Mirren drops in as troops get a Wapping thank-you
Hundreds of servicemen moved into Tobacco Dock in Tower Hamlets, east London, after the firm admitted it would not be able to provide its 10,400 contracted guards for London 2012.
They were joined by Dame Helen Mirren, who lives in the borough, as they marked the end of their Olympic deployment in Wapping Rose Gardens.
Mayor of Tower Hamlets Lutfur Rahman and Commodore Martin Atherton, the Royal Navy’s Regional Commander Eastern England, lowered a flag to music from the Royal Marine band.
Servicemen, staff and volunteers were served curry by way of thanks.
Mayor Rahman said: “For the last three weeks soldiers have been welcome in the streets and the stations of our borough as they have gone about their duties supporting the Olympic effort.
“They joined our volunteers and public service workers in making sure London 2012 was a great success for the East End and for east London. As has happened so often in the past, our armed forces responded uncomplainingly to cope with an unforeseen situation.
“I was proud to salute them and our hard working staff and volunteers on behalf of Tower Hamlets - and the nation. They played their part in making the Olympic Games an enormous success.”