THE wheels came off a pleasant charity evening for Redbridge Mayor Arthur Leggatt when he and nine other London mayors were stuck for two-and-a-half hours on the London Eye.

The mayor and his wife Rita had been invited by Lambeth Mayor Irene Kimm for the annual event in aid of her nominated charity, Age Concern.

Because it was such a cold night, the mayors and VIPs were ushered straight into their pods, along with a handful of tourists, as soon as they reached the wheel.

Mr Leggatt said: "After about ten minutes we were approaching the top and we came to a halt. We were advised there was a mechanical fault.

"They managed to get it going once and we managed to go a bit further up then it stopped."

Outside, snow began to fall. Inside, with their pod suspended in near darkness 400ft above the Thames, the temperature began to drop.

Wanstead resident and Pearly Queen of the Old Kent Road, Doreen Golding, decided to make the best of a bad job.

She said: "We had hampers of wine so we made sure we drank all that, and when that kicked in we had a nice sing-song to pass the time."

With the tourists looking on, Mrs Golding led the mayors in a rendition of Don't Dilly Dally, Daisy Daisy, and Maybe It's Because I'm A Londoner.

Everybody had plenty of time to have a good look at the view and exchange waves with mayors in the other pods, before at 9.30pm engineers restored power to the wheel and they descended gently to earth.

Managers of the London Eye have written to all the mayors apologising for the problems and offering them free tickets for another ride.

Mr Leggatt said: "There's a possibility in April but I think I have got something on that day."

Mrs Golding added: "If nature had called I don't know what would have happened. You've just got to do your best and hope it's just a computer glitch. You also wonder what if it's a terrorist attack? Oh my God, let's keep singing Maybe It's Because I'm A Londoner.