This picture taken on 14 September 1974 captures people queuing for the Last Night of the Proms. Probably the most well-known of all the Proms, tickets for the Last Night are highly sought after and the queue attracts a dedicated group of Prommers, some of whom had been known in the past to spend nearly 24 hours in line to guarantee their place at the concert.
Since the BBC’s first televised broadcast of the Last Night of the Proms in 1947, the audience has been encouraged to wave flags throughout the performance and people often arrive in fancy dress; you’ll notice there is already a union flag decorating the queue here.
In recent years the audiences have have become more dedicated to this tradition, and at the Last Night concert this year you’re sure to see union flags as well as flags from countries all over the world crammed into the Arena.
Prommers at the Last Night of the Proms, 2003
1974, the year the photo was taken, is notable for one very unique event in the history of the Proms – it was year that regular Prommer and operatic singer Patrick McCarthy came to the rescue midway through Prom 20, after singer Thomas Allen passed out on stage. Find out more about that incredible moment.
Ralph Vaughan Williams
Serenade to Music
Pomp and Circumstance March No 1 in D major, ‘Land of Hope and Glory’
The Perfect Fool
The National Anthem (arr. Britten)
John Shirley-Quirk baritone
Michael Roll piano
Norma Procter contralto
BBC Symphony Chorus
BBC Symphony Orchestra
Charles Groves Conductor