The first part of this sequence celebrated the National Health Service (NHS – "the institution which more than any other unites our nation", according to the programme), with music by Mike Oldfield. 600 dancers, all of whom were NHS staff, along with 1,200 volunteers recruited from hospitals around the UK, entered with children on 320 hospital beds, some of which functioned as trampolines. They started a short jive routine. Watching from the tor were specially invited hospital staff and nine child patients from Great Ormond Street Hospital. The beds' blankets illuminated, and the beds were arranged into a child's face with a smile and a tear (Great Ormond Street Hospital's logo) and its acronym "GOSH", then into the initials NHS, turning into the shape of a crescent moon as the children were hushed to sleep,and read a book by an adult/nurse.
The sequence then moved on to celebrate British children's literature. J. K. Rowling began by reading a section from J. M. Barrie's Peter Pan (whose copyright was given to Great Ormond Street Hospital). The Child Catcher then appeared amongst the children, followed by large puppet representations of children's literature villains: the Queen of Hearts, Captain Hook, Cruella de Vil and Lord Voldemort. Minutes later, 32 women playing Mary Poppins descended on flying umbrellas as the villains deflated and the actors resumed dancing. The music for this sequence included partially rearranged sections from Tubular Bells (played in part on a giant set of tubular bells at the rear of the stage), Tubular Bells III and, after the villains were driven from the stage by the Mary Poppins characters, In Dulci Jubilo. During this performance the children in pyjamas jumped up and down on their brightly lit beds, creating a memorable image amid the darkness of the stadium.
The sequence concluded with the introduction, in the centre of the arena, of a pale, gigantic baby's head, with a rippling sheet where its body should be. This apparently celebrated the Scottish pioneers of obstetric ultrasound imaging.
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