September 4th, 2011

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The Mayor's Thames Festival - 10 and 11 September 2011

The Thames Festival is London's free end-of-summer festival and it is AMAZING!

Photo credit: Carnival by Angell

Selected highlights from the Thames Festival website:

The Mayor’s Thames Festival is London’s largest outdoor arts festival - a spectacular event, free to all, which brings together Londoners of all ages and from all communities to celebrate their city and the River Thames.

The festival commissions new work, and transforms outdoor spaces on and around the River Thames with a mixture of music, dancing, street arts, river races, carnival, pyrotechnics, art installations, massed choirs, food and feasting. The finale is a magical illuminated Night Carnival that winds along the south and north banks of the Thames, followed by a fireworks display fired from the centre of the river itself.

Highly valued by the Mayor of London, London boroughs and the Arts Council, the Thames Festival is one of the capital’s most-loved events, giving Londoners a fabulous free weekend of arts, spectacle and entertainment, and generating a feel-good factor that is second to none.

The festival takes place every September on the River Thames, the riverside walkways, roads, bridges, docks and public open spaces from Westminster Bridge to Tower Bridge and beyond. It is delivered by the Thames Festival Trust, a not-for-profit charitable trust with an independent board of trustees.

Night Carnival - Sun 11 September 2011 - 6.45 - 9.30pm

Blackfriars Bridge and Victoria Embankment

This year the Carnival route is reversed to give a much better viewing space on Victoria Embankment. The Carnival lines up on Upper Ground, heads north over Blackfriars Bridge and then turns left on to Victoria Embankment.

Firework finale - Sun 11 September 2011 - 9.45pm - 10pm

Fired from 2 barges mid-river between Waterloo and Blackfriars Bridges

The Festival is one of only 3 city centre river displays permitted each year, so we work hard to ensure our display packs a massive pyro punch, sending over a ton of fireworks up in a spectacular display.

The two barges are positioned mid-river between Blackfriars and Waterloo Bridges, so there's plenty of opportunity to find a space after watching the the magical illuminated Night Carnival procession on Victoria Embankment on the north bank of the river. You can also get a good view from Blackfriars and Waterloo Bridges themselves.

Follow the link for all the details:
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Wanted - Positive role models for Black boys in London

The Mayor's Mentoring Programme will provide appropriately trained adult volunteer mentors for a minimum of 1,000 Black boys aged 10-16, who may be at risk of offending in seven target boroughs in London - Brent, Croydon, Hackney, Haringey, Lambeth, Southwark and Waltham Forest.

They need as many volunteers from these communities as possible to help – mentoring at a crucial stage in these boys' lives can help them make positive decisions when it comes to education and make them more resilient to the pressure they can face from their peers to engage in criminal activity.

As part of Team London, the Mayor's action plan for volunteering, the University of East London will lead a consortium of organisations in running the scheme.

"There's nothing more satisfying than actually helping somebody to change their life" - Ian Wright, Presenter

To find out more information, follow the link:
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Benedict Cumberbatch interview: On the couch with Mr Cumberbatch

Photo credit:

As the Sherlock star prepares to play a dapper 70s spook in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, Benedict Cumberbatch tells Emma John about the joys of kitesurfing, being single and punching Tom Hardy – while presenting the sharpest looks from the coming season.

There is an interview with Benedict Cumberbatch in The Observer today. Follow the link to read the article: