Merton’s ‘Horsepower’ wins first place at New Year’s Day parade

Merton Council is celebrating another year of success at London’s New Year’s Day parade after it came joint first place with Westminster Council, for its ‘Horsepower’ float on 1 January.

After collecting the top prize in 2009 and second prize in 2010, Sunday’s New Year parade was another success for Merton with its float, ‘Horsepower’ celebrating the transport history of the borough. The Younger Generation Theatre group dressed as tennis players, performing their dance routine alongside music composed by Councillor Linda Kirby.

The theme of the parade was ‘The London Olympics and the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II’ and Merton’s float paid homage to the horse-drawn wagon of the Surrey Iron Railway in Merton – the first licensed public railway in the world. The improved transport links contributed to the resurrection of the modern Olympic Games, allowing people to travel from further a field.

Merton is also celebrating the £7,000 prize the float has earned for the Mayor’s charities, Parkinson’s UK, Merton Music Foundation, Merton Concert Band, Merton and Morden Guild, Merton Vision, Merton Priory Trust, Crossroads, Age UK Merton and Deen City Farm.

Mayor of Merton, Councillor Gilli Lewis-Lavender said: “I am proud to be involved in such an exciting event and have seen all the effort and creative ideas we have contributed for my charities. I’d like to give a special thanks to the students at Wimbledon College of Art for all their hard work. Merton has come in the top three for the last few years which shows the commitment that goes into this project each year.”

Event coordinator Councillor Geraldine Stanford said “Once again, it was a brilliant team effort from everyone involved, from Council officers and Councillors to members of community groups, businesses and other individuals. Special thanks go to Peter Wallder for all of his hard work in this year’s event. We couldn’t have done it without so much help and support. This is our third win in the past seven years and we are determined to carry on showing off our wonderful community in Merton to the rest of London and the world.”

For more information on the parade visit

Notes to editor:

Photos of ‘Horse-power’ at the parade are available.
A video is available on YouTube of the event.


Press Contact:

Leoni Munslow

Communications Officer

London Borough of Merton

020 8545 4654