Sun shines on royal garden encounter

Stephanie and David Butters and Sheila and Joe Birkby outside Buckingham Palace
Stephanie and David Butters and Sheila and Joe Birkby outside Buckingham Palace

Goosnargh couples David and Stephanie Butters and Sheila and Joe Birkby met outside the main gates of Buckingham Palace last Thursday on the most perfect day for a garden party.

Stephanie Butters, part of the Goosnargh and Whittingham Festival Committee, had just returned from Nova Scotia, following the completion of the twinning of their festivals.

The couples entered through the main gates and explored the gardens before reaching a wild flower meadow bordering the lake.

Stephanie said: “We were soon aware that aisles were being formed on the lawn for Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness, Prince Philip, to walk down.

“The Yeomen of the Guard signalled the arrival of the Royal Party which was heralded by the playing of the National Anthem.

“We chose our position and chatted with one of the Gentlemen at Arms. He was interested in what we had to say and pulled us out to be presented to Prince Philip.

“David and I had the honour of shaking his hand and we were able to tell him that we had just returned from Nova Scotia following the completion of the twinning of our festivals.

“He replied ‘how interesting’ before swiftly moving on to the next presentation.”

They then enjoyed afternoon tea of finger sandwiches and cakes, and fresh lemonade.

She thanked PC Chris Banks who submitted her name to the Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire to represent the festival committee, and the communities of Goosnargh and Whittingham.

She said: “I hope we have well and truly raised the profile of the twinning which promises so much for the future.”

During the trip Stephanie carried a photo of Maisie Kitching, who was still an active member of the committee until her death just short of of her 101st birthday.