I feared the worst when the heavens opened mid afternoon and it rained so hard that the puddles on the South Bank were threatening to become ponds. Thankfully the downpour ceased and in typically British fashion the sun came out just in time for the start of last night's boat party on the Thames.
The ship's capacity is 235 and in the event there were over 200 guests on board The Elizabethan, a Mississippi-style paddle steamer (above), including six MPs - Greg Knight, Philip Davies, Christopher Chope, David Nuttall, Dr Dan Poulter and Mike Weatherley.
Philip and Greg gave short speeches and it was gratifying to hear that the fight to amend the ban will continue with their support. (Are you listening, Nick Clegg?)
Delighted too to see so many friendly and familiar faces including a large number of people who attended the Voices of Freedom series of debates. (We seem to have acquired a cult following!)
Ditto Dave Atherton, Martin Cullip, Liz Barber, Peter Thurgood and other occasional readers of this blog. Thanks for coming.
Celebrities may have been thin on the ground (we did invite Simon Cowell but I guess he was busy) but we had our very own VIPs: Madsen Pirie (director, Adam Smith Institute), Phil Booth (national coordinator, NO2ID), Alex Deane (director, Big Brother Watch, who also said a few words), Simon Richards (director, The Freedom Association), Mark Wallace (campaign director, Taxpayers Alliance), Donal Blaney (Young Britons Foundation), Chris Snowdon (author, Velvet Glove Iron Fist) and of course Ranald Macdonald (MD, Boisdale of Belgravia) to whom I proposed a toast for all his help and support.
Finally, I am tempted to identify the guests below but on reflection .... I have to work with these people!
Thanks to Peter Thurgood for the photo below. The chap on the right is David Nuttall, Conservative MP for Bury North. I wonder if he's phoning emergency services - "I'm an MP, get me out of here!"