Chairman Peter Wilson opened the third Open Meeting of the season by welcoming members and a good attendance of lady guests. He advised of three apologies having been received.

Todays Speaker, attending at short notice following a cancellation, saw the welcome return of Veronica Bird with her subject being gates she had passed through and Royalty/Celebrities met.

Veronica started by briefly outlining her career in the prison service where she became a Prison Governor and her tough and poor upbringing and certainly not of the silver spoon type even though she now lives in Harrogate. She told us of passing through different prison gates in this country and also on a visit to Russia but more pertinently to this talk through the Downing Street and Buckingham Palace gates. Celebrities met included Frank Bruno, Dickie Bird and Michael Parkinson. We heard about her having a drink with John Major in 10 Downing Street and the unsubstantiated rumours that followed!! Veronica’s illuminating pen pictures of the Royal family included the contrasting behaviours of the Duke of York and the Princess Royal to members of the public and of a little girl presenting ” Valentine’s ” flowers to Princess Anne because her husband had not provided any. The story of the Queen’s shoes being broken in by a beige sock wearing servant raised eyebrows and contributed to a very entertaining mornings proceedings. Questions were taken at the conclusion of the talk.

An excellent and appreciative vote of thanks , on behalf of the 30 strong audience including 9 lady guests, was given by our Registrars wife Angela Hill.

Next weeks meeting would be Members Morning with a number of members giving short talks on a variety of topics. The Chairman then closed the meeting thanking those for attending.

P.S. Following the meeting information was received that Tony Bill’s funeral would be on Wednesday March 2nd at 130 p.m. at our meeting place the Harlow Methodist Church.


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