David to be aboard Gloriana in pageant

David Melrose at home in Duns.
David Melrose at home in Duns.

Former Duns firefighter David Melrose will be at the head of the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant next month, aboard vessel Gloriana.

David, who sustained serious spinal injuries in 2010 when a beam fell on him while he was tackling a blaze at Eyemouth Golf Club, is now paralysed from the waist down and uses a manual wheelchair. He was treated at the Southern General Hospital in Glasgow at the same time as Gordon schoolgirl Samantha Kinghorn.

He is one of a select group of non-rowers who have been invited to lead the Jubilee Pageant on Sunday, June 3, aboard the rowed barge Gloriana.

Gloriana, which is representing Motability, the charity that provides adapted vehicles for disabled people, will be at the head of the pageant, just behind the Belfry boat.

Those invited aboard are men and women who have set a great example to others and given a great deal in the service of their country; in the armed forces, the emergency services and in sport.

David will be accompanied in the coach area by Paralympic swimming champions Sascha and Nyree Kindred, Major Kate Philp who was wounded in Afghanistan and former Police Royal Protection Officer Andrew Child.

Over a thousand boats will muster on the River Thames in preparation for Her Majesty The Queen to take part in the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant.

It will be one of the largest flotillas ever assembled on the river. Rowed boats, working boats and pleasure vessels of all shapes and sizes will be beautifully dressed with streamers and Union flags, their crews and passengers turned out in their finest rigs.

The armed forces, fire, police, rescue and other services will be afloat and there will be an exuberance of historic boats, wooden launches, steam vessels and other boats of note.

The flotilla will be bolstered with passenger boats carrying up to 30,000 flag-waving members of the public placed centre stage (or rather mid-river) in this floating celebration of Her Majesty’s 60 year reign.

The spectacle will be further enhanced with music barges and boats spouting geysers. Moreover, there will be specially constructed elements such as a floating belfry, its chiming bells answered by those from riverbank churches.