at 12pm and on Monday, January 5th at 12pm.