On this dull, cold and misty morning, worshippers from both of Slough's large mosques, 78 Diamond Road and 83 Stoke Poges Lane, started to assemble at the southern end of Stoke Poges Lane at its junction with Bath Road, the A4.
This is the annual procession to celebrate the birthday of the prophet Mohammed. Because the Moslem calendar is based on lunar months and not on the conventional calender of 365 days each year, the anniversary of Mohammed's birth occurs on slightly different days. Slough's Moslems always have their procession on a Sunday.
Originally the procession began outside the mosque at 35 Montem Lane but, because Slough Borough Council has been sealing-off roads in Chalvey as part of, many critics claim, a desperate attempt to paralyse all motor traffic to the detriment of local residents and local businesses, this year's procession is beginning on the north side of the A4 Bath Road which is, at this time, free from the local council's constant war on local motorists.
At about 11:00, the procession began. It's route was northwards along Stoke Poges Lane, eastwards along Elliman Avenue and Shaggy Calf Lane, southwards along Wexham Road and then eastwards into Diamond Road to the mosque at the end of that road.
The Traffic Marshall was Slough councillor Pervez Choudhry who told the Slough Times 75 volunteers had been trained as stewards to safely guide the procession along its route and to direct traffic at road junctions. Police officers and PCSO's from Neighbourhood Policing Teams, all on bicycles, attended but left the procession's management to the stewards. It was nice to see this good example of police support, when needed, as opposed to police dominance which has become such a worrying trend in parts of Thames Valley Police.
Marchers carried a variety of pre-printed banners. A few mentioned the local mosques.