On Sunday July 3rd, bicycles, scooters, rickshaws and wheelbarrows, rolled through the streets of Tooting and into Fishponds Playing Fields for the first Tour de Tooting.
The fun began at Franciscan Primary School, where crowds gathered and those taking part made finishing touches to their bikes or barrows. Volunteers guided the parade down Franciscan Road and into the bus turning point on Longmead Road. Transition Town Tooting, the community group behind the event were granted permission from TFL to close this road for the duration of the parade. As the parade entered the meeting point they were greeted by a brightly coloured, hand made windmill and music from the Balham Ukulele Society.
Led by drums from Ancestral hands drummers and James Bond on his brightly coloured, feather bike and outfit to match, the streets were soon filled with an influx of wheeled mechanisms. It was fantastic to see hundreds of people had made it out in the sunshine to either take part or to show their support.
Rickshaws carried ladies and children, speakers played music, beeps, rings and drums soon took over from the normal buzz of Tooting’s busy roads. After a Jai Ho performance from the children of the Indian Dance Academy at Franciscan School and their teacher Ragini Rajagopal, the parade was led away down Totterdown Road, over Tooting High Street and up to Fishponds Playing Fields. The parade soon flooded the fields, decorated with flags and brightly coloured banners and food and drink was soon shared amongst a hungry crowd.
With many thanks to Amir (Primark Tooting Manager), Brian Albuqerque (Tooting Town Centre Manager) and Lucy Neal (Transition Town Tooting) we we’re given permission to access Primark Tooting’s roof. We had perfect views of the parade heading down into Longmead Road, out towards Tottendown Street.
We were delighted to be a part of Tour de Tooting and we’re already looking forward to the next event from Transition Town Tooting.