Harry Potter superfans from Ilford join nationwide Knight Bus tour to celebrate Back to Hogwarts Day
PUBLISHED: 17:30 04 September 2018 | UPDATED: 09:34 05 September 2018
Two Harry Potter superfans were treated to the experience of a lifetime when they were chosen to join a group of Potterheads on a Knight Bus tour of the UK last week.
Ilford resident Anuj Radia and his long-time friend Akshay Kumar Bhandari made the trip up to Manchester last week, where they boarded a special bus decked out to look like the Knight Bus from JK Rowling’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
From Manchester, they travelled through the country visiting locations famously included in the Harry Potter films.
The former Mayfields School pupils were then able to attend the Back to Hogwarts event at London’s Kings Cross Station on Saturday, September 1.
There they joined hundreds of other fans at the mythical entrance to platform 9¾ to countdown the Hogwarts Express’ leaving time of 11am, and were treated to an extra surprise when film stars Jude Law and Eddie Redmayne – who star in the more recent Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them franchise – joined the celebrating fans.
And Anuj, whose favourite JK Rowling book is The Goblet of Fire and believes he’s very similar to Neville Longbottom, told the Recorder the experience was something he will never forget.
He said: “It was a few days ago now but the experiences were so vivid that I can close my eyes and picture it all still.
“I was actually quite nervous on the train up to Manchester, I didn’t know how it was going to go, but once we all met up and it was obvious we were all so passionate that went away really quickly.
“It was a bit like Harry, Ron and Hermione on the Hogwarts Express, we all started talking about ourselves and all the different paths we’d been on.”
The group of Potterheads were treated to magical themed feasts on the bus, and slept in Hogwarts bedding while onboard.
“As we travelled down from Manchester it was really like we were leaving the muggle world behind, in a way it was like being transported back to my childhood when I first read the books, there was that sense of really being magical.”