We have a new royal baby on the way, “Glory be”, or that is hopefully what the majority of people in our country will say.
We are undoubtedly still a royalist nation and I hope this will be so for many years to come, with our Royal Family bringing dignity, stability and not a little much-needed revenue to our shores.
We in Swaffham have, over the years, enjoyed close links with our Royal Family, with Sandringham House being close by and RAF Marham with its royal visits.
Many local people visit Sandringham Church to see the Royal Family during their Christmas break. Also our Queen, during this and other breaks at Sandringham, visits many Norfolk villages.
Another royal visitor was Queen Mary, who visited the antique shop that traded from Orwell House in Swaffham. The museum has a copy of a photo taken on one such visit.
I have had the pleasure of being presented to Her Majesty a few times, and most specially when she attended a thanksgiving service at Hillington church, after extensive repair work that our building firm carried out on the church tower.
I also had the pleasure of meeting the Duke of Edinburgh when he visited Stanley hospital in the Falklands.
Our firm was involved in providing bomb-proof shelters on the Sandringham Estate at the outset of hostilities which led to World War II.
It also carried out repair and restoration work at Castle Acre Priory, which brings to mind a humorous story involving the Queen Mother.
It was a lovely summer’s day and fitted in perfectly with a royal visit undertaken by Her Majesty, who had asked to be shown the newly-repaired and always impressive priory sitting in the lovely Nar Valley.
These extensive repairs were only completed the day before the visit so it was a last minute rush to get the site cleaned up and ready, with some remaining builder’s plant stored out of sight.
Bad timing involved instructions being given to Jim Kendle, one of our lorry drivers, to go to the priory to clear away the builder’s plant and debris, this without checking that the royal visit was over.
The visit ran over time anyway, but the police stopped Jim and requested he park up out of sight until Her Majesty had left.
When the coast was clear, he was allowed in and the final clean-up and loading began, this including a rather battered, corrugated and iron-clad, wooden-doored toilet which Jim, with help from one of our labourers, Billy Eves, struggled to load onto the lorry.
As this was going on, an American couple wandered over to Jim and asked him if he took this toilet everywhere that Her Majesty visited. The story later sped like wildfire around our workforce and Jim was immediately promoted to the post of “Privy Councillor”.
Happy days, many of which leave those of us that can recall such occasions with some amusing memories.
Happy Christmas to you all!
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Weather for King's Lynn
Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 16 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 6 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: North west