WI Centenary Royal Garden Party
Tuesday 2nd June 2015
Guests: Our President, Edna North and our Treasurer, Sandra Reeves
Our journey started at Runcorn railway station were we soon joined by more WI ladies, I think their hats & fascinators were a give away! Once settled on the train, Sandra and I cracked open the bubbly to get our day off to a good start – let the party begin!
Arriving at Euston station it was very easy spotting ladies going to the Palace, such an array of colourful outfits and hats. We caught the No.73 bus to the entrance gate, were a very long queue of ladies awaited us, all excited and chatting away.
Forty five minutes later we were in sight of the gate to entrance of the gardens, were a scene of 8,000 ladies greeted us, what a sight! We did try to see the ‘Royal Ladies’ – the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duchess of Wessex but sadly we were not successful, so time to seek out the tea tent – which was most enjoyable.
It was most pleasant to wonder the gardens and meet new friends, and even see a few familiar faces. Whilst having a well-earned rest on the palace steps, we heard that the ‘Royal Party’ were coming back our way. Everyone gathered round, ladies even formed a pathway on the lawn to let them pass, only to hear a few minutes later that they had gone the other way! Not descend to meet royalty today.
We were entertained for the final half hour of our visit by standing near the bandstand listening to the band. On the stroke of 5pm they played the National Anthem, though only played the first few beats, which surprised everyone standing watching. Just then some ladies broke out singing ‘Jerusalem’ to which everyone else joined in – I wish I’d had a video. It was a lovely ending to a truly wonderful day.
Both Sandra and I agreed we were delighted and privileged to be have been part of such a historic occasion celebrating 100 years of WI.