Ian O’Connell from Thomas Cook Airlines reports from Brighton Pride Weekend
Following on from last year’s float at Manchester pride, 2015 saw our first float in Brighton Pride, giving our crew in the southern bases, especially Gatwick, the opportunity to celebrate pride.
The day itself was fun, although it was a bit touch and go at one point, as we arranged for Brighton pride to supply our vehicle, and it did not show up until the eleventh hour!
Luckily (?!) there was a delay in the parade as there turned out to be a bomb scare. (Which turned out to be a time-lapse camera strapped to a lamp post). This delay however gave us the opportunity to decorate the van… phew!
Once we set off spirits were high, and music blaring. The float was bouncing, literally, at one point when the whole group were dancing!
The parade lasted about two hours, and there were several groups involved, from local bars in Brighton, various charities, and other commercial organisations like us, that wanted to show that we are proud, and support our LGBT members of staff, not only in the air but on the ground also.
Sadly, Brighton pride do not allow freebies to be given away, but we do have plenty of merchandise to be handed out at the Manchester Pride parade on August bank holiday weekend (2015) – watch this space!
The streets of Brighton were packed, and it was great to see people from all walks of life, age, sex, sexual orientation and religion, cheering on the parade. It truly was a carnival atmosphere. Our rainbow flags and inflatable aircraft seemed to go down especially well with the crowds.
Hopefully we can build on this successful parade, and enter a more lavish float next year, as we are doing with Manchester this year